Myself, Anand Ramanathan, a Chennai resident and working in IT Sector. I did my Engineering from Madurai (Tamil Nadu) and I still remember the tour we went to Kerala, which was 06-07 years back. We did visit few places especially the northern Kerala including Bekal Fort, Muzhuppilangad Beach, Kappad, Wayanad etc. We really enjoyed the tour as we never had much knowledge on the locations. Later I came to know there are many more places to be explored and hence decided to take a tour after my marriage.
After a time-gap of 07 years, we (myself and my wife) have decided to go to Kerala as part of our honeymoon tour. My wife’s aware of my love for Kerala and hence we had planned to visit Kerala. This time we took the help of this travel agent and left all our intentions to them. Result was wonderful and hence thought to write about it here –
As advised by them, we took a morning flight from Chennai to Cochin. They had asked us to do so that we could reach the hill station named Munnar by noon. Upon reaching at Cochin airport, Shyjo (driver) was waiting for us with the display name. We were a bit tensed as we were much comfortable in talking in Tamil. Since Malayalam is the language used for communication in Kerala, we thought we have to talk in English/Hindi. Shockingly Shyju gave us a “hi” with “VANAKKAM, eppadi irukku?” We were very happy and that’s when we found that he is half tamilian from Kerala-Tamil Nadu Border of Idukki District. We were very comfortable and he took us to many places which were not mentioned in our itinerary.
Upon reaching Munnar, Shyjo had asked us to book a Jeep Safari to a place called “Kolukkumalai”. We haven’t heard about it until Shyjo told us. Anyways we took rest at the resort that day to wake up early morning next day for Kolukkumalai Jeep Safari. Weather was touching at 8 degrees during evening and hence we had planned to have our dinner from a local restaurant. Hot dosa and chutney with an egg omlette and Resam Vada were truly finger licking. All fresh and suitable for that night’s weather. Returned to resort for a good sleep.
Early morning by 0500hrs, we received a wakeup call from Shyjo to get ready for Jeep Safari. It was all quick and we were out of the resort in 30min and got in to the jeep. It was dark and chilly weather with cool breeze, jeep has taken us to more heights and cold was getting more and more. It was all dark on the way and hence we weren’t aware of the winding lanes and finally reached a point. Jeep driver had asked us to stay relaxed to wait for the sunrise. When the light came up, we were totally shocked as we were in top of everything with tea plantations on all 3 sides. Jeep driver shown us the roads through which we climbed up. Oh my god, that was really fantastic and we were out of the world for some time. I don’t find any words to explain my experience there. Heard that the highest tea plantations in the world are located at Kolukkumalai. If there was an option for a camping at that location, we would have definitely opted for it. We had visited a tea factory which was actually built by the British during 1940’s. Kolukkumalai Peak, about 7,000 ft is an ideal place for trekking. Since my wife is scared of such treks, I couldn’t take it.
We took a TEA EXPERIENCE TOUR which includes planting, picking tea flowers, processing etc. My wife joined hands with the tea workers to pick the tea flowers from the plantations. She was offered a uniform with others. We could also have one of the best TEA from here – extremely kadak (strong). When we finished visiting the tea museum, our jeep driver had suggested going for a nature walk to watch birds. Since this was better to do it early morning hours, we couldn’t do it.
We did return to the resort by noon to have lunch. After lunch, we continued with our rest of sightseeing including Eravikulam National Park (Rajamalai) where we got to see Nilgiri Tahrs (a rare species of mountain goats). Our next point was Mattupetty Dam where we did boating. We went to Top Station and due to heavy clouds we couldn’t enjoy it much. We have returned to the resort for our night stay.
This seems to be one of our major attractions in our Kerala honeymoon package tour, especially the visit to Kolukkumalai. That’s my 2nd of tour which was completed as above and shall continue with the rest soon.