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Saturday, 12 October 2013

Clean hill station in South India - Munnar

I spoke too soon, I guess, in my post "Shimla - why can't South India be like it?" - where I rued the lack of clean tourist-friendly hill stations in South, by comparing Shimla with Ooty (Udhagamandalam), Kodaikanal, Yercaud and Yelagiri. Recently, visited Munnar, which has changed my opinion. We do have a gem of a place at Munnar. It is clean, still not exploited by commercial interests that destroy the environment / ecology (tea estates abound but they are not spoiling the ecology or environment).
Tea Valley near Munnar, Kerala

Munnar is very scenic and calm place for a long relaxed vacation. There are quite a few naturally enjoyable spots with variety of valleys, lakes, waterfalls, tea estates, reservoirs, flora and fauna.

What are the simple differentiating factors:
(a) Beautiful green plantations, valleys - with some mountains and clouds kissing them.
(b) Tourism related exploitation of land is very less. Very few resorts and well spread out.
(c) Smaller town compared to other South Indian hill stations.
(d) Cleaner - no plastic, less non-plantation exploitation of nature.
(e) A couple of kilometers out of Munnar onwards, if one looks out in the evenings / nights, hardly a few lights dot the whole landscape - hence we are sure we are surrounded by forests, plantations and nature.
(f) Many waterfalls, lakes and reservoirs dot the nearby areas.
(g) Trekking through various places - variety of options. Good place for birders too.
(h) High view points of Kerala and Tamilnadu.
(i) Clean air, mists in the morning, clouds and mist kissing us often, comfortable weather, etc.

Munnar is a very good place to go for a vacation & recharge ourselves after being drained by the rigours of our busy corporate lives. Hope locals and tourists alike continue to maintain this pristine place on the Western Ghats.

Jai Hind.


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