KeyTerns was planning for the grand Kurinji blooming season at Eravikulam National Park, Munnar for more than 3 months. It would have been a trip for many as you can see some old videos and pictures in Kerala Tourism website given below.
However, 29% excess rainfall in Munnar and head flooding washed away Kurinji plants and there were very little Kurinji to see in Eravikulam National Park. So,we cancelled all our trips to Munnar.
In the meanwhile, Kolukkumala (closer to Munnar) had Kurinji (not the entire mountain full of flowers). So, we planned a trip to Kolukkumalai on Sep 29 & 30.
2 from Bangalore and 6 from Chennai travelled. We chose Dindigul as a place to meet as there are more good buses from Bangalore & Chennai. For Chennai guests, fortunately, we had both onward & return train available. So, we booked. Met at Dindigul around 6 AM, boarded the van, got freshen up at Eden Garden (near Vatnagundu), had breakfast, proceeded to Suryannelli, base for Kolukkumalai. If anyone is visiting Kolukkumalai, best to reach Theni directly as Theni is closer.
Upto Suryanelli, we enjoyed the drive, scenic beauty on the way. We had earlier booked a jeep to go to Kolukkumalai. At Suryanelli, we had a surprise. Only on that day, Kerala tourism had introduced token system. So, advance reservation did not work. We had to wait in queue for 2:30 hours and started only around 2:30 PM. It was an offroad bumpy jeep ride through tea estate. But we enjoyed still. That route was such an awesome to look around. We had planned a lunch at Kolukkumalai Tea Estate. They normally provide only for their in-house guests. They provided us as a gesture. Big thanks to them. Had a good lunch.
We proceeded to see Kurinji. To test our patience, it started raining. All of us created a positive thinking to get clean weather. Thanks to the nature. It was not raining until we completed Kurinji. To see Kurinji, we already travelled 17 KM bumby jeep drive and we had a walk on a steep road and then on roadless path without any support. With all difficulties, when we saw Kurinji, we forgot all our difficulties. Enjoyed taking pictures. Kurinji was on the slope. We could not see completely. Estate had arranged a path way. It was like getting into a small garden. It was an excellent experience.
Kolukkumalai is world’s highest tea plantation and they provide a complimentary tea. It was fantastic for the weather.
Day 1 was over with this. Next day, we visited Mattupatty Dam with Boating, Echo Point, Lakkam Waterfalls. Enroute we saw wild elephants. Overall, it was a memorable journey.
Sharing an album (link below)
Note: We are not planning to conduct Kurinji Flowers sighting trip unless we get to see great amount of flowers.
Srini, KeyTerns, +917550042234