A Road Trip through Kerala – Munnar

As we left Kochi airport in our rental car , there was a sense of excitement. Our Kerala adventure was about to begin! We had 7 days to see ‘God’s own country’ and we chose to do a road trip through Munnar , Thekkady and Alleppey. These are the three most popular destinations in Kerala and we just had to tick them off our list!

Kathakali
Kathakali – real dancers and a moorthi in our hotel lobby!

Munnar is at a distance of 130 km from Kochi airport and we thought it would be a good idea to drive down directly to Munnar. This , as we realised later , is not such a good idea. Since the road to Munnar is a narrow highway winding through the Western Ghats , it takes almost 4 hours to cover 130 km. What with our 2 hour flight from Mumbai , we spent almost the entire day travelling and were too exhausted to do any sightseeing once we reached. It is a better idea to spend the night in Kochi and leave early the next morning , I think.

The drive up , however, was spectacular. The roads are great , with hardly any rough patch. Initially , we drove past pretty houses in Kochi’s suburbs , then through small towns and finally , up the ghats. The scenery as we inched closer to our destination was beautiful. We stopped for a photo session at Cheeyapaara waterfalls enroute and finally reached our resort in Chinnakanal ( a good 20 km from Munnar town) at 7 pm!

Munnar is a beautiful hill station , with rolling hills on all sides , covered with lush green tea plantations. White cottony wisps of cloud float around and the mountain tops are covered with mist. It was great having a hot cup of tea in the small sitout outside our room , looking at the mist and clouds.

The next day , we spent the day touring the popular attractions. We drove to Mattupetty dam , which is a scenic place 13 km from the main town. It is said to be a watering hole for elephants. We didn’t see any near the lake but saw 3 pachyderms grazing in the tea plantations ahead!

munnar dam
Mattupetty dam

Then , we had fun at Echo point, hearing the multiple echoes of our voices. My 2 year old especially was fascinated! Situated just 17 km from Echo Point, Top Station is located 1880 metres above sea level. It offers breathtaking panaromic views over the Western Ghats.

We ate lunch at Hotel Sriniwas in the main town , which offers pure vegetarian food. The ambience is nothing to write about but the food was good and the serving staff friendly. Munnar lacks good vegetarian restaurants. I found only 2 restaurants during my research – Saravana Bhavan (not related to the famous chain of restaurants!) and Sriniwas. Thus , we opted to have most of our meals in our resort itself.

The third day , we rented a jeep with driver to visit Kolukkumalai Tea estate. I have written separately about this experience, which you can read here:

A Trip to Kolukkumalai Tea estate – the highest organic tea estate in the world

I think  3 days in Munnar is more than enough time to see all the typical attractions and also enjoy some quiet time amidst the beautiful scenery.

Have you been to Munnar? Tell me what you liked or disliked about it!

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