Everybody dreams about a trip to a place which is rich in Scenic Views, Cool Sharing and Photographic . Here I would like to speak about such a trip done by us few months ago . A band of different professionals made a trip to Munnar. For a natural lover Munnar displays a heaven and for a zoologist it is a land of handful informations. If a business man speaks about Munnar it is a trading ship. Above all these the thing attracted me towards is the climatic beauty of Munnar and Kollukkumalai in its surrounding.
It was 4 nights and 5 days during which I admired Munnar. Straight from Coimbatore to Munnar an Indica was traveled through with a group of 5 people – driver and guide on behalf of a travel agency, me with my 2 friends.It was a challenging task to select a proper travel agency for our trip but fortunately we succeeded.
Coimbatore delivered its hot touchings when we started with at 1pm and till Udumalpet there were no drastic changes in the climate. After some 36 kilometres we landed on one of the twelve wildlife sanctuaries among the protected areas of Kerala – Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary in the Devikulam Taluk and Idukki district.
Kumarikal Malai Peak, Nandala Malai (7,782 ft),Kottakombu Malai (7,034 ft),Vellaikal Malai (6,112 ft) ,Viriyoottu Malai (6,053 ft) are the major peaks spread over the Chinnar region. The Chinnar river and Pambar river are the major perennial water resources in the sanctuary. The Chinnar River originates near Kumarikal Malai where as Pambar river in the Anaimudi hills.
The main tribal inhabitants inside the Chinnar regions are Muthuvas and Pulayars. Maize , Ragi and Lemongrass occupies the main cultivation. It was very informative on speaking to the forest department through our guide. As our guide was listed there were 34 species of Mammals living here. Our Cameras captured Spotted deers , Indian elephants , Gaur, Tigers, Sambar deer , Common langur , Bonnet Macaque Hanuman monkey, Nilgiri Tahr and Rusty – spotted Cats . Grizzled Giant Squirrels were eye catching. Star Tortoise and Mugger Crocodiles gathered a huge crowd around their residence.
Flora – Guide provided us with the information that there were about 965 species in the sanctuary and we could witness the grasslands and wet grasslands on the part of Eco regions. South Western Ghats moist deciduous forests. The major Xerophytic species in the throny scrub forests are Acacia Arabica , Acacia leucofolia , Acacia concinna , Prosporis juliflora and Opuntia stricta. Marayoor sandalwood forest was located nearby.
Second destination was the sandalwood forest – Marayoor. Marayoor gained fame as it is the only place where a natural growth of sandalwood trees attracted everybody. The other attractions were the caves called Muniyaras , Children’s park spread across a hectare of land under the sunshade of a single Banyan tree.
We had our good time with Marayoor sandalwood forest and then traveled towards Munnar. Munnar the land of tea estates had spread over a vast area like a green blanket on the top of mountains. The extraordinary chillness of the misty land had refreshed our body and mind.Our reported time was 9.30pm.
So, with the everlasting expectations we went to the hotel Igloo to spend that night.
Next day morning there arose a thought of traveling towards the spots – Mattupetty dam , Echo point , Kundala dam and Top station. So, we woke up early in the morning and started at 5.30am. Around at 6am reached the Mattupetty dam after covering through a distance of 13kms. The concrete gravity dam stands on the mountains of Kerala, like a thunder streak. The main purpose of this dam was for hydroelectricity project.The large amount of perennially available water provided space for animals and birds to flourish. We had spent some time around the dam regions and then had our breakfast.
Echo point was about 9kms away from the Mattupetty dam. So, within 10 minutes we reached the echopoint and went for a quick visit.
Next we aimed the Asia’s first arch dam – Kundala dam. Kundala stood at a height of 1700 meters above sea level and 20kms away from Munnar. The important message that we gathered was about the Cherry blossoms which appears twice in a year In Kundala. We tried boating with Pedal boat and Kashmiri Shikkara. The Golf Course of Tata Tea Ltd. entertained us for a play with. The Sethuparvathi dam was a sight to behold. Around 2hrs we were at the Kundala dam regions.
Our guide was very much excited on talking about the highest point in Munnar – Top Station. It was almost 32kms away from Munnar and stands to a height of 1700kms.The panoramic view of Western Ghats and the valleys of Theni district created a fantastic view and was an awesome experience to click through the camera. Kannan Devan Hills stands proudly as the power of attorney of this Top Station. Rare Neelakurinji flowers blooming once in twelve years were the main attractions of Top Station.Came out of Top station and took a lunch break.
Around at 4.30pm started back to Munnar. Bushy regions around Munnar was threatening on witnessing the wild existence like elephants and wild boar at the same time adventurous too. Deer and Rabbits were recorded a quick presence and jumped towards the dense regions.That night we had many things to plan for the third day and went to the bed.
The third day trip was towards Thekkady . At first we went for trekking in Lockhart gap which was situated around 13kms from Munnar. That was an unforgettable experience.
One more attraction around Munnar regions was Kollukkumalai. A tourist would be more and more enthusiastic if get visited around Kollukkumalai regions for its greeneries and awesome climate.Our guide introduced us some hotels and estates around Kollukkumalai – own by their travel agency and they provide the place of stay in notable discount rates.
If you ask me I would say that there are no other better places to provide a refreshing cup of tea than the tea estates of Kollukkumalai. I was fortunate to had a cup of tea from Kollukkumalai which was having its own special flavor and freshness. The two – storied building which was built in the year 1930 had extraordinary wooden interiors and aroma which provided us tested methods of tea processing , on behalf of the special permission received by our travel agency. Standing on Kollukkumalai about 7,900ft from sea level we observed fantastic views of the far off plains .
After lunch we had reached the Powerhouse waterfalls. Nearly, ½ an hour we would spent there then traveled towards Thekkady .
The Periyar forests of Thekkady was one of the finest wildlife reserves in India.The hill towns hold good opportunities for trekking people.It had got over 1965 flowering plants among these 171 are grass species and 143 orchids. Reptiles like Cobra , Viper , Krait , non – poisonous snakes enjoyed Thekkady as their home. Fauna like Asian elephant , Tiger , Indian bison , Barking deer, Sambar deer ,Leopard, Indian wild dog , Smooth – coated otter were well preserved with extra care. We all went for boating and noticed the Nilgiri langur foraging from the trees at the time of landing. Among the 265 bird species some were migrants. Malabar grey hornbill,The Indian pied hornbill,Whitebellied treepie, Wood peckers , Flycatchers,Babblers are usually had seen near by the boat landing. We had snapped few among the above and with a good collection of photographs turned back to Munnar.
Our guide took us to the chocolate factory own by the travels and we bought many varieties at a very low price and returned back to the hotel. Third night was over.
Fourth day’s plan was : Pothenmedu – Attukad waterfalls . We started at 6am.Pothenmedu was about 6kms away from Munnar.The village was a hill paradise. The green valleys together with tea and coffee plantations provided a beautiful view for us. After breakfast went to Attukkad waterfalls and enjoyed the wonderful scenic beauty after that aimed Munnar.
The fifth day we were at Munnar till 2pm wandered through the tata tea estates and travelled back to Coimbatore. Exactly, at 7pm our Innova dropped us at the Coimbatore airport.