Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 29th October 2013, 10:35   #1
BHPian
 
sharoncr_17's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Kollam/AbuDhabi
Posts: 374
Thanked: 269 Times
Default Munnar & The Great Indian Circus

20-10-2013 08:00 PM.

"TRING TRING"

Me: What's up?

B.I.L: I've been sanctioned leave extension for 5 more years. Can you go over to my office at Munnar to complete the formalities?

Life as the Public Relation Officer of a 500 bedded Superspeciality Hospital is always hectic. Getting up at 7 AM and rushing to office, the day long interaction with patients and staff, meetings, negotiations, mid night calls, police cases, court hearings, dash to Trivandrum / Kochi / Trissur on a pretty tight schedule... and reaching back home by 9pm. Missed lunch, missed marriage receptions, missed PTA meetings, missed anniversaries... This was the routine day in and day out, 7 days a week, 12 months a year. Life was becoming monotonous. The saving grace being the 24hr dash to Palani 2 weeks back.

I realized that my stars have shifted to their proper positions (after the recent Palani pilgrimage on 06-10-2013) when I received the call from my co-brother in Dubai. Like they say in the Cadbury Shots advt, lots of ladoos were bursting in my mind too.

The biggest hurdle was getting my leave sanctioned. Approached my boss with a request for 2 days leave, the stars proved their power yet again ĎLEAVE SANCTIONEDí. Planned a two day trip with my family. Two days of absolute freedom.

My parents and in-laws were really worried about the recent land slides in Munnar and the on going monsoons. They wanted me to postpone the trip for another month or till the monsoon ends its rampage. Moreover one of my cousin's marriage was on 22nd. I became a bit confused and thought of doing the trip alone as I didn't want to put the lives of my beloved ones at risk. My luv replied with a big emphatic "NO, it's either all of us or none of us". This made me 75 percent ready to drop the plan. However this confusion was resolved when my brother-in-law wanted the leave papers to be cleared urgently before the month end. So there was no backing off now. I am still not sure whether my decision was bravery or sheer foolishness, but somehow I decided to go ahead as per schedule.

THE TEAM:

Sharon: Myself
Sharmy: My Wife
Aashish: My youngest son

My eldest son Adersh backed off as he was having tuition.

The next thing was searching for all Munnar travelogues in our forum. I went through the threads by Rudra Sen, Naveen Raju, etc. The latest being the test drive of Honda Brio from Kochi to Trivandrum via Munnar by Rudra ji. I had been to Munnar way back in 2006 that was the year when the Strobilanthus (neelakurinji in malayalam), which blooms only every 12 years,opened its petals the last time.

I was aware of the routes and hotels. I wanted to have an idea about the present day Munnar, after the recent land slides.

Dad wanted us to use his Fiesta as he was a bit skeptical of the Chevy's extremely low seating position and its problems in the hills, but I was determined to make the trip in my Chevy Beat. I wanted to see if my lil B could fly across the Munnar hills. Earlier I had taken her on an official trip to Peerumedu, another hill station, without any problems.

A reception function for my cousin's marriage was arranged at Kottayam on 26th. My plan was to attend the reception and leave Kottayam early next morning on 27th and reach Munnar by 12PM. Spend the day sightseeing, visit my co-brother's office at 10 AM the next day, clear the papers before 12, have lunch and cover the rest of the places, leave Munnar by 4PM reach Adimali by 6PM, reach home by 12AM, and be back at office the same day at sharp 9.

The tire pressure was checked and topped up. I had filled up diesel to the brim just 2 days back and hadn't burned much of the comparatively cheaper fuel. Bought 6ltrs of Aquafina, a box of Ferrero Rocher (Aashish loves them), 1 ltr of Harvest, medicines for my Aashish, et all. Ensured that copies of all of the carís documents and my license were there.
sharoncr_17 is online now   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 10:47   #2
BHPian
 
sharoncr_17's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Kollam/AbuDhabi
Posts: 374
Thanked: 269 Times
Default Re: Munnar & The Great Indian Circus

We left for Kottayam at 10AM on 26th October 2013.


Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102600613.jpg


My younger brother and his family accompanied us in their Verna.

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102600621.jpg

My youngest brother was at driver seat of my car.


Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102600618.jpg

Oachira Temple

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102600614.jpg

We took the NH47 till Kayankulam, turned right, passed via Mavelikara and joined MC Road at Thiruvalla. From there it was via Changanasseri, Kottayam till Ettumanoor. We took a small detour to bypass Tiruvalla Town, but the condition of the byepass had become worse, courtesy the never ending monsoons, and the efficency of Kerala PWD. The condition of Changanasseri bypass was also similar, if not worse. The route was a familiar one as we used to visit my aunt quite often. We reached Neendoor by 1:30PM.

The reception started at 2PM and carried on till 10 in the night. It was really fun as the entire house was filled with all my relatives and no one slept that night.

Last edited by moralfibre : 29th October 2013 at 12:03. Reason: Please see Rule # 11.
sharoncr_17 is online now   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 11:17   #3
BHPian
 
sharoncr_17's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Kollam/AbuDhabi
Posts: 374
Thanked: 269 Times
Default Re: Munnar & The Great Indian Circus

We got up at 8 in the morning, had breakfast and my brothers left for Kollam by 10. We started our drive after lunch by 2:00PM. The roads were good from Neendoor to Ettumannor. From Ettumanoor we were on to MC Road. We passed via Kuravilangad, Muvattupuzha and Kothamangalam. From Kothamangalam we enter NH49 (Cochin-Madurai Highway).

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700652.jpg

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700654.jpg

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700656.jpg

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700660.jpg

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700661.jpg

We stopped for a small tea break.

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700671.jpgMunnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700673.jpgMunnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700674.jpg

The Western ghats begins.

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700675.jpgMunnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700676.jpg

Aashish was busy clicking pics of small monkeys.

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700684.jpgMunnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700685.jpg

The roads were full of reminiscents to the recent landslides. Buildings are constructed at places where there used to be a stream from the mountain top. The natural flow of water is often blocked and channeled through man made canal. Indiscriminate deforestation makes the soil come loose. Both these are a deadly combination for a landslide. Itís the local authorities, who turn a blind eye towards such illegal construction, who are to blame. May the souls who lost their lives rest in peace.

Last edited by sharoncr_17 : 29th October 2013 at 11:23.
sharoncr_17 is online now   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 11:32   #4
BHPian
 
sharoncr_17's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Kollam/AbuDhabi
Posts: 374
Thanked: 269 Times
Default Re: Munnar & The Great Indian Circus

Before Adimali you can see two waterfalls towards your left and right sides. Both the places was filled with tourists. We stopped at both places for 5 minutes. We took some snaps (we missed Adersh a lot).
Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700687.jpgMunnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700692.jpgMunnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700700.jpgMunnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700697.jpgMunnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700703.jpg

Aashish got for himself a pack of cut mangoes in brine and was enjoying it like crazy.

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700704.jpg

Just before reaching Adimali you will see the Eastern Food Products factory on your right side. They produce the Eastern brand curry powders. They have a factory fresh outlet near their front entrance.

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700709.jpg

Adimali is a small town filled with Jeeps.

Last edited by sharoncr_17 : 29th October 2013 at 11:34.
sharoncr_17 is online now   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 13:58   #5
BHPian
 
sharoncr_17's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Kollam/AbuDhabi
Posts: 374
Thanked: 269 Times
Default Re: Munnar & The Great Indian Circus

Adimali is a small town filled with Jeeps.

