Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations

Tripoto
29th Nov 2013
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 1/33 by Ava Mishra
Arthripally Waterfall
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 2/33 by Ava Mishra
View on the way to Munnar
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 3/33 by Ava Mishra
Scenic view on the way to Eravikulum National Park
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 4/33 by Ava Mishra
Valley view from Eravikulum National Park
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 5/33 by Ava Mishra
Mist everywhere
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 6/33 by Ava Mishra
Anamudi Peak
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 7/33 by Ava Mishra
Photo Point
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 8/33 by Ava Mishra
Mattupetty Dam
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 9/33 by Ava Mishra
Wild elephant
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 10/33 by Ava Mishra
A herd of elephants on the way to Echo Point
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 11/33 by Ava Mishra
Echo Point
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 12/33 by Ava Mishra
Morning view from hotel room
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 13/33 by Ava Mishra
On the way to Thekkady
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 14/33 by Ava Mishra
At Chinnakanal
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 15/33 by Ava Mishra
The scenic road
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 16/33 by Ava Mishra
Anayirangal dam
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 17/33 by Ava Mishra
On the way to Thekkady
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 18/33 by Ava Mishra
View on the way to Thekkady
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 19/33 by Ava Mishra
The road through the tea garden
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 20/33 by Ava Mishra
A church on the way to Thekkady
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 21/33 by Ava Mishra
Cardamom plantation at Thekkady
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 22/33 by Ava Mishra
The guide called it Ganapati Lemon
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 23/33 by Ava Mishra
Coffee plantation at Thekkady
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 24/33 by Ava Mishra
A herd of deer as seen from Periyar lake cruise
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 25/33 by Ava Mishra
Scenic Periyar lake
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 26/33 by Ava Mishra
Periyar lake surrounded by green mountains
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 27/33 by Ava Mishra
Snake bird
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 28/33 by Ava Mishra
Vazachal Waterfall
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 29/33 by Ava Mishra
Greenery around Mattupetty lake
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 30/33 by Ava Mishra
Unending tea gardens of Munnar
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 31/33 by Ava Mishra
An elephant seen from Periyar boat cruise
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 32/33 by Ava Mishra
Tourist boats on Periyar lake
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations 33/33 by Ava Mishra
The beautiful Periyar lake

It was early October when we were planning for a trip after our marriage and there were a varied set of options we were considering including Kerala. When we were still confused about which place to choose, I saw some pictures of Munnar on the web and it looked like a fairyland with rolling tea plantations, green mountains and beautiful lakes. Just a little research about the place and suddenly we were very sure that this was the place we wanted to visit. 

Our journey started on 30th November from Kolkata to Kochi where we stayed for a day and visited 2 beautiful waterfalls Athirapally and Vazachal. Athirapally is the largest waterfall in Kerala that comes in Sholyar forest range and is nicknamed as Niagara of India. Vazachal is just 5 minutes away from Athirapally and is a more peaceful place with less crowd and beautiful surroundings. We spent some time at both the waterfalls and came back to Kochi.The next morning we started for Munnar and the drive from Kochi to Munnar took around 5 hours (including the halt at 2 beautiful waterfalls named Cheeyapara and Valara).

The drive alone was worth all the money spent as the road was very scenic with beautiful mountains and greenery all around and the cloudy weather of the day made the journey even more enthralling. I had read in someone’s blog that when you visit Munnar, you feel like stopping at every point and take pictures as the road itself is very beautiful and I realized the truth behind this only when I myself visited Munnar. I got tired of taking pics, but the beauty of the road did not end there. It is true that no words or pictures are adequate to define the exquisite beauty of Munnar, you need to go there to see it with your own eyes.

