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Old 1st October 2013, 16:35   #1
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Default Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar

I have been holed up in Kochi for over two years now. I have been here before too- in short stints of two year stretches. My job is such, that I don't get the good fortune to stay put at one place for more than three years to top it.

Over all these years, though I have travelled to many places, Munnar- which is just a weekend drive away, always stayed away from the itinerary.
For various reasons at that.
May be, my mind always kept on mumbling inside: "Munnar is next door. Utilise your planned leave for farther places"

This time around, I was determined to make amends.
I soon started looking for available weekends and even gaps which could be squeezed out in between weekdays.
That was when a "new to Cochin" North Indian friend of mine came over and expressed his desire to visit Munnar.

That was fuel to fire. A few phone calls and a few days later, the morning of a pleasant Saturday morning, my car was cruising to Munnar from Kochi.

The Ride

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-dscn6526.jpg

The route we took:

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-route.png

SInce it was a trip of a weekend, we were sure that we would not be able to visit all the places in and around Munnar.
So, I charted out a plan to visit the following places:

1) Cheeyappara- 10.053776,76.829342, 42 kms short of Munnar
2) Valara- 10.02372,76.909559, 31 Kms short of Munnar
3) Attukad – 10.053628,77.057964, 8.7 from munnar, 2.2 kms from the main road (pallivasal tea factory)
4) Mattuppetty Dam and boat ride
5) Top station
6) Rajamala- (though this was there in the plan, we did not visit this place view paucity of time. We did not want to squeeze it also. After all, this was a holiday trip and not a trip to tick mark all the places visited)

Our First stop was at Cheeyappara water falls. The position named as 'A' in the map is Cheeyappara falls

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-cheeyappara.png

This falls stoops down from a height in four different layers and is situated by the roadside.

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-12cheeyapp-3.jpg

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-12cheeyapp-4.jpg

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-1cheeyapp-1.jpg

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-1cheeyapp-2.jpg

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-14-cheeya.jpg

Last edited by dhanushmenon : 8th October 2013 at 14:42. Reason: Adding photos
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Old 9th October 2013, 12:52   #2
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Default re: Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar

Valara falls and Pallivasal

Driving forth from Cheeyappara waterfalls towards Munnar, Valara falls comes on the right side; again just by the road side.
There's a tight bend in the road and the falls is hard to miss. In the below map, the green arrow shows Valara falls and the place marked as 'A' is cheeyappara falls.

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-valara.png

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-2-valara-2.jpg

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-2-valara-1.jpg

There's enough space to park atleast 10 cars by the roadside as the road widens out here.
Otherwise, through the drive to Munnar, there are not many established parking place along the road.

The roads are curvy and was in good condition till we reached Pallivasal.
Pallivasal is 10 Kms short of Munnar.

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-3-pallivasal-3.jpg

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-3-pallivasal-2.jpg

The pristine beauty of Munnar starts from Pallivasal onwards.

Panorama of Pallivasal view point

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-3-pallivasal-1.jpg

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-3-pallivasal-4.jpg

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-6-enroute-top-station-6.jpg

Unfortunately, when we travelled, (First week of Sep 2013), the whole ten Kilometres distance was broken. I could hardly find time to glance outside to take in the beauty as I was busy navigating through the gaping craters and broken roads.

Still, Wherever I managed space, I stopped over and clicked these

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-20-random-4.jpg

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-6-enroute-top-station-3.jpg

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-6-enroute-top-station-4.jpg

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-20-random-1.jpg

Last edited by dhanushmenon : 9th October 2013 at 12:53.
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Old 10th October 2013, 09:23   #3
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Default re: Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar

Mattupetti dam and Kundala Dam- enroute Top station

We reached Munnar by lunch time. Having feasted ourselves on a sumptuous lunch, my heart was dragging me to bed for an afternoon siesta.
The wonderful climate only gave me more motivation to do so.

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-6-enroute-top-station-5.jpg

However, I knew that if I retire to bed, then Top station (which was numero uno in my priority list) will remain only in papers.
So, kicking the internal urge, we set forth towards Top station. Top station, from Munnar, is 35 Kms.

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-top-station.png

The drive was wonderful to say the least.
I would rate this to be the best part of the whole drive.
There were lush green tea plantations on either side of the road all through.

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-20-random-3.jpg

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-6-enroute-top-station-2.jpg

Each bend in the road brought us to new sights and all refreshing and vibrant at that.

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-6-enroute-top-station-1.jpg

We stopped over at many places to just stand over the hedge and take in the mesmerising beauty of these ever green folds of mountains.

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-20-random-5.jpg

The photographs actually do not do half justice to the actual beauty of the place.

I remembered a sign board of KTDC along the way which read:
"Breathe... cos you are in God's Own Country"

I felt it's true to each and every letter.
Though having born, brought up and spoilt in the heart land of mallu land, I never thought that Kerala was so beautiful.

I was cursing myself as to why it took me so much time to visit this neighbourhood hill station.

