Celebrate India - Tamil New Year & VishuRegardless of how big a cliché it might be to go vacationing at a hill station dur...
start with the tea plantations, most of which are owned by the TATA group and there is also aTATA Tea museum for the histo...
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Celebrate India - Tamil New Year & Vishu

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Regardless of how big a cliché it might be to go vacationing at a hill station during summers it cannot be denied that the experience is extremely pleasant. One such hill station that attracts a huge number of tourists annually with its natural beauty is Munnar, Kerala. It’s one of the most spectacular hill stations in southern India. However, do not expect it to be one of those quaint little destinations, tucked away in the heart of the mountains. It’s a busy tourist destination and has been that way since the time of Britishers, who used it as a summer retreat. Yet it’s still not heavily commercialized because its charm lies not in the Mall Roads and colonial architecture but in its natural bounty.

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Celebrate India - Tamil New Year & Vishu

  1. 1. Celebrate India - Tamil New Year & VishuRegardless of how big a cliché it might be to go vacationing at a hill station during summers itcannot be denied that the experience is extremely pleasant. One such hill station that attracts ahuge number of tourists annually with its natural beauty is Munnar, Kerala. It’s one of the mostspectacular hill stations in southern India. However, do not expect it to be one of those quaintlittle destinations, tucked away in the heart of the mountains. It’s a busy tourist destination andhas been that way since the time of Britishers,who used it as a summer retreat. Yet it’s still notheavily commercialized because its charm lies notin the Mall Roads and colonial architecture but inits natural bounty.Forgive me if the details are a little sketchybecause I visited Munnar a really long time backbut one thing I do remember is that I was thereduring the festival of Vishu andPuthandu (TamilNew Year). Their New Year celebrations are justlike anyone else’s but it’s this festival Vishu thatsteals the lime light. By the way, just for yourinformation it is the south Indian equivalentof Baisakhi.The most important eventin Vishu is Vishukkani, which literally means “thefirst thing seen on the day of Vishu after wakingup”. For this purpose, the eldest woman of thehouse arranges in the pujaroom of the house a panorama of auspicious items, includingflowers, fruits, vegetables, clothes and gold coins. The celebrations are accompanied byfirecrackers, special feasts and rangoli decorations. The best part is that the air all around thetown is fragrant because of the flower decorations and the natural flower oils that the localsuse as perfume. That reminds me, if you happen to visit Kerala this is one thing you shouldspend your money on. These natural oils can be expensive but totally worth it. Just make sureyou do not end up buying fake ones.Since you would surely like to visit some tourist spots, here are some of my recommendationsfor the same. From lakes to plenty of high cliff waterfalls, from rivers (in fact 3 of them) to teaplantations, from deep forests to view point high in the western ghats, from wildlife sanctuariesto beautiful gardens,Munnar basically has it all for all nature enthusiasts. However, you can
  2. 2. start with the tea plantations, most of which are owned by the TATA group and there is also aTATA Tea museum for the history geeks. Top Station and Echo Point are totally cool and youmust not miss them at any cost. The first one offers spectacular ‘above-the-clouds’ views of theWestern Ghatsmountains and the latter is a place where every loud call makes is returnmanifold by the echo from the surrounding hills. There are several wildlife & bird sanctuariesbut Munnar Carmelagiri Elephant Park is the coolest of them all. Activities like rock climbing,rappelling, boating etc. are also available. Last but not the least, if you have the stamina for itthen you can experience all this on a cycle, which you can hire at a nominal rate.There is a huge list that can go on and on and I have not covered even 10 percent of it. But, thatwas not my intention; my intention was only to get you excited about Munnar and to let youknow that Kerala is not only about back waters, houseboats and beaches, there is much moreto it than meets the eye.This is where I take my leave,Until next time,Ciao.

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