Munnar - The Green Carpet

It was almost 12 noon by the time we came out of the SVNP. We took the Munnar road. The road was pretty scenic and we enjoyed this long drive and reached Munnar by 7 PM or so. All the sight seeing was planned for the next day. The hotel where we were put up - Abad Copper Castle - is built right on a cliff with a direct view of the valley. But unfortunately it was all dry and barren. Tea gardens were nowhere in the sight!!

There was campfire arranged in the hotel and we decided to joined. Dance was the obvious thing that happens at a camp fire with some dance numbers being played. Meghana, Mrunmay and I indulged in some "ganapati" dance and some common steps. Mrunmay was finding it very amusing to see both of us dancing!!

Munnar outing started with a visit to Tea Museum where a small machinery is setup to showcase how Tea mixture and dust is prepared from the Tea leaves. The museum also held some other archaic / antique items such as typewriters, radios etc, which Mrunmay was least interested in. His all attention was on when can we see how the tea is made!! There are two activities, which go in parallel, at this museum - a Video show and factory visit. We obviously chose the factory visit!!

A guide was to take us through the entire process and all the visitors in that time slot were made to assemble at first floor. After a wait of about 10 minutes, the guide arrived. He started talking about the tea history and started stressing on the fact that how nobody except Chinese do not know how to make and drink tea. It was repeated at least 5-7 times. Finally he stopped and took us to this long series of machines which make the tea powder and dust! Starting with drying, heating (thrice) and then crushing/grinding and in the end - segregation. After seeing all this, Mrunmay wanted to see it once again. But it was fast. He found it very amusing to see how tea powder gets seperated into different sections using same machine..

After spending some time around the museum we left for our next destination in Munnar - Matupetty Dam and followed by Echo Point. While going there, came a photo point!! When Mrunmay heard about photo point, he was little confused - what is that going to look like?? When we got down, none of us could stop taking pictures all around us! I went into a selfie mode, Meghana had become photographer once again and Mrunmay was busy trying to mimic either of us - with his point and shoot Canon A600. 

And Some Selfies!!

Photographer At Work!!
We wanted to get into the tea garden and take some pics, but all the gardens were fenced and driver told that since tourists hadn't been careful over a period of time, all the garden owners have put up fences. But he assured us to take us to a garden on way to Thekkady next day. With keeping that in mind, we moved towards the matupetty dam, where there was boating facility. Since we had missed one at Banasura Sagar Dam, we wanted to reach this dam on time. But again bad luck hit us. That being a Sunday, the dam was overcrowded and they had stopped issuing tickets (here as well!!). Since there was no point in waiting there in hope for some miracle, we moved toward echo point. When we told this to Mrunmay, his reaction - "Echo point? Here as well??" The context was our visit to Mahabaleshwar few weeks back where he had visited the echo point there. For him it was a big this and surprised him to realize that there could be many such echo points!!

The weather had become cloudy, but very pleasant. We reached the echo point and were looking for some cliff / valley from where sound could be echoed. None was in sight. A river was flowing creating apparently an "echoable" distance between both the sides. The crowd was so huge that it was impossible even to try!

But here, we again got a peddle boat!

On our way back, we stumbled upon an artist who was drawing sketches of his clients. Mrunmay got very excited and wanted to get one done for him. We cautioned him that it would mean he needs to sit still at least for 15 mins! We thought that would be deterrent.. Hell, no!! He sat through those 15 mins almost steady and got his sketch completed! 

As we returned to hotel, it was time to pack bags and get ready for travel to Thekkady, where spice garden and boat ride in periyar river was waiting for us!!


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