The tea country in the South wasn't really on my to-do list anytime soon. It seemed hyped and really touristy for my liking. But when I was backpacking solo in Kerala and was spending a substantial amount of time in Cochin and Allepey, which is just a few hours away from Munnar, I was coerced by friends to give Munnar a shot.
And there I hopped onto a bus to Munnar, from Cochin, without a return ticket. But one day in Munnar and I booked my return to Allepey for the next evening. I spent an entire day sleeping in my beautiful room in a cozy little homestay overlooking the beautiful tea gardens and hills of Munnar, and the next day was spent driving around and exploring the beautiful hill station.
The highlight of my trip definitely was the tea plantation visit and the visit to the tea factory. My tea plantation visit at 'Top Station' involved a little hike to where tea leaves were being harvested. I did interact with a few plantation workers and had a great time experiencing the tea harvest.
I also spent a delightful time understanding the processing of tea at the Kanan Devan factory - where most of South India's tea is made. It truly was a wonderful experience for a tea lover. Admist slight drizzle and absolutely chilly weather, and after drinking cups of tea, I left from this beautiful place.
Tips before you go:
#1 Book a nice place - a home stay or a resort and just chill
#2 There are a bunch of waterfalls you can visit, but plan in advance, since they're at quite a distance
#3 Visit the tea factory
#4 Spend time at the tea gardens (it was mesmerising)
#5 Take a volvo bus from Cochin to Munnar and back, or go to Allepey from there (or vice versa)
#6 Don't go during winters if you can't take cold (I went in monsoons and froze. Winters are cooler)
#7 Drive your own vehicle or rent one there (or hire a rickshaw or jeep, but a roadtrip would be lovely)
Now, let me take you through my Munnar travel diary in photos. Hope you like it. All photos are taken on MiA1 and 99 per cent of them aren't edited at all! Comment and let me know what you think!
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|Restaurant where I had lunch (food was pathetic)|
|So I went and had chai at a chai wala|
|Si slept all through the day|
|And went for dinner at Ali Baba (which wasn't so great)|
|Breakfast at a local stall was yummm... egg curry with appam and tea|
|Chai wala uncle|
|Most stunning view from a random place we stopped at|
|Driving through the winding roads|
|Stopped by at the dam|
|Apparently they have movie shoots here|
|some tea with a view at Echo Point|
|Yummy bread omelette with a view|
|Where the tea planters live|
|Couldn't take pictures at the tea factory (so took many at the tea gardens)|
|Failing miserably at harvesting tea|
|Some more tea with a view|
|Maggi with a view|
|Last stop! Bye!|