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Experience the Flora and Fauna of Munnar with a tr...

This is the story of a nature lover whose absolute passion for the forests and wildlife made him grow from a wild child to a reputed naturalist and environmentalist.  Having being in sync to the rhythm of nature for years, Charan is an expert in finding and explaining about exotic flora and fauna to Travellers and tourists from all around the world.  For Charan, Environmental conservation and  enjoying the true spirit of nature goes hand in hand. Apart from being part of wildlife surveys in association with the Forest department, he has also marked his expertise as a naturalist for Blanket Hotel in Attukad village, Munnar
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Charan’s curiosity about the secrets of nature bloomed out in his childhood as soon as he saw a group of photographers and ornithologists who were visiting his place. His village, being on the banks of Ashtamudi lake, was a habitat to many birds The young boy was fascinated at these people who were looking through their binoculars and clicking pictures around.  With the help of some the club members, he got see around through the binoculars. Since then, there was no turning back and thus began the story of Charan’s walk through nature.  In his 10th standard, he got an opportunity to participate in a wild life survey in Shenduruny forest, which paved the stepping stones in learning more about nature and becoming a wildlife researcher about which ,he later wrote a book called ‘welcome to Shendurunyforest’.

Charan’s passion and achievements are well said in the story below. He is currently preparing his second book about the wildlife and also continuing his beautiful journey with the guests, gleefully explaining about various flora and fauna of the region.

·         Mr Charan started his career as a naturalist in 1996 by collaborating with the Manishada nature group and actively participating in the census of Dashvalsara neerpakshi , a rare specie which is hardly spotted.

 

·         Active participator of the Vembanad bird’s survey since 2000.

 

·         A nature lover by heart, he has been vibrantly working for the protection and welfare of the Shasthamkotta Lake which is supposedly the largest freshwater Lake in Kerala.

 

·         He has been actively resisting the illegal interference in Ashtamudi Lake which is the second largest lake of the state. Charan works actively to protect the legacy of our traditional fishing methods like ‘kakavaral’ (A rustic way of collecting clam fishes from the Lake) and is against exploitation.

 

·          His services towards protecting the natural mangroves in Kollam Ashramam Adventure park had resulted in the state biodiversity board taking up the land for preservation.

 

·         Charan has been working as the coordinator of the Manishada Nation Action Group

 

·         He is currently the chapter secretary of People for Animals group in Kollam and the secretary of the Quilon Nature society.

 

·         In his term as the secretary for PFA, Charan played an inevitable role in regulating the torture on captive elephants which has made a big difference in the issue.

 

·         He in association with an international organization called INTER NICHE organized a seminar in SN College, Kollam to implement an alternative frog dissection software in the state level which had put an end to the torture of frogs for academic purposes in Zoology labs. The change was immediately incorporated into the syllabus of the students.

 

·         Active participant for a venture that aimed at spotting out the geographical distribution of a rare species  locally known as ashambu laughing thrush /Travancore laughing thrush)

 

·          He conducted a detailed study on the lifestyle of a bird called Broad tailed grassbird (schoenicoda Platyurus) and researched on the difficulties it faces within the human disturbance  areas of Ponmudi

 

·         He is a proud member of the team in Kollam that founded progressive greying in the Eurasian Coot (Fulica Atra). This was the second time that the phenomenon had been spotted in India

 

·         He is currently making a suggestion to the forest department to unify the wildlife sanctuaries in Trivandrum and Kollam states and to named it as the ‘Travancore tiger reserve’.

 

Even after all these lifetime achievements, Charan is pretty known for his down to earth personality and the vibe of warmth that he spreads around. Numerous trails to be covered by this ‘guardian of nature’ and so are to be written by him, a number of books about nature’s secrets.

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January 09, 2020 by Admin

Sub Zero Temperatures and Frost A White Blanket ov...

The month of January is cold and is one of the best times to visit Munnar. Visitors flock to this

magnificent hill station every year during this time to experience the cool winter climate and the warm

sun that provides excellent hues over the skies of Munnar. However, over the last few weeks, the region

of Munnar has been experiencing a winter of a different kind. The kind that has seen many parts of the

region experience temperatures as low as -3 degrees Celsius. This phenomenon has caused layers of frost

to cover the lush green landscapes that adorn the region of Munnar. It is almost as if a pristine white

blanket has covered the landscape. The tea estate regions of Devikulam, Chenduvara, Chittuvara,

Kannimala, Sevenvalley, and Nallathani have seen frost cover most of the grasslands and tea plantations. This is a great time to capture some beautiful photographs for shutterbugs. The weather at Munnar coupled with the beautiful white frost these days resembles Kulu Manali and Blanket Hotel and Spa has some of the best luxury rooms and services in Munnar to help you enjoy this rare spectacle of the frost covered hills of Munnar. It is a wonderful opportunity for families to spend some time in the ‘white hills’ and make some great memories.
Blanket Hotel and Spa has been arranging special Jeep Safaris for guests who want to visit the regions that are covered with frost. Be sure to not miss this rare opportunity to witness frost in God’s Own

Country.

