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A drive to Munnar…

One cannot simply call it ‘Munnar’; because Kerala’s most beautiful and well-known hill station is always spelt with surnames such as, Magnificent, Mesmerizing, Marvelous …. as the visual treats offered by this abode and its neighboring beauties are often beyond words.

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A drive to Munnar itself is a refreshing experience. As it is difficult to describe beauty with so many synonyms the best way is to take a pictorial ride like this…

Road to Munnar winding thro’ the lush high ranges

The first en route treat – Cheeyappara Waterfalls

Further drive brings you to another delightful cascade – Valara Waterfalls

After riding thro’ some exciting hair pin bends in the mountains, as Munnar becomes near you will sight Pallivasal – a pristine location, sight of Kerala’s first Hydro Electric Power Project.

Between Pallivasal and Munnar there lays one more eye-catching cascade – Attukal Waterfalls

Then comes the prime destination – Munnar (‘munnu aar’ means ‘three streams’ in local language, named so due to confluence of three mountain streams – Muthirappuzha, Chandavurai and Kundaly).

One of Munnar’s famous assets – the Tea Plantations

Plantations played a major role in the widespread fame of Munnar. This town houses a unique Museum dedicated to ‘Tea’

Tea Museum – showcases interesting facts, figures and artifacts about the growth and development of tea plantations in Munnar. Here curious ones can learn the techniques about how tea is produced and refined.

As stated earlier, Munnar’s neighboring beauty-spots are quite large in numbers. There are 3 most popular routes from the town which takes to all these spots.

1   Munnar – Rajamalai (Eravikulam National Park)
2   Munnar – Mattupetty – Eco Point – Kundala
3   Munnar – Devikulam – Lockhart gap


First Route

This route brings to Eravikulam National Park alias Rajamalai

Rajamalai – a National Park with many specialties… Apart from great trekking trails plus flora & fauna, this is also home to several highly endangered species in the world, namely Atlas moth (one among world’s biggest moths), Nilgiri Tahr (rare mountain goat) etc. Moreover, this is the site of Anamudi – the highest peak in South India.

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Second Route

First comes Mattupetty, a quiet village best known for its ‘Cattle Farm’ (the Indo Swiss mega project, only one of its kind in Asia). For security reasons this project is not open for public now.

Mattupetty has a splendid dam with boating facilities in its reservoir area

After Mattupetty, comes the Echo Point – as the name implies, here you will ‘hear’ the reverberations of your voice!

Next stop is Kundala – another pristine location with an angelic dam site


Third Route

On this route the first halt is the sensuous little town of Devikulam… abode of lovely lawns and plantations

Then comes the Lockhart Gap where anyone will get rejuvenated with the fresh mountain air, mist-coated hills and enchanting views

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Well, the onlookers certify this as the God’s own hill station without doubt !

A wonderland called Wayanad…

The tiny south Indian state of Kerala is blessed with many wonderful locations. But this one will rank very high in the list of Kerala’s beauty-spots. That is Wayanad, a district located in north east Kerala.

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Nestled high in the majestic western ghat mountains, Wayanad is one of the handful locations in the world that still manage to retain its pristine nature in spite of the overwhelming modernization.

A land where ancient civilization existed much before the era of Christ, Wayanad is a wonderful combination of dense forests & wildlife, royal high ranges, lush plantations & paddy fields, ageless pilgrim centers,…. together with marks of prehistoric civilization. If Kerala is the God’s own country; then Wayanad is its Green Paradise.

Prominent ones amongst Wayanad’s innumerable lovely locations:


Ambalavayal Heritage Museum


Arguably the best Heritage Museum in Kerala. This Museum contains artifacts that date back to many centuries!

Banasurasagar


The habitat of one of the largest earth dams in the country. A nearby Sanctuary and a Park with ever-flowering trees add charm to this spot.

Begur Wildlife Sanctuary


Home to numerous species of wild animals, plants  and trees… particularly popular for viewing elephants, deers, birds and reptiles.

Boys Town


An establishment of the Wayanad Social Service Society and Jean Park (the Indo-Danish project for promoting herbal gardening). An abode of many invaluable plants.

Brahmagiri


Lying about 1600 meters above sea level, Brahmagiri constitute a vast area of exquisite wild land. It takes about 11 kilometers of trekking from Thirunelly to reach this spot.

Chembra Peak


The highest peak in Wayanad – A trekker’s dream location!

Edakkal Caves


One of the earliest centers of human habitat around the world. The rocky cave-walls are decorated by lots of interesting carvings, which represent human / animal figures, objects of human use, symbols, etc. These carvings speak of a highly civilized people of prehistoric age.

Kuruva Dweep (Island)


A tiny uninhabited Island of evergreen forest located on the tributaries of River Kabini. Overspread with rare species of birds, orchids and herbs, Kuruva Island is an ideal picnic plot.

Meenmutty Waterfalls


A waterfall located deep in the reserve forest. A trip to Meenmutty itself is an adventure (it requires a good trekking through some inhospitable grounds)!

Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary


The largest wildlife reserve in North Kerala… Also known as Wayanad Sanctuary, Muthanga is a place with excellent wildlife viewing opportunities.

Pakshipathalam


A Bird Sanctuary located around 7 kilometers north-east of Thirunelly Temple, accessible only by trekking! An adventurer’s den.

Pookote Lake


A natural fresh water lake brimmed with evergreen mountains… here one can enjoy the hypnotizing glamour of an unspoilt environment.

Soochipara Waterfalls


A brilliant waterfall, so-called due to the high force of its waters (Soochi means ‘needle’ in local).

Thirunelly Temple


A very ancient and sacred Temple set amidst the reserve forest. Thirunelly Temple is referred as the ‘Thekkan Kasi’ (Banaras of the South) in terms of religious significance. It is believed that bathing in the adjoining River ‘Papanasini’ will cleanse all the sins.

Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary


Another Sanctuary in the Wayanad belt with wide varieties of animals and plants.
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With many serene spots still unexplored, this wonderland of Wayanad is yet to be ‘fully discovered’.