Munnar India: Gateway to Green

Standard dress in Kerala for man, called the mundu.

Munnar town in the lush tea-growing region of Kerala is but a dirty speck on an Indian map. This grubby little commercial town doesn’t offer a feast of sights but is vastly considered to be the gateway to the high tea growing estates.

munnar india

This man approached me and me to take his photo.

Walking through town, which consists of 2 main roads divided by a river, is congested for a town of it’s small stature and jam packed with rickshaws and taxi’s trying to drum of tour business. Munnar does a brisk trade in domestic tourism as a popular honeymoon spot for nouveau riche Indians.
One rather interesting quality about the town is it’s religious diversity. This is seen on the 3 looming hills at the north end of town. Each hill is topped like a religious wedding caked with a church, a temple and a mosque, respectively. All visible to each other and each doing a bustling trade with locals.

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The 3 pillars of Munnar’s faith

I was too hard on Munnar when I arrived having had a bad experience with a unscrupulous rickshaw driver but when I shook that off and walked around the compact bazaar and across the various footbridges, I started to really enjoy it. It’s very rare to go to an Indian city and feel confident navigating but Munnar is small enough to get a very Indian and Keralan feel and not have to pull out a map every 2 minutes.

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Munnar town from hilltop

Note: If you are doing tours of the area, wait and buy your tea in Munnar town for a better price. I got a ¼ kg of CTC (cut, tear, curl) black tea for 50 rs (under $1).

FYI: There is a 2nd post forthcoming showcasing more of the plantations in the hills around Munnar India.

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Lush green tea plantations surrounding the city

 

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