Munnar is a popular tourist destination. Now, it has just become twice as attractive with a couple of additions. Two projects - boat rides and new parks - have been opened up at this famous holiday spot in Kerala. And you can now take a ride around the arch dam at Idukki in a buggy.
Mattuppetty Sun-Moon Valley Park
This 14-acre park is near the boating centre at Mattuppetty and comes under the state electricity board. It offers a great view of the Mattuppetty lake and the green vistas of the Kannan Devan hills. You can also go for a ride in a buggy to take in the sights. Also on offer are a big parking area for tourists' vehicles, a cafeteria, a food court, accommodation and boating facilities. The boat jetty is around 400 meters from the entry gate. You can get there on the buggy by paying Rs 40 per person.
Watch Wild Elephants at Aanayirankal
Tourists can enjoy the magical view offered by the tea gardens and mist-covered hilltops while taking a boat ride at Aanayirankal. The boat service, much in demand at Kundala, Thekkady and Mattuppetty, has been started at Aanayirankal by the hydel tourism department. This enchanting spot is about 25 kilometers from Munnar, near Pooppara on the Kochi-Dhanushkodi national highway. From the boat, you can watch wild elephants, wild buffaloes, deer and other such animals up close.
There are two speed boats with a capacity of six passengers each and a pontoon boat that can seat 20 people. A 15-minute speedboat ride will set you back by Rs 750 while a half-an-hour ride on the bigger boat will cost Rs 1,600. Boat services are operated on all days including holidays. The adventurous ones can take rides on a Polaris all-terrain vehicle.
See Idukki in a Buggy
There was a rush of tourists to Idukki and Cheruthoni dams during the Onam tourism week. Travellers can go to Cheruthoni dam by crossing the Kolumban samadhi and the tourism bungalow. Vehicle parking is allowed on the road sides. Adults have to pay Rs 20 as ticket fee and children Rs 5. Phones, cameras and other such items will have to be left behind at the clock room. Again, buggy cars are the big attraction this season. The rides start from the entrance of the Cheruthoni dam.
The per-person ticket charge for a 3-km ride to Idukki dam and back is Rs 40; a one-way ride to the dam costs Rs 25. There are two speed boats, each with a capacity of 5 people, available for boating on the Idukki dam. A trip costs Rs 600. The rides are open till September 20.