I hail from ‘God’s Own Country’, a picturesque state comprising both lush green valleys as well as serene beaches. Way back in 2011, I visited Munnar, which is situated at a confluence of three mountain ranges– Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Located at a height of 1,600 m above sea level, Munnar was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British government in south India. The tiny hill station continues to remain popular till date given its crisp weather; lolling tea plantations and winding lanes lending it a quaint charm.
I decided to visit Eravikulam National Park, which is one of the most visited sites by tourists near Munnar. The park is a trekker’s haven offering a beautiful view of the tea plantations and lush green hills kissed by blankets of mists. Standing there in the queue for the entry tickets I was studying the other fellow travelers. After a while I realized that reading people is just not my forte and I should concentrate more on eating delicious mango sprinkled with red chilly powder which I had bought minutes before joining the queue.
Moments later, I was aboard the shuttle bus, where the endless banter of the people on board gave me an insight about the national park. Eravikulam National park is famous for an endangered species named Nilgiri Tahr. An estimated 700-800 Nilgiri Tahr inhabit Eravikulam National Park, making it the largest wild population in the world. This insight got me super excited and I started to anticipate my encounter with at least one Tahr. When I got dropped off and started my trek up the hill I spotted the first Tahr. Click…click..click click click…! Moving further I spotted more Tahrs and there in that moment -being surrounded by the dense greenery and exotic fauna, my love for Kerala quadrupled.
I kept on walking up the hill up till a point where I was stumped by this serene beauty. The fog was in the process of wrapping its arms around the trees- almost engulfing the flora in its protection. I was dumbfounded and almost forgot that I had a camera which may not capture the true beauty but may do justice to my memory. Keeping the click black and white was a conscious effort to offer more depth to the shot.
Whether I visit Munnar again or no, this view will always remain etched to my memory. This photo however, re-iterates my thought on how the spiritual forces too sometimes engulf us in a cloud. The fog to me is synonymous to the mystic beauty of spirituality. It’s like the holy beings themselves surround us in their warm embrace. Under such circumstances, it’s best to surrender to the flow- because there is always something better awaiting us on the other side. When the fog fades, everything is clearer, sharper and more sensible. Whether you are in midst of this fog or beyond, I would suggest that we all,
P.S. – Anyone who decides to visit Munnar next must try those mangoes (with red chili powder) available next to the ticket counter at the national park.