India

Your Guide to a Picturesque Road Trip to Munnar

Lush green tea estates in Munnar

Envision a place that takes you through an amazing sensory expedition and every time you take a step further, it holds you back to soak in the aroma one last time. Brightly colored houses, lush green tea estates, low lying clouds, shy but ever-smiling locals – Munnar is a different world of its own full of beauty, charm, and surprises.

Click here to know how to reach Munnar

You must be thinking why one needs to read about such a popular destination beforehand. With Munnar being one of the most preferred destinations where tourists flock from all parts of the world, it still has some unexplored parts slightly less untouched. And it goes without saying that one gets the perk of soaking in the beauty of these places in solitude. So let’s get started.

1. Staying at the Wind, Chinnakanal, Munnar

Imagine waking up every morning to hear the chirping of the birds, see the sun’s golden rays kiss the mist-clad hills. watch the clouds as they drift away slowly and sip tea on the balcony with a panoramic view of the green valley. We got to experience all of this during our stay at the Wind. 23 km away from Munnar town, the resort is secluded from the city hustle bustle and is nestled on the cliff’s edge.

Click here for the Google Maps Location

We stayed in the cliff edge cottage that offered tantalizing views of the green valleys and misty mountains. With a limited number of cottages, you also tend to enjoy the solitude at the resort. However, the downside is that you have to book way in advance to get to stay here. Funnily though, we were so intent on staying here that we postponed our Munnar trip once due to unavailability of any rooms here.

A special mention to George, the hotel manager who accommodated all of our requests, the hotel chef who customized all our meals as per our liking and the staff who always wore a smile and made us feel like at home.

The breathtaking view of the valley from our cottage balcony

These beautiful birds paid a visit to us every morning in our cottage balcony

2. Sunrise from the Kolukkumalai Peak

I feel the sky above changing colors, I feel the mist in the air, I feel the mountains around me, I feel the flora and fauna awakening, I feel the rays of the rising sun, I feel blessed, I feel contended !!

Some places should be seen with your own eyes to believe that they do exist. One and a half hours away from our resort, the Kolukkumalai Peak is snuggled in the clouds and is more magical than what we could manage to capture. We still remember this morning as if it was yesterday – the chill in the air, the serenity and the magic unwrapping as the sun rose and lit the mountains.

Kolukkumalai is home to the highest tea plantations in the world and is also famous for its panoramic views and the rugged mountains that surround it. Undoubtedly the best Sunrise spot in Munnar.

Click here for the location on Google Maps

The beautiful sky changing colors just before the sunrise

Breathtaking sunrise view from the Kolukklumalai Peak

Kolukkumalai was around one and a half hours away from our resort (if staying around Munnar town do start two hours before the sunrise, you don’t want to reach the peak after a bumpy ride and still miss the magical sunrise). George was kind enough to arrange for a Jeep for us and we woke up and started from the resort before the crack of the dawn around 4:30 AM. After 60 min of an extremely bumpy ride and a couple of hairpin bends, we reached the Kolukkumalai peak.

The memorable bumpy ride to the Kolukkumalai peak that shook us, literally 😀

Believe us you won’t regret starting at 4 AM and going up a rugged road, the magical sunrise and panoramic views at the peak make up for it

The panoramic view of the Western Ghats from the Kolukkumalai Peak

Watching the sunrise in its full glory

Kolukkumalai Tea Estate

The Panoramic view of the Kolukkumalai Tea Estate

3. Chinnakanal

Chinnakanal has some stunning panoramic landscapes in its vicinity with some major attractions like Lockhart Tea Estate, Periyakanal Tea Factory, Power House Waterfalls and Anayirangal Dam amongst others which one can enjoy by avoiding the hordes of tourists. We found Chinnakanal to be more calm and serene than Munnar. We spent hours driving around in Chinnakanal and stopping at every nook and corner to capture its beauty through the lens

