India’s 70th Independence Day – 15th Aug 2016 – fell on a Monday making it a long weekend. We took a holiday with friends to Munnar, Kerala’s tea-town hill station.
We stayed at the delightful Windermere Plantation & Retreat in Munnar which primarily grows cardamom. The plantation rooms, where we stayed, had eye-level shola views and birding (mixed flocks) was great whenever weather permitted. John Simon, who runs the place, is extremely hands on and ensures guests have a great time. It rained heavily and incessantly the entire duration of our stay — and it was absolutely magical!
On Independence Day, we made a short half-day mist-filled foray into the tourism zone of Eravikulam National Park (at Rajamalai) and made the customary 1km walk to see the resident tahr herd. We only got brief glimpses given the heavy mist. Earlier, while we were waiting for the ticket counter to open, the Kerala Forest Dept. had a flag hoisting near the park entrance — always a great sight to see the tricolor unfurled!