Being in the travel industry, I have planned itineraries for #Kerala for a lot of my clients. But I never had a chance to visit it on my own. I have been to Cochin and Allepey on some of my work trips but it's not so much fun you know ????
Yes, It is strange as I have visited Himalayas so many times I don't know why visiting Munnar hills never occurred to me. Better late than never. I decided will visit Munnar this March by hook or crook. Ideally, I preferred over the long weekend as we wanted to avoid March end. In Kerala, end of March marks the beginning of scorching summer heat . But due to work commitments we had to no choice and we got prepared to face it with smiling faces ????
Super excited , we got to booking our flight tickets. But unfortunately due to Jet Airways Fiasco , all the airfares were literally sky high. The fares I had eyed on which initially would have costed around 8k return ended up costing 13k per person. With heavy heart we paid the heavy on wallet fares and finally got all excited for our upcoming Munnar trip.
Our flight was Indigo which departed from Mumbai at 11:30 PM and arrived at Cochin at 1:30 AM on 30 th April , we had to book a transit hotel. I don't believe in spending too much when it comes to just a couple of hours transit stay. I had checked this hotel on booking.com called Zion Plaza by Treebo
Its located within 5 kms from the airport. They had a lot of late night check ins. It was perfectly safe for the families as well as solo travelers. Rooms were big enough with all the basic necessary amenities along with a flat screen tv and an AC. Bath was spacious and neat and tidy. All of this for just 1300 Rs. Let me add they also provide breakfast ( no buffet ) so per person there was Dosa / Idli provided.
With a good night's sleep and a decent breakfast we checked out and met our driver Saji. We had booked our car through Marvel Tours which is a renowned travel company in Kerala. Having worked with them in past I wanted to experience their services myself and was I happy !
The car provided was a Toyota Etios Very spick and span. It was provided with water , some mint and toffees and some wet wipes, hand fan etc. The driver also was in a tidy uniform with a Marvel Logo on it. Well spoken and definitely a very presentable driver. I was really pleased.
Driving through the lovely country side of Kerala we reached Munnar in about 4 hrs. Our first resort for stay was Sugati Retreat. Here is a detailed review of the Resort.
Sugati Retreat Review- https://thetalkingbee.in/2019/04/22/resort-review-sugati-retreat/
After freshening up and little relaxing we went to a view point which was called Kallimali View Point. Here's what it looked like.
I think this can be skipped. There's nothing much.
After spending about half an hour there we went to tea plantation estate which was owned by Tata. There were literally no tourist. It felt like the entire tea estate was for us two ????
We clicked a lot of pictures , did a little bit of drama and saw several birds.
An evening without a cup of tea is impossible. We had the traditional Black tea of Kerala which is called 'Kattan Chaya' I really liked it. We had this with what my husband swear by - Pazham Pori. This is made of sweet banana or raw banana both. I like the savory version whereas he's the one who has a sweet tooth.
Watching the sun set down over the tea estates. We came back to the resort by evening.
This day we had planned a full day itinerary.
We started our sightseeing of the day by visiting the Munnar hills.
Followed by Tea Museum. Tea museum was very interesting where they showed us a documentary about how TATA TEA PLANATATION and Kanan Devan Tea was initiated the different processes of making the tea. However, I think they should have a more detailed explanation. We were also supposed to get a tea for tasting at this tea museum which never happened. The place was slightly chaotic. I wish it was more organised ( for the entry ticket of INR 125 per person )
How could we go to Munnar and not visit Eravikulam National Park !
Eravikulam National Park is one of its kind because of many reasons.
It's the Kerala's first National Park Its home to 'Nilgiri Tahr' an endangered species It has Neelkurunji Trees. It's a tree that bears Purple/ Bluish flowers that bloom only once in twelve years.
They say summers is the best time to spot bird and animals. We were lucky to spot cubs of Neelgiri Tahr.
The Safari ( bus ) that took us form the main entrance of the national park took approx. 20 mins to reach the mountain. From here there is a good hike of 1 hr so that you get to see it. It offers beautiful views of Tea Plantations all across and deep valleys.
But we did not stop here. We also went to the dam and post spending some time there had a plateful of maggi.
After a property visit and a relaxing Spa Session , we checked out from Sugati Retreat and were welcomed at Spice Tree Munnar.
Here is a review of the property https://thetalkingbee.in/2019/04/26/resort-review-spice-tree-munnar/
On this day , we didn't do much sightseeing. We decided to relax at the property and enjoy the services they had to provide.
This , however was an action packed day. We woke up super early. Grabbed a quick breakfast at their buffet and headed for Anayrangal Lake.
Anayrangal Lake is supposed to be a place where herds of Elephants are seen in their natural habitat. It's a beautiful landscape with tea estates around wherever you'd lay your eyes. We were the first ones to arrive there. They have boating options there but chose the coracle ride. A half an hour coracle ride through the peaceful lake was just the right thing to start our day. We didn't get to see any elephant yet we were content to have spent a beautiful morning amidst nature.
Once we came back , I asked the manager to show me around the property and I was amazed to see their other room categories. Details are here..
After a hefty meal we bid adieu to Spice Tree and got back on road for our journey back to Kochi.
Mesmerized by the beauty of Kerala, I can't wait to be back to this state again ❤