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-20-random-2.jpg

Mattuppetty dam and its boating facility comes enroute to Top station.
The rates are quite reasonable.
speed boat- Rs 500/- for 5 people. (20 minutes)
couple's special speed boat ride- Rs 500/- (20 minutes)

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-4mattu-boating-3.jpg

There was also a bigger boat which could seat 25 people (IIRC) which went around for Rs 1200/- for half an hour

The 'spidey kids' awaiting the arrival of the speed boat. Weren't they thrilled??

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-4mattu-boating-2.jpg

Droplets...

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-4mattu-boating-1.jpg

After Mattuppetty Dam, we went to Kundala dam, which again was on the way to Top Station.
There again, were boating facilities, on canopied boats.
Running short on time to reach Top station and then reach back before sundown, we gave it a pass after a few snaps

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-10-kundala.jpg

Last edited by dhanushmenon : 10th October 2013 at 09:28.
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Old 10th October 2013, 12:01   #4
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Default re: Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar

Top Station

Top station is one destination which is not to be missed.
I have seen many people who travel all the way till Munnar and give a pass to this amazing place just because it is 35 Kms away.

In your next visit, do pay a visit here. Believe me, you will not regret it.
The drive is amazing and the view all along the way is breathtaking.

Top station is primarily a view point.
A short walk from the parking lot, and you reach a place, at the tip of a cliff, looking down at an amazing green valley, high mountains covered in drifting fog and an abode of serenity.

I will let the pictures do the rest of talking.

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-8-top-station-1.jpg

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-8-top-station-2.jpg

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Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-8-top-station-4.jpg

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-8-top-station-5.jpg

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Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-8-top-station-8.jpg

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-8-top-station-9.jpg

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-8-top-station-10.jpg

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-8-top-station-11.jpg

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Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-8-top-station-16.jpg

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-8-top-station-17.jpg
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Old 10th October 2013, 12:36   #5
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Default re: Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar

Attukad waterfalls

Next morning, we visited Attukad waterfalls which was quite nearby from where we stayed.
The road which leads to the falls can be easily missed.
It is a small diversion from the main road towards Munnar from Adimali side.

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-attukad.png

At the Pallivasal Tea Factory Junction, there is a small road on the right, which leads down.
Follow this to reach the waterfalls. The waterfalls is at a distance of two kilometres from this point.

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-12-attukad-falls-1.jpg

The falls is a grandeur and is visible from quite a distance.

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-12-attukad-falls-2.jpg

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-12-attukad-falls-3.jpg

However, the huge falls which is visible from a distance is not accessible at the point where the road leads. You get to see only a small sublet of the falls there.

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-12-attukad-falls-7.jpg

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-12-attukad-falls-8.jpg

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-12-attukad-falls-9.jpg

Reflections on my car window. Ingenuity by my wife in her photographic skills.

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-12-attukad-falls-4.jpg

The hills near by

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-12-attukad-falls-5.jpg

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-12-attukad-falls-6.jpg

The sky looked beautiful

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-12-attukad-falls-10.jpg

After Attukad falls, we headed back home.
The weekend was winding down and there was office to follow the next day.

The actual beauty of Munnar cannot be equated to words, nor can be captured in all its colours on a photographic frame. You really have to be there to experience it.
Without being hyperbolic, Munnar is un doubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Kerala which I have been to.

If you are looking for a place to unwind and recharge your tired veins, your search ends here.
Happy holidaying....

As a parting shot, the ride which took me to all these places and many more. May her have many many more miles to come.
Keep revving

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-z.jpg

Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar-zz.jpg
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Old 10th October 2013, 13:38   #6
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Default re: Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues!

Thanks you for sharing, brings back lot of old memories. Been a while but would love to do one more round of the place, never ceases to surprise.
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Old 10th October 2013, 14:12   #7
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Beautiful frames, specially the cloudscapes.
Am sure you have more photographs! You actually have heaven next door.
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Old 10th October 2013, 16:03   #8
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Default re: Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar

Amazing pics. I was in Munnar last weekend, was just going through my pics contemplating idea of travelogue when I see your post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushmenon View Post
[b][u]
Unfortunately, when we travelled, (First week of Sep 2013), the whole ten Kilometres distance was broken. I could hardly find time to glance outside to take in the beauty as I was busy navigating through the gaping craters and broken roads.
Well it is still the same. It took me 45 mins to travel some 8 Kms from my homestay in Munnar to 2nd mile junction near Pallivasal thanks to crater filled roads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushmenon View Post
The drive was wonderful to say the least.
I would rate this to be the best part of the whole drive.
Each bend in the road brought us to new sights and all refreshing and vibrant at that.
Yes, of the 1200 Kms of driving to and fro from Bangalore this is the best route I liked. An added bonus- We spotted elephant grazing in Indo-Swiss dairy farm pastures near Mattupetti dam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushmenon View Post
Top station is one destination which is not to be missed.
I have seen many people who travel all the way till Munnar and give a pass to this amazing place just because it is 35 Kms away.
Top station I would say is a hit or miss based on climate when you visit. Last time I visited top station (~10 years back) it was bit too cloudy, hence we were not able to see any thing more than 20-30 mts away.
This time though it was exact opposite, bit too sunny and by time we climb down the steps in the sun you are bit too tired to enjoy the view.
I guess your visited at the right time, perfect climate cloudy but not misty. Just search for top station in Google images and you will find some pics with a layer of cloud below the view point. Looks amazing.