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January 15, 2019 by Admin

Witness the Spectacle of the Neelakurinji at the E...

The Neelakurinji flower is in full bloom at Munnar this year. Guests can catch a glimpse of this beautiful and mystical flower in its full glory in Eravikulam National Park. Visitors can visit the park during this time of theyear to experience the magical extravaganza called Neelakurinji and Nilgiri Tahr. The Eravikulam National Park is located at a distance of 10.60 kilometers from Munnar (approximately 30 minutes) and 19 kilometers from Blanket Hotel (approximately 40 minutes).
The Eravikulam National Park is located at a distance of 10.60 kilometers from Munnar (approximately 30 minutes) and 19 kilometers from Blanket Hotel (approximately 40 minutes).
The entry time is between 7.30 am and 4.00 pm.
The details of the entry fees to the Eravikulam National Park are as follows:
Indian Adults : 120 INR (Children – 90 INR)
Foreign Nationals : 400 INR
INR Ordinary Camera : 40 INR
INR Video Camera : 315 INR
Reservation fee 50 INR (Reservation counter 9 am – 3 pm at Information centre, Munnar)
Booking the tickets: An online booking facility is available for all those who wish to visit the park. Those looking to make a booking must note that 75% of the tickets will be sold through the online booking facility and the remaining 25% will be made available offline (direct booking). These offline ticket bookings can be done via the counters set up at the Munnar KSRTC stand, theMarayoor Wildlife Complex and Old Munnar. Please note that the counter at the Eravikulam National Parkwon't function for ticket bookings.
Advance booking: Visitors will have the option to book tickets a month prior to visiting the park.
Number of tickets: The Wildlife Department is planning to limit the number of booking per user. It will be limited to five tickets per user at a time.
Ticket status: The status will be displayed on the website and also via digital boards at Adimali, Marayoor and specific points en route to Munnar.
Time slot: To avoid crowding, each visitor will be allowed to stay atop Rajamala for 2 hours from the time of entry.
Cap on visitors: As per NATPAC’s suggestions a maximum of 4,000 visitors can be allowed per day into the park, the WildlifeDepartment however, is planning to limit the number in between 3,600-4,000. Currently 3,000 visitors are allowedper day at the park.
Working hours: Tickets are currently issued from 8 am to 4 pm. This will be extended by 2 hours, making the park timings 7.30 am to 5.30 pm, during this Kurinji season.
Click on below link to Book your tickets online. https://eravikulamnationalpark.in/landing/index.php
Accommodation in Munnar: Munnar is known for good hotels from 3 star to 5 star segment, Blanket Hotel is a premium luxury hotel suites for honeymooners and families as such .Among the Munnar 5 star hotels Blanket stands out due to its location and service. Honeymooners love this 5 star hotel in Munnar because of the awesome location surrounded by tea plantations and river....

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September 21, 2018 by Admin

Get Ready for a Magical Experience –“Neelakuri...

Truly great artists are ones who create works of art that are appreciated for centuries after they are gone. They come up such creations that are rare and beautiful. They are rare because these creations are few and far between and because they are rare, their beauty is also mysteriously captivating. Nature too, is such an artist. It is probably, the greatest of them all because of the sheer magnificence and beauty in everything that it has touched.
One such creation of Nature is the Neelakurinji flower. The botanical name is ‘Strobilanthes kunthianus’. The name Neelakurinji means blue (neela) flower (kurinji). The hills and forests of Munnar situated in the Western Ghats of South India are home to this special flower. The blooming of this beautiful flower can be during the months of July through October. What is fascinating about this spectacle is that this is a phenomenon that happens only once every twelve years during the said months.  Categorized as a long interval bloomer (or plietesial) the Neelakurinji has been documented as one of the most consistent and rigorous bloomers in the category, with documented evidence of its blooming every twelfth year since 1838.  Growing at an altitude of 1300 to 2400 metres, the plant is usually 30 to 60 cm high. They can, however, grow well beyond 180 cm under congenial conditions. It is also believed that the Paliyan tribe of Tamil Nadu used it as a reference point to calculate their ages.
The sight of this flower blooming in abundance and covering the hills and landscape is one to behold. It is a sight that comes once every twelve years. The region of Munnar seems to be carpeted with this magical flower as people and tourists come from near and far to view this spectacle of art created by Mother Nature. Special tours and expeditions are arranged to help tourists and visitors to experience the magic and splendor of this event. If you are planning to visit the region of Munnar during the blooming of the Neelakurinji season, be sure to make your bookings well in advance.
A luxury resort like Blanket Hotel can help bring the best out of the Neelakurinji experience for your holiday during this season. We at Blanket Hotel and Spa have made the best holiday plans for you this season to help you enjoy the Neelakurinji spectacle. Being the best luxury resort in Munnar, Blanket offers you a wide variety of activities that you can indulge in with your loved ones and experience Munnar like never before this Neelakurinji season.

