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Monthly Archives: April 2017

If a rejuvenating holiday is all you want, avoid these in Munnar

There are many reasons why we choose to go on a holiday. Sometimes it is to explore the local natural beauty to its fullest, sometimes we are looking for adventure not found in our daily lives. But every once in a while we seek a holiday to do nothing. Just a simple break in the midst of nature where you can put your feet up and soak in the goodness of nature.

 

I’m having a great time in Munnar. It’s my second day here and I am enjoying every minute of it. Since this is my 3rd trip to the place I am okay if one doesn’t make the best of every moment, but if you are here for your first trip here, it would help to know what is worth investing your time in. If you are looking to make the best of your time here and are looking for more of a relaxing holiday to just soak in the beauty, here’s my pick of some popular tourist attractions one can avoid.

 
1. Eravikulam National Park – the much popularised national park is a good 1 hour drive away from the main city and does not have much to offer in terms of wild life. The main attraction, the Neel Giri Tahr, is actually just a mountain goat. So if the call of the wild goat doesn’t excite you, choose from among the many interesting activities you can do at the resort or just catch a nice afternoon siesta.

 

2. Madupetty Dam – A north Indian tourist, who has has seen the great and gurgling dams of the Himachal, will find nothing great about this calm and serene dam of Kerala. Especially if your trip is just before the monsoons, one can totally give this one a pass.

 

3. Flower Show – the valley has some very beautiful flora and one can spend hours with the beautiful flowers in all colours and shapes. But if you are short on time, and the objective of your holiday is to chill and bond with your family, opt out. Take a walk in the organic garden your resort will no doubt have.

 

So choose your itinerary smartly. Put in a bit of research to understand what each place has to offer and then plan your stay to make the best of your holiday. A tick mark holiday where we must do everything and have pictures of every possible tourist spot to show back home is so not worth it.

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2017 in Nature, travel

 

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A Walk in the Clouds

I woke up this morning to find that overnight our resort had lost its earthly anchor and floated up to the devine devloks. Atleast that’s what it looked like from my window. No where could I see the lush hills of Munnar covered with tea gardens. I rushed out and sat on the hills, marvelling at this feeling of being on top of the world.

As I sat gazing at the carpet of clouds, I could feel a change coming over them. The snowy clouds started to turn a beautiful shade of gold. Still in my sleep fuzzed and wonderstruck state, it took me some time to understand what was happening. I was witnessing a beautiful sunrise on the hills!

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As the golden rays of the rising sun touched the clouds and the hills, the whole valley glowed with a beautiful shade of orange. Soon the clouds departed and the sun-kissed, misty hills reappeared.

This is how I started my morning trek to the Sita Devi Lake on top of the hills of Munnar. My guide chose an easy trek for us city-trekkers and a half hour later we found ourselves near a beautiful lake. The clear waters reflected the canopy of trees and gentle hills surrounding it from all sides. Nestled among the thick forest of Munnar, this pristine lake took my breath away.

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As we sat at its banks, the first rays of the golden sun filtered through the thick forest and created the illusion of a devine harp. Sitting by the lake we were surrounded by the melodious exchange of the Malabar Whistling Thrush, calling out to their mates.

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Posted by on April 27, 2017 in Nature, travel

 

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A Walk in Fragrant Gardens on the Hills of Munnar

When people like me step out of our cozy and comfortable four walls, we find ourselves wonder struck by how refreshing the natural way of living can be. Everyday when we need vegetables it means a trip to the local market or ordering online, owing to the busy lives we lead. There is a contant fight between my 9 year old and me if I decide to step out and wish to take him with me. But imagine if I were to tell him to step out in the garden and pluck some fresh organic cabbage or brinjals, the conversation would be completely different I imagine. When he was little his pre-school teacher once informed me that they were going on a fruits and vegetable filed trip the next day. Over-joyed and congratulating myself for choosing a hands-on school for my jigar ka tukda, I asked her which orchard or farm they were going to. I was promptly informed that the trip was to the local super market where the children will see a wide variety of fruits and vegetables displayed. 😐

But yesterday morning I found myself walking in a beautifully laid out organic garden where more than 30 varieties of fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs were grown. I could not help but wish we had something like this in the city so that kids could see how these things actually grow rather than just sold.

 

I have never seen cabbages as big as these or mint smelling as fresh as to carry its whiff IMG_20170426_104837107-1across the garden. The sweet taste of freshly plucked fennel was far more refreshing than any sugar coated fennel we find in the markets. I was amazed to find how easy it is to do this ourselves if only we find the time and passion to dedicate some of effort and resources to it.

The interesting part I got to know is that while it is good for us to consume these fresh and organically grown fruits and vegetable, it also adds to the bio-diversity of the area. The waste from the plants are used as manure for the garden and the vermi-compost pit ensures there is no need to ever use chemical based fertilizers, making this a truly organic produce.

The honey bees that nest here help in pollination, thereby adding to the grDSC_0646owth of the local flora. The trees and plants provide habitats to rare and beautiful birds and animals such as the Malabar Whistling Thrush, Spotted Dove, Malabar Hornbil, Indian Parakeet, the flying squirrel and many more.

 

I am so excited about my find that I cannot wait to plan a visit with my son so that I can show him the natural way of life. I can imagine his wonder and amazement to see the beauty and simplicity in living a sustainable life. I know it is not practical to create a life like this for him in the city. But I hope that he will stay in touch with the reality and be a conscious individual when he grows up.

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2017 in Nature, travel

 

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Munnar – The journey fills your senses even before you reach the destination

Munnar, the hilly paradise in God’s own country, is on the travel list of most people. Over the last few years, the quaint little villages, the wide-spread tea gardens, the lush waterfalls have created quite a few memorable holidays. The variety this one single destination offers in terms of food, natural beauty and off-beat activities is what adds to its popularity and makes people come back for more. 
I am on a short trip to this exotic destination for the next two days. Follow my journey as I share experience through my photos, videos and sometimes verbose posts.
For now I will share some tips on making your journey to reach the destination pleasurable. 

1. Start early – Reaching Munnar takes time so its best if you take a morning flight to Kochi from where ever you are travelling. The drive from Kochi to Munnar is too beautiful to pass in the dark. 
2. Take breaks – While driving uphill, stop at the little villages on the way to just soak in the freshness and coconut-ness of the region. Travel is all about the journey and not just the destination.
3. Eat Light – Since the first day is mostly spent on travel, keep the food light. you can gorge on the southern delicacies once you reach there. But the road uphil is winding and you wouldn’t want to dot it with the undigested remains of your breakfast and lunch.
4. If travelling with kids, be prepared with –

4.1 Multiple options of little light snacks

4.2 Some audio story books as the long drive can make them fidgety

4.3 Wet – wipes, tissues and pediatric anti-nausea meds

5. Spice Gardens – Visit the spice gardens on the way and take a walk among the trees and bushes to know more about the organic spices that the state is rich in. Most spice gardens offer guided tours for a small amount.
Look out for more as I share my wonderful journey with you.

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2017 in travel

 

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