However as a whole should say Munnar like Ooty is getting destroyed due to over exploitation. We had an evening free and decided to take a walk through the town. Big mistake, we had a tough time getting away from maniac diesel auto drivers running all over and around roads.

Last edited by mpksuhas : 10th October 2013 at 16:06.
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Old 10th October 2013, 16:29   #9
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Default re: Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar

Quote:
Originally Posted by himadrimondal View Post
Beautiful frames, specially the cloudscapes.
Am sure you have more photographs! You actually have heaven next door.
Yes, I do have more photographs. Can't put them all in the thread lest they become boring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Amazing pics. I was in Munnar last weekend, was just going through my pics contemplating idea of travelogue when I see your post.
Please bring it forth. The beauty of this place would never cease to amaze.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Yes, of the 1200 Kms of driving to and fro from Bangalore this is the best route I liked. An added bonus- We spotted elephant grazing in Indo-Swiss dairy farm pastures near Mattupetti dam.
We also had our eyes in search mode for elephants, but were not lucky enough.
Heard that the route towards Chinnar is the hot zone for elephant spottings. Wish to try that in my next visit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Top station I would say is a hit or miss based on climate when you visit. Last time I visited top station (~10 years back) it was bit too cloudy....
However as a whole should say Munnar like Ooty is getting destroyed due to over exploitation. We had an evening free and decided to take a walk through the town. Big mistake, we had a tough time getting away from maniac diesel auto drivers running all over and around roads.
We visited Top Station at the right time I guess. The climate was apt and there were not many tourists too.
I agree with you on the commercialisation at Munnar.
I struggled for 30 minutes to get out of that small town into open roads.
The town centre was getting dirty too, though not as dirty as the streets of Ooty.

Chikmagalur is one place which is relatively cleaner than many hotspot tourist destinations.
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Old 10th October 2013, 16:38   #10
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Default re: Breathe, you are in God's own country! A visit to Munnar

Breathtaking photos. I've never been to Munnar, however seeing these photos has put it in my must-see list.
How long did it take from Kochi?
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Old 10th October 2013, 16:57   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushmenon View Post
Top station is primarily a view point.
Now it is just that, but it was the last station on the Kannan Devan Hills Railway - carrying tea from Kundala and Pallivasal to Top Station, from where a ropeway carried the tea down to Bodi in Tamil Nadu for its onward journey to Madras port.

That railway became disused after the Cochin Port was opened up on the western coast, which was closer by road and also closer to the intended destination by sea.
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Old 11th October 2013, 08:11   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aneezan View Post
Breathtaking photos. I've never been to Munnar, however seeing these photos has put it in my must-see list.
How long did it take from Kochi?
Though its only some 130 odd Kms from Kochi, trhe drive takes around 5 hours due to the twisties.
The climb starts on gradual incline after neriamangalam and after adimali, the gradient increases a little further. The roads are good all the way till pallivasal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
Now it is just that, but it was the last station on the Kannan Devan Hills Railway - carrying tea from Kundala and Pallivasal to Top Station, from where a ropeway carried the tea down to Bodi in Tamil Nadu for its onward journey to Madras port.

That railway became disused after the Cochin Port was opened up on the western coast, which was closer by road and also closer to the intended destination by sea.
Wow!! That is great piece of information.
About how many years back was this railway abandoned?
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Old 11th October 2013, 09:35   #13
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About how many years back was this railway abandoned?
I guess the railway was abandoned after floods in 1924. There was a video about history of tea plantation in Munnar in Tea Museum. During which they were mentioning the same.
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Old 12th October 2013, 09:47   #14
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I guess the railway was abandoned after floods in 1924. There was a video about history of tea plantation in Munnar in Tea Museum. During which they were mentioning the same.
1924!!. Thats way too back.
Had it still existed, it would've been interesting to catch a ride on that.
It would've become another unique Colonial left over in India like the Nilgiri train
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Old 12th October 2013, 09:59   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
Now it is just that, but it was the last station on the Kannan Devan Hills Railway - carrying tea from Kundala and Pallivasal to Top Station, from where a ropeway carried the tea down to Bodi in Tamil Nadu for its onward journey to Madras port. That railway became disused after the Cochin Port was opened up on the western coast, which was closer by road and also closer to the intended destination by sea.

My Dad planted tea there in the sixties and seventies. When we we growing up as kids, at least in the early to mid '70's that ropeway was still functional though it was more ornamental in nature...
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