Silent Valley Munnar Reviews
Drive your way towards the Silent valley Mar 10, 2015
As summer sets in southern Tamilnadu and Madurai was getting warm I decided to take a break from work and chill out in some place which is cool,green having enough of crowd and interest.The western Ghats which borders Kerala state and Tamilnadu has many places of interest and one among them was the Silent valley. A forest reserve having several reservoirs,animal sanctuaries,tribal habitats and lush green tea estates is spread accross both the states among the mountains and its valleys.
Having only a day to spend my junior colleagues joined me and I drove along NH 49 heading from Madurai towards Cochin.We drove past Theni a busy business town and took the diversion beyond the town towards Bodinayakanur.From there onwards it was a drive through the ghat road on the dry side of the ghats which in some places had rocks fallen from the mountains.The highest point of Tamilnadu state border ends at Bodimedu.Just before the same we stopped at Lochart Gap or pass to take a look at the Bodi valley below.Driving into Kerala we had to cross a Kerala state Excise checkpost and the Silent valley begins from here.Felling of trees,hunting and carrying foriegn liquor bought in states other than in Kerala are prohibited beyond the border.It is a funny concept within the same country but seems legal as each state have their own tax laws.
The valley is naturally very scenic on both sides of the winding roadslush with tea estates or forest cover.We came accross many signboards cautioning people at elephant crossings or electically charged fences surrounding the farmlands.This meant the danger one could face at night if not careful.The weather was cool and about 20 centigrade.The sun was pleasant,shade enjoyable and the valley view amazing.
View of Hamlets among the misty hillocks and an occasional drizzle greeted us as we entered Munnar town,which is the largest town on the hills.The town is crowded with tourists mostly from Kerala and from Northern parts of India,many honeymooners,Europeans and day trippers like us make it colorful.Munnar is asscebile only by road from Madurai or Cochin and buses ply during the day and are not allowed to ply during night hours mainly for the safety of the beasts and public.
Auto rickshaws or Tuk Tuks and Taxis take people from this town to other towns along the Ghat roads, which are narrow and most of them, around town heading towards scenic or other places of interest are safe. Roads wind around reservoirs are winding and at times are bumpy, damaged at a few streches,but however the traffic was orderly and the trip which was a drive of about 200 kilometers from Madurai took me four and a half hours with intermittent stops.Once at Munnar we hopped on and off at certain sites and being short of time made a note of the ones we skipped.The drive was quite, meaning there was no honking from behind or even at curves and we all respected the lanes,overtaking only when we had clear passage.This was a rare experience which is not practised by many drivers in other hill stations.
Well if you ask me whether the 400 kms drive in single day steering through winding,narrow 40 feet wide mountain roads was worth the trouble? I will certainly tell you it was worth the time and spend;for I still am more eager,to hit road again,to spend a few nights in the scenic,pollution free silent valley,to chill out among the misty mountains.
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