The Desi Nomads

Munnar: Day 1: Coimbatore to Munnar

Our trip to Munnar started with an overnight train from Chennai to Coimbatore, on the Cheran Express.  I thought it would be a nostalgic experience going on a night train in India…unfortunately, we did not enjoy this one.  For one, even with the AC, it was quite warm.  Second, people in our compartment kept talking until 2AM!  My daughter and I had to share a berth, and while she fell asleep, I was quite uncomfortable, what with the moving train and all.  All in all, I realized that it was time to embrace flight journeys again.

We reached Coimbatore at around 6 in the morning.

After exiting the station, we had breakfast at a restaurant opposite the railway station called Rani’s.

I had booked a car with a driver from Just Taxi Holidays on TripAdvisor.  Our driver, Albin, came to pick us up from the restaurant around 7am, and we were on our way to Munnar!

The total drive from Coimbatore to Munnar is around 5 hours.  We drove through the crowded cities of TamilNadu, and as were entering the border of Kerala, we entered a National Park known for wildlife.

We didn’t feel like stopping here, and just saw some monkeys from our car.

As we got deeper into Kerala, the landscape started changing from dry and brown, to wet and green.  We spotted some distant waterfalls…a sign of what was to come!

Thoovanam waterfalls in Kerala

Our first stop was at Lakkam waterfalls.  There were multiple cascades of falls, tumbling down.  Though the height of the falls wasn’t much, the volume made up for it.  It had started raining a bit, so we didn’t venture up the trail to view the main falls, and satisfied ourselves with the end of the cascade and the myriad of monkeys!

Finally, as we closed into Munnar, we started catching sight of the tea gardens that blanketed the slopes!  What a sight!  It was like nothing I’ve ever seen.

The manicured and bright green gardens give a clean and vibrant vibe to the entire place.

We reached Munnar town at around 2pm, and stopped for lunch at Saravana Bhavan.

While not associated with the popular chain in Tamil Nadu, the food was vegetarian and tasty.  Everything was served on a banana leaf.

After our yummy meal, we weren’t too interested in sight seeing.  Since we had not slept well on the train, we were ready to head to our room and take naps.

I had booked a stay at a homestay, The Shade, which was 30 minutes out of town.  There isn’t much advantage to staying in town, since it is very crowded.  Staying away in the mountains is worth the experience, as you can truly relax amidst nature.  And, the homestay we stayed in was outstanding!  It was one of the best places we stayed at for multiple reasons.

Click here to see if The Shade is available for your travel dates


While it is not a luxury resort, the homestay had everything we wanted for our relaxing stay in Munnar.  The rooms were clean, and the hosts were amazing.  Breakfast and dinner were provided, and were the highlight of our trip.  There is an adjoining spice garden that you can walk around, that ends in a stream of its own.  And the views from the windows and balconies were to die for.  I would HIGHLY recommend this place for anyone considering Munnar.

View from our balcony at The Shade

After reaching our room, we took a nap until 6pm.  Our host told us that dinner will be served at 7.30pm, so we relaxed in the room until then, and walked around the house.  Dinner was typical South Indian fare of rice with Sambar, Rasam, Cabbage fry, and yogurt.  Everything tasted fresh, homemade and delicious!

We went to bed so we could be ready for a day of sightseeing the next day.

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