Anyone who has been to the South of India in March knows that heat can overpowering, and escaping it is hard. Air-conditioning might be available in the more expensive hostels or hotels, but besides that, you most likely have to deal with 40 degrees Celsius during the day. However, should you make it to the beautiful state of Kerala, fresh and lush mountains are only a short bus ride away! Roughly 4 hours East of the city of Cochin you can find the city of Munnar, situated 1600m above sea level. Whilst the city does not have much to offer, besides a few shops and hotels, the reason for visiting Munnar is the stunning surroundings!
Hiking the Green Hills of Munnar
But be warned, the most stunning views don’t come easy, they require a bit of effort! While you can easily be driven around by a Jeep on a day tour, we found the most amazing views on early morning hikes. Leave around 7.30am when the sun is still low, and the sky most likely still clear. Bring enough water and some snacks for along the way, and enjoy a 3 to 4h hike in the most lush scenery you might have ever seen. The fields of the mountains are filled with the most stunning tea plantations… you might even wander into people working on the tea fields. Since you’ll probably be hungry after a hike, head down to the city centre of Munnar for a nice lunch at Rapsey’s where you’ll be able to find a cheap and tasty lunch.
A recommended hike, head to the College of Engineering, situated uphill, cross the property and head into the mountains, you will be warmly welcomed by some amazing views over the tea fields. Should you decide to head out in the afternoon, make sure to bring a raincoat; the weather in the mountains can change very fast. Hence it is highly recommended to check the weather predictions in the morning.
Interested in learning more about the tea fields, and how they actually came to live, or how tea is made? A short rickshaw ride out of the city centre you can find the Tea Museum. Entrance fee to the museum is 75Rs and makes a nice activity for a rainy afternoon. Close to the Tea Museum you will also be able to do a tea tasting, should you be tempted in actually having a taste of the green lush fields.
The fresh air, the cooling wind of the mountains, the tranquility of the mountains, can be a nice change from the bustling and hustling cities of India. So take a couple of days and explore the amazing area of Munnar, I am quite sure you won’t be disappointed. Still not convinced? Check out pictures down below, you might change your mind!