If you relish scenic locales, Munnar - a hill station situated in the Idukki district of Kerala - is a perfect pick.
Munnar has spectacular views and it is only natural that uphill, you can have a tryst with the clouds amid the mesmerising rolling hills.
If you wish to embrace the clouds, Cloud Farm Munnar is the perfect getaway.
Cloud Farm, one of the best campsites in Munnar, is located at Kottagudi hills, at an altitude of 6,500 feet above sea level. Nestled amid lush green hills, the property can be reached after a short hike from Yellapetty, a small village located near the Top Station.
After a 28 km-drive from Munnar, you will reach Yellapetty , where your hiking guide will be waiting for you.
As you start the hike passing through the small huts of plantation employees, the vast canvas of green plantation will be your natural companion. There are leaves ready to get plucked and there are bare patches awaiting the next crop.
Climb up slowly enjoying the beauty of the tea plantations and then your trail gets tapered, taking you through the sparse forest of Munnar up the hills.
Leeches might trouble you a bit, so make sure you carry Dettol or salt.
As you pass the barricades, you get down to a property with a view worth all the hiking you have done. A signboard made artistically -- fashioned out of small logs -- titled Cloud Farm, a logo which is widely popular on social media, hangs there.
A tantalising landscape that cuts through the spellbinding clouds would prompt any travel aficionado to relish some exquisite moments there.
Passion for nature
Cloud Farm, owned by two nature lovers -- Amal and Arun -- took over the property out of the passion for nature and adventure.
Cloud Farm was initially started in 1997. These young friends bought it from an English man who was running it five years back.
“It took around two to three years for us to develop the property putting up the tents, beautifying the place by planting and nurturing a small garden,” says Amal.
Cloud Farm is in between two peaks where they take the travellers for a short hike for sunset and sunrise.
The meadow that lies in the middle was full of Neelakurinji -– a flower that blooms only once in every 12 years -- which attracts hordes of nature lovers.
After the Neelakurinji season, the dried up flowers were used by them to make a nest out of it for travellers to sit inside and enjoy the beauty of the meadows.
They have also beautified the place with 'dream catchers', a handmade willow hoop.
Cloud Farm and Tour de south recently organised girls-only hiking with an aim to take the woman-travellers out of the comfort zone and give them an experience close to an adventure.
The hike, which starts at 2pm from Yellapetty Post Office, takes an hour to reach the property.
Once you settle down in the tent camps after some refreshment, another hike awaits you –this time to the sunset point. The hike might slow down you a bit, but everything is worth the hiking as you reach the sunset point. Click few good pictures from there to cherish the moment.
After that hike, freshen up, relax and settle down near the campfire. Gel with other campers and sing along to the beauty of the hills in the night. They even serve you fresh and hot dinner.
Get back to your camps and have a good night sleep. Remember, it will be very cold most of the time but it is best to visit from December to February as the weather is pleasant. March to May would be slightly hot due to the summer. Cloaked in mist and soft lights, the hills are home to breathtaking sunrises - ones that will be etched in eyes and hearts like the memory of a loving glance.
The soft early rays of the sun lend everything on the hill a shimmer on such mornings. Many campers who stay up to watch the sunrise over the hills often break into a song.
Some prefer to relish the glory of sight in silence. The short hike to the sunrise point will make a good burn to your calories early morning. Atop, the wind is heavy, so mind your balance before getting lost in the breathtaking view of Meesapulimala from a distance.
Get back, have breakfast and get few tips from the owners on how to make the right cup of tea. Get down the hills and return to Munnar.
How to reach
Munnar to Yellapetty is 28kms. You can take a KSRTC bus or private ones from Munnar bus depot to Yellapetty for just Rs 32. Bus services are not always available. If you are late, don't worry. You can also avail the services of the jeep which plies to Top Station. Get down at Yellapetty. If you are not interested to travel in a packed vehicle, you can also hire a cab from Munnar.
Rs 2,500 per head for one day (all-inclusive) – Normal days
Rs 2,000 per head for the special girls-only hiking
Important things to carry
Original ID card
Thermal wears and leech proof socks
Hiking pole if needed (Moderate terrain)
Sleeping bags will be provided
Contact for bookings: 083300 80809
Note: Yellapetty has no petrol bunks or ATMs and BSNL is the only network provider.