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Old 6th November 2008, 12:39   #1
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Smile Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season

Monsoon..the thought of the magical season conjures up the images of dark sky, wet leaves, umbrellas popping up all over and the afternoon chilly winds. It was on such a day that the travel bug bit us and we decided to pack off from Trivandrum to Munnar via Thekkady by road. We couldn't resist the pleasure of driving on isolated and lonely roads during rain, just ambling along with the soft music in background. The invitation from the misty hills of the highrange was too good to resist and we set off on a rainy afternoon at 1 Pm..

First leg of the journey was Trivandrum-Thekkady which had to pass through the MC Road under renovation. The trip is about 250 Km and took almost 10 hours inlcuding a 30 minute break at Changanaserry to fill our crying tummies. Trivandrum-Changanaserry is about 125 Km and from Changanaserry, we took a diversion throughthe Vazhoor Road, passing through Ponkunnamm-Kanjirapally-Mundakayam (Kottayam Dictrict), finally touching Peerumed in Idukki District and then taking the Vandiperiyar-Kumily-Thekkady route. Changanaserry-Thekkady Distance is about 130 Km, mainly passing through the vast rubber plantations and high range roads. It would be ideal to drive through the Changanaserry-Thekkady road at day time to enjoy the unbelievable beauty. But we were delayed by the MC road and it was almost 6 Pm when we resumed our journey from Changanaserry.

We checked in at our hotel in Thekkady around 11 Pm and retired for the day. Was woken up by the chilling winds and saw the magnificent waterbody at Thekkady surrounding our hotel. The 1st item in our list was boating in the vast Thekkady reservoir which takes about 2 hours. If you are lucky, you can see the elephants, deers and other animals, not to mention the rare tribals who peek out once a while. The climate was bright and sunny during the boating. But as soon as we reached back at the jetty, the climate changed and it started raining with more forecast for rain. Our original plan was to stay a full day in Thekkady and leave for Munnar next morning. But the desire to drive through the rain through the long winding dark ropads to Munnar through the hairpin ebnds where u never know if elephants r standing midway..It might be foolishness or idiotic bravery, but we decided to leave for Munnar that afternoon itself.

But the problem was we had booked our rooms at Munnar for next morning. The how could we check in tonight itself?We called up the hotel in Munnar and thankfully, they had rooms available to accomodate us that day itself. Off we went at 2pm, in rain and with just 20 minutes into the drive, the landscape changed and the sky got more dark and the rain pounding in even heavier. We saw the isolated villages making way for steep winding roads. Looking down through the side window, we could see the villages we passed as tiny specks. A mystic feeling crept into our minds as we saw a Holy Cross atop a huge rock by the road side with a lightning bolt behind.The hotel staff had warned us before leaving to be careful in our drive as it was rainy. This was the first time we were taking the Thekakdy-Munnar route and was quite unfamiliar with the roads and places. What if a tyre went bust?There won't be any tyre shops within 50Kms. There were no vechicles opposite to us, nor any vehicles in frnt or behind us. As the lightning got more frequent, there was a silence in the car. The rain lashed on with increased intensity and the sightings of holy cross and churces along the road more and more common. Once, we took a count of the crosses and found it more than the number of vehicles we came across. Soon, we saw a signboard showing that the next major town, Nedumkandam is about 15 kms away and we had a sigh of relief.

The rain started to wither away nearing Nedumkandam and we started looking around for tea shop to recharge ourself. But none were open due to some local holiday and we continued to drive on. Soon, we were climbing up the hill again and the clouds returned and as we reached a sharp curve, we saw a small tea shop whcih was open with an elderly person manning the tea shop. There's nothing more seductive than the sweet aroma of warm frothing tea on a rainy evening and soon we were gulping down like eager beavers. He asked us where we are going to at this point of time in such a climate. Once he heard our answer, he stepped out of the shop and kept his hand in a particular manner in air. His face darkened and he told us to be careful as more heavy wind & rain is on the way. Hearing, this we got bit knocked off, but yet decided to move on come what may. He gave us some hot tea in a bottle as his compliment to keep us warm through the rain. The facial expression of the shop owner as he held up his arm and predicted more rain still remains in our memory. Unfortunately, no one thought about clicking his picture then.

