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.

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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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