Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery

Tripoto
6th Jan 2018
Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Kerala - Just the name can excite any travel enthusiast. As anybody, even i was excited when my friend told (at the end of our Mangaluru trip) lets plan for Munnar in January 2018.

We planned to visit after new year to have a off season experience and add a budget trip ticked in our list. Booked 2 rooms in November itself at Marayoor Holidays in Marayoor, which is hardly 75 min (40 km) drive from Munnar. We got 2 rooms for 3 nights at the deal price of 4k through Goibibo app.

Having booked the accommodation and my friend who has a car (traveling with me) and agreeing to drive through the trip, half the preparation done even before 2017 end.

Then came Jan 2018, both of us thinking the other would plan the route and attractions to visit, kept quite till the last day before we start our trip. Nevertheless, both of us had done some homework to see what are the main attractions to visit in Munnar. But never decided in advance or discussed what exactly is our itinerary for the four days.

As we both are from different locations, decided to meet in Mysuru the common start point for the trip. Having said that Marayoor is 290 km from Mysuru and almost 7 hours journey, our trip actually means 2 days journey and 2 days of sightseeing.

On the previous night of our travel, our plan is almost finalized to visit Bannari Amman temple, Bannari while going and Isha foundation's Shiva statue, Coimbatore on our return. Remaining 2 days we will cover Munnar and Marayoor local sight seeing.

Travel tip: To keep the good health during the journey, we carried 20 liters water can in the car which was sufficient for 4 days for 4 people (by drinking hot water in few Hotels)

Day 1

Day 1: Towards Marayoor

Famous temple (Bannari Amman temple, Bannari) on the way that gives us wonderful experience and small break to start with. All facilities like free space to have food, water, rest rooms etc are available here. Can see many people with Ayappa swamy mala, if visited during the Makara Jyothi season.

Don't miss to have yummy Puliyogare (prasadam that comes with cost) here.

Bannari Amman temple, Bannari

Photo of Bannari Amman Temple, Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu, India by Nithin S P

Large space to have food and relax within temple premisis

Photo of Bannari Amman Temple, Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu, India by Nithin S P

We had a breakfast (packed from Mysuru) here and my friend relaxed a bit as we had to cross through 27 hair pin curve road before reaching here.

Bhavani Sagar Dam with 2 level gates

Photo of Bhavani Sagar Dam, Erode, Tamil Nadu, India by Nithin S P

We started to proceed towards Marayoor. We need to cross around 3-4 check posts (Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala borders). Beware, there is thorough checking done in the check posts and police at check post demand for money (better don't pay and if they persist pay 20 bugs and leave).

Before reaching Marayoor, we get one more wild life sanctuary Chinnar. This place looks to have enough potential to attract tourists having night safari, wild life sanctuary, falls etc. To quote few, below are snap shots

Tortoise @ Chinnar entrance

Photo of Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary., Idukki, Kerala, India by Nithin S P

Small falls @ Chinnar entrance

Photo of Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary., Idukki, Kerala, India by Nithin S P

We checked in to Marayoor holidays @ around 3:00 pm. Got fresh up and proceeded to Sandal Breeze hotel for the noon lunch

Marayoor holidays, hotel we stayed

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

It is recommended not to miss food in this place at all. Kerala tali, one of their special food

Photo of Sandal Breeze Restaurant, Marayoor, Marayoor, Kerala, India by Nithin S P

Kerala tali

Photo of Sandal Breeze Restaurant, Marayoor, Marayoor, Kerala, India by Nithin S P

After lunch, we had a quick snap and fresh up, ready to visit Sandal wood forest safari (Pradeep @ hotel guided us and assisted well in local sightseeing)

Sandal wood forest, Marayoor

Photo of Sandalwood Forest, Marayoor, Kerala, India by Nithin S P

Wild Buffalo, Wildlife sanctuary

Photo of Sandalwood Forest, Marayoor, Kerala, India by Nithin S P

Before the end of safari, we did a river side walk (lochside walk, as they say in UK)

River side view

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Opposite river bank view

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

At the end of day 1, we turned back to rooms for rest. This forest safari in auto, driver being our guide costed around 400 bugs for about more than an hour.

As per local people suggestion we headed to Hotel Kamali for dinner, items including idli, dosa, chapati, parota, chicken curry, ganji costed around 230 bugs for 4 people. It tasted very well, to taste the local food in any tourist spot you have to visit local hotel and not big hotels.

Hotel Kamali, Marayoor

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P
Day 2

Day 2: Marayoor local sight seeing

After discussing with Pradeep (Hotel in-charge), we got to know that we have the below places to cover as a part of Marayoor sight seeing

First half:

- Vegetable and fruits farms (at around 16km distance)

- Water falls

- View point

- Lemon grass making spot

- Jaggery making plant

- Megalithic Dolmens

Second half:

- Trekking

Preferred to go for session 2 that start at 2 pm, need to be present there before 15-20 min and purchase ticket of 200 bugs, organized by government body it seems, they will assign guide as well for us.

