Munnar In A Day
While some destination comes with a predefined tag of days some leaves you wanting for more even after months. Munnar in Kerala definitely belongs to the latter category. However, the twist is I only had a day to explore this little town in the Western Ghats mountain range. Popular for pristine valleys, mountains and aroma of spice scented fresh air, Munnar is a popular weekend getaway for the major parts of South India. I was in Munnar as a part of #DreamTrail project which had happened few months back in collaboration with Club Mahindra. You can read my #DreamTrail story here.
With just one day in hand I knew I was on a tight schedule so making the most out of every second was the priority. On a foggy December morning I sauntered to the breakfast arena and enjoyed a detailed assortment of South Indian palette. Minutes later I was joined by a local guide, a representative from Club Mahindra and another blogger friend. We jumped in the car and made our way around the green tea plantation of Munnar. The guide kept expressing his displeasure about the new rule around the amount of gold single and married women can possess. I am sure you know why he wasn’t very happy about it. Without diverging from the topic anymore here is the list of things that you can do if you have just a day in Munnar.
Tripping around the Tea Plantation
Now this is something you will do involuntary. While traversing from one place to another you would find yourself driving over the zig-zag roads surrounded by the green tea plantation. The tea leaves have a refreshing smell which makes the atmosphere smell fresh, like just out of a shower. The bad thing about them is you want to stop on every turn and take pictures. You will always feel oh this angle is better than the previous one, we should have stopped here and not there. But at some point you will have to hold your horses and just sit back and enjoy the view.
Srishti In Munnar
Srishti is a welfare center in Munnar which is managed and run by Tata Tea. It comes under Tata Global Beverages’ Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. It aims at giving a quality life to the families of tea pluckers in Munnar. Srishti deserves your attention because it a step towards a progressive country. The fact that this organization works with differently abled people and trains them to be independent and confident is a commendable job. While doing this the organization only utilizes natural ingredients and hence the whole process is environment friendly. In a world where we continuously talk about empowering women and preserving our mother earth Srishti is doing all things right. If you come to Munnar I would request you take few hours and visit this place, you will come back all inspired and liberated.
Munnar Forticulture Centre aka Munnar Rose Garden
Munnar Forticulture Centre aka Munnar Rose Garden is a beautiful garden with hundreds of colorful varieties of flora and fauna. It is maintained by Kerala Forest Development Centre (KFDC). As you walk in the garden there are rare varieties of colorful flowers lined up along the pathway. Along with these rare flowers the garden also showcases cactus, shrubs and creepers. At various spots they have wrought iron structures which are blanketed with colorful creepers. I personally loved the cactus sections. I personally have never met someone who doesn’t like flowers so this place is a win win for everyone. They have a nominal entry fee for the garden.
If you are tea lover like me then you shouldn’t miss this spot. When in the land of tea plantation some tea trivia would definitely be a good addition to your repertoire. As you enter the museum you will see old and rustic photographs of machines used for tea extraction. You will be first shown a video which details about the history of formation of tea plantation and tea factories. It closely talks about the lives of people working in the tea plantation. Though it is a museum they have a miniature factory inside the premises. It is used to demonstrate how the freshly plucked raw tea leaves are processes into tea and finally packed into tea bags. We also attended a small session about the health benefits of drinking green tea. Tea Museum, previously known as Tata Tea Museum, is currently operated by Kanan Devan Hills Plantations Company (P) Ltd. I found the whole process very familiar as I had already visited a Tea Factory in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh and observed the tea making process in great detail. If you have even very little interest in tea this place will not disappoint you.
Adventure Sports and Elephant Riding
While going around the zig-zig roads of Munnar amid the lush green tea plantation you will come across a lot of spots offering services like Quad Biking, Zip Lining, Elephant rides etc. If you like adventure then maybe you can try one of these spots. The kid inside me popped up at the mention of Elephant ride and I went for it. And it just took me minutes to realize how wrong of a decision it was. It is a personal choice so if you enjoy such activities there are plenty to explore around Munnar.
Mattupetty Dam is located approximately 13kms off Munnar and is hands down a scenic spot. The main road overlooks the pristine lake with the backdrop of dense green mountains. It is a calm and serene spot and hence perfect to let go of the day long stress. You can also do boating here but time has to be kept in mind, by the time I reached the boating slots were over. There is a long lane of shops near the dam which sells local craft and wooden products. There is just one common road to the dam and to the shops so parking gets difficult. After a long and tiring day you can come to this spot to eat, shop and just relax.
While there are tonnes of other places to visit and things to do in Munnar I had to limit myself with these options, obviously time culpable here.
PS: My visit to Munnar was with Club Mahindra as a part of #DreamTrail project. Watch out them for their #DreamTrail season 2 which is going to be out soon.