The journey started in March when I took a solo trip to God’s own country Kerala from Delhi. Thrill That I get about my trips is I don’t rely on anyone for my itinerary, I plan and execute all on my own. Was all the more thrilled for Kerala as it was lying in my bucket list for years.
Kerala state hosts a couple of cities which you may not be able to cover in one trip. For my 4 days trip, Munnar was enough to cover. Though I explore Kochi enroute as well.
How to Plan Your Itinerary for Munnar?
- For a single person with a decent stay, you can expect minimum cost of Rs 35,000 . This includes your airfare and stay. If you are looking out for 3-star property or above, than rate can definitely increase. Of course, other costs like meals, Kerala ayurvedic medicines & spices spa can cost you much more.
- Commute If you are visiting Kerala from Delhi than return can cost you anywhere between Rs. 7,000 to Rs. 12,000 (to and fro) based on when you book your flight. If you plan your trip little early, you can expect the best rates. The nearest airport to Munnar is Kochi. From Kochi airport, it can easily take you 2-3 hours to reach Munnar.
I took the Vistara airline. All was good except their shortage of food in premium and non-transparency. Few of their crew females were rude too. However, it was compensated with a few other crews who were better. They could definitely do better by making pre-arrangement of food and grooming their crew.
If your focus is travel and doesn’t want to bother much about accommodation then you can expect decent property between Rs. 1000 to Rs. 3000 per night including or excluding breakfast.
I stayed in two different cities in two different places. First was hotel neighborhood, another was a homestay In the tea forest area of Munnar The Rainforest. Staying at both places was comfortable.
It’s recently constructed and around 1-hour drive from the airport. It has got a unique lift that opens with the door. Rooms were spacious and clean. They had a TV but there was no connection. Washroom was spacious but not perfectly clean. The best part about this place was the Ayurvedic products for the body, skin & hairs. The only drawback here was the noise I was getting in the night of housekeeping as they may be doing some work.
When I called the reception he panicked and knocked at my door. Since it was quite late at the night around 11:30 pm. I was hesitant about opening it. But he was so dumb that he used the master key to open it. Though I don’t doubt his intention but from a hotel you expect this much decency not to enter females room without their consent. Language may be a barrier but this should also be part of the management of the hotel, I personally feel so.
I booked this accommodation with breakfast so got the chance to taste local cuisines of Kochi. Food was decent, there were not many variations. I tasted their local food called Puth made up of rice with chickpeas that had amazing Kerala spices. Overall was ok but if curry was hot it would have been better. I like the way they utilized the space in a small area. With the price, I paid stay was ok.
My next visit was in Munnar where I stayed for maximum time i.e. 3 days. I booked the cottage in the middle of the forest. Area and ambiance were really good and value for money. One of the best parts of the place is the Hemmingway bird that wakes you up as shown in the video.
There was lots of greenery around also it was full of beautiful flowers. I got fresh food from their special cook. Another local cuisine I tried her was Ittiyam which again is made of rice. It’s kind of rice noodles. In the south, most of the food is made of rice though tastes completely different. You can get some of the best budget deal in this beautiful property. Sharing some of the pics that I took here.
- Additional Cost
Any other meals based on the restaurant chosen. Shopping of spices which don’t have any limit. Buying tea and homemade chocolates. Last but not the least famous medicated spa. If you want your stay to be comfortable than it’s good to book a cab including airfares to the entire stay. The standard cost of the cab ranges from Rs. 7500 to Rs. 9000 for minimum 500 km after that it varies. However complete Munnar can be covered within the cost without bearing any additional cost.
Places to Visit
The most important thing that people are concerned with what all to explore in Munnar. Let me tell you even if you drive down in the lanes of the city you will feel refreshed. Other places are just icing on the top.
- Tea Garden
Munnar is surrounded with beautiful tea garden across the city. Luckily the place where I stayed was inside the plantation. There were 2-3 km drives to reach the city. Entire view was just mesmerizing. I thoroughly enjoyed it. You will see it across Munnar. There are labors who are engaged in mining the garden and supplying it to nearby areas.
- Tea Factory
There is a tea factory by Tata not owned by Rippled Industry. You will be able to see the entire process of how leaves are procured and then grinded to fine tea. Something new I learned was there are three kinds of tea Green tea, white tea, and black tea. After the visit to the tea factory, I brought some tea and coffee back home. There were some hands made chocolates and some essential oils as well that you can pick.
- Flower Garden
Flower Garden is one of the beautiful places in Munnar that got great plantation of a variety of flowers. Best time to visit here is in spring to watch some of the best flowers.
- Spice Garden
If you would like to cure your disease to Ayurvedic place than this is the place to be. You will be able to see different plants and their medical benefits. I picked some of the essential oils for the body aches that really helped me.
The price will differ from product to product. But as they recommend you need to follow the course and can’t stop midway. You need to buy a minimum quantity of the item to treat yourself. The bottle I took was for 45 days course and it cosseted me Rs. 3500. Price may vary based on which treatment you plan to take.
- Kundala Dam Lake
Kundala Dam & Lake are also one of the popular spots in Kerala. When you enter the premises you will see the beautiful dam. As you walk inside you will discover a lake. While on trip to Munnar ensure to visit here for some picturesque shots.
- Echo Point
As the name suggests its huge ground where if you shout you can hear the echo of your voice. If you are the one who is inspired by Hindi movies and would like to try that then this is the place to be.
- Top Station
From here you can see a beautiful view. You will also be able to see the border of another state like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
- Kerala Ayurvedic Spa
This is one of the most popular places where people love to come to rejuvenate. People come here for relaxing and get treated for several ailments. There are many spa centers in Kerala where you can visit to get yourself treated. Cost of the spa may vary from Rs. 2000 to Rs. 3500.
Best Time to Visit
Best time to visit Kerala is from October to March. You can choose to visit from April to September as well. But from April to May it will be too hot. From June to September it will be raining. October to Jan it will be very cold but you can visit some cities where the climate is moderate as compared to the hill stations.