Incredible India: Majestic Munnar (Day 2)

Today is the second day of my stay in Munnar. This place turned out be a lovely nature retreat with plenty of tea plantations. Again as with Varkala, while I planned to stay 1-2 day, I feel like spending more. Also today intuition played its role again.

In the morning I explored the hilly part to the right side of the guest house.

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Morning mist of Munnar. Here at 1500 m high it is cold at nights and chilly in the mornings and evenings.

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Traditional fluffy bread with tea for breakfast

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Morning walk next to the gust house

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The alley led to a nice villa. The gardener told me entry is not allowed, since it was a private property, so I turned back.

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The second trail went up the hill.

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View on the high altitude stadium

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Small shrine on the way up

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The shrine was closed, but when I walked the second time, I saw a priest there.

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Tree bushes are as far as the eyes can see. 

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View to another temple. I had to come back as had to check out from the Green View guest house. All the rooms were booked, so I’d need to search for a room elsewhere. 

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Abandoned took-tuk

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Second walk to the temple after check-out. Taking the stairs.

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Another set of stairs

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Statue at the temple. The temple was closed that time.

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Beautiful roof of the temple

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View of Munnar from top

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Endless tea plantations

For lunch Tessa and I went a nice non-expensive restaurant close to the Tourist Office. I noticed that there were only tourists there – mainly Indian – who clearly belonged to the middle class. The lunch of chicken biryani was super delicious.

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I love Indian food.

Tessa mentioned that there’s a nice John’s Cottage nearby; I got interested as still was without a room for the next two days, and the ones found in the morning were either too bad or too expensive.

When we arrived at the cottage, I loved it at first sight: beautiful garden, very clean, nice furniture, best price, and very nice and quiet street. So things worked out for the best again. This is India after all.

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The garden at John’s Cottage

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The garden overlooks the river. Very serene atmosphere. Would never think that behind the trees on the opposite side is the main street and highway.

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I give A+ to the garden designer.

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Tessa 

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Cool colourful bus at the stand nearby

After booking two nights at John’s Cottage we want for a nice long walk in the outskirts of Munnar, during which we passed the so-called Country Club. We asked for a quick walk aroun, but were not allowed to. This is allegedly a place where members of higher society mix, a legacy of the British rule. This invoke a very interesting conversation of with Tessa about the hierarchy of British aristocracy.

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Horseshoe shape of the river at John’s Cottage

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Meeting local youth in town

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Green, green, green is everywhere.

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View to the river form the bridge

In the evening Tessa suggested checking out the 6 pm kalariapayattu show in town. Kalariapayattu is a traditional martial art from Kerala, so it was a great idea since I am fond of martial arts. The show was indeed worth seeing. We arrived quickly by tuk-tuk while another show was just ending – a kathakali performance, a traditional type of theatre where plays are performed using facial expressions. We had a chance to take a photo with the actors still in their make-up.

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Religious ceremonial procession next to the cultural centre.

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With the actors of kathakali theatre

The kalariapayattu performane was quite spectacular. The show took place in a dark niche lit with candles, and included demonstrations of combats with sword, spears, knives, metal and bamboo sticks, unarmed defense against weapon attack, as well flexibility and acrobatics demonstration. All the performers were teenagers, and they were really good. The quintessence of the show was a salto over five people standing in a row, as well jumping through the metal circle on fire.

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Show stage 

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The audience is agitated.

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Mystical introduction

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Performance in full swing

Tomorrow we are going on a Sandal Valley Tour organized by the Tourism Office in Munnar. Judging by the description, it looks very promising. For today another beautiful episode of India’s discovery is over.

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