Marvelous Munnar!

[ suggested reading before reading this post: Keralafornia]


The five of us woke up early on the morning of 13th August, quickly got ready, and walked down to the KSRTC (Kerala, not Karnataka) bus stand and took the 6:30 “non stop” bus to Munnar. Well, non-stop doesn’t really mean non-stop, but it did reach Munnar in the promised four hours. We had our first “Kerala” style brunch of Egg Curry, Chicken Curry and Kerala Parota and checked in at the office of our Camp providers. As it was off-season, they needed some time before we could set off for our camp.

We took advantage of the spare time and visited the Eravikulam National Park. It prides itself as the home of the endangered Nilgiri Tahrs, the mountain goat, and being the cleanest of all national parks in India. A National Park bus takes you inside the park to a check point from which one can go on a walk ahead on metal road. Walking out of the road is not allowed! I thought the entire charm of being in a National Park was lost, when I spotted about a score of Nilgiri Tahrs roaming on the fields next to the road! They didn’t seem to mind human presence at all, as they ignored a noisy group of people, trying to pose with each other for a photograph rather than photograph the beautiful animals. Anyway, I got away from this group and clicked some photograph. Also chatted with an old guard in sign language, and found out more about the park.

On coming back from the national park, we started for our camp site in a car. It took us past the Mettupatty dam and Kundala dam, both of which are common tourist places. But the spectacle was provided by first a glimpse of a lone elephant in a dense jungle, and later, two adults and a baby elephant lunching right next to the road! We had a lovely time photographing these magnificent animals till a bunch of ‘educated’ people came and started conversing with the elephants in English and Gujrati! The baby immediately hid behind the mother and the elephants started moving away.

Anyway, we stopped the car near a tea garden and started our trek to the camp. As a trek it was not so difficult with the first part being through rolling tea gardens, and only a small section having steep climb. However, our main concern was leeches. There were thousands of them! We had to stop every now and then to clear our shoes from them; and each time we would stop, there would be more climbing on our shoes. And these blood suckers had a special affinity for my Woodlands shoes! We somehow managed to reach the camp site at dusk. Soon a bon fire was started, and all of us gathered round the fire to keep away the chill from the strong wind. Below us, we could see the lights from a town in Tamilnadu, above us we could see probably all the stars of the Milky Way! But soon the wind became unbearable, and we gathered inside for the comforts of the glass house. After a healthy dinner of mostly boiled stuff, we zipped up our tents and our sleeping bags.

The next morning, we woke up greeting the emerging sun, and got out for our morning tea. After tea, we went for a trek to the top of the hill. This was a short trek of 30 mins, but every step was leech infested. Fortunately, the top of the hill didn’t have any leech, but had a very nice view! We scampered back home (nee camp) avoiding the leeches, but still had a couple of them inside my shoe! After a heavy breakfast, we trekked back to the main road. On our way back, we stopped at the Kundala dam lake for some boating. We came back to Munnar city, had lunch (some fish delicacies included), and checked in at a guest house on top of a small hillock overlooking the city centre. We relaxed through the evening, and had a dinner of traditional Kerala style food of Kadala curry and Parota.

We woke up late on the last day of our trip, which also happened to be our Independence Day. Another heavy Kerala style breakfast of idiappams and parotas with curries, and we were all set to return to Kochi. The bus we took was a private “limited stop” bus, which meant it stopped everywhere, and took much longer than required to reach Kochi. We still managed to reach Ernakulam town station, only to find that the train is from Ernakulam South station, not the town station. Fortunately, we managed to reach the station on time and board the train. We reached Bangalore very early in the morning ending a great trip with great sights; old and new friends; tasty food; and loads of memories to remember for a long time.

14 comments:

Chitrangada said...

bful pic n wonderful post :)

mujhe bhi jana hain ek baar :P

~ | | OM | | ~ said...

Subbu...
tu good hai bhai !!! I am not going to repeat that the pictures were good and the writeup was great... too many times this has been said to you...

Instead I have an observation to make...

The blog has li'il width to have the text there properly... could you play with the template so as to increase the width of the area where you write.. that would make it look better and readable.. abhi its like you are reading things a column of an excel sheet... i hope you understand what i am saying..

and keep travelling... at times i feel its just fair that we do not travel together... because that way.. we travel to two places and add to our kitty through blogs... fair deal i think !!! :D

Aarbee said...

For some reason, this felt like your best travelogue ever. Trip through heaven. Lovely.

Subhadip said...

@Chitrangada
Chale jao :-)

@Om
Bhai... template changed. The point about the two of us traveling separately is true; but we will still travel together, for sure.

@RB
Thanks. Maybe because it was a great trip.

Rohit Talwar said...

You lucky bloke.

Sounds like a very cool trip. Like you say.
So did you make friends with the smart people making conversations with elephants in Gujarati? Having such friends can help you get these skills too, whatchathink?

Rohit Talwar said...

By the way, nice new look. Why white though?

~ | | OM | | ~ said...

ok good !!!

i like the setup... and not sure about the color.. white background is something that I would not have chosen... but your blog.. you take a call... thanks a ton for making the change :) hugs for it :)

read Bhaw's blog too... all i am right now is jealous !!! you buggers !!! I was supposed to join you guys !!!

never mind... sometime soon for sure !!!

Butterfly said...

Excellent post.:-)
I loved the elephant part. Really,what was the point of speaking to the elephants in Gujarati and English?
It all seems so exciting.Starting from Nilgiri Tahrs to leeches, this post was so beautiful.

Subhadip said...

@RT
After a long time, I felt anger because of those buggers! Felt like pushing the idiots towards the elephants.
White is the color of the wise :)

@Om
:) This jealousy is like the one we discussed the other day, right? Mostly happy for the other person, slightly sad because of not being there and only showing mock jealousy!

@Butterfly
Thanks, it was a very exciting trip.

S said...

Cheers dada!
was indeed an awesome trip

-
Sush

Subhadip said...

@Sush

You bet! Thanks to you guys.

Rohit Talwar said...

Wise?!
Dude seriously, get over it.

~ Deeps ~ said...

made me remember my trip to munnar and i still think its one of the most beautiful hill stations in the country.........backwaters, i still need to explore but munnar was simply out of the world in rains...............the tahrs were not so accomodating when we were there in park, just got a glimpse of them and elephants were quite a distance from the road........
so when r u coming back to del, so that more trips can be planned :D

Rohit Talwar said...

Daddduuuuuuuuuu
Ab apne city ke baare mein bhi post banao!