Traveling To Munnar During Covid

What To Keep In Mind When Traveling To Munnar During Covid

With its sprawling tea estates, rolling green hills and valleys, and sparkling rivers and lakes, the hill station of Munnar is among the most famous tourist destinations of India. It has also earned the nickname of being the ‘Kashmir of South India’.

munnar, munnar travel guide, Traveling To Munnar During CovidConsidering how you’ve been constantly battling monotony at home in the Covid lockdown, we’re sure you’d want to breathe in the cool mountain air of Munnar. But is traveling to Munnar during Covid a great idea? We’ll not recommend it, or traveling anywhere for that matter. But if you’re taking all the necessary precautions and keep in mind the travel regulations, you may be able to go.

Traveling To Munnar

Below are the ways you can get to Munnar, subject to Covid travel restrictions and guidelines. Keep in mind that as of 25 May 2021, getting around the state is only allowed for emergency reasons. Here are the Kerala travel guidelines during Covid.

munnar, munnar travel guide, Traveling To Munnar During Covid

Getting To Munnar By Air

At a distance of over 105 km, Cochin International Airport is the closest airport to Munnar. International and domestic arrivals will both be subject to thermal screening and those who are symptomatic will get tested for Covid.

International passengers arriving at Kerala are to be mandatorily home quarantined for 7 days. Once this is done, they can avoid the additional 7 days of quarantine by taking an RT-PCR test and if the result is negative. Also, the coronavirus self-declaration form is mandatory for international arrivals.

Domestic passengers are exempt from quarantine altogether if they’re asymptomatic and are in Kerala for less than 7 days. However, those planning a longer stay are to be mandatorily quarantined for 7 days. This can be avoided if you have a report of a negative Covid test taken 48 hours before arrival.

All domestic and international passengers would be subject to mandatory thermal screening and must register themselves in the Covid-19 Jagratha Portal.

Getting To Munnar By Train

The District of Idukki, where Munnar is located, is one of two districts in Kerala which isn’t connected by a railway line (the other one is Wayanad). Aluva is the nearest railway station to Munnar. Train services have started in a staggered manner and there are a number of special festival trains available. However, keep in mind that most trains won’t have pantry cars owing to Covid precautions. So you’ll have to pack your own food.

Getting To Munnar By Road

Being a popular hill station, Munnar is well-connected with all the major cities of Kerala and the neighboring states as well. Even when public transport is available, it’s best that you travel in your personal vehicle or a private cab to keep yourself isolated from unfamiliar people as much as possible.

Whatever your preferred mode of transport when traveling to Munnar during Covid, or any other place for that matter, social distancing, masks, and regular sanitizing remain compulsory. Make sure that you never compromise on that. Also, register yourself on the Covid Jagratha portal.

Also read: Joining A Group Trip During Covid

Places To Visit In Munnar

Kannan Devan Hills

If you’re traveling to Munnar, what you don’t want to miss doing is to relax and unwind. You can do just that when you’re in the Kannan Devan Hills.

munnar, munnar travel guide,Traveling To Munnar During CovidThese hills were leased out to the British during the 19th century for tea plantation and it still remains among the biggest tea plantations in India. The connoisseur of tea would find themselves in bliss walking along the estates. If you’d love to learn more about this beverage, there’s also a tea museum where you’ll learn the history and the process of producing tea.

Also, you’ll find out how Munnar, which had the first-ever monorail line in India, ended up with having no railway lines at all to this date.

Given the proximity of the Kannan Devan Hills to the wilderness of the Western Ghats, there’s no lack of places for you to visit either – the Rajamalai National Park which teems with wildlife, the mesmerizing Lakkam Waterfalls, and a lot more. Once you’re done visiting these places, retire for the day to the tranquility of the Kannan Devan Hills and relish a cup of tea.

Marayoor Dolmens And Sandalwood Forest

When one speaks of Munnar, ancient historical structures aren’t something that’s often mentioned. But at a short distance from this hill station are the dolmens in Marayoor.Traveling To Munnar During Covid

Dolmens are tombs that were made with megaliths (large stones) during the prehistoric period. Considering that the Marayoor Dolmens are estimated to be built during the Neolithic Ages (around 5000 years ago), these rock structures are a marvel that’s sure to interest the history and archaeology nerd. In addition to being used as tombs, the Marayoor Dolmens were also used by munis (sages) as a place to rest and meditate, thus earning the name ‘muniyara’.

However, it needs to be said that despite its archaeological significance, the Marayoor Dolmens have suffered from vandalism and indifference. So make sure that you do your bit to leave these marvelous structures undisturbed when you’re visiting the Marayoor Dolmens.

The town of Marayoor is the only place in Kerala where sandalwood grows in abundance. You can explore the sandalwood forest. But as the fragrant sandalwood is among the most expensive trees in the world, this forest is fenced and has heavy security to prevent any illegal activities.

