Day4: Munnar local sightseeing and travel to Kumarakom
As we had planned to move back to Kumarakom in the evening we decided to start early to cover the main tourist spots of Munnar.
By 8:00 Am we were ready to move forward. Most of the tourist spots are located on the Mattupetty dam top station road, our retreat was also located on the same road.
We saw the echo point, Mattupetty dam, halted for some time at the Kundala lake which we liked the most and children enjoyed a lot.
Kundala Lake is located at 28 km away from Munnar amidst a dense forest. A narrow road bifurcates to the left to reach this place. The main road on the top of the dam offers a panoramic view of the catchment area of the Kundala Dam. Kundala lake and its surrounding area offer a calm and quiet atmosphere with quiet natural beauty. Huge oak trees around the lake were magnificent. There was level area around the lake bank for children to play. Several boats were parked there but at that moment boating has yet not started.
The last tourist spot on the route is the Top Station on the top of the hill as the name suggests. It lies on the state border of Kerala and Tamilnadu. The road up to the border is good but as soon as we enter Tamilnadu the road becomes horrific with huge potholes making it difficult to drive even at 10 Kms per hour. A short distance from the border took half an hour to reach the top station. The point is a private property and the owner charges Rs 10 per person to go the point which commands a panoramic view of rolling green hills. There is about a kilometer long very steep walk with no proper footpath to the point and to and fro will take more than one hour.
There are no restaurants or good shops to buy eatables, so it is advised to carry them along from Munnar. Some small temporary shop are there at top station selling local fruits.
Munnar Tea Gardens
On the way back we stopped some time in the tea gardens. The rolling tea estates and unending spice plantations make Munnar strikingly green and hence a charm to every weary soul.
The lush tea gardens in Munnar produce some of the finest teas in the world. We shot some pictures in the tea gardens and started our onward journey. By 3:00 PM we were ready to travel towards Kumarakom having done our lunch at the same vegetarian restaurant Saravana Bhavan.
The restaurant is small and simple but the food is fresh and taste is excellent and that too at a very low price.
Travel from Munnar to Kumarakom
There was nothing to see along the road to Kumarakom from Munnar. Deepu was an expert on the roads and took many short village roads to cut the distance by about 50 Kms. The villages had nice houses and we could spot many big schools on the road side in the villages also. From this we can judge that why Kerala has the highest literacy rate in India. The roads in Kerala, even village roads are well maintained.
On the way we had a stopover at Deepu’s house in Kumarakom.
We wanted to stay at some good place place facing the Vembanad lake and having place for children to play and again our budget was Rs 1500 for the stay. We saw three four resorts but they were on the higher side.
Comfortable stay at Illikkalam Lake resort
Seeing our requirements then Deepu took us to Illikkalam Lake resort. The resort was lake facing with independent cottages and plenty of play area, garden and hammocks.
We decided to take lake facing deluxe AC cottage having a tariff of Rs 2500, but negotiated it down to Rs 1700 including Tax. The owner himself was there at the reception to extend the hospitality.
The rooms were neat and clean but the furniture required improvement, and also the other interiors.
We spent time watching the house boats passing by and playing in the garden with kids till late night.
Illikkalam Lake resort is a good budget place with good location to stay in Kumarakom. Food is a bit costly. The menu was mostly non vegetarian with little choices for us.