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June 29, 2018 by Admin

Muniyara Dolmens Where the Ancient Sages Attained ...

Imagine a place where the words tranquility and inner peace actually meant something. This is a place where one could probably find one’s true self if they really tried. We are talking about the Muniyara Dolmens in Marayoor, Idukki district of Kerala. It is located approximately 55 kms from Munnar. This is a region that is blessed with green hills and gently flowing rivulets. It is no wonder that ancient sages travelled from far wide to this fairytale like landscape to search for inner peace.
The Muniyaras or dolmens located on these hills are megalithic structures that served primarily as burial chambers. Many archaeologists also believe that some of these structures also were used for habitation by the sages during their periods of penance and meditation. This is because of many of these dolmens have a quadrangle scooped out in laterite and lined on the sides with granite slabs. These are also covered with cap stones.
In today’s day an age where Yoga has become a fad rather than a way of living, the muniyaras of Marayoor remind us of a time when the sages and hermits lived a no frills lifestyle, without any material attachments. Their sole purpose in life was to achieve inner peace.
On this World Yoga day we at Blanket resort and Spa were honored to have the presence of some of the world’s renowned practitioners of Yoga at our property. This group visited our resort as part of the Yoga Ambassadors Tour (YAT) 2018, a specialist familiarization trip for practicing Yoga, which commenced on 13th June this year. There were around 52 representatives from 22 countries on tour here in Kerala, located in the southernmost part of India. This group intended to promote the benefits and practice of Yoga as a lifestyle. We at Blanket Resort and Spa would like to invite you on this special occasion to embrace yoga and its benefits.

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June 15, 2018 by Admin

Marayoor Jaggery – Going Global from Humble Sett...

Marayoor is a region in Idukki district of Kerala that is a region that is renowned for its jaggery and sandalwood forests. ‘Marayoor sharkara’ as it is locally called is a produce that is home the panchayats of Marayoor and Kanthalloor. Jaggery production is considered to be a cottage industry in this part of the world and is traditionally made in the respective farms. The name itself has over the years turned into a brand that is famous the world over. Now, this wonderful produce is going to get its own GI (geographical indication) status.
 It is traditionally manufactured jaggery containing low amounts of sodium and insoluble impurities. Under lab conditions it was found that the jaggery is one of the best having 97 % sugar in it. It is very rich in iron content and tastes very sweet compared to other varieties of jaggery. The organic method of production and dark brown color are the unique characteristics of this traditional produced jaggery. This is available in four different forms. The first is ‘undasharkara’ a solid ball shaped form which is the main produce. The second is called ‘paani’ (liquid form), the third is the flavored jaggery and the fourth is a powdered form which is produced in minor quantities.
 Initially, the sugar cane juice is heated in a huge vessel. It is then boiled and condensed to form high-quality jaggery balls. Marayoor falls in the rain shadow region and the quality of the molasses is attributed to the specialty in temperature and the ph value of the earth. Some of the famous temples in Kerala use the’ Marayoor Sharkara’ as part of their rituals and ceremonies. Available at a price of approximately 70 rupees a kilo and is available at one of the many farms and outlets in the region.
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April 11, 2018 by Admin

Fascinating Nature with Jacaranda & Spathodea in M...

