It is a hectic time and also became very lazy these days. Still I find time to pin this Blog because this is my first longest trek in whole of my life till date. One day I called up Murali and told him it is high time we need to have a break to office and other stuffs around us for at least two or three days. it struck our minds why not we make a trip during three days holidays during the independence day (a long week end) to make ourselves away from the regular routine work. There exactly the plan for going to Munnar began. Lee gave lot of options and only this plan it worked out. We formed the Gang (Murali, Kumar, Padbhanabhan, Lokesh, Suresh and Me). We were planning to reach Munnar. Finally we decided that I’ll leave to Bangalore and from there we can get a train to Coimbatore and from Coimbatore we can book a Taxi and Leave. Murali a week before the trip begins he called me and told me that we need to be there in the Hotel Before 7 pm so that it is better. So we had a change in plan that I’ll come to coimbatore directly and all others guys from bangalore join me at coimbatore. and the same plan from coimbatore continues. So I got into the Bus by 9:00 pm from chennai and all others started from bangalore by 10:45 pm. I heard from Murali that the baggage that kumar was taking is so so heavy and he is late for the bus. and lunckly he got an auto and he got into the bus.
Day 1 :
Around 7:30 am I reached coimbatore. Before that itself all these guys reached coimbatore. I called them up they asked me to come to the new bus stand. I really don’t know where the new bus stand is. I some how finds the bus which goes to new bus stand from gandhipuram. I told these guys to come to gandhipuram since the cab can start from there. but they insisted me to come there. I went to the new bus stand which was actually known to me but I don’t know that is the new bus stand. I reached there I could see kumar taking lot of photos around the busstand. We started from the new bus stand by 8 am in a bus and reached gandhipuram. We called the Cab guy which we have booked already and he came to pick up. we had a Nice breakfast at Gowri Shankar Hotel in Crosscut Road. I feel everyone enjoyed the breakfast.
We got into the cab and started the trip to Munnar from coimbatore. We stopped in lot of places where we have filled our bags with snacks and we hit the road from Coimbatore-Pollachi-Udumulpet-Munnar. The Udumulpet to Munnar road is very scenic. A drive from Udumalpet to Munnar gives one unforgettable views of the Western Ghats. Chinnar is 25 km from Udumalpet and is there is Indra Gandhi wildlife sanctuary. Chinnar is also the border between Tamil Nadu and Kerala. As you cross the Tamil Nadu border and enter Kerala, you can see a distinct change in the vegetation. While the Tamil Nadu areas have vegetation dominated by shrubs and thorny trees, the vegetation in Kerala is lush green with tall trees. Marayur is 20 km from Chinnar. As we drive past Marayur towards Munnar, you can see the glimpse of Huge mountains around us. We enjoyed the heavy drive. We could not able to find the hotel there. we called up the person who is organizing and we found the place. we reached the Hotel in Munnar which is Name as “ML Munnar”. The climate was awesome when we reached the place. it is drizzling and we enjoyed the climate. We got out of the cab and went into the Rooms. The Rooms were pretty decent. when we went to room and settled the time is almost 3:00 pm. we called up that hotel guy and ordered the food for lunch to the room itlsef. we had heavy food with Parota, Chicken Kuruma and Chicken Birayani. The food which we tool was awesome and we had a nice feast. After having food we started playing cards in one room. We enjoyed that. The Organizer which Murali booked was KALYPSO ADVENTURES. Those guys came to our room and explained the whole trek and other things about the trek and ask us to get ready by 7 am on the next day.
At 7:30 pm we were planning to have a good dinner. we just put on our jerkins and started going out in search of a good hotel. We could not find anything better we went into some hotel and we had a good Food. all these food are cooked with coconut oil and hence I could feel the difference. We started our sleep by 10:00 pm. Till that time we were enjoying a lot ‘cause of the Climate. I forgot the Hectic humidity weather which I used to have back home in Chennai.
