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MUNNAR



As you browse the mountains, your eyes will be awe-inspiring of the range of tea plantations surrounded with various green hues of deep dense shrubs of tea.The flora and fauna of glowing purple, orange and yellow flowers lurk in the midst of the bare plantations. The breath-taking scenery will be forever embedded into your minds. The looming descent of the mountainous hill station will mesmerise you in a thousand ways.Witness the giant beehives manufacturing honey to its purest form, from the tall trees around the bends of the winding-roads. Smell the strong eucalyptus leaves scent of the trees from your windows. This scent is fantastically strong for miles along.

As you drive through the mountains, spot the cows grazing on the lush green grass of the mountains, as in Switzerland. This is famously known as Indus-Swiss Farming. Also, catch sight of the Indian elephants grazing the leaves of the trees around the mountains.The woods of the forest are embraced of thick and thin trees of various shades of brown and white. The brilliance of the trees, are covered with wild fruit, flora and fauna.


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AROUND MUNNAR

Mattupetty Dam

Cradled by the undulating plantation hills of Munnar, and not far away from the Anamudi peak is Mattupetty Dam. Situated in the famous hill town of Munnar, Mattupetty located 13 km from Munnar and is situated at a height of 1700 m, brings about a bountiful of lush terrains and brilliance of water colours.

Mattupetty Dam is a natural delight for nature lovers. As your five senses are on, do preserve the sense of touch of the cool breeze blowing through your hair, and leaving a tickling sensation on your skin. The dam speaks through its sparkling lake of glistening green and bright blue water. Including a portraying a pool of fish, for the local fishermen. Around Mattupetty, are small local shops for your essential needs, like bottled water or simple Kerala artefacts.

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Echo Point

This scenic place gets its name from the natural echo phenomenon here. From Munnar, a well-known place called Echo Point is situated on the way to a place called Top Station. It is a short stop-over for tourists visiting The Highest Point in Munnar.

The rare Neelakurinji (Strobilanthus) blooms here. Neelakurinji is a shrub that is found in the Shola forests of the Western Ghats in Kerala. The blue mountains called Nilgiri Hills, got their name from the purplish blue flowers of Neelakurinji that blossoms gregariously only once in 12 years. A fascinating fact, Paliyan tribal people apparently use it to calculate their age.

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Eravikulam National Park

During the years before 1900, the Nilgiri Tahr was outright poached for leisure. Therefore in 1900, Nilgiri Wildlife Assocation was formed, to monitor indiscriminate killing of the Tahr (Mountain Goat) and other animals. As the years went on in 1975, Eravikulam declared a santuary for the Tahr. Since then, The endangered Nilgiri Tahr is now a protected animal.   Board the National Park bus. The drive up to the mountain is about 10 – 15 min. De-board the bus, and walk up the hill to spot the Nilgiri Tahr Mountain Goat. You will be dazzled, as it is spread over 97 sq. km., this park holds the largest viable population of Tahr, several other species of rare animals, birds and butterflies. The park offers a magnificent view of the tea plantations and also of the rolling hills caressed by blankets of mist. The highest peak, South of Himalayas is Anamudy (2,695m.), which is located within the park. . One expensive flower to spot is the Orchid. They have various colours in white, purple and pink. The park becomes a paradise destination when the hill slopes get covered in a carpet of bubbling blue, resulting from the flowering of Neelakurinji. Neelakurinji is a plant endemic to this part of the Western Ghats, which blooms once in twelve years

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Kundala Dam

It is a picturesque place, about 20 km from Munnar on the way to Top Station. It is at a height of 1700 meters above sea level. It is located at a distance of 20 kilometers from Munnar. In Kundala, red cherry blossoms in the meadow appear twice in a year. The famous NeelaKurunji flowers which bloom once in twelve years, glorify the hills and valleys around Kundala Lake. There is an artificial dam in Kundala, which is a major attraction here. It is Asia’s first Arch dam. The boating experience at this dam is a wonderful experience as you row into the deepest part of the Lake, breathing in the fresh air, scintillating the glorious mountains around you. Truly paradise!

The well maintained boating facilities namely pedal boats, Kashmiri shikkara boats and row boats are available at Kundala Dam, on rent creating a tranquilized cruise. Do two things at Kundala or near it. Firstly, drink the tender orange coconut water from the vendors, the sweet nectar is delectable! Secondly, eat the exotic passion fruit, which is realllllllly affordable. The passion fruit across other states of India are really expensive, but Kerala is amazingly cheap by about 80% cheaper.

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The beginning of tea – Tea Musuem Visit

Tata Tea recently opened a Tea Museum which houses curious, photographs and machineries, each depicting a turning point that contributed to a flourishing tea industry, as seen today in the region. The museum set up at the Nallathanni Estate of Tata Tea in Munnar is a fitting tribute to the challenges of its pioneers, who showed utmost determination and were resolute in their efforts to transform Munnar into a major tea plantation centre of Kerala.

Some of the attention grabbing machinery, which was used for the tea plantation, during the British reign have been shown on display. Various machinery such as, Rotorvane is an art! A demonstration room for tea tasting is another attraction where one would come across different varieties of tea.

Those eager to understand the nuances of tea processing can do so at the CTC and orthodox tea-manufacturing unit at the museum.

The museum authorities are allowing tourists to pluck tea leaves themselves and have them processed in their presence.