Friday, March 18, 2011

Munnar - Part 2

It is noteworthy to mention that I started off by blog with an article on Munnar, which got me some good reviews, and gave me the confidence to go ahead with my writing. I had written that piece long ago, with the intention of following it up… But years have passed since the first post and I am yet to write the second part. Now I feel that I have ignored it far too long… let me see if I can brush up my memory!

Munnar Diary- Day 2:

The dawn held new promises in its bosom and we all woke up rather refreshed. The agenda for the day had been laid down – a visit to the famous Eravikulam National Park – the abode of the famed Nilgiri Tahr! It is also famous for the Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes Kunthiana), that blooms only once in every 12 years. It is said that when the flowers bloom the whole hill looks blanketed in blue.

Eravikulam National Park is nestled in the high range (popularly known as Kannan Devan Hills) of the Southern Ghats… The name Eravikulam must have evolved from the words: Eravi/Aruvi- meaning stream & Kulam – meaning pond/pool.

The Park is 97 sq. km. in extent. It mainly contains high altitude grasslands. The undulating plateau that encompasses the National Park is said to be about 2000 meters higher than the sea level. The highest peak of South India, Anamudi, which measures 2695 meters, is situated here. Three major types of flora are found here-grasslands, shrub land and forests. Turner’s valley is the deepest valley here and it almost splits the park into two.

After breakfast, we rode to the gate of the park and bought the entry tickets. Private transportation is prohibited in the park and so we had to wait for the KTDC bus that would take us up to a certain point, after which we have to do some hiking to reach the point till which tourists are allowed. The summit of the hill is not accessible for the tourists. On the way up to the end point, we enjoyed unparallel natural beauty. There were some small streams that contained water so cool and refreshing! The flora were mainly shrubs and some wild plant, but with beautiful flowers.

We had huge hopes of sighting the famed goat! But it proved elusive! Few of our fellow tourists gave up very easily and went back to the bus point. Others, like us, enjoyed the nature and decided to test our luck and waited. Soon, it was becoming more and more obvious that we will not get a glimpse of the VIP! So, rather reluctantly, we decided to go back to the boarding point.

Then, someone spotted few specks on a hill top far away, and cry enthusiastically “There it is!” And as we strained our eyes to focus on the spots it seemed moving; so we decided it – it certainly is a Tahr! We zoomed our camera to the maximum and the rather grainy image that was captured, certainly showed a Tahr!

So thus armed with something to show off, we came back, took the bus back to the entrance and drove off in our car in search of our lunch. Of course, we bought the tiny little fresh carrots from the vendor and enjoyed them. They were so sweet, crispy and wonderful to eat!

Soon we reached back at our rooms after lunch and it was already time to go back to home! The one and half days at Munnar seemed to have passed by in a flash! We didn’t have enough of it… Plans of coming back again here were already being formulated in the mind. With that reassuring thought of revisiting Munnar, we started on our return journey. We stopped to buy some spices and specialties of Munnar, before we headed towards our journey to Ernakulam.

Little did I know that Munnar’s captivating beauty was still to charm us on our way back! That, my friend, I’ll tell you next time…


Unknown said...

good,plz. add more pic. from ur cam

Nisha said...

Thanks seb! Glad you liked it. May be I'll do that in my photo blog sometime later. Thanks for the suggestion!

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