Photo Journey from God's own country || Kerala Travelogue-series by Tanya Chaudhary (Part 2 - Munnar)
After exciting experiences in Kochi, the next day I headed for Munnar. On my way, I visited the Hill Palace Museum in Thripunithura. A large museum of Kochi’s erstwhile Maharaja with paintings and epigraphs from the collections of Travancore’s royal family. You need to enter the palace barefoot with nothing with you, not even your cell phone. It is the largest archaeological palace in South India; it houses multi billion worth Cochin Royal Crown and Jewels. After absorbing the riches of the royals, I continued my drive down to Munnar.
A four hour drive and you reach the misty hills of Munnar. My first stop was the scenic Attukad Waterfalls. The roads were narrow with lots of bends and curve, I needed some rejuvenation and what best relaxation technique than a traditional ayurvedic massage. After 90 minutes of massage & shirodhara, it was dark. I headed for some food to Sarvana Bhawan. Served on a banana leaf, the place provides authentic South Indian food and this very tasty pink ayurvedic water with medicinal value. After eating to my heart’s content, I was lazy and just wanted to crash.
The next day was for local sightseeing. First up was Floriculture Centre in Mattupetty, which houses large varieties of flowers, herbal/ foliage plants against the beautiful backdrop of tea plantations. Echo Point and Top Station was up next. Echo Point as the name suggests is where every loud call made from a spot on the lake embankment is returned manifold by the echo from the surrounding hills. I shouted someone special’s name and my voice came back to me, much like everything when we were together. One-sided. After this weird thought, I wasn't on Cloud nine until I visited Top Station where literally I was ‘above the clouds’. I trekked to my heart’s content while the clouds slowly descended upon me.
And then it started to rain and I know how much I love the drizzles. I was on my way to the Eravikulam (Rajamalai) National Park, when it started pourings cats and dogs. The park houses the endangered species of mountain goats with rare flora and fauna. The park is experience walking and is a steep hill road. Since, it was raining I was in a dilemma to explore it or not. Eventually, going by my nature to do things which sane people won’t, I decided to walk to the hill top and I didn’t regret it. The view, the mist, the plants and the butterflies, all were surrealistic. I was cutting through the clouds and trekked in the rain till the Anamudi Peak, the highest peak south of the Himalayas. I guess, nature has a way to cheer to up when I spotted the beautiful Atlas Moth. I did not spot the mountain goat, but I was overwhelmingly content.
That day, I started getting some realizations and had a good night’s sleep. To me Munnar was definitely the Switzerland of my heart, if not India.