Jacaranda flowers and Spathodea flowers which tinge colours on Munnar’s waysides….
The mosquito killing Spathodea, American-beauty Jacaranda and also of the place name ‘Vaguvarai’which portrait the real nature of Munnar.
Jacaranda flowers…..
These trees were immigrated to Munnar. British brought Jacaranda to Munnar during colonization to beautify the hills and estate bungalows. Jacaranda’s scientific name is Jacaranda mimosifolia and is native to Sreel of Southern America. The people of Munnar call it as ‘Neelavaka’. Jacaranda trees are commonly found in Vaguvarai, bided below the rocks of Umiyamala, a place situated 8001 feet above between Munnar and Marayoor. ‘Vagu’means Jacaranda and ‘varai’ means rock in Tamil. That’s how the name Vaguvarai originated.
Jacaranda flowers during February and April, when Kerala faces a very hot summer. The view of defoliated trees, covered with blue flowers is felicitous to our eyes. Jacaranda trees are also called the Exam tree because it flowers during the March (exam time in Kerala).
Spathodea flowers ….
These red flowers adorning Munnar in the summer season belong to the Bignoniaceae family. These trees are also known as  African Tulip trees which are brought to Munnar by foreigners during British colonization to eradicate the mosquitoes spreading Malaria. The Estate workers believe that the flowers of Spathodea attract mosquitoes to lay eggs on the water lying in the flowers and the flower soon closes which leads to the death of mosquitoes trapped in the flower. These flowers are creating a vision of spring in Munnar Ghats which makes Munnar and Kerala really a God’s own country.
Come and explore the beauty of jacaranda flowers and stay at Blanket Munnar to feel the beauty of Munnar Attukkad waterfalls, hills, etc 
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April 15, 2017 by Admin

A Community Health Care Centre True to its Name

They say India is a nation that is severely short when it comes to providing healthcare services in respect to its massive population. Some estimates say that the healthcare infrastructure in place is not even capable to serve even a third of the population. In all my years of being a doctor, I have been a part of many a discussion and debate that attempted to find a solution to this grave problem. Sadly, no concrete solutions have come up.
Yet the journey continues to find a solution so that every Indian has access to quality and affordable healthcare service in India. On a recent visit to Munnar, I happened to hear about the Chithirapuram Community Healthcare Centre. I decided to find out more about this place for myself. Needless to say as the medical practitioner I have seen many attempts at community-based health care programs and centers that start put with the same noble cause and yet, unfortunately, fizzle out due to poor administration or lack of funds.  The Chithirapuram Community Health Care Centre is one of its kinds in Asia. Formed in the year 1968, it is located at a distance of 6 kilometers away from the Pallivasal Tea Factory It is the largest community center spanning an area over 170 kilometers and includes one primary center and 12 panchayats. The name Chithirapuram is believed to be named after the famous king Raja Ravi Varma who is famed for his art. The Chithirapuram Health Centre is situated on around 14 acres of land. Out of these 3 acres of land have been converted for cultivating vegetables and fruits since October 2014.
I was told that what once was a terrace cultivation project that started with a humble beginning of 200 grow bags of fruits and vegetables atop the government staff quarters under the guidance of block medical officer Dr. VV Radha, all the staff of the community center have successfully turned this project into a full-fledged vegetable and fruit farm. More recently, floriculture, mushroom cultivation and a variety of medicinal plants are being taken up with the help of the local community and the Pallivasal Krishi Bhavan.  Also. I was also impressed by the latest forms of irrigation methods like fertigation, micro-irrigation, rain shelter, bio gas and vermi compost that were being administered the help of Krishi Bhavan.
Chithirapuram has slowly transformed into a community that prides itself in its ability to sustain itself and the local community through agriculture and farming activities. They have planted 1500 orange trees, tissue culture banana, and red lady papaya, under SHM (Structural Health Monitoring) process. They are selling these agricultural produce to local markets and nearby hotel/resort industries. The profit getting from this organic cultivation unit is using for helping poor people in this area.
The area of Chithirapuram has the agro-climatic conditions suitable for the cultivation of plantation crops like Orange, Banana, Papaya, vegetables like Tomato, Okra, Cucumber, Carrot, Chinese cabbage, Beans, Green Peas, and various medicinal plants like Sun flower, Kale and Ginger. The Chithirapuram Community Health Centre has been the recipient of the Best Government Institution Award from the government of Kerala, a first for the district of Idukki for the last fifty years. The community health centre has turned itself into a holistic healthcare service provider that has become a model of community based public health and prevention programs.
I truly believe that the Chithirapuram Community Health Care Centre can serve as a role model for other health centres and organisations for tackling the problem of sustainable healthcare services in India. It has to start with the notion that the best form of healthcare is prevention and Chithirapuram stands testament to this notion.
Dr. Anoop R Nair, Trivandrum...

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December 16, 2016 by Admin

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Blanket Hotel & Spa
Attukad Waterfalls,
Pallivasal, Munnar-685565
+91 4868 254 600 (Front Desk : Extn No.2)
+91 9446524600, 8281507700
info@blanketmunnar.com


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