this turned out to be our most favourite destination. We travelled in Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus from Cochin to Munnar and would admit it was not as comfortable journey.
It took almost 5 hours of climbing up in humid and hot weather however once we reached the height, the weather pleasantly changed for a comfortable 23-24 degree centigrade.
Our hotel was remotely situated in a valley and took another 45 minutes of the ride in an auto-rickshaw to arrive. Most of the hotels and resorts in Munnar are located interiorly in the valley and the inwards roads to the hotel were in appalling condition (we were told this was due to 2018 Kerala floods).
The distance of 4 km from the Munnar central town to the hotel felt so far and shook our internal organs like a blender, however, once we reached the hotel, the view was amazing and which made us forget all the discomfort we had in past few hours.
The hotel was right in the middle of tea gardens which looked idyllic. Once again we were lucky that we had included breakfast in our hotel package or else it would have been a big hassle to go back to the town early in the morning.
The next morning, we hired a jeep (unlike Goa, self-driven vehicles were not available in Munnar) and the driver already had a tour plan in a handout where we were provided with an option to choose the places of our interests.
The kids were super excited to travel in a jeep and even for us it was a thrilling experience. We chose to see a waterfall, a botanical garden, a couple of dams(kids had fun doing paddle boating), elephant feeding, tea factory and a visit to a tea garden.
We were pleasantly surprised to find an added attraction when our driver pointed out to the wild elephant herds on the hills. The herd looked chilled out and people enjoyed watching them from a distance.
I cannot forget how coconut water had become our favourite drink from Goa itself and we continued to enjoy it throughout our journey which also served the purpose of keeping us well hydrated in humid weather.
The tea gardens in Munnar were spread around to as far as our eyes could see and the greenery from it was so calming on the nerves. We visited one of the gardens which were on the top of mountains and had clouds floating in it which created a beautiful, mystic environment.
While we enjoyed taking lots of photos, kids were running around and even tried smelling the crushed leaf and taste it but to their surprise, it was nowhere near to the tea smell we are used to (later we learned in the tea factory that the tea flavour and smell only comes after processing and fermentation).
Surprisingly, we had covered most of the tourist attraction in one day. We decided to spend the next day as a quiet day in our hotel among the tea gardens however then we changed our mind and decided to do some local shopping and visit a spice garden.
We started with local shopping and bought some banana chips, spices and tea from the local market which are not only the speciality of Munnar but whole Kerala state.
The tour to the spice garden was an informative one. It not only provided us with knowledge of our daily spices but also an appreciation of how learned our ancestors were to have known the medicinal property of these plants thousands of years ago.
On day 3 we took another KSRTC bus to return to Cochin. We were sad to be leaving Munnar but excited for the next destination.