If you are struggling to find time for a full-fledged vacation, the next best thing is a weekend getaway for some adventure. A memorable road trip from Chennai to Munnar is one such get away our Chennai friends swear by. The mesmerizing natural beauty of Munnar is a great destination, and the drive will wow you as well.
Munnar has a pleasant climate all year round and an ideal holiday destination all year round. The summer months from March to May are cooler than Chennai with temperature varying between 19 and 35 degree Celsius. It is a good time to visit tea estates and the tata tea museum. That said, this is not the ideal time for a road trip from Chennai to Munnar as the temperatures on the route can get punishing.
The best time for the road trip is in the winters – starting December and lasting up to February. The temperatures drop to about 10 degree Celsius in Munnar and are ideal for rock climbing, trekking and rappelling. Don’t forget to carry some woollens with you, as the evening may get quite cold.
The monsoon period from June to September is also a great time to visit Munnar as this when nature is in full bloom. If you are looking for a relaxing time in a lap of nature, the lush green foliage of Munnar is an ideal stop.
Among the best places to eat in Munnar are:
Route 1: Chennai – Villupuram – Tiruchirapalli – Theni – Bodi Ghat – Munnar
The most picturesque route to take in the monsoons. Once you cross Theni, the greenery will engulf you, and beautiful, winding roads would welcome you to the hills as soon as you cross Bodi. This 12 hour, 583 km ride will leave you mesmerized.
Route 2: Chennai – Villupuram – Tiruchirapalli – Karur – Udumalpet – Munnar
This 12 hour, 596km ride will take you through many hairpin bends on Udamalpet. You would also get a great view of Thoovanam, Lakkam and Karimutty waterfalls. You could also break away to visit the Amaravathi Dam.
If you start early, you can have breakfast among many breakfast places that dot the Chennai-Trichy highway.
For lunch, you should try Biryani at the famous Talappakatti Restaurant in Theni. You could pack the same to have a picnic lunch at the ghat. While you can have a late lunch at Munnar as well if you get hungry taking a break at Udumalpet is another good option. Pick your lunch from Kick Grass or Hotel Annavasal and have it at one of the waterfalls you will find on your way.
Mattupetty: Mattupetty lake and dam, situated 1700mts above the sea level, are famous for the surrounding dairy farms and Indo-swiss livestock project.
Pothamedu: Visit Pothamedu for a visit to tea, coffee and cardamom plantation in the lush mountains. The place is ideal for long mountain walks and trekking.
Devikulam: Visit the Sita Devi Lake and relax in the picturesque surroundings at Devikulam.
Pallivasal: The site of the first hydro-electric project in Kerala.
Vattavada: Plantation of vegetables and fruits on the terraced slopes on Vettavada is an inviting location.
While going on a long road trip, ensure that you are carrying a change tyre. You should also be proficient enough to tinker under the hood if your vehicle faces any issues. Even if a mechanic is not around, you should be able to conduct some basic repairs. It is important that your cell phone is fully charged, and carry a portable charger with you to ensure you can reach out in case of an emergency. Don’t forget to pack bottles of water and a first aid kit. If your car insurance policy or bike insurance is due for renewal, choose a comprehensive policy with relevant add-ons offered by Bharti AXA GI.
There are a decent number of fuel stations on the route from Chennai to Munnar. All of them honour credit cards for purchases. You will have ample opportunities to refuel, if needed.
Start your trip early in the morning and reach the destination by sundown. Overnight halts will not be needed on this road trip.
There is hardly any altitude change till Bodi. Once you cross Bodi, you will find a slight incline as you start climbing the hill station. Munnar as a peak elevation of about 1700mts.
Accommodation is easily available in Munnar. One of the best places to stay would be a homestay at JJ Cottage. Another family homestay you can check out is Rose Gardens overlooking a plant nursery and fruit plantation. You can also get some free cooking lessons here and learn to make coconut pancakes and other Keralan dishes.
Out of other networks, Airtel has the best coverage in the area. You may find many a spots on the road trip where the connectivity breaks down, but such patches are short and you will be connected back quickly.
There are several ATMs in Munnar. Some of these are:
You will find quite a few local mechanics on the route from Chennai to Munnar. Almost all petrol pumps have a mechanic as well.
Some of the best hospitals in Munnar are listed below, along with their phone numbers. It is advisable to keep the numbers handy.
Like the rest of India, current here is 230V/50Hz. Most hotels have a power backup and you will not face any fluctuations usually.
Your tool kit for any long distance road trip should contain screwdrivers, wrench, socket set, adjustable pliers, wire dykes, pocket knife, hammer, baling wire and zip ties, silicon sealant, duct tape, and tire plugs.
Read more about: Chennai to Pondicherry Road Trip
Article Author: Luv Kumar
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