Coming from the scorching heat Delhi heat, Munnar was a great way to start our Kerela sojourn. It took us about 3 hours to drive from Kochi to Munnar. On the way, a lot of “tembles” were pointed out to us as big tourist spots by our taxi driver who thought of himself more as a tour guide than a driver. We could see how adept he was at converting local temples to great tourist spots and cracks on the walls to scenic water falls. Honestly, other than the soothing greenery all around, there was nothing scenic on the way from Kochi to Munnar till the tea plantations of Munnar loomed ahead.
Tired of our long journey, we started with what Kerala is most known for, Ayurvedic massage. In comparison to the other massages where the massage experience is relaxing, the ayurvedic massage is not as soothing. You feel the relaxation a couple of hours after the massage. The huge amount of oil, the hard oily massage bed, the absolute lack of privacy provided by the therapist and the feeling of being a specimen that needs to be treated of illness, makes the ayurvedic massage anything by a wow experience. But for your tired muscles and bones, the effect after a couple of hours is amazing. I could barely keep my eyes open in the evening and the first night at Munnar was spent in a peaceful deep slumber.
The second day gave us ample time to look around the city. Munnar does not boast of scenic beauty as much as Ooty. It’s a small hill station with only the tea museum as a worthy experience. One can actually experience the process of tea manufacturing at the tea museum. Most of the tea plantations at Munnar are owned by Tata. Don’t waste your time at the Matupetty dam and the echo point which are the other claimed great spots to visit. They can absolutely be missed. Matupetty dam is a very small dam and Echo point greets you with foul smells and hoards of shopping stalls with highly disinterested owners. It is more pleasant to enjoy the valley view from your hotel. There a couple of small institutions that have Kathakali and Kalaripayattu performances in the evening. The ticket for each performance is for INR 200 per head and the shows happen from 5 to 7 p.m. These performances were quite enjoyable and they also shared a lot of details about these arts.