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Old 9th January 2022, 13:19   #1
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Default Trip to Munnar in a Tata Altroz

Prologue

We bought our brand new Altroz in March 2021. Ever since then, the COVID-19 cases in Kerala has been rising. We did not get a chance for a long trip for quite some time. Finally, the COVID situation started to stabilize from October. But we could not plan any travel in October and November as Kerala has been receiving extremely heavy rainfalls during that period which caused floods in many parts of Kerala.

Come December, we started our travel plans. Family was against very long trips due to multiple reasons, so we have reviewed our short distance options.

My preference was Kumarakom, but nobody liked the idea of staying in a houseboat overnight. They felt it is too boring. So, dropped the idea. Other option was Munnar, which is 100km far from our home. Everyone agreed to it. We initially planned for 2 nights trip, but hotel charges were exorbitant due to holiday season. Finally we decided to keep it as just one night stay. We booked 2 rooms at Casa Montana which is located at central Munnar on 26th December.

Day of journey

Altroz ready to get loaded-
Trip to Munnar in a Tata Altroz-20211226_080440.jpg


And the route to Munnar-
Trip to Munnar in a Tata Altroz-route.png

My uncle who has been to Munnar many times suggested that we start at 5 AM so that we could cover few attractions before reaching the hotel. But, 5AM and me, it never happens !

Our journey started at 8AM. Google map predicted approx. 2.5 hours of journey. With some buffer time in hand, I was hoping to reach by 12 noon, which is the check-in time for the hotel.

The route we took was from Muvattupuzha -> Kothamangalam -> Neryamangalam -> Adimali -> Munnar. The forest area starts shortly after crossing Neryamangalam city.

Few pics from Neryamangalam-
Trip to Munnar in a Tata Altroz-20211226_094915.jpg
Trip to Munnar in a Tata Altroz-20211226_094940.jpg

My father who is 70 years old now, has been driving the car. I found that his driving style has improved lot since we got Altroz. Far more stable. He used to drive the 2007 model Alto earlier.

The weather has been superb since we entered the forest road. AC was not required. Air was so fresh and cool.
Our first formal stop was at Cheeyamchira waterfalls. Since Kerala has been receiving good rains till end of November, the waterfall was in good health. It was a treat to our eyes. Photos somehow did not do justice its beauty.
We paid 50 rupees to a professional photographer get our family pic clicked and printed. People don't print photos in this smartphone era, I know. But this is a souvenir to me. Also I am not a selfie expert.

On the downside, the place was too crowded. People were literally queuing up to take selfies near the waterfall. It was just a hint of what is awaiting us!
Trip to Munnar in a Tata Altroz-20211226_102829.jpg
For the benefit of those who plan to travel to Munnar, a well maintained public toilet is available at this place.

After a short break, we continued our journey. We did not stop at Valara waterfalls, which is another tourist attraction. That place too was overcrowded.

Another stop for refreshments-
Trip to Munnar in a Tata Altroz-20211226_115118.jpg
It has been almost 70 kms since we left home. I took over the wheel from this point. Altroz MID has been showing 16+kmpl even though we were climbing for quite some time. Found it impressive. Once we crossed Adimali city, the traffic has become very slow. It was literally at Snail's pace. I realized that many people have headed to Munnar on the same day. Holiday season and a Sunday after pandemic threat is reduced in Kerala! The traffic continued to be slow till we reached the entrance of our hotel, Casa Montana at 12:45 pm. The mileage has dropped to 13.7 by then.
Trip to Munnar in a Tata Altroz-milage.png
Trip to Munnar in a Tata Altroz-casamontana.jpg
Although it was noon time with good sunlight, the weather was cool. No sweater required, it just felt perfect.
Check-in has been hassle free. Rooms are well maintained and of good quality. Room offered a good view to the near by mountain tea plantation.
Family pic with some good backdrop-
Trip to Munnar in a Tata Altroz-familiypic.jpg

We ordered food to room assuming that food will arrive while we settle down. It was a mistake! The food did not come even after 45 minutes. I went down to the restaurant to check on the delay. The restaurant was full and there were only 2 staff to serve them! Spoke to one of them & he promised that food will be prepared and send to room on priority. It took another 30 minutes for the food to come.

