Munnar and Wayanad are perhaps the most compelling reasons to visit Kerala during the monsoon season. It all begins with a drive across Kerala’s palm fringed countryside that slowly ascends into lush green valleys kissed by the clouds. The visuals are stunning to say the least with the road itself strewn with lovely waterfalls and tiny restaurants serving fish curry and rice.
Munnar Tea Trails
The lushness of the greenery that awaits you after the very first monsoon shower hits Munnar is transcendental. The hill slopes – covered with tea bushes, appear as paintings straight out of a Monet canvas and the mist makes the experience all the more surreal. It rains almost consistently in Munnar during the monsoons, therefore, making it all the more adventurous for short adventure treks and walks across the tea plantations.
The best part about Munnar is that you can club your monsoon experience with a lot of other fun stuff too. The tea plantations of Munnar have a rich history behind them and even if you’re not a ‘teaholic’, visiting some of these plantations will count as one of your amazing holiday experiences. Of the various tea gardens, a visit to the Kolukkumalai Tea plantation is strongly recommended because it is the world’s highest organic tea plantation. The road to this place is steep and rocky and you’ll need to hire a jeep. But the stunning views of the valley on your way back from the plantation will be worth every jerk and bump that will rattle your bones while on the jeep.
The Tea Museum is another awesome place that tells us about the history of tea plantations of Munnar and they also sell fresh tea straight from the local produce. Chances are that you’ll be convinced to pick up the green tea after listening about it medicinal values among other things.
Periyar National Park
Periyar National Park
About 80 kilometres from Munnar is Thekkady home to the Periyar National Park. The park can be explored in two different ways – either via a jeep safari or through a boat ride. And on your way back don’t forget to stop by one of the spice plantations for a quick tour.
Wayanad can be described as one of Kerala’s best-kept secret that must be explored the minute the first monsoon showers hits its pristine valleys. A hill station with gorgeous waterfalls, a beautiful lake and Asia’s second largest Earth Dam – visiting Wayanad during the rains can be described as “total paisa vasool” is trader parlance!
Wayanad is actually a tad closer from Bangalore and Mysore than from Cochin and therefore gets a lot of love and visitors from Karnataka too. And while in Wayanad, every man, woman and child heads first to Lakkidi Point – the highest point in Wayanad that offers the visitor a surreal view of the mountain valleys, cliffs and the vegetation around from around 2300 feet above sea level.
The Banasura Sagar Dam is another great attraction. What makes it popular with the travellers is the set of islands in the dam’s reservoir area that offers an amazing view of the hills all around. Tourists also enjoy their boat rides and picnics here.
The Soochippara, Kanthanpara and Meenmutty Waterfalls are truly great places to unwind although getting to the Soochippara and Meenmutty waterfalls involve short treks that help you explore this nature’s grand retreat even further.