Munnar is a picturesque place with abundance of beauty , tea estates and lush greenery all around. Head to Munnar if your idea of vacation is to relax and enjoy nature.
A much delayed travelogue. This trip was done in december 2014 – By Preethi
Day 1 – 6th December, 2014
This was a trip planned around my birthday and one more specialty was my parents were also joining in as a surprise. It was supposed to be a sweet surprise but they could no longer keep it away from me as a feeling of guilt!! The confession happened three days before the trip.
We started from Bangalore home around 7 AM and had breakfast at A2B Sulagiri. The quality of A2B is always top notch not to mention the appetizing flavor of food. We reached Salem railway station around 11 and picked up my parents. I was overwhelmed with merriment as this was the first trip with them post marriage. Gossiping occured with my mom and also the driver swap. We reached Hotel Duke in Madurai around 3:45 PM. After a brief recess we got going to Meenakshi amman temple. It is the prime tourist attraction in Madurai which draws huge crowds. One can only marvel and be in awe of the splendid architecture. After seeing the main deity we saw the remaining Gods. Since we had visited thousand pillars before we didn’t see it then. There are lots of guides available there and I feel you must hire them to unravel the history and meaning of various sculptures and pillars. Since the encyclopedia of temples (my dad!!) was travelling with us, he suggested we go to Ramana Maharishi house in an adjacent street. It was a special day that day because it was Karthigai deepam and Ramanar is fond of Thiruvanamalai. What a blessing to have visited it that day which we realised it later only. It was a small house and also lodged a meditation hall upstairs. It was supposed to be the place where Maharishi experienced his soul moving away from body. Then Immaiyul Marumai Tharuvar Shiva temple was our next stop. After praying we set forth for our dinner to the famous Murugan Idli shop and also devoured the popular jigirthnda there. We were back to the hotel by 8:45 PM.
Day 2 – 7th December, 2014
There was a complement breakfast at the hotel and we finished our breakfast at Duke’s itself. We were ready for the journey to Munnar by 8:15 AM. Enroute we saw Kilakuyilkudi Karupana swamy temple with Jain bed. Karupana swamy which incidentally was my native God was at the ground level and the Jain bed was at a distant height. One has to climb many steps to reach there. Since it was a laborious task we returned after climbing only a few steps. The backdrop was scenic with lush greenery all around along with banyan trees and temple tank not to mention the rural setting with chirping of birds. Many Tamil movies were shot there.
Temple with a beautiful mountain backdrop
Much closer look at the temple
Steps leading to heaven? We climbed them.
And the view was breathtaking
Big banyan tree and the temple tank
Then we traversed through Usulampetti, Theni and Kundal Ghat (diversion to Kurangini). Kurangini hills was the shooting spot of the famous Tamil movie Myna. Then via Bodimettu we reached Lakezone resort around 12:45 PM. When we planned for this trip we first booked in Club Mahindra and later only my husband decided to surprise me by calling my parents. But by the time they checked for the availability it housed full and so they were staying in Lakezone resort which was just three kms away and it was to become our breakfast/lunch/dinner spot. Misfortune struck with the car tyre getting punctured because of the rough terrain and we got it repaired at Suryanelli where many departmental stores and petrol pumps are present. We had lunch at a small hotel called Mahavir and reached Club Mahindra around 2:30. We rested for some time taking pictures and started off to Periyacanal around 3:40. It was a small falls near Club Mahindra. The weather was pleasant with little mistiness. Next, we headed to Aaniyarangal dam – as the name suggests,herds of elephants visit the lake to quench their thirst. Idyllic picnic spot it was. Then we retired for the day in our respective rooms.
First view of the mountains
Periyacanal falls enroute to Aaniyarangal dam
And finally the dam. What a place if you want to relax
A boat waiting for a ride
Dam was overflowing. Icing on the cake
Much comfortable room
Superb view to complement
Day 3 : 8th December, 2014
We had breakfast at Lakezone resort which was too yummy for words. If anybody is planning to visit Munnar, I highly recommend this place for satisfying your hunger pangs. The rooms are also pretty decent. We set forth for sightseeing with many view points and tea gardens everywhere. Tata has their presence there also with their extensive tea gardens. We reached Matupatty dam around 11:15 AM. I have visited Munnar thrice before during my school,college and family trip and yet it never ceases to amaze me. Boating takes place and there is an echo point also there.Our next spot was Kundala dam. Then we reached Top station around 1:15 PM. It was cold with very low visibilty beyond a point. Mist was engulfing us and we had a stroll.We had lunch there itself at Manasarovar Periyar Residency.We were returning back and shopped for coffee, spices in the local market.
Photopoint: Live to drive
Photopoint: What a view
Photopoint: Clouds playing hide & seek
Full of tea gardens
Our car hiding in one such estate
Views are just mesmerizing
Trees are aligned so neatly with the mountain backdrop
With so much green, even the water from an angle looks green
Echo Point: Offers a panoramic view
And finally the dam
And finally the top slip. What a welcome we had. Full of mist and fog.
With this kind of mist, not many pics.
Day 4: 9th December, 2014
It was the day of checkout from Club Mahindra and my birthday too :). We did so after having breakfast at our usual place. We decided to go around the resort.
What a place to stay – Club Mahindra, Munnar
A closer look with the misty mountain backdrop
A look at the club house and restaurant
We started our journey back home around 11:00 AM. We had a brief stopover at Theerthathotti Arumuga Nayanar temple . The shrine is dedicated to Lord Muruga and it has water oozing out of the earth intermittently.
Its a beautiful place indeed
And maintained much cleaner
We had lunch at Saravana bhavan, Theni (not HSB) and reached the same hotel Duke in Madurai by 3:30. After resting for a while we did some shopping and my parents left to Chennai by night train.
Day 5: 10th December, 2014
We had my husband’s friend’s marriage in Virudhunagar to attend and reached mandapam by 6:40 AM. After gracing the occasion with our presence we started back home. Enroute we saw Thiruparankundram temple. We then had lunch at Thoppur A2B and reached home safely.
The above picture says a lot about Munnar. Its misty, ever green, full of mountains, falls and dams. I can never get enough of Munnar and hope to visit it again soon 🙂