- Benjamin John
Off beat things to do in Munnar, escape the crowds
Updated: Sep 30, 2019
Munnar is one of the prime tourist destinations in South India; it could be the most visited hill station in South India. There is no wonder if the most popular hill station becomes so crowded that there would be more "tourists", than what Munnar could occupy. This hilly town was not designed to be so crowded; rather it was a junction point where the roads from Coimbatore, Kumily (Thekkady), and Cochin meet. In recent times there has been a lot of incidents where the town was just choking with people and traffic, leading to bigger traffic chaos, most of this happens during long weekends where weekenders flow into Munnar. The most common fact that contributes to this is the so-called "sightseeing tour of Munnar" where tourists would need to pass by Munnar town, to go to the most visited places like Eravikulam National Park which is on the Coimbatore direction and Mattupetty dam on the Top Station direction, the old Kodaikanal road which is not closed after Kilavarai. Escape from the crowd and explore the off beat things in Munnar with Green Earth Trails. So here we are putting up a few things to do and places to visit cheating the routine drama of "Munnar Sightseeing."
Visit High range club is something unique and special; the club was formed during the British era in Munnar for the officers of the Kanan Devan Hill Produce Company. Check out the blog post that gives you brief idea about the Plantation History of Munnar. The club was mostly used by Britishers and is a chest of the history of the tea plantations of Munnar. The club still exists in its very own charm, and a has a nine-hole golf course. There are hats of the prominent officers hung in one of the rooms, plus many of the things you see around here date back many decades. The hills around Munnar was once dense forest. There have been many hunting expeditions that were carried here. There are many horns of Sambar deer, and Indian Guars hung up here at the club. If you have prior permission or notice, one could have a delicious lunch at this club and enjoy the legacy of the pioneering tea planters of Munnar.
Srishti is an aided project from the house of TATAs, who predominantly hold most of the share of the Kanan Devan Hill Produce Company (KDHP). They also own more than 80 percent of the tea plantations in Munnar. Srishti means creation; the existence of Srishti is to empower the physically challenged children and women mostly from the worker's community of KDHP. They make different hand-made paper products, where visitors could purchase if they liked any. Another unit operates here where they do cloth designing and fabric painting. A school for the mentally challenged named as DARE School also functions as part of Srishti. A visit here will give you a different perspective and stories of empowerment less known from Munnar.
Visit the lock-heart tea factory is about walking to an old tea factory around 45 minutes from the town center. Most of the tea factories in Munnar do not permit visitors. There are just a few, that allow guests or explain about the process that merely leaves to a rejuvenating beverage. The factory follows the Crush tear and curl method which is a mechanized system compared to the traditional orthodox tea production method. The Kolukumalai tea factory would be among the few tea factories that follow the seven-step orthodox method of tea production. Tea tasting session would be a great eye-opener to the world of tea taste and flavors.
The Munnar vegetable market is well-organized market inside the town. The market and bazaars are an interesting place to walk around. Shopping options are almost nil, except for some spices, the bazar are intended for the need of the local workers and people in an around Munnar. There are many vegetable farms remote to Munnar after top station, mostly towards Koviloor and Kottakamboor. Most of the vegetables from here that includes cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and strawberries come to Munnar market for sale. It's a neat and well-organized market selling provisions, vegetables, fruits, and meat.
The hills around Munnar offer some of the beautiful places for walks and treks, most of these are half day tours which will extend up to four hours. Apart from the local nearby walks there are interesting trek and camping routes near Munnar. Munnar town is mostly a valley, and the hills around them offer some of the most stunning views of the rolling hills around of the Western Ghats. It is always a guided program, where the guide does the "walk the talk" as you proceed. It is these stories that give you a perspective as to what the real stories of Munnar are associated with its past, and without these stories, Munnar is just another hill town in Kerala with a lot of tea plantations around, some beautiful lakes, hills, and valleys. Chokanad Top or Letchi hill walk, either of these hills ranges near Munnar town gives you a chance to walk through tea plantation and rolling grasslands where you get an ultimate view of the hill ranges of the Western Ghats.
Exploring the off beat things to do in Munnar will be totally different and memorable experience for you. Check out the list of Kerala Tours that we have on offer, the itineraries will give you a clear idea about how carefully the programs are designed.
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