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700735.jpg

Just after Adimali town there is a good restaurant called MDS Kalavara. The place is owned by Mr.Manoj, a bhpian and an Engineer by profession (unfortunately I couldn't meet him, his hotel manager was a very friendly guy and filled me the details). His heavily stickered white MM540 and Mahindra Verito were parked in front of the hotel. We helped ourselves with some nice chappathys, chilly chicken, gobi manchurian and a nice cup of tea.

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700730.jpgMunnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700727.jpgMunnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700725.jpg

We left Adimali towards Munnar. The landscape changes the moment you leave Adimali. Its so beautiful that you feel like taking a pitstop all along the way.

After Adimali, our car was stopped for a police check. They performed the breath analysis. And we could continue our journey within a minute. Good effort by the Kerala Police.

It was already getting dark and my wife wanted to halt at some place before Munnar. The first place we passed was Whitemist Emerald. Actually the place seemed like a Ghost House Inn and we took a U turn as fast as we could. The place reminded me of the infamous Bates Motel in "Psycho” (I later found out that the place belong to the villain turned comedian of malayalam films, Mr.Baburaj). We drove on searching for a place to hide.

At Kallar we found this place.

Luckily it was neither Bates Motel nor Hotel California. It was called Lillys Garden, the only problem was the lack of a closed parking space.

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102700739.jpg

You have to bargain hard to get a smart deal. The asking rate was INR2500/- which came down (like the value of our currency) to INR1000/- all inclusive!. The room was good with fine linen and the bathroom had a jacuzzi.

We hit the bed.

"TRING TRING"

Time: 9:45PM

Aunt: There is flash news of a hartal b'coz of some stone pelting against the Kerala CM.

OMG... I'm scr*w*d. I switched on the idiot box. And all the channels were screaming with news of an 'unofficial' bandh. My wife suggested driving back to my aunt's house at Neendoor, but I thought of taking a chance by waiting to see whether the bandh would be total or partial. I lost my sleep. Thanks to The Great Indian Circus, a.k.a D-crazy.

I was pondering whether Ms.Rita Fernandez was wrong when she explained the meaning of the phrase 'freedom of movement' in our Civics classes. Rather than wasting my time, I finally fell asleep by 11.

Last edited by sharoncr_17 : 29th October 2013 at 14:07.
sharoncr_17 is online now   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 14:14   #6
BHPian
 
sharoncr_17's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Kollam/AbuDhabi
Posts: 374
Thanked: 269 Times
Default Re: Munnar & The Great Indian Circus

We got up the next morning by 7. The first thing I searched for was the newspaper. The harthal would be a partial one. THANK GOD.

Shops and hotels would remain closed, but private vehicle can ply.

Aashish too woke up and we both went out and took a few snaps.

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800741.jpg

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800748.jpg

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800756.jpg

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800742.jpg

The restaurant at Lilly was closed as there was some renovation going on. There were no joints at a walkable distance, so we drove. The bandh began to show its ugly fangs, the hotels were closed.

We found a small place called "Kuttappays". It was a small place with just 2 tables. The food was traditional Kerala style. Actually the hotel is adjacent to the owner's house and the food is being prepared in their kitchen by his family. The food was great without the regular flavors we find in hotels. Would definitely recommend this place to anyone visiting Munnar.
Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800768.jpgMunnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800771.jpgMunnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800773.jpg

Last edited by sharoncr_17 : 29th October 2013 at 14:27.
sharoncr_17 is online now   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 14:26   #7
BHPian
 
sharoncr_17's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Kollam/AbuDhabi
Posts: 374
Thanked: 269 Times
Default Re: Munnar & The Great Indian Circus

This narrow bridge and waterfall is near Kallar.
Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800776.jpg

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800780.jpg

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800777.jpg

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800778.jpg
sharoncr_17 is online now   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 14:41   #8
BHPian
 
Gokrish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Chennai and AR
Posts: 289
Thanked: 157 Times
Default Re: Munnar & The Great Indian Circus

