We are basically a bunch of IT professionals from Bangalore. We were six people during this bike trip of ours to the heavenly place called Munnar. I came to know about this place from one of my friends who works with me in my office and stays with me. It is usually very difficult to plan out an outing with your fellow friends all together especially if you belong to IT profession as the leaves are less, others may have different plans etc., but after many months of waiting, we finally grabbed it this time and made it all together. We started planning for this trip from the last few months and it was only till everyone became free we had time to take our bikes for a spinning and thrilling ride. We only had two Royal Enfield bikes and we choose this bike as it provides high comfort for long rides, so we borrowed one extra for the two of them. We packed our bags and I still remembering taking photos on bikes and posing on them. I remember one saying, “Man…this trip hasn’t even started, don’t waste the camera charge unnecessarily. You all look good and let’s roll now.” This was the last thing I heard from the Bangalore city and we shifted our gears to the adventure.
We drove all about 500kms in a stretch of one single day in shifts, we surpassed cities like Salem, Erode, Tiruppur, Marayoor etc. Two of the six people knew the entire route as they had visited Munnar with their families not so long ago, so we didn’t have to rely on any maps or people’s advice. We started our ride from HSR Layout(Bangalore) where we stay in dual room basis. We began to roll in the early morning to reach our destination by evening before it’s too dark. We never wanted to ride at nights due to the extreme dense forests and frequent elephant attacks in Munnar as well as on our routes. One of our bike tire got punctured which was fixed by our crew mechanic, he had a diploma in mechanical engineering. Coming to the trip, it was a joyous ride and did make our bones stiff due to continuous rides and all thanks to the TamilNadu highways being mostly straight. We were hit by the roads as we crossed Udamalpeta, the roads from here own were of sharp twists and bends, no hairpins though. It is true that this an ideal road for bike trips but we were tired after some good miles.
It was indeed a tiresome journey and took us a whopping 10 hours of ride alone and along with it was our leisure and relaxing time of 2 hours approximately. It was a perfect day for a ride as the sun was absolutely in dark hidden behind the clouds and we could ride nonstop for some good miles. We reached by evening around 5’o clock and went on straight to our room which we booked through online portal. It was quite a good place for all us. We took 3 rooms in a dual sharing basis at the IV cottage very close to the town itself. The receptionist made our confirmations fast and greeted us into our rooms. We made ourselves comfortable at our bed and took a hot bath. The food was brought to us on request at the reception desk from the nearby hotels, as we were in no shape to grab it from there ourselves. The day went tiring due to the roads we traversed.
Next day, we woke up late and grabbed our keys for exploring. We had a lot of hearings about the mountain called “Meesapulimala ” and we wanted to trek it, we enquired about it through our local speech and came to know that it is better to trek early morning and people usually trek to watch the sunrise from the top of it. It is the second highest peak of south India followed by Anaimudi the highest, unfortunately trekking on to Anaimudi is only limited to forest officials and in no way, can a person without prior notice and papers could even enter the forest secured areas. We too decided the same for us and made the plan for another day. In order to reach Vattavada our next destination after Topstation, we surpassed Mattupetty Dam, Echo point, Kundala Dam and they all gave us beautiful sites to enjoy. We just crossed this places quickly so as to catch it while we return but unfortunately it didn’t happen as it was dark already. We didn’t stop for taking photos as we thought of taking halts after while returning from Vattavada. All we did was to shop some little fancy items and bought ourselves some hats and goggles. We reached Top station and spend our time over there feeling the fast-moving wind and loosing ourselves.
The bike or a vehicle can reach up to the gate built towards the Top station entrance after which one needs to walk his/ her feet towards the end. We walked and met some foreigners of varied nations. There was a tall structure built near at the Top station, the view from above this was absolutely incredible, you can see the greenery on the mountains. You really start a sense on feeling of being very small in this infinitely large universe. After a few talks and sightseeing, we turned towards Vattavada. Before entering the forest, there is a check post wherein our vehicle details are needed to be wrote. The entrance to this place is purely through thick forest at the beginning which later diminishes. The roads to this place is filled with pine trees on both road banks and it feels like we are out of the country. The trees are arranged in natural stack order and it really feels great to have a ride from here. The beauty of this path is beyond words and one must feel it through themselves. We had strawberry wines from the strawberry farm down the road and made us comfortable drinking some homemade strawberry wines. We sat and roamed around for quite a few hours and rode back by evening.
