AROUND TOP STATION
At the highest point on the Munnar-Kodaikanal road, Top Station offers picture postcard view of the majestic Westerns Ghats. The uphill climb ends with stunning views of the Tamil Nadu plains and the bordering Ghats. The breathtaking sight of Munnar in the Oscar-nominated movie, Life of Pi is was indeed just a slice of Top Station.
Today Top Station is making a mark among adventure seekers and nature lovers alike. Options to indulge oneself and get a step closer to nature are plenty. The idyllic location makes for a restful and wondrous experience of whatever you choose to do. Trekking has always been an option given the ever-changing terrain. For the absolute stunner Top Station is, it has been quite modest about its offerings. The view from atop 3000 ft. has drawn visitors from around the world, who go back as fans of these hills. Not wanting to miss the spectacular dawn and dusk from the hills, camping has also found many takers. So has photography, for the visual treasure it promises its devotees.
At 7900 ft above sea level, Kolkkumalai is the highest tea plantation in the world and presents some splendid views. The one and a half hour journey from Munnar is accessible only by a jeep. The bumpy ride is an adventure in itself, through narrow winding tracts and past tea plantations. After the journey, you can embark on a tour of tea factory and become skilled at the various aspects of tea processing. Finally, drink in the scenery along with a steaming glass of tea.
While countless poems have been penned to describe the hillsides covered by the veil of blue Kurinji flowers, nothing compares the sight of the profusion of blooms. Flowering once in 12 years, the Kurinjimala Sanctuary protects them and has started conservation plans for the plants and its habitat. Besides the kurinji, some very rare orchids and various medicinal herbs also grow in these areas. The Eucalyptus tree being one of the most famous.
Covering 97 sq. km of lush grassland and sylvan valleys, the Eravikulam national Park is a treasure trove of teeming flora and fauna. Almost one-third of the world’s population of Nilgiri Tahr is roaming these grasslands. Here, you can also meet the Nilgiri Marten, a small clawed otter, ruddy mongoose, dusky striped squirrel, barking deer, lion-tailed macaque, Malabar giant squirrel and small Indian civet etc. Leopards, wild dogs, elephants, buffaloes, gaurs and Nilgiri langurs are frequent visitors here.
In a place that captures the natural splendour of Munnar, it is not uncommon to give into the beauty. While some prefer to enjoy the serenity of the surrounding, others may prefer to get out of hibernation and take part in the adventure activities organized by the resort.