Munnar : The Strawberries & Cream


While coming back this weekend, I thought long about how did I want to convey my experiences of the past two weeks. I considered writing it down, and forgetting it, but sadly life isn't that kind to me and I cannot just ignore all the stuff that happened.

I guess the main problem with the whole thing was me. My brain conveniently decided to give up on me and split itself into two personalities. One of them the awestruck wanderer, and the other an utterly sarcastic miserable person, who would rather have curled up on her bed and snoozed this whole crappy two weeks away.

So I decided to write them both.
 This is the good part.
If you are one of those birds who love to feel pure and cleansed and loved, then this is the travelogue for you. Feel blessed.

We began our journey by train, the views changing rapidly from the city's hustle to the calm, cool landscapes of the wilderness. Soon it was too dark to see. After an uneventful journey we reached this place called Ernakulam. The railway station was large and clean! It had these yummy idly buckets, where tiny idlies are dunked into great home-like sambhar. That by itself made my day!!

A quick ride to the bus stand and a short wait later, we were on our way! We went winding up, up into the hill, with waterfalls and trees dotting our vicinity. It was magical, everything felt so normal for that landscape, but was such a difference, a spark of reality to my city-scape weary eyes.

We reached the place by 12 pm , just in time to check in to our cozy room. The TV was on, hot water flowed, and washed and pampered, we made our way down to the tiny restaurants that dotted this part of the city. It was magical! Although this was the time when the sun was supposed to beat down on our heads, it was pleasant, and beautiful all around. There was hardly any sound, except those of chirping birds. The sun chose to hide itself among the clouds, while we ate to our hearts content at a vegetarian only restaurant. (You wouldn't believe how hard it is to find the sort in Kerala).

Then the whole trip began in earnest. We went to the Metupetty Dam, had a round of boating, and the person who steered this speed boat was kind enough to click loads of pictures of us. We even reached echo point by water. From there we got back for a nice two hour show of Kathakalli and Kalaripayattu (for the uninformed, these are traditional art forms of Kerala, and something that you mustn't miss at all). Exhausted, we crashed on our beds. And as you well know, if you are too tired, you get too tired to sleep. Finally, sleep graced us with it's presence!

The next day, we booked an all day jeep which took us to countless locations, each more beautiful than the next. Eravikulam national park, Nyakkamad falls, and the innumerable tea estates and gardens were some of the places we covered. Although we went in the right year, the right time for the blooming of the rare nellakurinji flowers was in October. We couldn't see those. We also missed the Nilgiri Tahr :( , but it was a fruitful journey nevertheless (literally so, since my parents found fruits that should only grow in cold countries)

It rained quite hard that evening. Closeted in our rooms, our windows were the only source of evidence to the cleansing going on outside. But we were happy - we had a lot of tea to keep us company, and excited conversations about this land that we got to visit!

The next day dawned bright. I went exploring the roads that twisted and turned. After a quick breakfast, it was time to go to the elephant ride - which in the words of my father was something one shouldn't miss when in Munnar. My mom enjoyed this ride a lot, I however had mixed feelings.
Anyway, we had a chance to go to the botanical gardens for the unique plants they had on display. After a short trip to other places (so many photo points!) , we finally reached our room. It was time to pack and bid adieu to this fair city that charmed us so.

Back in Ernakulam, we had booked a sleeper bus to namma Bengaluru, and this was a totally new (and rather pleasant) surprise for me, since I had never travelled by a sleeper bus before. We had some time to kill, so we went to the largest mall in Ernakulam (Lulu mall. I swear that's it's name). The topmost floor is similar to an amusement park, and I suppose it's great for the kids there. They even had an ice skating rink!

As we saw the mountains rapidly disappearing, and the skyline darkening once more, our hearts were full of peace, with a tinge of melancholy, on leaving this beautiful place. Munnar will stay with us in our thoughts for a long long time.

See you soon!
Until then,


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