Also read: What To Do If You Get Sick When On Your Holiday?

Top Station

Top Station is located on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. As its name suggests, it’s one of the highest points in Munnar and offers stunning views of the Western Ghats.

Speaking of this point’s history, Top Station was where the Kundala Valley Railway line, which was primarily used to transport tea, ended. You can still see the remains of this railway line today.

Given its location among the lush green hills and valleys, you can channel your adventurous spirit by trekking your way up to Top Station. Make sure that you have your cameras with you at all times because the sights along the way would be worth it too! Reaching the top will make you feel on top of the world as you’ll see cottony clouds lazily drifting and swirling around and below you. If you’d like to call this place home at least for a short while, stay in one of the many camping facilities available here.

Covid Precautions When Traveling

Traveling to Munnar would be a great way to unwind yourself from the stress of daily life and the monotony of the Covid lockdown. But as the Covid pandemic is still around, you need to keep in mind the below points:

  • You must follow social distancing norms at all times – always wear your mask and wash your hands regularly.
  • Avoid traveling anywhere at all if you’re unwell.
  • Look for accommodations that take Covid precautions very seriously.
  • As far as possible, avoid traveling in public vehicles and keep interactions with strangers to a minimum.
  • Insist on cashless transactions to reduce the risk of infection.
  • The Covid travel rules can change. So make sure to check on the interstate travel guidelines of Kerala and that of your home state before you set out.
  • Whether mandatory or not, carry a coronavirus self-declaration form and install the latest version of the Aarogya Setu app on your phone.
  • If you develop Covid symptoms during or just after the trip, inform your accommodation staff and seek medical help immediately.
  • As far as possible, try to make this trip safe and happy for yourself and those around you.

FAQs

Is One Day Enough For Munnar?

One day wouldn’t be enough for Munnar. We recommend keeping aside at least 3 days to experience the hill station to its fullest.

What Are The Main Features Of Munnar?

Munnar is primarily among the most popular tourist destinations of Kerala. The verdant hills, tranquil tea estates, and the many water bodies make it for a picturesque holiday destination. To add to these, pleasant weather all year round draws a lot of tourists to Munnar.

Is Ola Available In Munnar?

No, Ola cabs aren’t yet available in Munnar. You can however get an auto rickshaw or board a bus to get around.

Is There Snowfall In Munnar?

Munnar doesn’t normally experience snowfall, but there are times when the temperatures go below 0°C, because of which there may be frost.

Which Is The Coldest Month In Munnar?

December is when Munnar is the coldest, with an average minimum temperature of 12.7°C.

Which Is Best Time To Visit Munnar?

The winter months of November to February are the best time to visit Munnar, with an average temperature range of 10-28°C. The summers are quite pleasant too, but it rains very heavily during the monsoon.

How Can I Reach Munnar Top Station?

Once you’ve reached Munnar, take the SH18, which connects the town with the Kerala State Boundary. Follow the road for about 35 km and you’ll reach Top Station.

How Long Should I Self-quarantine If I Have Been Exposed To Covid-19?

In case you’ve been exposed to Covid-19, self-quarantine for at least 14 days. Keep in mind that even if you’re asymptomatic, don’t venture outside as you could still be carrying the virus.

What Precautions Can I Take To Avoid Contracting Covid-19?

Four simple precautions can greatly help in reducing the risk of getting Covid-19:

Wear A Mask: Covid spreads when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes, releasing the virus particles in the air. Wearing a mask, especially the N95, can help in reducing the spread of the virus.

Wash Your Hands: Your hands touch a lot of surfaces, which may have the virus, and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth can lead you to get infected. To remedy that, wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Maintain Safe Distance: Keeping at least 6-feet distance from others means you’re not in close contact with someone who may be infected. Combine social distancing with a mask, and you’re even safer!

Get Vaccinated: Vaccination drives have begun. So make sure that you register yourself for the shot on the Aarogya Setu app. Keep in mind that getting vaccinated doesn’t make you immune to the virus, it only makes you more resistant to it. So the other three precautions mentioned above still apply!

What Precautions Should Everyone Take In A Hotel During The Covid-19 Pandemic?

Opt For A Covid-ready Hotel: Most hotel websites now explain the processes in which they’re keeping their premises sanitized. Only opt for such hotels and ensure that the safety norms are adhered to.

Wash Your Hands: Irrespective of where you are, the mask and sanitizer rule applies. Use a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content and wash your hands thoroughly.

Avoid Contact: As far as possible, opt for cashless transactions and avoid contact with common touchpoints like elevator buttons, doorknobs, faucets, etc. If you do, wash your hands before touching your face.

Dine In: Instead of eating at the hotel’s restaurant, opt to dine in as it reduces your exposure to other guests.

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    A Guide To Traveling To Munnar During Covid Traveling To Munnar During The Coronavirus Pandemic

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