This has 2 options viz trekking to waterfalls [bit difficult] or trekking to see Mesolithic caves and rock paintings [comparatively easy]

or option 2 for second half:

Visit the tea factory in the Marayoor - Munnar road

various factory visits are available and we may chose to visit any factory. As our guide suggested we visited 'Talayar tea factory'

We hired a guide who accompanied us in our car to visit the above mentioned places. Lets start day 2

Panoramic view of Marayoor - View point

Photo of Marayoor, Kerala, India by Nithin S P

Started with view point, clicked few pics (including selfies) here and enjoyed the coldness of the location

Sign board from the road - pointing to water falls

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Majestic water falls

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Playing area near the falls

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

We can take bath here by standing under the water falls - get rid of body pain, head ache etc naturally (have additional pair of clothes) and spend quality time here taking pics, playing with water etc.

On the way to this falls we see various plantation that's what we were taking about vegetable plantation visit in Marayoor

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P
Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P
Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Its a quite small trek but consumes your energy in the morning (if you are here without having breakfast) - takes around 30 min to reach waterfalls one way from the sign board spot shown above

After this we proceeded to vegetable plantation at higher altitude

Had farm fresh carrots (20 bugs), coriander leaves bunch (50 bugs) for our selves which we could only pluck it for ourselves before we left the place

We proceeded to fruit farm after the vegetable plantation visit

Fruit garden - entry fee 20

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Strawberry plantation

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Passion fruit

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Green sapota

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Variety breed of tomato

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Various fruit plants and tress we saw here include apple, blackberry, orange, black sapota etc. since its not the season for these fruits, could not actually see them

Had breakfast in a hotel on the way back from fruit plantation

Proceeded to lemon grass oil extract plant (small one though), worth watching it and saw the lemon grass, smelt it by squeezing

Lemon grass oil extract unit

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Small falls near that unit

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Then we went to Jaggery making plant (ale mane in Kannada) - it may not excite people of older generation of mine who have seen them in hundreds. But at least for me it was the first experience and was happy to see how jaggery is made

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Sugar cane juice extraction and storage

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Sugar cane juice to hot fresh jaggery

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Fresh jaggery is available to buy at 60 bugs per kg here and fresh sugar cane juice at 10 bugs per glass.

We headed towards Megalithic Dolmens (entry fee 10 per head) to wind up our first half of the program

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P
Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P
Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Due to tiredness we decided to skip the trek and visit the tea plantation and factory post lunch and bid bye to the second day

Talayar tea factory

As the plan changed, we had a light lunch and started towards tea factory. Monday being holiday for Kannan Devan tea factory situated in Munnar, we had to visit other tea factory in case we need to understand the process involved in making of tea.

So, our guide suggested Talayar tea factory which is situated between Marayoor and Munnar, we also planned to cover either Eravikulam National Park or Water falls that is on the way back from the tea factory, in case time permits.

Entrance of the tea factory

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

We paid Rs 100 per person as entrance fee and guide charges within the tea factory.

A person accompanied us and explained the process of tea powder preparation in detail. It involves various stages and was quite interesting know many general facts like below

- Finer the powder better the taste and less the powder required

- After the tea preparation, if the edges of the glass has somewhat red foam its of low quality tea and if it is somewhat white in color its better quality powder

- Difference in tea taste in spite of the tea powder preparation process being same is due to locality of tea plantation from where tea leaves are extracted, proportion of reused material used in next feed etc.

- A1 (top) Quality tea powder is never sold in India and it is always exported by most companies (was very sad and shocked to hear that the one who grows do not taste the best tea at all)

Overall it was nice to know some facts and see the tea powder extraction process. It took more than an hour to complete the round and come out.

We spent some time to take pics (store the memories) after the tea factory visit.

We realized that we cannot visit either national park nor water falls on the way back to Marayoor. So, planned to have chats in Marayoor in the evening

Hardly we can find the chat points in Marayoor, but with the hotel in charge help we could trace one and taste our chats there

Tea estate pics

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Other side of the estate

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P
Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Village hut restaurant - For chats

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P
Day 3

Day 3 - Munnar

Munnar city as it is do not offer any attractions for the tourists except for the Kannan Devan tea factory which is withing city limits i.e. within 5 km range

So, here is the map that lists some major attractions of Munnar and its locality

Photo of Munnar, Kerala, India by Nithin S P

So, we decided to cover one stretch that contains more places starting from top station, Kundala dam, Eco point and Mattupetty dam in the first half of day 3. So that we can visit Eravikulam National Park and the falls way back to Marayoor post lunch.

Most of the attractions opens around 10 am in Munnar. On day 3, we started by 07 a.m. and started to drive towards top station.

