Udumalpet to Munnar Forest Highway: Perfect Route for your Neelakurinji Holiday - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Udumalpet to Munnar Forest Highway: Perfect Route for your Neelakurinji Holiday

The Neelakurinji slope at Yellapatty, Kerala

There might be another 30 to 45 days to see the rare Neelakurinji flower before it disappears for another 12 years. I have just experienced the mass bloom of this neelakurinji flower up close and I totally recommend that you experience this surreal spectacle too.

Waterfall amidst the forests - enroute to Munnar from Marayoor

In case you are planning a road trip to the Neelakurinji region of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, I would heavily recommend taking the scenic forest highway from Udumalpet (Tamil Nadu) to Munnar (Kerala). Ideal for all those driving from Bangalore, Chennai, Salem, Erode, Coimbatore and other places in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, this route offers the perfect mix of narrow winding mountain roads, pristine nature, fewer vehicles, stunning views of tea estates and shola forests and easy access to many wildlife sanctuaries and national parks.

Enjoying the beautiful forest view during a pit stop near Munnar

This forest highway takes you through or by the following wildlife sanctuaries and national parks – Anaimalai Tiger Reserve, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Marayoor Sandalwood forest, Neelakurinji sanctuary, Anaimudi Shola National Park and Eravikulam National Park. The mountains near Marayoor, Kanthaloor (which is part of the Anaimudi Shola National Park and Neelakurinji sanctuary) and Eravikulam National Park are three places that fall on this route and where the Neelakurinji is currently blooming.

Entering the mountains of Munnar from Marayoor, Kerala

And once you reach Munnar, you can drive or ride all the way to Yellapatty, Kollukkumalai, Mesapulimalai, Vattavada and Pampadum Shola National Park for more neelakurinji blooms and different experiences.

Perfect conditions for a monsoon holiday to Munnar, Kerala

This forest route not only gives you easy access to the Neelakurinji, but the journey in itself is a special experience as it takes you through lush forests, busy wildlife and birds, stunning tea estates, umpteen waterfalls and gorgeous mountains all the way from Udumalpet to Munnar, which is about 88 kms in total.

My Custom Motorcycle and a Bright Bouganvilla bush

For those looking for authentic Kerala homestays on this route, Marayoor is a good option. For a true village experience, Kanthaloor is your bet. And if you wish to see the endangered Nilgiri Tahr up close, Eravikulam National Park is your bet. And for all modern day luxuries, creature comforts and divine weather, you have Munnar.

The gorgeously green shola forests of Yellapatty, Kerala

Wherever you opt to stay and whatever you opt to do, this Udumalpet – Munnar forest highway offers you a thrilling experience filled with gorgeous nature. So, go on, set your sights on a Neelakurinji mass bloom and explore and enjoy the rest of Kerala, which is eagerly waiting to show the world that it is all ready after the epic floods of August 2018.

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