We ended the year 2019 with a travel to Munnar thus ticking off one of the coveted names from the list of places we wanted to visit. Over the years the way we travel has evolved. As our regular routine becomes more hectic with every passing year our plan for year end travels are becoming more relaxed. So unlike the more typical travel to Kerala where people tend to cover Alleppey, Thekkady and Munnar as a circuit we only stayed in Munnar for three days. So here is a look at how three days can be spent around Munnar based on our experience.
Where to Stay ?
Munnar does not have any well known names from the hospitality circuit so while searching for our stay we had to depend on the traveller reviews and photos to make up our mind. Finally with the help of come recommendations we booked ourselves at Chandy’s Windy Woods. Situated amidst the tea gardens this resort has a wonderful view of the valley giving you a glimpse of this beautiful region. The rooms were very neat and tidy with balconies which gave you an expansive view of the tea gardens all around. Their staff was very warm and always served us with a smile during our stay there. There were other facilities like a recreation room , gym and ayurvedic spa which complement the beauty of this place. This is definitely a place worth recommending for a relaxed and comfortable stay near Munnar. This resort is located around 7-8 kilometers before the Munnar town and during the peak year ending season it may cost you between 10K to 15K a night which includes breakfast.
Day 1 : Munnar to Top Station
- Plan to go to Top Station which is one of the highest points of the region on border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Distance from Munnar town is around 35 kms. On the way you will cover other scenic spots worth stopping.
- Almost 2-3 kms from Munnar Town would be the first spot Photo Point. Stop here for some breathtaking views and carrying back loads of photographs.
- Next stop is Matupetty Dam, one of the numerous reservoirs you will find in Kerala. Along with the beautiful landscape you can try pedal boats or go for a little bit of adrenaline rush on speed boats.
- Next is Echo Point. Although we chose to stop a few meters further where a piece of land jutted out in back waters of Matupetty Dam, giving you a lovely panoramic view.
- Finally you can drive up to Top Station. You need to time the visit to avoid the fog to admire the view which is much talked about. We unfortunately could not get our timing perfect and a thick fog had settled in when we reached there.
- A little detour before Top Station will take you to Kundala Dam . We had skipped that but it can also be covered on the same day if time permits.
- The above tour comfortably be done during the day. We started at around 11.00 from our resort and were back in Munnar Town by 5,00 pm.
Day 2 : Towards Eravikulam National Park and beyond
- Go to the forest department’s office in Munnar and get yourselves tickets for Eravikulam National Park. This way you will avoid the long queue after reaching the park and can directly go to pay for the Bus Safari. These buses run by the forest department take you to the summit of this abode of the Nilgiri Tahr and NeelKurunji.
- Once you have got the ticket issued a drive of about an hour takes you to the national park. With the entry tickets you can directly go to the counter where you can pay for the Bus Safari
- Bus Safari at Eravikulam National park is wonderful drive up to the summit with jaw dropping views of the valley all around.
- Approximately quarter of an hour is what will take you to summit. Overall it should take you around 2-3 hours in and out of this park.
- A few kilometers further was the beautiful Lakkam Waterfall. A lovely spot within the laps of a green and dense forest.
- Going further on Udumalpet Road you can also cover Marayoor Sandal Forest and Chinnar Wild Life Sanctuary but you may need one more day of start fairly early from Munnar.
Day 3 – Jeep Safari from Sengulum Dam
- Drive to Sengulum Dam about 15 kms from Munnar and 7-8 kms from Chandy’s Windy Woods. You can enjoy an experience on the speed boats at the boating club there.
- Jeep Safaris can be booked from this point as there are plenty waiting for you. One round trip of around 3 hours can be booked for Rs.5000/ which will take you off roading in to some very elusive points within the forests here.
- Key points which will be covered during Jeep Safari in this area would be Ripple WaterFalls, Ponmudi Hanging Bridge, Ponmudi Dam, the very spot where SRK drove his red jeep through the water in Chennai Express and above all a thrilling off roading experience through the spice plantations and dense forests.
Check out Taste The Brews
On one of the days do visit a small cafe called Taste the Brews. Right across the Munnar Bus Station this is a perfect place to wind down after your day’s excursion. They serve wonderful varieties of tea along with some really great sandwiches. A cosy little place in a nook just apt to round off your day.
Travel your own way
The above as I had mentioned is for a very laid back vacation where we only planned for 4-5 hours of exploration outside our resort on each day. However if you want then certainly much more can be packed on each by being more hours on the road. This board outside Chandy’s Windy Woods is a fairly good schematic for planning your days during your travel to Munnar.