Monday, July 30, 2012

Madurai to Munnar by road : A travelogue and some tips

This is a scenic 180 kms ride. The typical route is Madurai-Theni-Bodi-Pooparai-Munnar (via Madurai Kamaraj University) ,however since the tourist taxi did not have RTO permit we had to take the Theni-Kumuli-Thekkady-pooparai-munnar route adding approximately 70 kms of Ghat section - we did not mind since the route is very scenic. (Tip: Please ask a tourist operator to get the permit earlier to go via Bodi - a shorter route)
From Munnar

From Munnar
The route is reasonably laid out with only the last stretch of 25 kms from pooparai to Munnar being a single lane damaged road. Several places you have to negotiate turns with oncoming traffic. The route is very scenic and dominated by estates of Tata Global Beverages (Kannan Devan Tea aka Tata Tea)

Kumuli is a good place to eat on the way. (Travel tip - If you plan to leave Madurai early morning you can do a short Thekkady trip too and still reach munnar before night. (We could not as we do not know what early morning on a holiday))

From Munnar
The last stretch of the route Pooparai to Munnar , about 30 kms, is a single lane with poor roads and oncoming traffic makes it precarious - If you are self driving.... all the best.
From Munnar


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    A place away from the “Madding Crowd” where there is Peace, Tranquility and Oneness with Nature. The place exudes a feeling of absolute freedom and release from modern day tensions and absolute relaxation sets in. The ambience of the resort is breathtaking to say the least, with mountains, tea estates, waterfalls and all that you can probably think of as far as Nature is concerned. The sound of the waterfalls and the constant chirping of insects is all you can hear.
    One can take a walk down to the waterfalls which is visible from the resort and also know about how cardamom, coffee, vegetables are grown Also the restaurant provides fresh food from veggies grown in the resort itself using only organic manure. The water from the waterfalls flows down by gravity from the waterfall up the hills and is crystal clear. This is the water which is used by the resort and also comes into the swimming pool of the resort.
    The guests can also take a jeep safari and see huge waterfalls, flowing streams and also go upto Anakulam where wild elephants come to drink water during summer season.
    As explained above the resort has a swimming pool and overlooks a waterfall, mountains and tea gardens. Trekking to waterfalls nearby is a good experience. Also there is a magic tree the bark of which changes its colours amazingly in different seasons. The resort also offers a jeep safari which takes the guest to the wilderness where he can see numerous waterfalls, hanging bridges, flowing rivers.There is also a fish pond nearby for those who are interested in fishing. There is a place called Anakulam which is 12 kms from the resort accessible by 4WD jeep only where if one is luck you can see elephants in hordes when they come drink water from the nearby stream. The pictures of the place can be had from the link given below:

    The resort is located on Kallar Mankulam Road which is 23 kms away from Munnar town, conversely while coming from Cochin after driving 14kms from Adimaly town on Munnnar Road you would have to take a left turn from Kallar junction onto Kallar Mankulam road and travel for another 9kms till you reach the resort beside Letchmi tea Estate.

    Wild Elephant Eco-Friendly Resort
    Viripara, Kallar Mankulam Road
    Tel: +91 4864 218232/ +91 484 2537971
    Mobile: +91 94471 59171/94462 26071/90480 88010/80863 96104/94471 40567

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