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharoncr_17 View Post
OMG... I'm scr*w*d. I switched on the idiot box. And all the channels were screaming with news of an 'unofficial' bandh. My wife suggested driving back to my aunt's house at Neendoor, but I thought of taking a chance by waiting to see whether the bandh would be total or partial. I lost my sleep. Thanks to The Great Indian Circus, a.k.a D-crazy.
Dear Sharon! I was bit perplexed when I read the title "The Great Indian Circus". After reading the above paragraph which had given the title justification, I was pondering about your fate the following day. In a State like Kerala while visiting a hill station, in addition to land slides, one has to really keep himself abreast of events like bundhs too so as to be not taken by surprise. But even God can not save oneself in an unexpected event like what you had faced here. Must have felt too near yet too far, I suppose.
Gokrish is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 14:43   #9
BHPian
 
sharoncr_17's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Kollam/AbuDhabi
Posts: 374
Thanked: 269 Times
Default Re: Munnar & The Great Indian Circus

We went back to Lillys, had a bath and checked out by 9:40. We drove straight to 2nd Mile. The volume of traffic was low bcoz of the harthal. The world famous Munnar tea estate starts from 2nd Mile.

It was great driving through the plantations. The shrubs are being well pruned and itís a breathtaking sight. Women carrying gunny bags on their backs were plucking tea leaves. The gunny bags are being emptied onto tractors. The sight makes us really want to quit our day jobs and lead a peaceful life in the calm and serene place.Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800813.jpg

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800815.jpg

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800811.jpg

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800817.jpg

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800821.jpg

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800827.jpg

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800800.jpg

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800820.jpg

Last edited by sharoncr_17 : 29th October 2013 at 14:45.
sharoncr_17 is online now   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 14:49   #10
BHPian
 
sharoncr_17's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Kollam/AbuDhabi
Posts: 374
Thanked: 269 Times
Default Re: Munnar & The Great Indian Circus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gokrish View Post
Dear Sharon! I was bit perplexed when I read the title "The Great Indian Circus". After reading the above paragraph which had given the title justification, I was pondering about your fate the following day. In a State like Kerala while visiting a hill station, in addition to land slides, one has to really keep himself abreast of events like bundhs too so as to be not taken by surprise. But even God can not save oneself in an unexpected event like what you had faced here. Must have felt too near yet too far, I suppose.
Maybe we should start a new thread on the topic "HOW TO FACE A HARTHAL? " .

Jokes apart, it was terrible with my family accompanying me and finding all the hotels closed.
sharoncr_17 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 14:51   #11
BHPian
 
sharoncr_17's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Kollam/AbuDhabi
Posts: 374
Thanked: 269 Times
Default Re: Munnar & The Great Indian Circus

Posting news from the days front page. Sorry "THE HINDU" daily is not there in my office.
Attached Thumbnails
Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800860.jpg  


Last edited by sharoncr_17 : 29th October 2013 at 14:53.
sharoncr_17 is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th October 2013, 15:02   #12
BHPian
 
sharoncr_17's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Kollam/AbuDhabi
Posts: 374
Thanked: 269 Times
Default Re: Munnar & The Great Indian Circus

We turned right from 2nd Mile towards my brother-in-law's office at Meencut.

We reached the office by 10:15.

Attachment 1159699

Attachment 1159700

The paper works were over only by 1:15PM. Once again thanks to our Great Indian Political Stage Show, most of the hotels were closed. Finally after a lot of searching, a resort called Silver Leaf Resort offered us any food of our choice...as long as it was chappathi and chicken curry. To be honest the chicken curry was really excellent. The resort manager Mr.Syam is a native of Varkala and a very helpful person.

