My first visit to Munnar, as a twelve year old on a school trip, was enough to leave me breathless. The dramatic landscape, the winding roads and emerald green tea plantations all around…this was stuff right out of a fairytale!
Over the years, I have visited Munnar countless times, falling in love a little more with every visit. The air is misty, with fluffy white clouds lazily floating about in the blue skies. The contoured and clipped tea gardens are picture perfect and the wafting aroma of tea leaves is heavenly for a chai lover like me.
1. Experience Tea in all its glory: Munnar is nestled amid the largest tea-growing area of South India. Enjoy experiencing tea in all its glory – whether you choose to take a guided tour of a tea plantation, drive about the tea estates with no plan or actually live on a tea plantation. Don’t forget to visit the charming Tea Museum as well.
2. A tryst with wildlife: A trip to Munnar is incomplete without a visit to Rajamala, a part of the Eravikulum National Park. This region is the natural habitat for the Nilgiri Tahr (Ibex), an endangered species. They are friendly, docile and naturally tame.
3. Sit back and relax: Munnar is one of those places which allow you to pause, look around and smell the coffee (or tea, in this case). It is a welcome break from the frenzied urban living and the perfect break to reflect and rejuvenate. Take long walks in the rolling countryside, read books, have long conversations about the meaning of life, enjoy the delicious meals, drink lots of tea and basically do nothing. There are plenty of gorgeous Munnar resorts which give you the perfect ambience for this.
4. Waterfalls galore: Munnar is well known for its multitude of majestic waterfalls that roar down the towering mountain sides. The best known waterfalls are Attukad and Lakkom, through keen explorers will find plenty of ‘secret’ waterfalls to enjoy!
5. Get adventurous: If love to get the adrenaline rushing, choose from an array of adventurous activities such as rock climbing, zip lining, rappelling to paragliding and even cycling. The rocky mountainside provides the perfect location for adventure sports.
Transport: The closest airport to Munnar is Kochi, which is a 5.5 hour drive away by car, private taxi or bus. For local transport, it is great if you have your own vehicle. Alternately, jump into one of the little auto rickshaws that ply around Munnar’s winding hills
Accommodation: Given Munnar’s popularity as a tourist destination, there is no dearth of great places to stay. A personal favourite is the Spice Tree, a boutique luxury resort. Additionally, home stays are a perfect choice for travelers.
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