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Old 22nd August 2012, 20:41   #1
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Default Mystical Munnar

Unlike the past outings where we had time to decide on international holidays for our wedding anniversary, this year's decision would swing over 2 options due to time constraints: cancel or not.

Eventually, Munnar muscled out Kashmir and Rajasthan and our sojourn to God's Own Country was booked between Aug 6-10 2012. We would fly to Kochi and drive to Munnar. A big shout out to jkdas and muneemmk, who were invaluable in arranging logistics that made the holiday more memorable.

Our reservations were at the Deshadan Resort, officially Kerala's highest resort. Superbly located resort, and easily, the couple things I would want to go back to this place would be the balcony views and isolation!

Mystical Munnar-img_0034.jpg

Last edited by theMAG : 4th October 2012 at 14:02.
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Old 4th October 2012, 12:45   #2
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Day 1: Aug 6

Our flight landed by noon at Kochi. Had a quick lunch near the airport and started the drive. The route we drove on from Kochi to Munnar involved Kothamangalam and Adimaly, although I seem to have forgotten the other names along this route. The route was good, but narrow and rather heavily trafficked. All that soon became immaterial as we started noticing the scenes approaching Munnar. It was waterfalls galore, and incessant rain and heavy fog. These pretty accompanied us throughout.

An example:
Mystical Munnar-img_9936.jpg

Reached the resort by 730 pm, and was greeted by this view from the balcony. The haze/perceived blurriness is the heavy blanket of fog that had draped itself over the Munnar valley below.
Mystical Munnar-img_9959a.jpg


Day 2: Aug 7

Days 2 and 3 would be our local roaming days.

The balcony view in the morning:
Mystical Munnar-img_9981b.jpg

One of the other aspects of the resort I liked was its private road leading down to the valley below, where we strolled on for some time. Loved the fog.
Mystical Munnar-img_0035b.jpg


We later decided to drive to the Tea Museum - which was closed for maintenance, and then hit the Eravikulam National Park - famous for the Indian Nilgiri Tahr, almost wiped out during British times, but now revived to a stable population. The famous Kannan Devan tea hills are also around Eravikulam.

Unfortunately, since it was raining constantly, the animals were reclusive and not seen, however was able to capture this chap on the extreme end of my lens at 300 mm. Excuse the fuzziness since this was a handheld shot during heavy rain, with a lens that does not have IS!
Mystical Munnar-img_0074.jpg


The views were breathtaking however - looming mountains and innumerable waterfalls crashing away on them in the distance reminding you of how precariously positioned you were.

Last edited by theMAG : 4th October 2012 at 13:49.
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Old 4th October 2012, 13:31   #3
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Default Re: Mystical Munnar

Day 3: Aug 8

We headed out to the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, on the Kerala-TN border.

Munnar can be best summed up by this photo, another capture from our balcony, using the telephoto lens:
Mystical Munnar-img_0092.jpg


I will now let the photos speak for the most part of this day, enroute Chinnar.

A soothing waterfall
Mystical Munnar-img_0108.jpg

Tea plantations into the distance:
Mystical Munnar-img_0118b.jpg

Hypnosis of the tea plantation:
Mystical Munnar-img_0121.jpg

Dark clouds over the valley:
Mystical Munnar-img_0127.jpg


Just before Chinnar were caves that were rumored to be used by the Pandavas- unfortunately, these were off-limits. We also encountered a sandalwood forest enroute.

As we crossed Munnar geographical limits and entered Chinnar, we were welcome by eerie silence and a forest many millennia old. The entire route was deserted - and really, we were the only humans on the road. It was like entering into a previous epoch. Quite an experience.

The climate changed as well, and gone were the wet, foggy rolling hills of Munnar, replaced with a drier, hotter forest range. Elephants are supposed to thrive here, but we could not spot any.

Chinnar, a prehistoric landscape:
Mystical Munnar-img_0141a.jpg


Chinnar panorama: left is Kerala, right is TN. Also notice the darkening of clouds to the right.:
Mystical Munnar-ervikulam1.jpg

Last edited by theMAG : 4th October 2012 at 13:35.
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Old 4th October 2012, 13:45   #4
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Day 4: Aug 9 was our anniversary and we decided to have a down day. In the evening, we trekked from the resort to Munnar town - about 10 kms, and had - for the first time in both our lives, piping hot freshly made banana chips by the roadside! I will not forget this experience in a long time - the chips were brilliant!


Day 5: Aug 10

The last day of our vacation to Munnar. We left Mystical Munnar, with this fond panorama, shot from our balcony:
Mystical Munnar-panorama1.jpg



Drove back to Kochi to catch our flight back to Bangalore and landed in reality!

Last edited by theMAG : 4th October 2012 at 13:59.
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Old 4th October 2012, 14:09   #5
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Default Re: Mystical Munnar

it is indeed beautiful. i visited munnar as a honeymoon trip and it was worh every moment spent
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Old 4th October 2012, 14:18   #6
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Thanks for the wonderful pics, theMAG ! This made me nostalgic about our drive to Munnar from Chennai in Aug 2009. Very similar weather conditions and scenery then. The early morning fog enveloping the mountain sides was an awesome sight to behold.

The title is very apt...Munnar definitely has a mystical aura.

Last edited by Blue Thunder : 4th October 2012 at 14:20.
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Old 4th October 2012, 16:53   #7
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Short and sweet Maggie! Any other wildlife sightings in Chinnar / Ervikulam?
Did you rent a car for Kochi-Munnar-back?
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Old 4th October 2012, 18:07   #8
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1. Nope: all animal-folk were most likely on a vacation themselves!
2. Yup - rented a car for Kochi-Munnar-back.
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