Places to visit en-route from Kochi to Munnar. Lush Kerala countryside, mystic spice gardens and tea estates; what’s not to like?
As the weather starts to get cooler, ideas for driving holidays that might inspire you to pack your bags and hit the open road.
Lush Kerala countryside, mystic spice gardens and tea estates; what’s not to like?
While the mountains up north present a certain sort of terrain, the hills down south are quite different. And one of the best places to catch this contrast is in Kerala.
Munnar is a hill station nestled in the Western Ghats, about 130 km from Kochi. There’s plenty to see along the way; if it’s history you’re after, just about 30 km out from Kochi is the Hill Palace Museum ( 9 am – 12.30 pm & 2 pm – 4.30 pm Tues – Sun; ₹ 30 adult, ₹ 10 child; Phone : 91 484 2781113. A one-time residence of the erstwhile rulers of Kochi, this is now a heritage museum with as many as 49 buildings inside the complex.
After a dose of history, make your way through the lush Kerala countryside, passing picturesque little villages and towns. Things get interesting once the road starts to climb. There are spice gardens along the route at which you could stop and do some shopping, and not just for spices. You’ll have Ayurveda specialists on hand who will present you with a variety of ointments, oils and other sundry for all kinds of ailments, from joint pains to migraines.
Further down the road, the Cheeyappara Waterfalls make for a lovely spot at which to snap some Instagram-worthy shots. Soon, you’ll be in the midst of tea estates as far as the eye can see. In winter, there’s also quite a bit of mist in the area, so be careful while driving. There are a couple more waterfalls on the way but we’d suggest carrying on towards the main town as most of these would be on your itinerary while in Munnar.
A few pointers for the road
1. Carry motion sickness meds for those twisties.
2. Drink enough water to keep dehydration at bay.
3. Take turns at the wheel or take breaks every two hours.
4. Don’t let your fuel drop below the quarter-tank level.
5. Get your vehicle serviced before every trip.
6. Watch out for stray animals on the road.