Munnar is a hill station nestled in the Western Ghats of Southern India! Magnificent Views of jungle, then mountains, and the tea plantations cover the topography. It is a spectacle to see such varieties of green in this magical place also known for all the spices we have grown to love in the gorgeous and zesty South Indian food!
The only drawback to this area is getting there. From Cochin, a main city hub in Kerela, it’s a winding, narrow, heroic drive that makes your stomach feel like its on a 5 hour roller coaster. Add to this the honkers, tour busses, and the m any traffic slow downs, and you have one heck of a ride to get to the top of this World. If you have travelled the road to Hana in Maui, you will be able to relate to the potential barf feel of such a car trip to Munnar. That being said, if you are of strong fortitude, and love the fresh air and scenery of mountainous regions, you will love The area of Munnar.
One of the non-touristy and memorable things we did in this area, was to hire a guide to take us trekking beyond the tea plantations. We made an arrangement with Jayshungar, a wonderful guide who loves nature and is an advocate for a more environmentally sensitive India. He helped to shake the cobwebs in the brain from such a long car journey.
Making the equivalent of about $8.00 a week, the ‘tea ladies’ work picking tea leaves for up to 12 hours per day. Their charisma and smiles seemed to tell the story of so many Indians. Hard working and very proud of their daily accomplishments, they were happy to share. It is this sense of satisfaction in life, whether false or not, that seems to be such a part of the Indian character. These Tea Ladies, with their broad smiles will be a lasting memory of my Munnar trip!