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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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    Last Updated on August 15, 2018

    7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

    7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

    Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

    Video Summary

    Why is it important to train up our core strength?

    There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

    This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

    Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

    In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

    One Exercise, multiple benefits

    There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

    By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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    When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

    Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

    In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

    What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

    What will happen when you start doing planks every day

      1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

      Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

      • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
      • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
      • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
      • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

      2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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        Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

        Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

        3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

          Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

          4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

            Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

            A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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            A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

            On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

            5. You’ll improve overall balance

              Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

              6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                  Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                  How to hold a plank position

                  1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                  2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                  3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                  4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                  5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                  6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                  7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                  Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                  Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                    How to improve your plank time gradually

                    1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                    2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                    3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                    Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                    Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                    You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                    • Prolapse
                    • After prolapse surgery
                    • Pelvic pain conditions
                    • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                    • Previous childbirth
                    • Overweight

                    Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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