The entire travel (from Nov 26 to Dec 2) has been really cool and comfort and except couple of sunshine moments, the travel was indeed cloudy, misty and rainy. Thanks to the low pressure and cyclone Ockhi, though it created a great destruction in Kanyakumari/Kerala and blocking certain views during my travel, the sun got total holiday from the sky. The weather was very pleasant when we started our journey from home early in morning and was drizzling though hazy just out of the city. We took OMR to reach the highway and being Sunday roads are bare enough and we felt quick transit entirely and reached our destination (Udumalpet) earlier by 4 pm and settled in the room in about an hour.
|Man driving cows in drizzling rain near Udumalpet|
Following dinner, we also took our breakfast from Hotel Ariya Bhavan (which was really tasteful) on Munnar-Udumalpet Rd before move into the mountains of Munnar, via Anamalai Tiger Reserve and Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary. Munnar is about 85km from Udumalpet, though it was slightly drizzling all the way to the town, we passed through heavy mist that blocked the sights of certain places including the chance of closely watching the Anamudi, the highest peak after Himalayas in India. But it wasn’t disappointed me anyway since the mist and rain has put us in sheer delight of watching number of waterfalls from the fresh mountain streams. We reached Munnar by noon, and after buying lunch we moved to the cottage (Tea Drops plantation) we have already booked.
|Driving through the mist and rain in Munnar|
It was really a wonderful place (nestled 7 km away from Munnar) to stay rest and relax among the coffee and cardamom plantations, and its owner Lijo is a friendly person and helps in any other ways. Except the three steps to get into the cottage, it wasn’t difficult to stay around, though it was an old house renovated into a cottage the owner has made things simply neat and hygiene. But the only thing bothered us was the way leading to the cottage. It was about 200 meters down from the main road with a narrow steep road, which at glance felt impossible to climb down or up, but we made it using our SUV which is quite difficult for any other cars. They provide Jeep support for those come by car to be parked at their Pvt. Parking, but we took risk as I wouldn’t be comfy at their Jeep.
|Night effect in Tea Drops plantation cottage|
Staying there we visited various places and sightseeing from the two day and three nights. We missed many views as most viewpoints are covered in mist by the time we check, which is perhaps because of the storm but glad there wasn’t heavy rain alike we travelled to Ramakkalmedu, before climbing down the hills. The highway was like a gushing river and the muddy waters were running down the road/hillside and once rain over, mist over take. We couldn’t see anything at the Ramakkalmedu, popular for high blowing wind and viewpoint and shooting spot. The grass mound here has a huge statue of Kuravan Kurathy, a tribal couple, to mark the Sangam landscape and period.
|A pleasant view on mountains and tea slopes of Munnar, and there's a falls beneath, which u could see in further post|
Actually we planned to stay at Cumbum or Theni before taking the long back journey to home, but took a day rest at my uncle’s woodhouse in the mountains of Kodaikanal. We climbed down via Cumbum valley and took the scenic highway, which is my favourite route that travels along the Western Ghats and reached Kodai Ghats section by evening. I thoroughly enjoyed the travel between Cumbum and Kodai and the mountains covered in clouds and lush green fields, along drizzling weather was awesome feel. I also took a short detour to stop at my favourite spot (which u saw in my previous post) to take some shots, but I was disappointed a bit to see two big banners blocking the view.
|Breathtaking view on the beauty of Theni, and mountains covered in clouds|
We reached the woodhouse by late evening, but it was a real challenge than the entire trip because the road to woodhouse (in Thandikudi) from the Kodaikanal main road was quite lost in mist. The visibility was very very low and we couldn’t see anything beyond two or three feet and the road was a single lane, though there wasn’t a vehicle opposite finding the road and bends were challenging. I open the Google map and using the GPS I kept telling my cousin the curves ahead and it was really tremble passing the deep valleys. Our entire stay at the woodhouse was under mist, cold and heavy rain. Even Munnar wasn’t cold enough, but this is first time I experience heavy mist and cold in Thandikudi, where it is rainy season. And we returned home on Saturday (Dec 2) evening.