Solo Travel to India Munnar Kerala
9:30 am – 2:30 pm bus to Munnar, a hill station in the Idukki district of Kerala. Located at the intersection of the Kundala, Mudrapuzha, and Nallathani rivers, the surrounding Kannan Devan mountains are 5000/1500 meters to 8000 feet/2400 meters above sea level. Anamudi Peak (8842 feet/2695 meters), the highest mountain in South India, is here, and tea and coffee plantations dot the surrounding hills, with contorted, verdant foliage reminiscent of small bonzai plants. The Cardamom Hills are a stunning mix of forests and coffee and cardamom plants nestled in the shade.
Munnar—from the word moonnu meaning three and aaru meaning river—is a popular area for trekking. Eravikulam National Park’s Anamudi Peak (at the junction of the Anaimalai Hills, Cardamom Hills, and Palni Hills) and Rajamala are popular for trekking, and the latter is a well-known place to spot the endangered mountain goat, nilgiri tahr.
For me, Munnar was all about sunrises and sunsets. I settled into my guesthouse and still had time to stroll out to sunset point, just a few miles from town.
And then one of the most memorable sunrise hikes I can ever remember, to a nearby mountain (7200 feet/2400 feet), about six hours total. When we piled into the jeeps (actually a Tata Motors Sumo Spatio), the air was still and chilled—not a sound in sleepy little Munnar. We walked across the above-treeline landscape and an orange glow slowly emerged over the horizon, just above the cloudline that surrounded the neighboring mountains. Slowly the sunny sphere edge edged past the clouds, until the orb cast warm sunbeams across the sandy grasses. I do not remember the name of the mountain, but it means Shiva’s Head.
Sunrise often symbolizes a new beginning or a new start, and for me, there was a little bit of that in Munnar.
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