Arrival to kochi airport. One of the best airport which is fully solar powered, the car parking has got solar panels on the roof to generate electricity.
You can choose the ‘kerala dew drops’ , the travel agency where the 4 wheel drive vehicles are also available. Anyways, i opted for an innova for the whole trip and drove to munnar from kochi. I stopped by at a restaurant an ate saadya( traditional veg kerala meals) which is a must try. I suggest you to stay in the resorts in a small village called chinnakanal instead of the munnar town where your free from traffic,hassels etc. Its just 20kms far from munnar town, but be a bit careful as the construction work is in progress. There are many resorts like club mahindra, mountain club, sienna village, sterling munnar .
The speciality of staying in chinnakanal is that you are very close to the clouds,sunrise and sunset. I choose to stay at sienna which is worthy and food prices are quite reasonable and got all facilities. On the way you can stop by two waterfalls i.e cheyyappara and vallara and get back to the resort. I reached the resort around 6:00pm and day was at leisure. The dinner timings start from 7:30pm @sienna village resort .Do not forget to the try the Meen pollichattu ( fish cooked in banana leaf ) for dinner.
Wake up early, real early and witness the closest sunrise between the clouds on the top of the hill in the resort you are staying at chinnakanal. Preferably travel in the months of December and January, where the temperatures in the mornings is around 16 degrees C and light sparks of sunrise to keep us warm . The eves of Christmas and new year is more happening with barbecue and songs at these places. After breakfast, you can proceed for the sight seeing of munnar.
1.Prance in the tea estates while travelling from chinnakanal to munnar.
2. Visit the international blossom rose garden
3.Visit to Mattupetty Dam and river
4. Visit to tea factory
You can also go for boating @mattupetty river, also after the boating, try the baby carrots ( fresh and sweet ) and the mirchi bajji outside in small shops.
I visited the lokhart tea estate/factory whiletravelling back to resort at chinnakal. You can opt for a guide who will explain the process of tea leaves that are crushed in the factory and made into powders. Also there is different process and leaves involved for each type of tea such as white tea, green tea and black tea.
There is also a tea tasting option available on small payment basis , u can taste and buy them too in the factory itself. This is the best chai with the best view.
I went back to the resort and had dinner ,this time i tried the chicken ullitiyal ( kerala spcl ) which is cooked with chunks of coconut, fresh coconut water and a dessert unniappam.
After breakfast,Today its the drive from chinnakanal to Tekkady . This is one of the best drive with lush green banana trees and other huge tress of great height on either side of the way. Its an amazing two way road with curves.
Places to visit in Tekkady :
1. Spice plantations
2.Periyar national park and river
3.kerala Ayurvedic Spa
On the way, there is ANAKKARA( spice Ayurvedic garden) which is recognised by the govt of INDIA and is 100% organic. I had a spice plantation tour along with a guide who will explain the pros of essential oils and powders,spices abstracted from tress and plants. If your a health freak and want a healthy living, this is definitely worth a try . You can also gift your family and friends as the prices are affordable and there is no marketing. Kerala believes that anything can be solved with Ayurvedic rather than allopathy as it is originated from the nature. For every pain like frozen shoulder,joint pain etc and for every disease like diabetes,mental illness etc there is medicine from these trees and plants. Also there are assorted gift pack of spices (120gms)like cardamom,cinnamon,bay leaf, pepper, and garlic which are organic. They also have a website where you can order them online with a door step deliver within 10-12 working days.
From the afternoon you can visit thr periyar national park and go on a boat ride in periyar river where you can see the wildlife animals like elephants, deers ,and bisons. Its a 90min boat ride and 240/- per person and the last ride is at 3:30-5 pm. Make sure you be there by 3:00pm if you want to see the animals through boat ride.
You can also see the calmness of the lake and can hear crisp sounds of the birds in between the lake. You also have many activities like the jungle camps,bamboo rafting etc but you plan to stay atleast 2 days and book one day before.
The last ride finishes between 3:30pm-5:00pm and then you should defined try the Ayurvedic spa which is very near to the lake.
I got my spa done at ranger wood where u have full body massage + kizhi treatment + shirodara + steam bath .
The kizhi treatment is where all the herbs are hot pressed on the body to rejuvenate and shirodara is done exactly on the forehead in the center ,that matches the rhythm of the brain’s function. Its a complete stress relief.
After the spa, i went back to the resort @ caramelia haven which is a bit far from the center of Tekkady, but the stay here is worth.
It has a got a swimming pool, plantation tour at 4:00pm, basket ball court,spa,and a bonfire at 9:30pm . The food is not that great here . The property is in 55 acers.
The stay is in a villa which also has an open sky bathroom.
After the breakfast at tekkady resort,this is a 4-5hr ride to Alleppey. The check in time is 12:00pm and houseboat is allowed only to ride till 5:00pm. After 5:00pm, its is stopped in the middle of a lake near the shore. You are provided with lunch dinner and breakfast for the next morning in the boat. It is completely a house boat stay in Alleppey backwaters where you can go canoeing till the famous Vembanad lake. You have a pilot, co-pilot and a chef in the boat who treats with great hospitality. On the way you also can buy amazing lake water sea food like crab, tiger prawn and fish and request the chef to do it accordingly. I bought huge tiger prawns and promfet fish and chef made them real tasty. In the evening, you can see the amazing sunset by the lake. The luxury boat has got three bedrooms in it , a kitchen and a sitting area along with dining area. You can book this boat online through kerala cruises and holidays.
After breakfast in the house boat, the pilot drives you to the starting point . You can coordinate with your driver and get back to the drive to kochi airport.
End of an amazing trip .