Thursday, 27 June 2013

Munnar .. Tea fields and beyond, in the Bison Valley village

 Tea fields and beyond in the Bison Valley village

On a first impression she was quiet shy, yet her instinctive confidence was vivid in the beautiful sparkling eyes. Her eyes put you in the magic of the mountain gods. Her slender yet healthy figure was instantly charming and could easily communicate with an outsider with a welcome smile of the migrants of the high ranges .
 I asked her the road signs to the Bison valley village as I was my maiden drive, in my small Spark to Spice Tree resort project towards Muttukadu and Anayirangal dam from Adimaly. 

I took a deviation from Kochi - Madurai NH 49 with in 45 minutes I was in Bison Valley village. It was a beautiful drive along the black pepper and nutmeg farms, cardamom estate small and big, organic farms of cash crops such as ginger and turmeric and finally the valley ends with paddy fields. These paddy fields are probably at a highest altitude in south India, producing some high quality rice varieties. It was   surprising to see the paddy fields at a few kilometers distance from the Kanan Devan Tea Hills, South of the Chokkan Mudi Peak. After I cross the Bison Valley village, I reached another agri village called Muttukadu at the foot hills of Chokkan Mudi and Gap Road on the north and west of the Anayirangal Reservoir.  I stopped at the local tea shop for a quick meter tea and paruppu vada(tea time lentil snack).  And I decided that on my return journey I will make sure to peep into the local toddy shop for glass of palm toddy.. ( a favourite local drink of the migrant farmers – fermented sap of palm tree). I climbed up the hill for about 10 minutes and stopped for few minutes to have a distant view of the dolmens (stone age remnants, similar to what is seen in Marayoor near Chinnar Wild life sanctuary).

I could see Spice Tree Resort form the same spot, it was situated at a stunning beautiful valley view. My journey beyond the tea fields … on a less crowded public road from Adimaly ended in an hour at Spice Tree Resort, with lot of colorful and unique images of simple lunky clad farmers with bare chests working in the spice grooves, grazing cows by the road, children and mothers harvesting tapioca, ladies carrying firewood to their household kitchen, thatched houses, tea and toddy shops and occasionally four wheeled jeeps passing by me. As Spice Tree resort was located only two kilometers from Anayirngal dam, I decided that I should make a quick drive where I could collect some very good local oranges and couple of packets of factory fresh tea. My memory bank was full of unique colorful images…after my maiden drive beyond the tea fields along the Bison Valley villages.  

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