Everyone of us was so energetic, we woke up very early and got ready fast and were waiting for the Jeep. The jeep came we just vacated the place where we were staying and took all our luggage's in jeep. The jeep started to Silent Valley in a the stony jeep track which is 20Km from Munnar where we have started our trek. On the way we had Poori for Breakfast and had Chai. The tea tasted so good. The best point is I was not so used to drink tea. We started again to Silent Valley. We reached the Silent valley around 9:30 am. The drive which we went was awesome and still I felt as if I wanted to drive that jeep. We got down and took only the things which we carry. We had to take only the minimum required luggage for Day 2 and the rest would be transported to the Day 2 camp site by the same jeep. Also we had leech Socks which is used to avoid leech. We started our trek. Vishnu, Dinesh and Muthu (the guide from Forest department) were Accompanying us in whole of the trip.
We starting the trek from an altitude of 1500 m gradually ascending to over 2600m, passing through sholas (high altitude rain forests) and grasslands which are typical to the higher areas of the Western Ghats . The area also has wildlife – notably elephants, sambar, sloth bear and the Nilgiri thar - the latter being endemic and endangered. After a small snacks we continued our trek through the undulating mountain grasslands and ascend Meeshapulimala - the second highest peak in the Western Ghats. The trek passed through sholas, grasslands and mountain streams which criss-cross the area. Soon you reach above cloud level and the place would offer a bird's eye view of Munnar and surroundings. we reach the top of MeeshaPulimala, we relaxed for a short while and enjoy the panoramic views. After having a light Lunch of bread Sandwich we started again. The last climb up the Meesapulimala is a tough one, but once you are on top of the hill, all the difficulties will be forgotten. It is amazing to be on top of the world and one step away from the clouds! Meesapulimala is arguably the 2nd tallest peak in South India. we would start our descend from the other side of the peak. The descend is a bit steep. You found elephant dung during our descend. After about 40 minutes steep decend, we get inside a shola forest. The place is nothing short of a wild garden and plants of different colors, shape and sizes.
From the place We can see the world’s highest tea estate Kolukkumalai in the undulating hills below. All persons mind filled with Happiness when we see the estate and few houses while getting down. We heard from Guides that we are at Kolukkumalai. We are completely surrounded by tea estates on all sides. These tea estates are said to be the highest in the world at 2175m. If the sky is clear, the green carpet offered a magnificent landscape. We had a view of Kolukkumalai Tea Factory which is built by the british person and still the same process maintains there. One person explains the whole process of making tea from tea leaves. Got out of the factory we got few tea packets and had a nice green tea and Hit back in a bumpy road to Anaerangal Camp. All are heavily tired of trek around 16km In mountain and also the bad part is leech bite Murali’s Legs and blood was coming out for quite a long time. he would have lost quite a good “ml” of blood wasted. The camp was awesome to stay and we enjoyed our stay. We had camp fire and Food Made ready and we made fun and we enjoyed the food and hit the bed for next day Trek.
Covered by hills on all sides and far away from the civilization, it was a nice chilled out morning and another good meal to start the day - a mix of traditional mallu breakfast, fruits and bread. There are some things that money cant buy!!!. I and Murali didn’t go for next day trek, all others went for a small trek for around 4 hours and came back. We started packing our things and hit back to Munnar in a jeep. By about 11.30, we made it to the lake, which was again beautiful, like any other place in Munnar :) . We had our Lunch and Our jeep was ready by this time and we headed back.The Ride was at most enjoyable with full of tea estate. Reached down to Munnar by 2:00 pm. Murali, Lokesh and Suresh had a Body Massage and came to bus stop by 4:00pm. I was very hard to get a bus to Coimbatore or to Bangalore since we have not booked. Finally we managed to Book a Cab to Coimbatore. .I was too tired ‘cause I was sick. We reached Pollachi and had nice Dinner and started to Coimbatore. We reached Coimbatore by 11:00 pm. We booked a Hotel for Murali and Guys and I started back to Home. When I reached home it was around 11:30 pm. I heard from sister that her kid Sarvesh is Still awake to meet me. Played with him for sometime and went to Sleep. Murali and Others Started to Bangalore by 8:00 am Train on the next day.
The trip was one of the memorable trip in my life.
The Trek Highlights :
Meesapulimala the second highest peak (2635 m) in South India
Highest grown tea in the world – Kolukkumala
Trek through villages of hill tribes
Beautiful view of Munnar and it’s Climate
A variety of plantations, vegetable and fruit farms
Hopefully will write my Next blog soon….