After a tiring journey including 2 buses, we arrived in Munnar on Thursday night. The city is located in Kerala state, in the mountains, approximately 1600 m height. One month ago, Kerala suffered from huge rain and flood. The roads have been repaired and we can access the city but we can still see land sliding all along the way. It is still the monsoon season, the climate is cold and humid and it has rained during our stay.
Munnar is famous for the tea plantations around as well as cocoa and many spices that grow here. The nature lovers can enjoy some trekking and that’s why we are here!
Tea was introduced in 1875 by British colony. Now the plantations are owned by two companies: Kanan Devan and Tata. The land covered by plantations is huge, around 100 thousand acres. The work is divided in two: women in the fields picking up tea leaves, men in the factories. Each woman works 8 hours a day with a minimum of 27 kilos to harvest. There are 3 kinds of tea on one stick: green tea, normal tea and black tea.
The first day, we took a tuk tuk to explore the surroundings and go up to Top Station where we can enjoy panoramic views. It is beautiful! On the way, we stopped a few times to visit a fruit, vegetable and spices garden. We also walked along 2 nice lakes. The weather being cloudy, the atmosphere is really nice!
On the way back, guess what?! We saw... Wild elephants!!!!! We were super excited to see them, quite close. They are smaller than the African ones and with a brown colour, still very impressive! We couldn’t believe we saw wild elephants, magical instant.
The next day, we booked a full day hiking trip. We left at 8:30am and met with our 2 very nice guides Mani and Abi. They knew all the plants and animals names around. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen wild buffalo but heard some and we saw one mongoose! We walked through the tea plantations and also reached the top of a hill with stunning views.
Munnar is definitely worth the stop. It was a new facet of India we didn’t know: so green, lots of fauna and flora and cold!