We continued our journey and the landscaped changed, this time we were entering a true forest road..narrow, with just enough space for a bus to pass through and within minutes, rain started again with gushing wind. It was pitch dark. The shop owner had warned us that beyond this point, it was the "nation of elephants", espercially the dangerous lonely tuskers. My cousin was chanting prayers at each turns. We could barely see much more than few metres in front of us with the headllights and fog lamp switched on. Suddenly, our driver put in a CD of "Haunting Songs".He had a great sense of timing it seems and the songs were apt for the situation we were driving in. It was total isolation, yet we could see lights from houses here and there..the gap between them wopuld be 2 Kms. We wondered how people could live there in such isolation.Finally, we saw a signboard showing Munnar-10Km and the landscape staretd to change with the forest making way for tea gardens everywhere. there were genlte rolling slops which was a welcome change from the blind corner with the elephants. Soon, the lights from the numerous hotels and resorts in the rolling hills of Munanr greeted us and we were so much relieved that we reached without any incident. But as we entered the last sharp curve, one of us called our attention to the left side. There was a cross on the ground, immediately above the cross was an advertisment banner for a gold shop. but someone had filled the eyes of the model in the advertisment with fluorescent red that the eyes alone glowed bright above the cross. For a moment, the hairs stood up in our head and had lot of goose pimples runing around before we could drive into the safety of our hotel by 8pm.

Munnar..the lush green hills with the tea gardens and cool climate. As i woke up and looked out through the window into the unending greenery, i felt a surge of energy flow through me. We had no particular destiantion in Munnar. So we decided to take a trip to Marayur, which is about 35 Kms and if driven in a sedate manner, would take about 2 hours drive. Marayur is famous for its sandalwood forest and natural beauty with paddy field in the valleys of towering mountain. A picture is worth 1000 words and hence, I'm posting some of the snaps to make a photo journey of the trip.

I apologize to you guys for such a long article. But the monsoon magic now is sending lots of writing bugs or travel bugs to bite me now..I've uploaded some snaps, but unfortunately couldn't name it or make a description. The snaps are in order, starting from Thekkady. In case, you guys feel positive, i would write more on the experinces in and around Munnar and then the trip thro Adimali-Thodupuzha-Cheuthoni with more snaps.
Attached Thumbnails
Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-1.-view-thekkady-boat-jetty-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-25.-boating-thekkady-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-25a.-boating-thekkady-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-3.-elephant-sighting-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-4.-enroute-munnar-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-5.-lonely-roads..-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-6.looking-up-heavens-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-8.-taking-break-nedumkandom-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-9.-we-climbed-up-nedumkandom-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-9.-churches-churches-every-where-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-11.-1st-sight-munnar-night-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-12.-velley-enroute-marayur-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-13.-brothers-arms-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-14.-when-clouds-came-back-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-15.-misty-morning-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-16.-near-marayur-checkpost-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-17.-marayur-town-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-18.-tata-tea-estate-kannan-deval-hills-.jpg  

Attached Images
  
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Old 6th November 2008, 12:49   #2
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Default Munnar Pics Continued..

I'm uploading some more pics of the trip..
Attached Thumbnails
Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-21.-thats-munnar-you-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-22.-dried-up-canal-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-23.-view-hotel-room-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-24.-evening-mist-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-25.-look-clouds-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-26.-sunset-kannan-devan-hill-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-27.-waterfall-near-devikulam-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-28.-days-comes-end-.jpg  

Thekkady & Munnar In A Rainy Season-29.-early-morning..-.jpg  

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Old 6th November 2008, 13:07   #3
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Very nice indeed!! Driving in rain with lush green surroundings is indeed very pleasing- provided no one is chanting prayers!!