Click here for the location on Google Maps

the beautiful roads of Chinnakanal

Periyakanal Tea Estate

Walking through the beautiful tea plantations soaking in the sights and aroma

Taking a stroll in the lush tea estates near the Power House Waterfalls

4. Lockhart Tea Estate

“Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else”

We realized the true meaning of the wise words by Lawrence Block in Munnar. After having a great time in Chinnakanal, we decided to explore some popular tourist spots around Munnar town on the third day. Being a weekend that day, we hired a chauffeured car for the whole day to save ourselves from driving in heavy traffic and wasting time in looking for parking spots. Although after witnessing hordes of tourists at all the spots we decided to head back early. But as luck would have it, we crossed one of the most charming and picturesque tea estates of Munnar on our way back to Chinnakanal – The Lockhart Tea Estate. And we got really lucky to watch the sun setting behind the manicured tea estates across the rolling hills.

Quick Tip: We paid around 1200 bucks for the full day car rental and would strongly recommend hiring a car if you plan to  peacefully visit the tourist spots near the Munnar town over the weekend

Click here for the location on Google Maps

Lush green tea estates in Munnar

Lush green tea estates in Munnar as far as the eye can see

 

The Sunset from Lockhart Tea Estate was just breathtaking

Lockhart Tea Estate

The Panoramic view of the Lockhart Tea Estate

Apart from the pristine Tea Estates, here’s a list of other things to see and do in the area

  1. Mattupetty Dam and Lake
  2. Anayirankal Dam and Lake
  3. Echo Point
  4. Spice Garden
  5. Horticulture Garden
  6. Top Station

Getting There

The most convenient way to reach Munnar is to fly to Kochi and rent a car from there (Munnar is approx 160 km away from Kochi). But given the excellent conditions of highways in South India, we decided to do a road trip all the way to Munnar from Bangalore. With Shivani not well versed in highway driving meant that I only had to drive all the way to Munnar. Since our resort was in Chinnakanal (23 km from Munnar towards South) we decided to break our journey at Dindigul. We started from Bangalore in the afternoon hours to halt and spend the night at Dindigul and cover the rest of the distance in the morning to reach Munnar. Dindigul was a much bigger town than we expected. We stayed at Praniv Plaza, a budgeted hotel, located in the heart of the town and okay to spend a night. When in Dindigul, you can also treat your taste buds with the Thalapakattu biryani but brace yourself with some spiciness

Click here for the Google Maps Directions

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    Shades of Words
    April 17, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    Really like how this post is organized. I also think this post has some of your most stunning photography. Just one thing – if you are quoting writers and poets – you may want to mention who they are 😉 Unless this is your own writing 🙂

  • Reply
    Neha singh
    May 30, 2018 at 2:48 am

    Amazingly written!! Earlier i was a fan of your photography skills and now writing skills too and Shivani in the pictures is like cherry on cake 😍 I’ m definitely going to visit this beautiful heavenly place in india and i know who to contact. Keep up the good work and keep writing such beautiful blogs, its such a delite for readers. 😊

    • Reply
      TheTravellerLens
      June 6, 2018 at 2:47 am

      And you are such a sweetheart ☺️. Thanks a lot !!

  • Reply
    Neha Shrimali
    May 29, 2018 at 6:25 am

    Your camera does wonders… precise write up helps in creating overall picture.. beautiful places captured very beautifully and tastefully. Keep it up Rohit Shivani ❤

    • Reply
      TheTravellerLens
      June 6, 2018 at 2:45 am

      Thanks a lot neha for your kind words 🤗🤗

  • Reply
    Pradeep
    May 28, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Amazing travelogue. Definitely some strong tips about visiting less visited places and hiring a car is a life saver. We experienced the same thing in Wayanad! A good with knowledge of the locality makes so much sense. Would live to down fn more time at a tea estate next time

    • Reply
      TheTravellerLens
      June 6, 2018 at 2:44 am

      Hey Pradeep, really glad that you found the blog post informative. Do visit chinnakanal next time you head to Munnar, it’s not to be missed !!

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