Munnar: Kundala is once again attracting tourists after the year-long ban on boating on the lake was lifted.
Boating on the lake was stopped as the authorities closed the artificial dam at Kundala for maintenance. Visitors now once again throng the place, 20km from Munnar, to enjoy the ride on pedal boats and Kashmiri shikaras. The Kerala Hydel Tourism Center handles boating in Kundala.
Kundala is famous for cherry blossoms that appear twice an year and neelakurinji flowers that bloom once in 12 years, luring tourists from all over the world.
Authorities are trying to restrict wayside vendors who had become a nuisance for visitors. Barricades and drains have been set up to prevent those who encroach the road to set up shops. An entry gate has been installed to collect a fee from vehicles.
Horse riding had been another attraction, but defecation by the animal on the road had drawn complaints from those who trek the route.
How to reach
Nearest railway station: Aluva (about 133 km)
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport (about 132 km)
Nearest Town: Munnar (about 20km). KSRTC has services from all major cities in Kerala to Munnar.
• Must see places nearby
•5 things to buy
Flavored Tea - On return trip, remember to check the company outlets of tea plantations - they offer varieties of flavored tea powder, which are not available in the open market.
Tea leaves – They also offer tea leaves
*Essential oils, spices, herbs in bottle, and honey
Wooden spatulas and ladles, memorabilia and toys
(*Buy from government's direct or reputed shops to avoid picking up spurious items)
• Food to try and avoid
Various vegetables brined - You can buy them from the smallest wayside shops
Vegetable stews and curries – The vegetables used will be garden fresh
Meat items – Kerala parotta and beef/chicken/duck is a must try combination for non-vegetarians.
If someone offers to get you meat of wild animals, say 'No thanks' as it is illegal.
Avoid seafood - they might not be fresh. However, some resorts offer option to fish from the freshwater lakes or from their temporary farms.
Tea and coffee – the best option is to taste the tea from outlets of tea plantations before ordering for the flavor.
• 5 things to try
Photowalks & trekking, Boating, Paragliding, Rock climbing, Camping