After all how much honey can the bees gather from a sea of blue flowers!?
Tata Tea Museum
The frigid air in the town is redolent with the smell of spices and tea. Perhaps the best place to catch the spirit of Munnar is the Tate Tea Museum located at the Nallathanni estate. The museum will give an idea about the history of tea in Munnar. Early planters from England and Scotland tried many other plants like coffee before they experimented the soil with tea saplings. They took root. The museum also showcases the process of making tea, right from drying leaf tips to the automated machines that produce tea dust for commercial purposes.
You want to climb to the highest altitude in Munnar to see what the place looks like from the heaven? Anamudi being the tallest peak in the Western Ghats and South India is of course close by, but being part of the core forest area, it is off limits for the casual traveler. Don’t lose heart, for there is an equally charming mountain crest in Munnar - the Top Station. From there, it needs the best of alignment of your lucky stars to get a clear view of the valleys deep below, for most of the time, they will be shrouded in thick mist. But the moment the fog rolls over and the valleys emerge from the depths, you’d stand breathless lapping up the mesmerizing beauty of what your eyes take in.
Mattupetty dam, the lake and its lush green surroundings are places that will engage you for a whole day. You can ride in a boat to savour the stunning appeal of the wild. Elephants are often seen on the banks of the river taking bath.
Another important thing you should not fail to visit is the Indo Swiss dairy farm project near the dam. The project launched in 1963 as part of the agreement between India and the Swiss government has its aim of producing high yielding cattle. The sight of the bovines grazing freely on the lush green meadows and valleys would remind of you postcards you get from Switzerland. Kerala Livestock Development and Milk Marketing Board are currently operating the project
Marayoor, Kanthallur, Chinnar
If you want to delve deep beyond Munnar to see what is tucked beyond the obvious in Idukki, you’d soon find some real gems glistening in beauty. The village of Kanthallur, with its unique topography and climate, is a perfect place to unwind after a long drive. Spend a whole day walking through orchards checking how ripe oranges are or join the farmers and do cherry picking if the season is perfect. On the way, before you climb the hill to reach the village, you suddenly stop and inhale. The air is redolent with sandalwood. You are in Marayoor, where the largest Sandalwood forest of the state is located. This is also home to the famous Marayoor jaggery which is produced from sugarcane grown in the locality.
Or if you are the one whose first love is the jungle, Chinnar, 48 kilometers from Munnar, waits for you with its assortment of escapades. A walk through the jungle to Thoovanam waterfalls will be an experience you’d treasure for a lifetime.
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