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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 February 18, 2019

    13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

    13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

    Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

    Why is this so critically important to you?

    The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

    Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

    1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

    Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

    When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

    • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
    • The man facing the judge.
    • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
    • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
    • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
    • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

    These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

    Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

    Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

    2. Accept Your Fear

    Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

    We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

    And here’s what can be done.

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    3. Get Some Perspective

    I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

    And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

    That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

    We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

    So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

    • Are you really at risk?
    • Will this kill you?
    • Which leads us on to..
    • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

    4. Hold a Hand

    As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

    Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

    We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

    Ask yourself:

    • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
    • Could that really happen?
    • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
    • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

    By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

    5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

    This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

    Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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    The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

    It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

    For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

    Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

    6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

    I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

    Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

    Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

    Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

    Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

    Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

    7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

    Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

    I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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    It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

    One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

    Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

    It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

    8. Assume the Worse

    If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

    Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

    • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
    • Think about how they feel about champagne?
    • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

    And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

    When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

    Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

    9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

    If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

    Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

    Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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    10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

    One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

    11. Go with Fear

    When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

    I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

    Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

    One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

    However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

    We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

    12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

    And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

    The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

    What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

    13. Own Your Fear

    Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

    We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

    You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

    More Resources About Fighting Fear

    Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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