Three rivers – Muthirapuzha, Nallathanni, and Kundala tryst on a hilly terra bedecked by healing hues and azure skies dripping happiness elsewhere. “Munnar” – Munu (three) + Aaru (river) is a lagniappe for doughty couples and rummaging travellers. ‘If sorcery is a servant, Munnar is its undisputable master.’ The lush and tangled terrain of this romantic mound is impeccably located 1500 m above the sea level. Tea plantation started in 1880 when an ardent European, A H Sharp, a planter decided to admit taste and energy in this hillock forever. Kolukkumalai proudly bears the world’s highest tea plantation guarded by the serenity of isolation. Not only tea, but its vast flora and fauna also enrich your senses to attain cloud nine. Resplendent resorts, alpine habitat, and scrumptious seafood cuisine would offer the necessary memory to be treasured for a lifetime. Read and unveil unexplored destinations snaking the iridescent pathways of this mystical mountain.
“Your reality is a reflection of your strongest belief.”
Argentine fans! The title has no connection with Diego Maradona’s notorious “hand of God”. But Kerala’s connection with football seems to be a spiritual one. The 2018 Kerala floods had brutally played havoc in nearly all the prime tourist zones. The state is making a comeback and places like “Hand of God” near the Kochi-Dhanushkodi Bypass Bridge is an epitome of its excellence. The mass-gathering famous rock looks similar to a human hand having five fingers. Locals have named it, the “Hand of God” and believe that the rock was able to rescue Munnar’s pulchritude amidst utmost chaos. South Indians treasure science when coated with a dab of belief. Reach this spot with your binoculars and besties for a friendly argument.
“Tea to the English is really a picnic indoors.”
The tale of this pristine hill station accumulated stardust with the tea plantations and relics of the halcyon stays like a gaily petroglyph. One of the pioneers in tea production, Nallathanni Estate has the Tata Tea Museum which showcases old types of machinery, rotor vane used for CTC tea processing, the noteworthy “Pelton Wheel”, a sundial sitting on the granite rock, and a rustic rail engine of the Kundala Valley Light Railway. Inhale the soul of Munnar entering this tantalizing terra and taste as much as flavours your tongue palettes can take. The Kannan Devan Hills is an ingot in the middle of the verdant atmosphere.
Shut on: Mondays and Good Friday
Tasting hours: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
“Endangered species are our friends.”
The inundating activities of the Nilgiri Tahr can be witnessed here in the Eravikulam National Park. The endangered species of the wild goat roams majestically for your attention. The same park, when extended to the north, becomes the Anamalai National park, the status it had received in 1978. The Wildlife Sanctuary turned National Park is the only home of the precious goats south of the Himalayas. The southwestern monsoon predominantly dominates the weather patterns of this scenic zone. Other than the calving season of Nilgiri Tahr, this trekker’s delight is open on all months. Anamudi, the highest peak in South India is renowned for its trekking activities. 42 km from Munnar is another lustrous area called Marayoor where the ambiance of a sandalwood forest summons you to trudge throughout the day.
Exploring Hours: 8.00 am – 4.30 pm
“A day at the lake restores the soul.”
Kundala Lake embraces its tourists in the protruding beam of the early morning sun. It bestows the Kashmiri-Shikkara boats, rowboats, and speed boats equalling the boats of the Dal Lake. Cherry garden blossoming every two years and Neelakurinji, the ‘twelve-year once in a blue moon miracle’ perplexes your pineal glands with their scarlet and cerulean shade. The Kundala Dam, Asia’s first arch dam constructed in 1946 makes you dwell in the sun-forbidding pine tree ranges and is closely connected to this luminous lake. Witness a blanket of clouds dancing in front of your overwhelming mental health. The elated ambiance serves connoisseurs the laudable local food for an enriched experience. Except for Maha Shivarathri, the lake is open on almost all days.
“You are not in the mountains, the mountains are in you.”
The outskirts of this tremendous point will wake up your tiresome mood fluttering its panoramic wings to the world. Bushed inside the beautiful landscape of the Munnar-Kodaikanal road, this area spreads the tradition of two cultures. The hospitality of the undulating zephyrs and eternal charms encapsulates your enigmatic eyes. The idyll quality of this highest point on Munnar will generously guide you to oblivion without you realizing it. God has arrested tranquillity and chained it to this place and so the surreal winds mute your anxiety forever. Heal your heart 1700 m above sea level to relive your reminiscent past.
“Home is where the herd is.”
If you want to relinquish and erase some of your bad memories, Mattupetty Dam is the perfect pick. This grassland spread dam adjoins the Mattupetty Lake awaiting family vacations while having a boulevard of picnic spots. Power generation and Water conservation is the lucrative side of this lavishing lake. Just a glimpse of this frivolous lake washes away all your panic-stricken days. Dip in the alluring dewdrops-caved lake and try spotting a myriad of birds purifying the whole place with their presence. From the months of August to May, “The Cattle Village” flourishes with its grazing cattle unfurling an experience that can only be contemplated on a Nordic nation. Hundreds of high yielding cattle freely roam on the hillock in higgledy-piggledy pathways creating a salubrious shire.
“Your sacred space is where you find yourself over and over again.”
The unpolluted lake is believed to be blessed by the arrival of Seetha Devi. Reaching the lake and traversing the holiness of this place brushing through the luscious leaves restores your faith on cleanliness. The fully dolled up Nature hugs you with its jungle and unspoiled water to make you more alive. This legendary lake purifies one’s body and soul engraving positive vibes in tourists. The sacredness of this place is extremely high even chronic diseases bow down and take heels before the curative property of this placid water. This calm and composed lake is a haven for dendrophiles and allows your gregarious senses to connect with your favourite adventure squad. The verity of vibrations in this place will haunt your inner peace in a positive way. Don’t be at sea when you reach home and all you can remember is the purity and calmness of the Seetha Devi Lake.
“In the presence of eternity, the mountains are as transient as the clouds.”
With its plethora of adventure activities, Lockhart Gap is an ideal destination for photography lovers. Lip-smacking roadside eateries and a hot cup of chai will set your soul on fire. Spend at least an hour or two smelling the scent of tea amidst the evening clouds dodging one another. The lofty hill offers a breath-taking site asking one to stay petrified for an extended time period. Let your meditation journey begin here. Like a hermit, receive divine sensations dressed in the form of a picturesque valley of flora fondling your brain cells for creating a better you. Another spine-chilling tale awaits you in the Malayil Kallan caves enthralling you with an unknown creepy shade. Whisper prayers in the wind either when the sun god arrives early morning or departs in the benign evenings. Lock your heart in Lockhart at sunrise or sunset to get cajoled in the mountain’s magnanimity.