Finally we left the hotel for sightseeing at 3:30 pm. I was hopeful that we could cover photopoint, Mattupetti dam and Echopoint the same day. All of them are in the same route. Also Top station is after echo point which we were not planning to cover. Munnar town was very crowded & traffic was in snail's pace. I was relying on google map to guide me. Photo point was the first destination I was planning to reach as it was showing very close from hotel. But the junction in Munnar town had many diversions that I got lost the picked the wrong route. It took a while to come back to the main road again. Then we decided to ditch photo point and head straight to Mattupetti dam as we were losing time. We reached the same junction again, I was very careful this time and managed to navigate to the right route. I was bit sad initially since we had to skip photo point, but the mesmerizing views of this route has changed our mood completely. The greenery was breathtaking!
Trip to Munnar in a Tata Altroz-20211226_163646-1.jpg

The disappointment of missing photo point turned into excitement as we progressed on the route. The path was so beautiful! We wanted to stop every few meters and explore. But we could not as there was considerable amount of traffic in the route and there was not enough space to park the car. As we approached the dam, the traffic slowed down again and eventually come to a halt. Someone has parked his car in such a way that it completely halted the oncoming traffic. It took a while to get that sorted out and we started moving again. But we were moving very slowly. Finally we reached the dam! But the place was so crowded that we were not even allowed to halt there. So, we crossed the dam and stopped at a place which is closer to the entrance of the boat riding facility. By the time it was already 5 pm which means no more entries to the park. We went back in the car and moved forward. Traffic was again slow. After 30 minutes we reached closer to echo point. Echo point is inside the reserve forest. One has to pass through a forest check-post to reach there. We stopped just before the vendor street at Echo point to have tea and snacks.

Trip to Munnar in a Tata Altroz-20211226_174412.jpg
What you see behind is the reservoir area of Mattupetti dam.


With kids-
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Again we got a family picture clicked by professional photographer who charged 100 INR for the print.
Top station was on the same route, probably few more kilometers. But we decided to wind up for the day as it was getting darker. We had spent good 1 hour at Echo point. Hence I hoped that the traffic we encountered while coming has eased now. Reality was different though! It actually took us 3 hours to cover approximately 5km distance back to hotel. By the time we reached the hotel, the restaurant was closed. It was a good amount of struggle for me arrange food that night. Eventually I managed to get it from Hotel Silver tips which is located approx. 1km far from Casa Montana. After having food, we retreated to our rooms for a good sleep.

Day 2
After having breakfast, we went for a small walk to visit the nearby places. We returned at 10:30 am and proceeded for checkout.
Clicked by security during checkout
Trip to Munnar in a Tata Altroz-20211227_112342.jpg

After checkout, we proceeded to Hydel park which is very close to the hotel. Hydel park has ample space for parking. They charge 100 rs as parking charge and 30 rs per head as entry ticket to aquarium. This park is promoted by Kerala electricity board and is a good place to relax. I wouldn't really call it a tourist destination. Aquarium is not having anything to exciting. There is a shop inside the park where you can purchase good quality tea powder. So, if you are on a tight schedule, just skip this this spot.


Hydel park
Trip to Munnar in a Tata Altroz-img_20211227_115253.jpg
Trip to Munnar in a Tata Altroz-img_20211227_114239.jpg
Trip to Munnar in a Tata Altroz-hydel1.jpg


After spending quality time at Hydel park, we decided to have lunch before proceeding to next point. We had lunch hotel silver tips which is situated at central Munnar. Food quality was good.

Next destination was Anamudi, which is the highest peak of South India. But upon checking the maps, we found that another point called Pothamedu is near to our location.
We went by google maps and it took us through a narrow non tarmac road. I was wondering how come the road which leads to a famous place can be this bad! Later I realized that we are going through the back side of the Hydel park! So, Pothamedu was a just a 2 minutes drive from Hydel park.

Pothamedu:
Trip to Munnar in a Tata Altroz-pathamedu.jpg

On the way to Anamudi
Trip to Munnar in a Tata Altroz-altroz.jpg
Trip to Munnar in a Tata Altroz-save_20211228_173336.jpg

View of the beautiful Anamudi peak. This is south India's highest mountain peak.
Trip to Munnar in a Tata Altroz-anamudi.jpg

It was 5:30 pm by the time we returned from Anamudi. Hence we returned straight to home, which took approximately 3 hours of time.
It was a busy schedule during the peak season, still we enjoyed every bit of the journey and the places we visited. Good lessons learnt too. Definitely planning to visit Munnar one more time and cover places we could not visit/were crowed this time. I will update here whenever that happens.

One last note about the car - Altroz performed flawlessly throughout the journey. It handled the Munnar roads with ease and instilled confidence in me.

Thank you for taking time to read this.

Last edited by pradeep_mvpa : 20th March 2022 at 22:45.
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Old 21st March 2022, 06:34   #2
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Default re: Trip to Munnar in a Tata Altroz

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 8th April 2022, 00:59   #3
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Default Re: Trip to Munnar in a Tata Altroz

Thanks for sharing, some experiences shared will definitely help others.

I'm curious to know how did the Altroz performed with fully load on hills and traffic conditions?
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