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5 Things To Do When Visiting Munnar

5 Things To Do When Visiting Munnar

Located in the Western Ghats mountain range in Kerala state of India, Munnar is surrounded by rolling hills of tea plantations and waterfalls. With its exquisite and unique natural beauty, Munnar attracts tourists from all over the world. Here are the best sightseeing spots that you can explore when visiting this place.

1. Tea Gardens and Estates

Munnar has a wealth of tea gardens and plantations that are possible to visit, many of them owned by Tata ltd. There are whole mountains covered with growing tea plants, the leaves of which smell really fragrant. You could decide to go on a specific tour, or you may choose to travel there on your own accord, with a hired car, or a hired motorbike. Many of the plantations do a factory tour, so that you can see how the tea is processed. There is also a tea museum there that will give you some history to tea cultivation.

Another interesting find is the Kolukkumalai Tea Estate, which is approximately two hours drive away. The estate is beautiful and the drive to it is also extremely scenic with plenty of tea and spice farms and waterfalls passing you along the way. It would require a jeep or 4×4 to travel the estate, because the terrain is rugged and the roads are not well made. The hills are the highest in the area with stunning views from the top of the estate and it’s an amazing place to see the sunrise or sunset. If you’re a lover of organic green tea, this place is a must, and you will have the opportunity to buy some there.

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2. Top Station

This is one of the best places to visit in Munnar for all travelers.[1] If you love animals, Top Station is a breathtaking experience where you can see a multitude of majestic elephants. Echo Point is on Top Station and can be seen while people are travelling up to it. Like its name suggests, when you shout at Echo Point, you’ll hear your voice echoing back to you. It’s a beautiful scenic place on the edge of a lake, ideal for viewing wildlife or walking. It’s located at approximately 600 feet and has beautiful green banks. At Top Station, you have stunning views of Tamil Nadu, the Western Ghats, and you’ll experience swirling mist in the valleys and clouds around the tops of the mountains, which give it a magical mysterious, yet calm and relaxing quality. Many visitors comment that they feel as though they could touch the clouds.

Top Station is the highest spot in Munnar with an altitude of 1,700 metres and is about 32 km away from Munnar. Its name derives from the fact that Top Station is the very highest railway station in Kundala Valley and was formerly used as a means to transport tea from Munnar to Bodinayakkanur, before being shipped to places like England. One unique aspect of Top Station is that there are Neelakurinji flowers (Strobilanthus) that only blossom every twelve years. When they are in bloom, they have a beautiful blue colour and smell very fragrant. The next time they’re expected to bloom in 2018. It’s possible to travel to Top Station by bus, cab, hire-car, as well as by rail. Nearby is the Kurinjimala Sanctuary.

3. Rajamalai (Eravikulam) National Park

This is a lovely place to visit, whether it’s with family or friends. The park contains rare endangered mountain goats (known as Nilgiri Tahr) with short bristly fur, that roam freely around you in the Rajamala tourist zone. There are also a wide variety of birds and butterflies to see. There are beautiful flowers, such as the Neelakurinji blossoms. The cakes on sale at the store in the park come highly recommended. There are a variety of restaurants and shops at the park. You’ll see stunning views of mountains at the park, including the Anamudi Peak, which is the highest mountain in South India at over 2,695 metres. You can see many different rare flowers and plants at the park, including orchids and balsams.

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The park itself is 97 square metres in the Kannan Devan Hills and from the park you can see the surrounding tea plantations. The park has the Lakkom Waterfalls, which cascade down the side of a hill, creating a spectacular image and the waterfall itself is surrounded by Vaga trees. There are also many beautiful trails that you can walk along throughout the park. For visitors who want to see a shola-grassland ecosystem, it’s the perfect place. Other animals that you may see at the park include: langur, leopards, tigers, and bison.

4. Power House Waterfalls

Munnar Waterfall

    Also known as the Chinnakanal Waterfalls, this waterfall is can be found en-route to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. It’s located close to Thekkady and approximately 18km from Munnar. The waterfall starts at the top of a steep rock-face (Western Ghat), which is 200 metres above sea-level. The water comes from the River Devikulam. The waterfall cascades into a natural pool at the base of it, which can be an incredible place to have a swim.

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    There are beautiful green Western mountain ranges and tea plantations surrounding the waterfall. The waterfall itself cascades down three levels, which makes it very picturesque and ideal for taking photos at. The waterfall occurs on a main-road, which can make it the ideal place to stop off at on your way to travelling elsewhere because it’s an added bonus attraction. It is clean and well maintained, and very relaxing and calming to hear the flowing water. In the monsoon season, the waterfall is especially powerful (but the water can dry up in April to May). It can be a beautiful place to watch a sunrise from.

    5. Punarjani Traditional Village

    At the Punarjani Traditional Village, you’re able to watch traditional dancing and martial arts. The performances there are sure to keep you entertained and interested with a vast array of vibrant costumes and stylish and skilled movements. The dances have a story to tell so it’s like watching a theatrical performance.

    The Kathakali dance is performed in a performance temple known as a Koothambalam. It is possible to arrive early at the show so that you can see the performers applying their makeup (Chutti). It’s wonderful to experience some true culture and to learn more about Indian traditions. The shows contain Kerala Kalari and Kathakali dancing and the martial art Kalarippayattu. Kalarippayattu is one of the world’s oldest martial arts and has influenced many others. Performers use swords, shields, sticks, hands, daggers, and spears as part of their fighting.

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    These beautiful attractions in Munnar will leave you with many unforgettable memories. If India is your next travel destination, don’t forget to put these sightseeing places on your list.

    Reference

    [1] http://irisholidays.com/keralatourism/best-places-to-visit-in-munnar/

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    Liem Nguyen

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    Last Updated on August 12, 2019

    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

    Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

    But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

    I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

    Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

    1. Nuts

    The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

    Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

    Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

    Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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    2. Blueberries

    Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

    When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

    3. Tomatoes

    Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

    4. Broccoli

    While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

    Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

    Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

    5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

    Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

    The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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    Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

    6. Soy

    Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

    Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

    Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

    7. Dark Chocolate

    When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

    Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

    8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

    Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

    B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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    Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

    Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

    To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

    9. Foods Rich in Zinc

    Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

    Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

    Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

    10. Gingko Biloba

    This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

    It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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    However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

    11. Green and Black Tea

    Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

    Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

    Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

    12. Sage and Rosemary

    Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

    Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

    When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

    More About Boosting Brain Power

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

    Reference

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