Later the day, we made bonfire with the help of the hotel arrangements and help and grilled some chickens for our delicious supper, we ate it with the pulav rice bought from the nearby hotel. We even drank few glasses of wine brought from the Vattavda strawberry farm and it was one of best ways to end our awesome day and after all the activities talks and laughs we finally drowned into sleep awaiting the other beautiful day. The next day we woke up early with a hangover of the booze we had last night, keeping in our mind to trek the tallest mountain, we quickly gathered ourselves. The driver was arranged by the hotel manager earlier before night and we had made our picking possible from the hotel. The jeep driver came by 3am at the hotel and tried to reach me. After few miscalls, I called him back and carried my friends into the jeep. I sat on the front seat and the jeep was in well condition for a morning drive. The driver was really joyous throughout journey, he shared his experiences of trek with us and that made us more anxious about it. He was a nice guy, educated and know to treat his customers. We took the Suriyaneli Club Mahindra route and it was the shortest way from Munnar town. After about an hour drive we reached the top of the mountain, the roads were pathetic as there were large stones we made the vehicle really difficult to accelerate itself on to the top.
We finally reached the spot from where on we need to trek on our bare foot. We trekked for a rigorous 2-3 hours over rocks, grasslands and what not. It was a long stretch and we reached the bottom of the gigantic mountain. We drank some energy drinks and ate the last night leftovers. We rested for some time and continued our way to the top. We managed to reach the top of the mountain in a single piece and health. As the saying goes “Hard work pays off”, exactly, we felt the first glimpses of sunrays over our faces and it was one of the most beautiful sunrise we had in our entire lifetime. The peak has the highest affinity for strong wind currents and the clouds were below us. I have never experienced somethings this magnificent in my life. I strongly recommend all my friends and youngsters to trek this mountain once in their lifetime as it provides with the memories one can never forgot in his or her life. We rested there, played, ran around, stood silently, ate more meals and drank water, took selfies, group selfies and the time flew like bees. We felt worth of ourselves for accomplishing this trip all together, it made us connected in a different way all together. It is true that, you start believing in miracles when you see a miracle and we saw it that day. We returned downstream by afternoon and returned back to our rooms tired. It was a heavy trek indeed but it was blissful in no doubt.
The last day, we moved onto the place called GAP road through which we decided to come due to the last days drive, we rode our bikes through this thrilling route in the morning and saw ourselves above the clouds. It felt like we were floating in the air, this place was heaven. There are so many places to explore over here. The places of TamilNadu could be seen from here, we continued down to walk on the road and enjoyed the brisk walks. We made fun of each other, laughed over old stories and had spent some quality time there. There were many shops from where we drank hot coffee and Maggi with egg omelet, it was delicious and perfect for the weather. We then moved down the road and explored some places like Chinnakannal and Perryiakannal and its tea plantation estates and the factory refining tea powder. We returned back and purchased some tea bags from the factory retail outlets of different variety for our families back there. We later went to the place called Pothamedu, we heard about this place from the hotel lobby boy who described it as the quiet and good place.
We rode over a check dam that was built long decades back. We reached our first stop, called the Pothamedu view point. From here you can see the entire below places like Kallar, Anachal and small places. One can even witness a power station. Later we rode to the destination and made it there in about half an hour. We saw an old school which had closed due to lack of students. The Tagore Mount School holds history of many students and it now used for cinema shooting and other purposes. We somehow managed to entire the school premises and took some pictures. It was built in rocks mostly; an antique touch is provided to the building and it really adds up to its beauty. We talked to the caretaker of the property and he was very friendly and an old man. His children are well settled but he like it here, he says “this school was one of its kind during its days and kids used to love coming over here, various programs used to happen at the stage attached to the school. His eyes were filled with tears as he was explaining everything to us in the folk language Malayalam but since it was about feelings language wasn’t really an issue for some of us. He took us to the nearby cliff and made us see the view it has to offer. Truly amazing and stunning images of greenery, a far-sighted dam, all sorts of trees, almost everything could be seen from here. We sat there for a few hours talking and laying on the rocks. We then later rode back to the hotel rooms and started backpacking to that we could next day early morning. We stayed at our rooms and laughed and cherished the moments and pictures we had. It was an amazing tour, the best we had. The next day, we drove back our ways towards Bangalore and found our shelters and got us into the regular pendulum routine.
This was all about for bike trip to Munnar, the place where clouds kiss the mountains. Feel free to ask for queries of any aspect including points of interest, stays, foods etc.
NB: This travelogue was uploaded by me on requests of my friends.
Their experience, in my language using their phrases.