At 7900 ft above sea level, Kolkkumalai is the highest tea plantation in the country and presents some splendid views. The one and a half hour journey from Munnar is accessible only by a jeep. The bumpy ride is an adventure in itself, through narrow winding tracts and past tea plantations. After the journey, you can embark on a tour of tea factory and become skilled at the various aspects of tea processing. Finally, drink in the scenery with a steaming glass of tea.
Covering 97 sq. km of lush grassland and sylvan valleys, the Eravikulam national Park is a treasure trove of teeming flora and fauna. The star attraction here is the Nilgiri Tahr, on with almost one-third of the world’s population roaming these grasslands. You can also meet the Nilgiri Marten, a small clawed otter, ruddy mongoose, dusky striped squirrel and small Indian civet in their home turf. Keep your binoculars at hand as the area attracts some 100 odd butterflies, each listed inside the park.
While countless poems have been penned to describe the hillsides covered by the veil of blue Kurinji flowers, nothing compares the sight of the profusion of blooms. Flowering once in 12 years, the Kurinjimala Sanctuary protects them and has started conservation plans for the plants and its habitat.
In a place that captures the natural splendour of Munnar, it is not uncommon to give into the beauty. While some prefer to enjoy the serenity of the surrounding, others may prefer to get out of hibernation and take part in the adventure activities organized by the resort.
If the hairpin roads of Munnar were a source of fascination, take to the winding trails of Top Station. Explore the ever changing terrain and enjoy the journey as professional trackers and guides take you through the some of the most untouched parts of the hillock.
While the scenic countryside has had visitors throng in numbers over the years, paragliding in these areas has been one of the most favoured outdoor activities. To enjoy the sublime beauty from among the clouds is another experience in itself. A visual treat guaranteed, the gorgeous setting also serves as the perfect platform for paragliding buffs.
There is something about the dusk that sets into motion some of the most amazing aspects of the wild. As the cicadas start their night melody, the animals come out of their nightly covers. Nothing compares to the thrill of coming face to face with the wild in the moonlight. All’s well as long as Lady Luck resides by your side.
There are peaks to scale and plains to explore, some not accessible on foot. A jeep safari is a safe bet to drive among plantations stretched across acres, the sparkling falls with their thunderous roar, or just the highlands to enjoy the striking view from above.
To get to know Munnar in its calm entirety, mountain biking would be the best option. A cycle to take you through the jagged hillside. Listen to the singsong of the birds, get acquainted to the wild, wave at the smiling faces on your way through winding roads of the estates and forest patches.