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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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