Sunday, May 26, 2024
Unforgettable Mannavannur.....

Every year, we plan a 2 -3 days tour, to take a break and relax from our hectic schedules. This time we selected Mannavannur, not a very well known destination, but a beautiful landscape situated 35kms from Kodaikanal town, and 340 km from Kochi. Actually, this place was suggested by my friend.

Route -Kochi - Thrissur - Vadakkancherry - Govindapuram Checkpost - Pollachi - Udumalpet - Palani - Kodaikanal.

On Friday, in 3rd January 2014, the bunch of us - Me, my husband & daughter, my parents and my mother in law set off to Mannavannur in our rented Innova Car. Even though, we had planned to leave early in the morning to avoid traffic, we could leave only around 2.30 in the afternoon.

The highway was in good condition and the drive was great. My husband said that he enjoyed driving the Innova. Thanks to the excellent roads. We reached Thrissur from Kochi, in just 2 hours time. But a few kms after Thrissur, the road started to narrow. We had tea and tasty, crispy uzhunnu vada at a restaurant in Vadakkancherry. 

We reached Palani around 7 pm. I felt a kind of unexplained happiness after seeing the glittering Palani Hills. 'Palani at night' was a mesmerizing view. I wished to take photos of the temple but realized it was in vain and was a bit disappointed. Since, the continuous drive on the winding roads made my mother and daughter sick, my husband reduced speed.

We reached Kodaikanal at 11.30 pm. The ride took 4.30 hours from Palani. It was so freezing cold at that time.

We had already booked a CSI cottage for stay. Since, the cottage is situated very close to the Kodai Lake, finding the cottage was not a problem for us. Since, we reached the cottage late at night, they didn't provide us with heater. The guard in the cottage said that Kodaikanal had been hit by heavy rains for the past two days. As everybody was tired and hungry after the long journey, we immediately freshened up, had a quick dinner which included chapatis and Chicken Curry and retired for the night. It was so cold that we couldn't sleep well.

Morning, we woke up at 7 AM, freshened up and had breakfast. After breakfast, we headed for Mannavannur around 10 AM. The first 15 minutes the road was pretty okay. After that, it became  worse and I started blaming the Tamilnadu Government for the bad condition of roads. But I must say, though the drive was a bit hectic and most of the mobile service didn't have coverage, the surroundings was beautiful and we enjoyed it. On the way, there was one point that looks spectacular like a picture postcard. Actually, it was more beautiful than the photo given below. At times I feel, that I am not able to capture the picture perfect beauty which I actually see, in my photos.

On the way, we saw beautiful meadows and terraced farms.

As we drove down towards the plains, we saw a distant view of Mannvannur lake amidst the mountains, about which my friend had mentioned. An hour later we reached Mannavannur. As per my first perception, Mannvannur was a small village like Kanthalloor which I had visited last year. But I was wrong. It is a very quiet township with few lodgings and shops. An assortment of vegetables are cultivated here including broccoli, French and butter beans. Actually, there is nothing much to see, but for nature enthusiasts Mannavannur is a great place, to relax, take long walks across green meadows, and savor the peaceful environs.. As we crossed the small bridge, we saw farmers washing bunches of carrots at the stream.

One should pay a nominal entrance fee at the ticket counter outside to enter the lake complex. Near the entrance, there is a food counter and horses are available for rides.

We walked around the lake.. the place was so divine, the view around, impeccable. It was a dream world for me... a mini Switzerland.. The silence, the soothing breeze, hillocks, greenery looked almost like the Switzerland which I saw in pics. Sorry, no words comes into my mind to describe exactly how beautiful the scenery was. My first horse ride here was also quite fun.

We took some pictures and then decided to head back. The visit to Mannavannur was worth all the effort.. A heavenly place for walks, through pretty grasslands and hillocks...