 After reaching Munnar, we visited the Kannan Devan Tea Museum located in the center of the Kannan Devan tea estate. There was a video played for the visitors on the history of Kannan Devan tea estate and the tea preparation technique. There were old machinery in the museum used previously to prepare tea and some other antique office equipments as well as some haunted animal heads. The museum also had an erstwhile tea manufacturing unit to demonstrate the process of tea making and a small outlet which sells a wide variety of tea flavors like cardamom tea, ginger tea, orange tea etc. 

The day ended well and as night drew closer, Munnar became colder glowing with lights beneath the night sky. With content hearts, we sat in our hotel room enjoying two cups of hot tea looking out of the window and wondering what else Munnar had in store to reveal with the rising sun of the next morning.It was 6 o’clock in the morning when I removed the window curtains to have a look outside and had a spectacular view of the mountains playing hide and seek with the clouds. After having a sumptuous breakfast we left for visiting the other places in Munnar, Eravikulum National park being our 1st destination. After procuring the entry tickets we caught a Government operated minibus that took us on a 20-30 minute of ride uphill in to the main area of the park. 

The bus ride through the narrow meandering road towards the top of the hill was thrilling with view of the tea plantations and green valleys at both sides. The bus dropped us at a check point from where we had to climb a kilometer or so to reach a vantage point beyond which tourists are not allowed. We spotted a Nilgiri tahr on our way, but he/she was too shy to pose for us. The view from the vantage point was beguiling, the mountains covered with tea plantations, the small streams, the wild flowers and the mist moving through the trees altogether created the feeling of being in heaven. We were absolutely dumb-stricken seeing nature in its most tranquil and sterling form and for some time we could not even believe that it was reality and not a dream. The weather was really nice that day with a little bit of drizzling and the chilling wind added to the joy of being in such a beautiful place.

 We also visited the photo gallery at the bus drop point that provides information on various bird and flower species of the National park along with the Nilgiri Tour. Our next destination was Mattupetty Dam and lake and on the way we stopped at a place named photo point. Photo Point is a picturesque location by the roadside where you can take pictures with widespread tea plantations having symmetrically lined oak trees in between and a beautiful green mountain as the backdrop. When you see the pic, you would know why it is called Photo Point. Mattupetty is a huge lake with very scenic surrounding of mist clad hills and thick green forest.

 We enjoyed the captivating landscape standing by the lake side for a while and went for a speedboat ride on the deep green water of the lake with thick green forest at both sides. Even though the speedboat ride was a little scary, it was thrilling too as the adept boat driver took a few sharp turns showing his stuntman skills.

 After Mattupetty Lake, we moved towards Echo Point and on the way spotted a herd of wild elephants in the grasslands besides the road. It was a great experience to see the wild elephants roaming freely in their natural habitat instead of a zoo. We visited Echo Point which was a small lake with view of mountains and green forest as it''s back drop and is famous for its natural echo phenomenon. When we visited the place, there were a group of young school children who were screaming loudly to get the echo back and it was really working. We clicked a few pictures and came back to the hotel. Lying in the bed at night, a thought ran through my head, however creative man might be he can never create anything even comparable to the beauty of God’s creation and the glorious beauty of Munnar made me believe that Kerala is truly God’s own country.

It was time to bid adieu to Munnar and start for Thekkady and I was quite disheartened to leave such a magnificent place so early. But hardly did I know at that time that Munnar still had a few surprises for us in store as a farewell gift. The day was quite sunny with a clear blue sky having white patches of cloud in between and the gentle breeze together with the morning sun created a soothing effect on the body and mind. I was feeling very lucky to have seen Munnar in two different forms, one on a cloudy day with little bit of drizzling and lot of mist and the other on a bright day when Munnar was gleaming in the sunlight.

 The journey through the windy road was spellbinding with lovely views of the tea plantations and the mountains at both sides. At one point, we could even see the Anayirangal dam at a great distance surrounded by lush green hills. The tea plantations at many places had symmetrically lined silver oak trees in between and the leaves of the oak trees were signing in the sunlight truly justifying it's name.

