After what usually is a 1.5 hours drive from Munnar, which took us almost the whole day, thanks to the long weekend clogging of the roads and an accident, we finally reached our camping site in Suryanelli. Translating to the meaning of ‘The Land of No Sun – Suryanelli’, prior to human settlement used to be covered by dense forests. And thanks to us reaching post sunset, we had no choice but to stick to the campsite. Mind you we had no regrets! Chilly monsoon winds, Tents pitched amidst tea estates, Bonfire, Good food and Great Company just erased all the ordeal we faced that day!
Not to forget mentioning the breathtaking landscapes throughout the route. Despite all the vehicular movements that weekend, the air still remained fresh, the grass still green and our moods still lifted. The journey reminded me of the Vodafone jingle “Green grass, Blue skies, in this Beautiful World!”
We retired early that night so that we get all the sleep we could. We were prepared to scale South India’s second highest peak, Meesapulimala the following morning. The camp owner was really courteous and booked us a jeep to take us till the starting point of the trek. Trust me, we realized the worth of waking up at 4:00 in the morning, washing up in the ice cold water and the shaky drive up the hills to begin our trek. When we reached the peak, the view was breathtaking! But more details of that in another blog 😉
On the way back from our trek, the driver pulled some strings and booked us a place to stay for that night in Suryanelli as all the places were sold out online owing to the much enthusiastic long weekend travelers.
Our next stop was the Suryanelli tea factory also known as the HML tea factory. This is where; I began the tea factory tour by pretending to be interested in Tea, when I wouldn’t even glance at that section on a restaurant menu. But at the end of the tour, I was so impressed by the whole process of tea manufacturing that I ended up spending a fortune on tea bags in the factory store deliberately located at the exit door of the factory.
We just checked into our shelter for that night, Raha homestay to clean up and proceed towards the last stop for the day. It might be worthwhile to mention here that towards the last few kms of the trek downhill, it poured cats and dogs that left us all slushy. So if you don’t mind some showers on you, then I’d suggest you do this trek in the month of August, as this place looks rad during the monsoons.
Our final stop for the day was to watch a show of Kalaripayattu fighters. Trust me this one’s worth every penny (which by the way was Rs. 250/person). You’d see people from all age group watching and performing. We were awestruck by the brave moves of these trained men, performing this dangerous dance of sword. After the show they even let you pose like you know one of those complicated defence moves when someone has a knife to your throat.
After this we just had a quiet dinner and retired to our warm beds. It was a long tiring day that began at 4:00 AM and when it ended, it had created many memories that’s now etched deep in our minds. We woke up next day fresh and ready (definitely not in our minds) to head back to our concrete jungle.
- Camping at Suryanelli (Rs 500/person per night)
- Meesapulimala trek (Rs 700/person. Basically paid to the jeep driver which includes your off roading from the campsite to the trekking point, some entry ticket, and taking us to the other places mentioned in above)
- Eat Maggi in some tea shop on your way from Munnar to Suryanelli(Preferably early morning or late evening
- Go all Bollywood in front of your cameras at the tea estates by the road
- Pay a visit to any tea factory (Entry fee of Rs 150/person)
- Definitely watch the Kaliripayattu show (Entry fee of Rs 250/person)
You Can Contact
- Prekash on +91-9447234752 for camping in Suryanelli (Speaks Malayalam, Tamil and understandable English)
- Ram on +91-9446504125 for he’s a very cooperative jeep driver in that region (Speaks Malayalam and Tamil)
- Sajni for a more detailed story about this place 😉 (contact details are in the About me page)
Nearby Tourist Spots
- Munnar (30 Kms)
- Anayirangal reservoir ( Around 21 Kms)