On the way to top station, we took a tea break and had a delicious tea and bread omelet as a breakfast. You can never get a taste of few items if eaten other than road side, no hotels can beat that taste

Top Station

View points is all it has, there are 3 different view points and all are paid ones. All three are at different levels so that view captured in camera is different.

View point 1 ticket details

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

View point 2 ticket details

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Lovely view from top staton

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

The home made chocolates here are the cheapest i found amongst all places i have inquired in Munnar for the same brand i.e. around 70/- per 250 grams i guess if i am not wrong (If you have plans to buy, get them here)

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

We moved towards Kundala Dam after viewing the nature from the view points in top station.

Kundala Dam

Nothing special i could notice about this, in fact we spend some time clicking the pics in midst of long tree found after walking down the dam towards the other side

Parking place with name board

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Water coming out of gates

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Dam reservoir view

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

There is lot of shopping options available for the enthusiasts which include hand made soaps, home made chocolates, various wine, locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables are amongst the popular ones

Tall beautiful tress

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Echo point

It is one of the crowded destinations i noticed in Munnar, just based on the vehicles parked and people moving around we can guess that it is one of the tourist attractions here

We spent almost 30 min here, i didn't here any one trying to shout to hear the Echo (irony is - it is the echo point, i didn't believe until i saw a board nearby !)

Echo point view

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

We bought ginger wine here, which was uniquely noticed amongst all shops i visited/inquired during the visit

There is a entry fee here as well and the option to do boating as well that include 4 people peddle boating, 2 people peddle boating etc.

2 people peddle boating

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Mattupetty Dam

Though we didn't stop to visit this place, it is one of the attractions listed by many visitors to Munnar. May be since, it is on the way back to Munnar city its good to visit once.

We reach back to Munnar City and purchased few chocolates for return. It is quite difficult to get parking for tourist vehicles here as we see 'No Parking' board in most of roads.

We decided to cover Eravikulam National Park and the waterfalls on the way back to Marayoor on day 3

Eravikulam National Park

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Its is quite famous because of Kurinji (Neelakurinji) flowers that blossom once in 12 years and it turns this national park to appear in blue (may be light purple). This year August to October is the time to visit this place to witness the mesmerizing views.

Kurinji flower (one variety) which we could see during our visit

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Otherwise we realized its one of the flop idea to include this in our itinerary. We could hardly found the below during our walk in national park

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

Its is quite costly (bus fare and entry fee) as we need to reach the top point in their bus only, views and ride is worth though, going through the national park at the top is a waste activity I believe.

Lakkam waterfalls

After this we rushed towards Lakkam waterfalls, as the entry to falls closes by 05:30 in the evening. This too has entry fee of around 10 or 15/-

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P
Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

It is worth spending more time here than the time we spent in Eravikulam national park.

We can take bath as well here, good spot to take pics, bath and enjoy the nature. It relieves all body pain if we take bath here in fresh water

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

After quality time spent in the falls, we returned back to Marayoor for the dinner and rest saying bye to day 3 and Munnar.

Day 4

Day 4: Coimbatore (on the return back to Mysuru)

Last day we planned to start early and cover Coimbatore on the way back home. I believe our PM's visit that brought lot of popularity for the large Shiva statue set up in Isha Foundation, Coimbatore.

We had a mouth watering local food that includes - Ven pongal, Onion Uttappam, Ambode, Medu vada and onion dosa just before we take left in Coimbatore city to reach Isha foundation. Breakfast costed less than 200/- for 4 people

Photo of Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India by Nithin S P

The locality (Isha foundation, Yoga center Coimbatore) here requires minimum of 2 hours to covers the entire ashram

Since, my friend is the lone person to drive, we decided to reach Mysuru before it gets dark and skipped all other except watching large Adiyogi Shiva statue. Its really looks good, black stone built statue impresses everyone in its own way.

Entrance of Isha foundation

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

112.4 feet Adiyogi Shiva statue

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

We had a cool millet malt (kept in mud pots) served along with curd on the road side along with boti and curd chilly as sides for it. It was yummy and light on our pockets as well. A scenic view from the road side shop

Scenic view from the road side shop

Photo of Munnar and Marayoor - Its all about Greenery by Nithin S P

We will get to drive through the hair pin curves stretch (a challenge for every driver, especially the lorry drives who will be driving heavy weight lorries in this stretch) on the way back after Coimbatore

We had another break in between after the rustic drive in the curves to have tender coconuts (natural source of energy and the one ditches our thirst in long drives specially)

Reached home safe at Mysuru, freshened up before we left to Bengaluru by non stop bus. On the way back to Bengaluru, all 4 days were flashing in front of our eyes and was really difficult to leave the nature and come to silicon city for work.

With no option left, had to return back to Bengaluru with heavy heart after having enjoyed the long weekend with friends. Nevertheless, carried memorable moments in heart that we can cherish till the end of our life.

For any queries feel free to comment below and i would be more than happy to share the information i have with you.

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