Exploring Munnar

Two weeks back I went on a thrilling 3-day bike trip to Munnar, exploring some of the remote places I had never seen before. To avoid the weekend crowd, I began my journey on a Sunday morning from Cochin. Instead of taking the common route, I took a deviation at Kothamangalam, heading towards Mamalakandam. It was an adventure right from the start, with narrow roads and sharp turns through the forest. Driving through the forests on a bike gives always thrills me.

I saw a small bridge on the way and to my surprise, there was a state government bus crossing it. I was shocked to realize that it was a KSRTC bus route for tourists. I thought only a bike or an SUV could go through these roads. The bus was stopped for passengers to cross the bridge on foot for safety.

I continued my journey until I reached Mamalakandam High School, located in a scenic valley. The school is known for its breathtaking views, which can be seen in many images and videos online. From there, I headed towards Anakulam, where elephants come to drink water every evening. The roads were good for a bike ride and almost empty. I saw a few water streams and waterfalls on the way. I reached a dead-end beyond which there was a tribal colony.

After taking a U-turn, I drove towards Munnar via Letchmi estate, a beautiful tea estate near Munnar that most people miss when taking the usual Adimali route to Munnar.

After having lunch in Munnar, I drove towards my final destination for the day – Magic Valley in Vattavada. I crossed the beautiful top station and a reserved forest on the way. Vattavada is the last village in Munnar beyond which it’s forest and then Tamil Nadu state. It is a dense place, with people doing agriculture like strawberry, beans, cabbage etc.

At Magic Valley, I parked my bike in a parking area near the road and walked almost 2 km down the hill to reach the property. They had tents to accommodate 30-40 people, but since it was a Sunday night, I was their only guest. I skipped the evening trekking as I was too tired with the long drive and the walk towards the valley. I chatted with the folks there and had freshly cooked dinner beside a campfire. It was my first stay in a tent, and it was freezing cold. I was shivering and really thought I would not survive the night. However, I put on multiple layers of clothes, a jacket, socks, gloves, and covered myself fully under a folded blanket to feel warm & survived.

The next morning, I walked towards a waterfall with one of the guys from there. It was around a 15-20 minute walk, and the morning view was beautiful. After having breakfast, I left the place, walking uphill 2 km to reach my bike. We have the option to get a jeep to the valley, or if you have an adventure bike or 4×4, you can drive too. Overall, it was a wonderful experience to stay in such a remote place in a tent.

I drove back to Munnar town, had lunch, and headed towards KTDC Yatri Nivas at Devikulam where I would be spending my second night. It’s a great option for a neat and budget-friendly stay in Munnar. In the evening, I drove towards the main road to capture photos of the tea estates during golden hour.

Next morning I had planned to visit Kolukkumalai for a sunrise view, inspired by the stunning photos my wife had shown me from her own trip there. For that I had to wake up at 3.30am, drive 15KM towards Suryaneli and get a jeep from there. However, when I woke up and realized the cold and difficulty of the bike ride to get there, I dropped the plan. In hindsight, it was a wise decision because when I finally left the hotel at 7am even driving for 30 minutes in bike that cold was so difficult. I drove towards Suryanelli via the Gap Road, which was both scenic and pleasant.

Since it was too late to visit Kolukkumalai, I continued driving through the Kochi-Madurai National Highway and crossed the state border to reach Bodimettu View Point in Tamil Nadu. It was the best route so far where I could really push the bike on corners & enjoyed the ride. The view from there was breathtaking, on one side I could see clouds parallel to me and on the other side winding roads leading downhill to Theni in TN. It was the last stop before I turned back home, and my trip meter was showing 305KM.

On my way back, I passed through Rajakumari, Rajakkad, Ponmudi dam, and Lower Periyar dam to reach Neriyamangalam. This road was deserted, with a dense forest on one side and the Periyar river flowing parallel to the road on the other side, excellent for bike ride. I reached home around 4 PM, and my trip meter showed a distance of 510KM, my longest journey so far on my Interceptor.

A short video of the trip.

Click here for Route map

Munnar Route Map

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