Attachment 1159704

Attachment 1159705

Attachment 1159706

Last edited by sharoncr_17 : 29th October 2013 at 15:07.
sharoncr_17 is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th October 2013, 11:26   #13
BHPian
 
sharoncr_17's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Kollam/AbuDhabi
Posts: 374
Thanked: 269 Times
Default Re: Munnar & The Great Indian Circus

Somehow these fotos didn't get attached to the previous post. SORRY.Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800794.jpg

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800801.jpg

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800807.jpg

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800804.jpg

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800805.jpg
sharoncr_17 is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th October 2013, 11:38   #14
BHPian
 
sharoncr_17's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Kollam/AbuDhabi
Posts: 374
Thanked: 269 Times
Default Re: Munnar & The Great Indian Circus

We left Munnar by 2:15. The return trip was awe inspiring as we were on the curb side of the roads. My X-plod was playing ‘Angel’ by Akcent.

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800837.jpgMunnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800843.jpgMunnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800838.jpgMunnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800763.jpg

While in Munnar, get the tea powder directly from the factory outlet. You get only the best quality. Also get some good quality spices from Adimali.

We made our return trip via the same route.
Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800846.jpg

I was thinking of going via Ernakulam, Alleppey. But the mere thought of Ernakulam traffic sent a shudder down my spine. We had a small tea break after Moovattupuzha and had our dinner from Arcadia at Ettumannor.

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800848.jpg
The drive back was pretty uneventful till Kottayam, when all of a sudden the same problem reoccurred!

Last edited by sharoncr_17 : 30th October 2013 at 11:40.
sharoncr_17 is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th October 2013, 11:44   #15
BHPian
 
sharoncr_17's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Kollam/AbuDhabi
Posts: 374
Thanked: 269 Times
Default Re: Munnar & The Great Indian Circus

The engine malfunction light started to glow!



Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800849.jpg

Literally I was shocked. The same problem had happened during my Palani trip and the B was given a full checkup and the service team at Deedi had blamed it on a clogged air filter and replaced the same. I gave a call to Mr.Jibu, Manager, Deedi Motors, Kollam explained my plight to him. Finally I found the Deedi helpline number stickered on the windscreen. I gave a call and he gave me the helpline number of Geeyem Motors (Chevy dealer in Kottayam). Rang up the number and he asked me to get the vehicle to their workshop back in Ettumanoor. As if by an act of God, the glowing lamp went off on its own (similar to what happened earlier during the Palani trip).


I drove back to the Geeyem workshop, their technician plugged into the car’s system and diagnosed it as a result of a faulty sensor.


Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800856.jpg


My wife and kid were fed up with the whole episode. This is the second time that a trip was being spoiled because of the same fault. I know that it’s only a minor fault but when you are traveling with your family it’s always peace of mind that matters the most.

We spent more than an hour at the workshop and finally left at 8:40.

We drove all the way to Kollam, reached home at 10:45PM, and straight away went to bed. I was not tired, but the thought of having to be at the office tomorrow morning made me desperate to hit the mattress.

Munnar & The Great Indian Circus-img2013102800857.jpg

Thus ends my second travelogue on TBHP. This may not be a lengthy journey, but it served to make me realize in a big way that we are all at the mercy of Mother Nature. Indiscriminate constructional activities in Eco sensitive areas will disturb the ecological balance and when Mother Nature strikes back nothing can protect us from the terrible force. Another most important side effect of tourism is the tonnes of garbage littered everywhere. Waste disposal is not the responsibility of government alone, it is the duty of each and everyone of us.

Thanks for all bhpians who have shown the patience to go through my thread and posted their valued comments.

Last edited by sharoncr_17 : 30th October 2013 at 11:45.
sharoncr_17 is online now   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Foreclosing an Auto loan - why the circus? tsk1979 Indian Car Loans & Insurance 165 4th July 2017 10:46
The Circus at Wagah wanderernomad Shifting gears 14 2nd October 2011 19:42
Circus Vehicles In India octaneoverdose The Indian Car Scene 0 15th February 2010 18:37
Our great indian roads with great indian truck drivers... low_bass_makker Shifting gears 3 11th July 2006 01:15
great forum, great people and great cars... tadukuttan Introduce yourself 8 19th June 2006 10:52


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 17:49.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks