It was more than a year since myself and my father went on a road trip some tourist spots of Karnataka, kerala and TamilNadu covering nearly 2500 kms and taking nearly 17 days. By the way my father is 84 years old and I am 52 years. So it was high time we planned our second road trip.
So it started with my train journey from Chennai to Nagercoil and on the return journey my father travelled with me to Chennai and we were on the go. The plan was to travel nearly 3200 km. Of this around 1900 km with father travelling on the western side of Tamil Nadu and return back to Chennai with my wife and daughter via the East Coast road covering the eastern side Tamil Nadu. The journey with my father was planned for 16 days. The return journey was much shorter with four days.
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In the evening we first visited Killiyur falls. The Falls Had no Water. Climbing down the 200 odd steps and then climbing up was a bit laborious. From there we went to the Rose Garden and then Ladies seat. The Rose Garden has variety of Roses. But comparatively less appealing than the Ooty or Munnar gardens. We went to the lake next and spent the evening watching the people enjoying their boat rides. The entry to the lake is five rupees and the boat ride costs you extra. After spending close to two hours on the sides of the lake we were back in Hotel for the night. The climate was pleasant compared to the sweltering heat of Chennai. Had a good nights sleep.
After breakfast we setoff to Sherveroy temple which is a cave temple atop the Sherveroy hillls. The traditional worshipping place of the natives.
The next place was Karadiyur view point. We reached Karadiyur village without difficulty but we missed the small dirt road leading to the view point. Finally we located it after enquiry it was right on the main junction somehow we overlooked that. The view point is very good.
We went to Maha Meru Temple which was further down the main road. It is calm and nice place for worship. It is not an olden day temple but a modern one.
From there it was planned to o to the Horticultural Garden but being Saturday it was closed.
So we went to Pagoda Point. The rush of tourists was heavy and there was a traffic jam on the way back.
After breakfast and an hours rest we went to Manjakuttai view point. Actually we travelled upto Kaveri Point Estate and came back to Manjakuttai.
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The next day we went to Kunderipallam dam, a small but beautiful dam surrounded on all three sides by the forest. Since we went late in the morning we could not spot any animals. It seems lot of animals especially elephants come to drink water.
We went to Kodivery falls next. The place was awesome. Though we did not bathe in the falls, it would have been very good to have taken a bath. There was fresh cooked fish and rice meal. We opted for the fried fish, it was fresh and tasty.
Next day was spent on rest. On the third day in my brothers house we started off to Munnar.
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We started at around 5 am from Gobi and took the Tiruppur_Udumalpet road. Had our breakfast in Marayoor. One has to cross four forest Check posts.
The First stop was Lakkom falls. Being peak summer water was less on the falls but it was very cold. But having seen the dry Yercaud falls even a small quantity of water was welcome. The location is quite scenic and enjoyable.
Eravikulam National Park is the prime attraction of Munnar so it is mostly crowded in the season timings. I was lucky enough to get a place in the parking lot after which the parking lot was full and was closed.
Though there was crowded the authorities have organized the system well. One has to park ones car at the parking lot and then travel by the National Parks vehicle to the top of the hill. The Eravikulam National park is home to the endangered goat called 'Varai aadu'. Apart from Varai aadu the place is quite scenic and the climb atop the hill is quite high. Enjoyable experience. One must not miss the visit. Allocate at least three hours since the ticketing, bus travel up & down and the walk at top from the drop point takes time.
We reached our Hotel Emmel Dwellings just opposite the Tea County in Munnar Town at around 1pm. Had our lunch at the Chettinad Restaurant down stairs. Had an hours rest and then started off to the Tea Museum.
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Tea Museum is also an important place to visit if you want to understand the history of Kannan Devan Hills. Don't miss the documentary. The documentary film takes you through the history of Kannan Devan Hills from the British period to the present day. Then there is a small lecture on the merits of tea. You can see how the tea is manufactured and finally there is a shop where you can purchase the Kannan Devan products.
There was slight shower and the climate turned much more pleasant. We went to the 'Flower Garden' next, This is my second visit to the flower garden and unlike the gardens & parks in the plains the flowers here look always fresh. There are lot of flowers on display but the space is small. The flower garden is on the road to Mattupatty. Our visit was cut short by heavy rains. We returned back to hotel.
The next morning after breakfast we went to Mattupatty dam before the crowds reached the place. Mattupatty dam is a scenic place but in Munnar where ever you stop your car it is scenic. Further down the road is the Echo point another view of the river & scenic.
Kundala Dam is where boating & horse riding is available. There are lot of shops and small eateries here. A good place to spend sometime. We had a nice stroll here and spent sometime watching the scenery, old time shutters of the dam and the flow of water out of the dam. There are lot of monkeys and we saw a batch of them raiding a small time hotel.
The last place in this road is the "Top Station". It is actually in Tamil Nadu, just after the Munnar limit ends. Top station was the point where th British built railways to reach the hill from Theni down below. The railway had three stations. One at the top, one at the plains and one in between. It is a nice view point, one has to climb down a steep path. Climbing back could be difficult for the elderly.
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The third day was spent in visiting less known Attukad water falls. The falls is reached by a very small road but the surroundings are very nice, less tourists. The falls itself is fenced off from the bridge.
We wanted to visit the Water Park but that was closed for the upcoming flower show. So we went to Pothamedu view point which was not that good.
Spent rest of the day in Hotel and some purchase gearing up to travel to Kodaikanal next day morning.
......Continued in Part 2