Day3:Travel from Thekkady To Munnar
Boating at Periyar lake
We started our day at 6:30 Am getting ready for the boating at Periyar lake in the 7:00 AM – 9:00 AM slot organized by KTDC. Boat rides offered on the Periyar lake provides the best chance of observing wild life in the sanctuary.
The timings for boating are 0700, 0930, 1130, 1400, 1600 hrs and the fare is Lower deck: Rs. 55 + 10 entrance fee, Upper deck: Rs. 110 + 10 entrance fee. Vehicle pass Rs 25
We had already asked the ranger wood staff to purchase the tickets for us for the upper deck to have a better view, at a premium (this was not required as the tickets were available without much queue in the morning)
Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve is one of the most captivating wildlife parks in the world. The picturesque lake in the heart of the sanctuary was originally 26 sq km but now spans an area of 55 sq km.
The weather was cold in the morning and there was fog all around and dew drops dipping from the roof of the boat and all the chairs were wet. There was tussle between people to occupy the plum side seats of the upper deck of the boat. If you are not on time you will loose the better seats. The children were already wearing thermals to protect from biting wind.
The scenery and views of the lake are impressing and I have no seen a lake better than this one in my life.
It was told that we will spot a lot of wild animals we we couldn’t find any big animal there. As the boat went inside the lake the fog increased and it was all fog all around the boat with hardly any visibility, a very different experience to relish.
Comming back we had south Indian breakfast, checked out from the hotel and proceeded towards Munnar at around 11:00 AM.
Travel from Thekkady to Munnar
The trip to Munnar took another three hours, we we took two breaks for seeing the spice gardens on the way to Munnar and reached there at 4:00 PM in the afternoon.
On the way we saw Cardamom and black pepper plants and also some other spices. I saw them for the first time plants. We also had a break at a small processing plant where we say how the cardamom is dried and packed for selling in the market.
We headed for lunch directly at Hotel Saravan Bhavan in Munnar and ordered ponni rice served with local vegetables, which was excellent in taste and price was mere around Rs 20 only.
Other wise the market was shabby, not much shops, Thekkady was much better compared to this.
Economical stay at Mar Thoma Resort Munnar
Then we started our search for the hotels. We saw KTDC Tea County hotel, T&U Leisure Hotel, Issac Residency. Issac residency is a good hotel centrally located but is expensive. We finally settled at Mar Thoma resorts on the road to top station in front of T&U hotel. The tariff was Rs 2000 plus taxes but we settled for Rs 1500 including tax. The benefit of having a car was that we were at ease to check a number of hotels and settle which best suited us and also economical. We were able to accommodate children free and save tax at all places.
Munnar is not a place for shopping as the market area is very small and not that much good compared to Thekkady. Our first hand experience or Munnar was a little disappointing, below our expectations.
So we decided to move back to Kumarakom the place we liked the most the next day after local sight seeing.
Do not miss the Periyar lake boat ride in the morning the first trip at 7:00 AM. Nature is at its best at that time and chances of spotting the animals are also high.
Carry some additional clothing during the boat ride in the morning as the morning time is much cooler than the average day temperatures.
Bargain good with the hotels and you will get 20-35% discounts plus no extra charges for children and tax.
There are plenty of hotel sites on the internet showing hotels located in tea gardens or in lap of nature away from crowd but in reality it is not there. Only a few hotels in Munnar are located at a good location, other are on dusty crowded inner roads.