4 must have experiences in The Best Destination for Romance
Munnar has been endowed with an accolade for Best Destination for Romance. This endorsement comes from none other than the popular travel magazine Lonely Planet India in a nationwide survey (held in May 2017). However, tourists have been flocking to this hill station for years and unsuspecting travellers can very well get lost. While most people’s itineraries are drawn out with the most crowded tourist spots, there are a lot of worthwhile experiences (especially in the hyper-romantic monsoon season) that are overlooked. Here are a few suggestions for people who are heading to the blue-tinged mountains with their significant other.
While the first image everyone gets of Munnar is sprawling tea estates, the destination also has a unique kind of landscape—one of region specific shola forests. Thick rainforest running up to 2,000m above sea level stretches into grasslands interspersed with trees to create this environment. Such is the setting of Kerala’s smallest national park tucked away into the hills at about 35 kms from the previous colonial town. The Log Houses of the Wildlife Division of Munnar—tucked away on the wooded hillslopes—make for a quiet getaway with best views of bison herds who frequent the marshes in the valley. `4,000 for a couple. Details: munnarwildlife.com
Spice it up
Kerala is known to the world as the land of spices and there’s no place to immerse yourself in their fragrances than the outskirts of Mankulam. Head to this quaint village located at a distance of 32 kms from the hilly town through the tall trees that shade the cardamom plantations. Since it’s not a pitstop on any tourist map, this locale’s beautiful waterfalls (like Nakshathrakuthu and Perumbankuthu) remain untouched. However, great caution is advised about going near the waterfalls in the monsoon season as slippery rocks can be dangerous. A luxury tree house and a dip in a natural pool close to the thick forests at Viripara is a uniquely romantic experience Munnar can offer. `6,000 onwards. Details: theheightsmunnar.com
Walking the farm
Don’t travel all the way to Himalayan foothills for fresh fruit picks. A rain shadow village lying 40 kms away from the main town, Kanthalloor is one of the best places for couples to engage in some fresh farm air and fruits like plum and orange. Explore the five-acre property of Thoppan’s orchard—run by teacher and farmer George Joseph—where over 50 different species of fruits and vegetables including blackberries bloom. Monsoon being the harvest season of plum and apples, visitors can engage in picking the ripe fruits directly from the trees. Details: facebook.com/pg/thoppansorchard
Instead of a passive trip through the sprawling tea estates in the hills, indulge in its history and flavours. Tea Harvester at Pallivasal organises plantation walks along with an unforgettable tea tasting experience. Find out more about the colonial history of the Highlands—through photographs collected over the century—as you engage in tasting variety of strains including Kolukkumalai tea grown in the World’s highest tea garden. `600. Details: wandertrails.com/activities/the-tea-tasting-trail-munnar