Munnar- a paradise in the God’s own country
A beautiful, little town stays hidden among the dense forests of the Western Ghats in Kerala in the southern India. The confluence of three streams in the midst of God’s own country; the expansion of green tea bushes covering the gentle hill slopes and forming a green mantle over the surface of the hills – a gorgeous sight indeed. Munnar is not the kind of holiday destination where you spend your time shopping and dining. It’s just a destination where you would want the nature to engulf you with its sheer wondrous view and just relax in a quiet spot gazing at the green carpet covering the small rolling hillocks and the eyeing the shimmer of the gentle flowing streams and numerous falls.
Situated at a height of 1520 meters above sea level, Munnar with an atmosphere so surreal has emerged to be one of the most holidayed at destinations in South India. Glowing with utopian beauty especially during the months between August and March, this place has charmed its visitors with its exuding old world charm, manicured tea estates, snowy waterfalls, meandering rivulets and the dreamy cool weather.
My tryst with Munnar started with a beautiful drive from Theni, the border town of Tamil Nadu to Munnar even as the early morning sun was just making its way up. As the flat straight roads gave way to more curves and bend, the sight was one to behold. Up above, floating on the clouds we made our way up until we saw layers and layers of green. With the scent of tea leaves in the air, home to the most scenic tea estates in the high ranges, Munnar offers a gorgeous sight to anyone who drives past. The Rajamalai Estate (the highest tea plantation in the country) or any little tea estates paint a pretty little portrait of the transformation of one of the most popular hill stations and the epicenter of tea trade in Kerala. An early morning cardamom tea- I couldn’t ask for a better start to my day.
Nonetheless, Munnar does have many beautiful spots to camp in and just gaze into the surreal nature. It was the drive that took us past many such wondrous dreamy places. Mattupetty Dam, the Echo Point, the Top Station, Lockhard Gap, Kundale Lake, Devikulum- I could go on and on about many a places which command breathtaking views of the mist clad hills, the stretches of the valleys and silent lakes. The cascading falls at Attukal, Nyamakad, Luckom being a few of the many beautiful waterfalls that keeps the unearthly silence at bay and the coos and cries of the rich wildlife at a distance in the Eravikulam and Chinnar National Parks add to the rich and diverse platter that was already too much on your plate.
A view that inspires painters and artists alike, a call that draws trekkers and wildlife lovers and just the greenery, rolling hills and gentle streams that says hello to people like me- Munnar is just a small paradise carved out in this God’s own country.
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods; There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar;
I love not man the less, but Nature more…