Munnar Tea Plantations & Flower Gardens on the Road to Mattupetty (Episode 105 – Part 12)

On our second day in Munnar, India, Basil at Le Celestium Hotel arranged a tour along the road from Munnar to Mattupetty. We thoroughly enjoyed the scenery, especially the Munnar Tea Plantations.

Munnar Mattupetty Map

Our driver wasn’t much of a tour guide, but he was safe and affordable. We paid $20 for the 7 hours he spent driving us toward Mattupetty and back to Munnar.

Since our driver didn’t provide us with any facts or information about the places we visited, we didn’t have much to share in our video and I’m guessing some of the things we said were inaccurate. We apologize for that and welcome all corrections.

Also, on the brochure for this tour, it was called the “Madupetty Direction.” However, according to the interwebs, it’s actually spelled Mattupetty. Which is correct? ?‍♂️

Celebrity Photo Op

Before we left on our tour, a large family who was staying at our hotel asked us to pose with them for photos. This happened to us a lot in India. Random people on the street stopped us for pictures with them. We’re not exactly sure why. Is it because we’re gringos? Americans? We were flattered, of course, and were happy to pose for pictures. One of the family members was kind enough to take pictures with my camera, too.

KFDC Floriculture Centre – Munnar, India

Our first stop was the Forest Flower Garden at the KFDC Floriculture Centre just east of Munnar. We saw lots of strange and familiar flowers there, including the same vine with orange blooms that we have in our courtyard in Cuenca, Ecuador.

Orange Vine Munnar India

Jungle Honey Bee Tree

Most of the stops on this tour were only a couple kilometers apart. On our way from the flower garden to the botanical garden, we stopped for a photo op with some honey bees. We’ve never seen Winnie the Pooh style bee hives before. Pooh would be very happy ?

Jungle Honey Bee Tree Munnar India

Carmelgiri Botanical Garden

Our next stop was another flower garden of sorts, the Carmelgiri Botanical Garden. They had lots of very strange looking plants there, including this one from The Little Shop of Horrors ?

Carmelgiri Botanical Garden Strange Plant

Mattupetty Dam – Mattupetty India

Our next stop was the Mattupetty Dam and Lake. We actually didn’t stop at the dam because it was hot and there were a lot of people. Besides, we’ve seen lots of dams and it was a pretty typical one. We drove around the lake to the boating area and our driver stopped so we could look around.

Mattupetty Dam Lake

Kundale Lake – Mattupetty India

After a short drive through the beautiful countryside between Munnar and Mattupetty, we stopped at Kundale Lake. It’s also spelled Kundala Lake and Kundla Lake. We noticed this a lot in India: the same place has multiple names.

Kundale Lake Munnar India

After we left Kundale Lake and were driving toward the tea plantations, we saw another troop of monkeys. Their behaviors are so humanlike, or are our behaviors monkeylike? ?

Munnar India Monkeys

Vegetable Garden View – Mattupetty India

We stopped for a scenic view of an organic vegetable farm. Seeing the people working in the gardens below was like looking through a window in time. It was unreal.

Munnar Tea Plantations – Top Station View

Our last stop was by far the best along the road from Munnar to Mattupetty. We had seen lots of Munnar tea plantations from the road, but we hadn’t walked around in one yet. On this stop, we enjoyed two short hikes through the tea bushes.

Flooding and Mudslides in Kerala

During monsoon season in 2018, Kerala and especially Munnar suffered greatly from the excessive rainfall. We were told that there is normally a slow steady rain day and night during the monsoon season, but last year, it was a torrential downpour day and night for more than 2 months.

All that extra water caused lots of flooding and mudslides, which destroyed roads, bridges and houses. The city of Munnar and many other cities ran out of staples like rice and tapioca, as well as packaged foods, due to the washed out roads. Tourism is still very low in the popular tourist town because of the bad road conditions.

Munnar Liquor Store

Our driver was kind enough to stop by the one and only liquor store in Munnar that’s run by the government. We were told that sometimes the line is half a kilometer long to buy alcohol.

Lunch at Alibaba & 41 Dishes – Munnar India

We took Paul and Patrick to Alibaba & 41 Dishes for lunch after our road trip. Our diver ate lunch at a roadside stand while we waited for him, but there weren’t any gringo oriented restaurants on the road to and from Mattupetty. The tour took 7 hours so we were really hungry when we got back to Munnar.

I didn’t take any food pictures, but these flowers were outside the restaurant.

Other videos in this series: Kerala India 2019

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

The Exotic City of Munnar India & Eravikulam National Park + Le Celestium Hotel Tour (Episode 104 – Part 11)

After the wedding, Abin’s brother Basil arranged a hotel and some sightseeing for us in Munnar India. On our first day in Munnar, Basil arranged a driver (Shiva) to take us to lunch at Alibaba & 41 Dishes, show us around Munnar, and drive us to Eravikulam National Park.

CORRECTION: Several people have pointed out that the religion stats we quoted in the video were incorrect. Our Hindu driver told us Kerala was 60% Christian, 25% Muslim and 15% Hindu. While the numbers are close, he assigned them to the wrong religions. According to 2011 Census of India figures, 54.73% of Kerala’s population are Hindus, 26.56% are Muslims, 18.38% are Christians, and the remaining 0.32% follows other religions or no religion.

We had no reason to believe our driver was quoting inaccurate numbers since he is Hindu and lives in Munnar. We sincerely apologize for the mistake and we certainly didn’t mean to offend anyone.

Le Celestium Hotel – Munnar, India

Le Celestium Munnar India

We stayed at Basil’s hotel, Le Celestium, for 4 nights in Munnar. Our room was very spacious and comfortable, the bed was great, and we loved the view from our balcony. The staff was also super friendly and accomodating, especially Douglas and Velmurugan. And the food was delicious! It reminded us of Basil’s restaurant here in Cuenca: Namaste India. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Le Celestium and highly recommend it!

Lunch at Alibaba & 41 Dishes

Alibaba & 41 Dishes Munnar India

Lunch at Alibaba was fantastic! For $6.42, we had two main dishes, rice, naan, coffee and bottled water. And the food was delicious!

Alibaba Dishes

Eravikulam National Park

Eravikulam National Park Munnar India

Eravikulam National Park is a short drive outside of Munnar through the tea plantations. We were lucky enough to see several of the endangered Nilgiri tahr (goats), which were hunted to near extinction during the British rule. It is believed only 750 still live in the park, which covers 97 square kilometers.

Eravikulam National Park Photo Gallery

I don’t often shut off the video and take stills, but the park was so beautiful that I decided to take a few photos.

Walking Tour of Munnar India

Munnar India 25

After a nice walk through the park, we returned to Munnar for a walking tour of the city center. Munnar India and the national park are popular with tourists from Kerala and throughout India.

Shiva pointed out the Hindu Temple, Catholic Church and Muslim Mosque on our drive through Munnar and we wanted to get a closer look. Shiva told us the 3 religions live together in harmony, which we noticed in other parts of Kerala, too.

Walking through Munnar reminded me of the pictures I saw in National Geographic when I was a kid. I remember thinking it seemed so far away and exotic from my little Kansas farm town. To be there seeing it for myself was an otherworldly experience.

Munnar India Photo Gallery

The following pictures were taken on the day after we recorded this video. Patrick, Paul, Amelia and I went for a walk around Munnar specifically to take some real life photos. Most people were eager to have their picture taken; only a few said no. This walk through Munnar was the most fun I’ve ever had with photography.

Other videos in this series: Kerala India 2019

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!