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Originally Posted by Mysticeyes View Post
But none were open due to some local holiday and we continued to drive on.
In God's own country, that is called "Bandh" or "Hartal"

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Originally Posted by Mysticeyes View Post
In case, you guys feel positive, i would write more on the experinces in and around Munnar and then the trip thro Adimali-Thodupuzha-Cheuthoni with more snaps.
+ve from me. Please do so
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Old 6th November 2008, 13:13   #4
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Beutifull, Beautifull, Beautifull, I am totaly spell bound seeing the pics...Our country is so beautifull, Makes me feel so proud to be an Indian.

I being in the North of India have always considered as Himalayas the only getaway for hills, greenry and waterfalls, but reading more and more travelogues in the South i am certainly inclined to have our next holiday here.

Thanks Mysticeyes for sharing this with us and waiting to see more of such beautifull pics.
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Old 6th November 2008, 13:22   #5
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Did you eat those home made chocolates from Munnar? wow
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Old 6th November 2008, 13:52   #6
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couldn't get the home made chocolates. but could manage with the fresh tea straight from the tea factories and yummy cardamom. It's beyond words to describe the experience of the journey. that's why i've put in more pics. It's the wonderful isolation you feel and the crisp air which is so cool.

Eventhough Munnar and Marayur belongs to Kerala, you feel more like in Tamilnadu because of the geographical proximity to areas such as Kambam, Theni etc.
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Old 6th November 2008, 14:03   #7
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wow! what pics man ,you have beautifully captured it in the pics! it makes u feel as if u are seeing scotland ! this sure is a must visit place during the rains!
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Old 6th November 2008, 14:36   #8
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wonderful pics - very lively.
So, you went in the Accent and not the Fabia?
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Old 6th November 2008, 14:43   #9
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Nice pics. Go ahead and write the some more experiences and do upload some more pics.
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Old 6th November 2008, 14:48   #10
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Originally Posted by MuraliR View Post
wonderful pics - very lively.
So, you went in the Accent and not the Fabia?
this trip was back in 2007 buddy. got my fabia in august 2008 only some journies are timeless. that may be why i felt like posting it now
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Old 6th November 2008, 14:50   #11
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Pictures are very nice my eyes long to catch such a glimpse of serene greeny.... By the way guys how is MC road faring last time i went through that sorry excuse for a road , the asphalt was almost non existant especially between ......
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Old 6th November 2008, 14:52   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticeyes
Eventhough Munnar and Marayur belongs to Kerala, you feel more like in Tamilnadu because of the geographical proximity to areas such as Kambam, Theni etc.
Those people who are now inhabitants of tamilnad bordering highranges are actually bought here in munnar for as tea plantation workers.as of now ,they got colonies and such.
Especially I feel pity for the cleanliness those have in Munnar town.it definitely is not a Malayali town.Only from adimali that We feel it is our own.

and MC Road is kind of good in condition upto kottayam.
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Old 6th November 2008, 15:30   #13
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[quote=Mysticeyes;1042833]Monsoon..the thought of the magical season conjures up the images of dark sky, wet leaves, umbrellas popping up all over and the afternoon chilly winds. It was on such a day that the travel bug bit us and we decided to pack off from Trivandrum to Munnar via Thekkady by road.

Mysticeyes:
Sir, your article and pictures transported but then I didn't expect anything less. Keep it up.
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Old 6th November 2008, 15:31   #14
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Those people who are now inhabitants of tamilnad bordering highranges are actually bought here in munnar for as tea plantation workers.as of now ,they got colonies and such.
Especially I feel pity for the cleanliness those have in Munnar town.it definitely is not a Malayali town.Only from adimali that We feel it is our own.

and MC Road is kind of good in condition upto kottayam.
It's pretty true and a sad fact too. Even Munnar has changed a lot (for negative) over last couple of years wit hotels nd resorts destroying the landscape. Pity the administration who gives sanction without any kind of planning. May be thats what made the Munnar-Marayur trip more enjoyable as places were less inhabited.

Same with the case of our glorious backwaters too. I've been taking a houseboat cruise almost every year from 2001 and with each passing year, the water color has changed due to pollution and the 'houseboat traffic' is almost bumper to bumper like
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Old 6th November 2008, 15:50   #15
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great pics, mysticeyes ! Post more. The more, the merrier.
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