 We had a stop at Chinnakanal that provides panoramic view of the green hills and then continued our journey towards Thekkady.As we moved far from Munnar, the tea fields gradually vanished from the view and the sweet aroma of the spice plantations became more and more prominent. We could see the various kinds of plantations spread abundantly at both sides of the road. On the way We visited one of the plantations and our guide took us through the plantation identifying each and every plant and describing their use in various industries such as medicine, cosmetics and spices. We saw cardamom, coffee, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, ginger etc grown profusely and it was quite interesting to know how various parts of a plant such as the fruit, the seed, the flower, the root and the leaves are used for different purposes. 

The drive from Munnar to Thekkady was around 5 hours including the halt at various viewpoints and the plantation. After reaching the hotel, we freshened up and started for Periyar Lake boat ride. We had already got our tickets booked for the last ride of the day when the chances of spotting wildlife was more. After settling down in our seats in the upper deck of the boat, we were given life jackets that were mandatory for every passenger and the boat started moving. For next 90 minutes the boat moved in the scenic lake with dense forest and mountains all around and in the mean time we could spot some wildlife such as an elephant, a herd of Deer, Snake Birds, Cormorants, a Kingfisher, some Bisons and a Nilgiri Langur.

Thekkady is a wild life lover’s paradise which provides many adventurous activities such as bamboo rafting on the Periyar Lake, Nature Trail, Jungle Patrol, Elephant Rides etc. So if you are an adventurer, you might like to stay in one of the resorts available in the forest area inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve and go for these activities.Since the spices and Ayurvedic products of Thekkady are quite famous, we stopped by a supermarket on the way back to hotel to buy some spices as well as handmade soaps. Thekkady was unique for its beautiful hills, it's forests rich with wildlife and it's unending spice plantations and the beauty of Munnar-Thekkady road along with the Periyar Lake boat cruise made us proud of our decision of including Thekkady in our trip.

This is the largest waterfall in Kerala present in the Sholyar forest range and known as the "Niagara of India".

Photo of Periyar Tiger Reserve, Mlappara, Kerala, India by Ava Mishra

Another majestic waterfall at a driving distance of 5 minutes from Athirapally with a peaceful surrounding. Unlike Athirapally this waterfall is surrounded by steel railings to prevent people from getting in to the water.

Photo of Athirappilly Water Falls, Pariyaram, Kerala, India by Ava Mishra

A beautiful hill station in Kerala famous for it's tea plantations and exquisite beauty.

Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra

This national park is home to the endangered species Nilgiri Tahr and Anamudi peak is situated inside the park. Apart from this, the park provides great views of the valleys and tea plantations.

Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra

A huge dam surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and famous for the thrilling speedboat ride.

Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra

A small yet beautiful lake famous for it's echo phenomenon.

Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra

This town of Kumily district is famous for spice plantations, Ayurveda products and Periyar Tiger Reserve.

Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra

A pristine lake inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve surrounded by green mountains and deep forest.

Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
Photo of Munnar and Thekkady- Lush green tea gardens to aromatic spice plantations by Ava Mishra
3 Comment(s)
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good article.. did u guys Bamboo rafting or a normal boat ride? Bamboo Rafting seems costly.. any idea what is the cost for normal boat ride to see the animals out there?
Mon 10 26 15, 07:01 · Reply (1) · Report
Thanks Karan. We had opted for normal boat ride for which we had paid INR 800 per head, but that was in 2013. Revised rates can be found on the official website of Periyar Tiger Reserve.
Fri 10 30 15, 02:23 · Report
Photo of Jobin Joseph
Jobin Joseph
very informative narration :)
Wed 08 12 15, 01:53 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·
Photo of Jobin Joseph
Jobin Joseph
very informative narration :)
Wed 08 12 15, 01:53 · Reply (1) · Edit · Delete ·
Thanks Jobin :)
Fri 10 30 15, 02:12 · Report

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