Often referred as God’s Own Country, Kerala has truly earned this name with its rich flora and fauna, majestic views and preserved traditions. Salman and I always wanted to explore the real Kerala, the way it is meant to be, by stepping out of your resort and exploring the forests. But it isn’t always possible considering the locations of the hotels/resorts that we opt for.
Majority of the Munnar locations are completely commercial now and are a part of the concrete jungle, not like it once was green and untouched. So, we wanted to choose a resort that is nestled away from the city life, and allows us to step out to be one with nature with forests and lush greenery all around us. When we saw the pictures of Shola Crown Resort we knew then and there that this is going to be an ideal pick for our Kerala stay. It is around 4 hours away from Kochi airport and the drive is so scenic through the tea plantations and spice forests that greet you from both sides along with the early morning mist. This resort is situated in Bodimettu in Kerala and just few steps away from the Tamilnadu border.
We went there at the start of October and this is an ideal time for travelers who do not prefer crowds and even the climate is cool during the day and cold yet very breezy during the nights. Upon arrival, the owners of the property greeted us at the parking, which was very unexpected and sweet on their part, and we were treated to a special welcome drink, which is black cardamom tea. I could smell the freshly ground cardamom from a distance as the waiter approached us and this has to be one of the purest and fresh cardamom tea we have ever tasted.
Have a look at our beautiful and spacious duplex suite at Shola Crown Resort. I love the minimalistic décor of the room with wooden flooring and sky-high windows that give you a peek into the two states (Kerala & Tamilnadu) right from your windows.
Our suite was flanked by spice and fruits plantation on one side, mountains view on the other and beautiful city lights of Tamilnadu on the other. We liked to keep our window curtains raised up while we went to sleep since the majestic morning clouds always flew right past our windows and waking up to this sight for almost a week was so incredible and rare!! Our morning walks in their lush green garden area, which is again surrounded by fruit yielding trees are a sight for the sore eyes. This place makes you get up early to experience nature at it’s best. We have tried to capture this raw magic and the colour play of the sunrays and the clouds to the best of our capability.
The infinity pool overlooks the mountains and the spice plantations. You really need to be here with your cuppa around 6:30 a.m. to witness the entire property covered in mist and watch for yourself the hide and seek of the clouds. Their all day dining restaurant “Elam” serves the best authentic Kerala meals.
Be it your hot appams or Kerala style fish fries and curries with brown rice, their meals are cooked with so much love where the owners themselves look after for special attention. Elam has tall glass windows that lend beautiful views during your breakfasts, lunching or dining sessions.
Add to this some amazing heartfelt conversations and you wouldn’t want to ever get up. I like the idea of having a separate game cum tv room, as opposed to having tv in your rooms since no one and I mean no one is even going to bother with these idiot boxes at this place.
Salman’s favourite apple milkshake and their payasam are to die for, plus we were lucky to get this almost every day after our dinner and these come highly recommended.
If you love exploring and adventure is on your next trip agenda, then here are the places that you need to cover when you stay with Shola Crown Resort, Kerala.
- Off-Road Drive to Kallipara for the sunset – This is just 20 minutes away from Shola Crown Resort. At first a jeep will take you through a huge cardamom forest and from there you need to trek for another half an hour. If you have seen our previous pics from the resort that overlook the mountains, now we are right atop these mountains and we also spotted the resort from there between the clouds.
- The sunset views are just breathtaking here overlooking the “Anayirangal Dam” that is nature’s masterpiece right here with the water channels and lush green trees in harmony. This has to be one of the most scenic routes you could ever trek on. Those of you who are little more daring can also trek up during the night just half way here to see Tamilnadu city lights right through the forests.
- A car drive to the Tamilnadu state during the night – Few steps from Shola Crown Resort and you cross the border of Kerala and step into the Tamilnadu territory. You can drive up to a spot on the highways to witness an exceptional sight of the lit up city, which is a photographer’s delight.
- Do not miss out on Chaturangapara which is just a 30 minutes scenic drive from Shola Crown Resort and it has so many windmills placed on the top and also further away facing Tamilnadu.
- The velocity of the winds is so high that I actually borrowed earmuffs so that we could take the shots. An unforgettable experience this is and we made it just in time for the sunset.
- Off-road trip in a jeep to Kolukkumalai, which is about 7,130 feet (2,170 m) above sea level. This is a bumpy ride for almost 12 kms and 3-4 kms of what we call the kachcha raasta, but when you reach the top, you will forget everything else. Situated right on top of one of the oldest and India’s biggest organic tea garden, the historic Kolukkumalai hails from the Western Ghats and is the barrier separating Tamil Nadu from Kerala.
- This is a place where you can see Kerala on one side and Tamilnadu state on the other. The Britishers had built the tea estate and till date it functions just fine. We got ourselves so many packets of the organic tea as they do not use any preservatives or fertilizers in their teas. Also, these areas surrounding Shola Crown are a completely Carbon Free.
- Punarnava Cultural Centre that allows you to witness one of the oldest and greatest art forms of Kerala – Kathakali and Kalarippayattu.
- In this traditional form of martial arts, you get to see all the weapons from the medieval times. These boys go through extensive training to master this art from a very young age.
- Anayirangal Dam Boating where you get to spot so many Elephants at one place. It is just 12 kms away from Shola Crown Munnar and you can also enjoy boating over there.
- Visit the tribal village of Kerala, which includes a 5 kms of trekking. “Muthivans”(Aduvilunthan Kudy) tribe isn’t too big since only a total of 51 families live there. To reach to this place you also get to pass through the Mathikettan Shola National Park and you get to witness a part of never seen before ancient Kerala.
- Munnar is just an hour away from here too. Away from all the city commotion, yet tucked away with perfect getaway options.
On the last day, we were treated to a very special candlelight dinner right in our room. It was the perfect way to end our journey.
As we headed back home with a heart full of warm memories, we know for sure we will be back here at Shola Crown Munnar, Kerala soon to experience some more of this heavenly state!!
Go with your loved ones for some misty mornings and dreamy nights!! MAKE SURE TO USE THE CODE – “SHIFA20” TO GET FLAT 20% OFF ON YOUR BOOKING DIRECTLY FROM http://www.sholacrown.com
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