Thursday, 21 January 2016

Munnar, Kerala

DAY 8: MUNNAR

We woke up early to catch the rising sun. From the windows of our room, we could see the famed hills of Munnar, but there was fog all around. The sky was not clear, with the sun playing hide and seek; but I still took out my camera to try my luck.

Munnar Hills
Munnar Hills
After a nice shower and home cooked idly for breakfast, we went to the water reservoir and dam where we could do some boating. After spending 5 days on a ship and spending enough time everyday on boats and in rich blue water of Lakshadweep, going for a boat ride was the last thing that we wanted to do.

But we didn’t have any other option and we headed to the massive Matupetty Dam and Reservoir. The view from the reservoir was beautiful. The lake was covered by forest area on all sides with the hills as the backdrop. This was the true beauty of Munnar.

Matupetty Dam, Munnar
Matupetty Dam, Munnar
After a stroll in the garden, we went for the ride in the reservoir in the speed boat. It was a thrilling experience and all of us had a ball. Our boatsmen (Rajesh) was an ace photographer. While we all hung on to our boots as the boat swayed through the water, he deftly clicked some beautiful snaps.

Matupetty Dam, Munnar
Its FUN Time!!!
After an exciting speed boat ride, we went for a drive to see the very famous tea gardens of Munnar. The landscape of Munnar can put the very best manicured gardens to shame. Thanks to the thousands of acres of tea gardens. To add to this is the ever changing colour of the sky. And between the land and the sky, fog, clouds and sun play hide and seek. Munnar is sheer romance. In fact it is one of the most preferred hill station destination for honeymoon couples.

Tea Gardens, Munnar
Tea Gardens, Munnar
Since we could not see Munnar, we decided to enjoy a Kathakali Dance, a traditional Kerala dance. The dance uses elaborate makeup, costumes and jewelry. It was sheer joy to see the efforts, the devotion of the artists. All the performers in Kathakali are men and they play the role of both male and female characters. 


Make up of Kathakali Performers
Make up of Kathakali Performers
Along with the actors, the music and vocals plays an important role in kathakali. The story enacted is told to the audience beforehand. The performers never speak during the performance; they act and convey their emotions and story with their hand gestures and expressions. The make-up of the artists takes an hour and one can see the artists while putting on their make-up and the transformation they undergo.

Kathakali Dance
Kathakali Dance
We were amongst the first to arrive and therefore we had the first row seat. They started with teaching us the basics of Kathakali, the meaning of the hand movements and eye movements. The artist would invite 1-2 volunteers from the crowd onto the stage and try to convey messages purely via their hand & eye expressions. It was hilarious to see the reactions of the volunteers & counter actions of the artists on stage.



Then they got started on the actual dancing, which is a performance based on a story from the Hindu Classics. It was quite entertaining. At the end of the show you can get your snap clicked with the artists.

After enjoying the beautiful dance we decided to enjoy a Kerela massage (massage center adjoining the theatre). Though far more expensive than Alleppy, the massages at Munnar seem more sophisticated and gentle. After a relaxing massage, we all headed back to our homestay to enjoy a simple and delicious home cooked dinner.


Points to remember:
  • Munnar is a little costly as far as accommodation is concerned.
  • Munnar can get a little cold in early morning and night. Please carry warm clothes accordingly.
  • The road from Kochi to Munnar is a two lane road and is curvy and hills. Therefore, while estimating the travel time, don’t consider the kms. It takes around 4 – 5 hours to reach Munnar.
  • Our homestay was Gokulam Homstay. You can check out their website on www.gokulamhomestay.com and can contact Mr. Sunil G P at gokulamhomeaway@gmail.com or on 09567 76 2611.
  • Expense Details of the day:

Expense Particulars
Amount for 4 people
Amount per head
Boat Ride in Munnar
                                    750
                             188
Kathakali Dance
                                1,300
                             325
Homestay at Munnar
                                1,500
                             375
All meals at Homestay
                                1,585
                             396
TOTAL
                                5,135
                         1,284

Massage ranges from Rs. 1500 to 4000