Spontaneous decisions can turn out to be awry. They can also bring forth astounding results. For my colleague insta@shifasmohammed, his random decision to travel by bike proved to be awesome.
A 150 Kilometers trip between Palakkad to Munnar through the hilly and winding roads is just magnificent in itself. From Muthalamada town in Palakkad to Vattavada, Munnar is a stretch known for lush sprawling jungles and prowling wild beings. For an ex-pat on annual leave from the work stress and endless expanse of dunes of the gulf, the route is a haven. In fact, for anyone who loves nature, and a long ride or drive, a trip this route can be blissful.
Shifas has been vociferous about his holidays and subsequent trips within Kerala and outside. Hence, I assumed it is only apt to take a few leaves from his travel diaries.
On March 29th, it dawned on him, that he must go on a long ride. With inputs from his friend Saju Hameed, the conclusion surfaced spontaneously. A bike ride from their hometown of Muthalamada to the pinnacle of Munnar via Udumalpetti- Pollachi-Chinnar.
Alternatively, they could also have taken the National High Way which cuts through Thrissur, Angamaly, and Kothamangalam. However, to enjoy the ride between Palakkad to Munnar, it is best to avoid busy, city belts.
Interesting to note that the route takes you from Kerala state to Tamil Nadu state before reentering Kerala again. Hence a Palakkad to Munnar trip is promising in many ways.
Key attractions on the way
Muthalamada to Pollachi is 40 minutes ride. At Govindapuram check the post you cross to Tamil Nadu.
Pollachi Market and the surrounding area can give you a breather on the way. Pollachi market is a crowded spot where you can get fresh vegetables and livestock. An ideal spot for a breakfast break before proceeding further.
Wind farm in Udumalapetti
Pollachi to Udumalapetti can be covered in 40 minutes as well.
The small town is famous for windmills. The protruding windmills by evening draw a bewitching sight for the travelers on this route. For someone keen to enjoy the view; capture the moments, the ride becomes worthwhile.
Well, it is good to note these wind turbines are actually gigantic in size. Towering at a height of 78 meters with blades stretching to 40 meters apiece, it weights around 50 tons. Can you imagine that?
Udumalpet is known as Poor man’s Ooty for its relatively cooler climate, picturesque locations, revamping hills, and waterfalls. Hence, even if you decide to halt for a longer duration it is going to be fruitful.
Wildlife in Chinnar
Udumalpet to Chinnar is one hour ride. At Chinnar check post you ride back to Kerala state to complete the Palakkad to Munnar ride.
The ride gets exciting from here on. If lucky, you might have company along the way, albeit wild and perhaps ferocious.
The way forward becomes less crowded and hillier. Sandwiched between forest and hills, the road can be unsafe when wild elephants rule the roads. Besides them, you might also spot monkeys, deer, bison, pork pines, boar, tigers, mongoose, reptiles, and exotic birds.
Spring and monsoon enhance the overall appearance of the forested land. Thus, the environment also becomes conducive to the free-roaming of wild beings. Thus, your Palakkad to Munnar ride becomes all the more gratifying.
Ecotourism is a megaproject in the region. Visiting Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is a major attraction here. Apart from that, there are other interesting things to do. Tourists take interest in the below activities too.
- River trekking
- Nature trail
- Bird watching
- Medicinal Garden
- Watchtower at Jellimalai
Chinnar to Munnar is around one and half hours ride
Relatively long yet exciting ride this can turn out to be. Munnar being one of the most visited hill stations in Kerala, a trip via this hill station is only going to be revitalizing.
The hill station is known for
- Chilly climate
- Tea Estate Tours
- Camping And Trekking
- Eravikulam National Park
- Animal and bird watching
- Elephant Safari
- Street Shopping
- Homemade chocolates
- Tea Museum and planation visit
- Panoramic Views
During spring Palakkad to Munnar ride becomes more colorful. Imagine the sight of Jacaranda trees in full bloom on either side of the road. The hilltop already blanketed with the greenish tint of tea estate gets a violet twist when Jacaranda blooms. Luckily for my friend, he visited around the blooming season.
From Munnar Town to Vattavada can be covered in one and half hours
Vattavada is poised peacefully further up on the mountain top. The adventure lovers proceed to this hilltop. A splendid experience is awaiting the travel lovers atop the hill.
At the border of Vattavada village, a check post stops you. A briefing is given by the guards to educate you about the locality and the danger of stopping on the way. The twenty minutes ride is enjoyable through the narrow road. If lucky wild animals can be spotted on the way. My friend could only spot a bison and a peacock.
The green village is famous for its fruits and vegetable plantations. You can enjoy fresh peaches, oranges, plums, apples, and different berries.
Even on top, hotels to stay and dine in are available.
Although different delicious south Indian food items are available, noodles taste deliciously different at street vendors’.
By late afternoon, their ride back home was on track. More than anything else, for those passionate about long rides, this route provides an awesome experience.
Before winding up the trip, it is apt to take a note of a few tips that can spruce up your ride.
- If you have a choice, avoid traveling in the summer months
- Beware of monkey menace on the way
- Pass through Udumalpetti in the wee hours to enjoy a long stretch of windmill farms
- The lack of street lights at Chinnar poses a threat to the night ride
- Expect narrow roads at Chinnar
- After crossing the Chinnar check post, expect foggy clime in the between dawn and dusk
- Keep your phone, camera, and power bank fully charged.
A Travel enthusiast and Foodie, craving to explore the intricate beauty of nature and its gift of delectable treats. Pens down his thoughts and experiences to present a delightful journey for his readers