Rainbow Trout Munnar
The Fascinating History of Rainbow Trout in Munnar-A British Legacy
Nestled in the picturesque hills of Munnar, an enchanting tale of perseverance, nostalgia, and the birth of a unique culinary delight unfolds. The story revolves around the remarkable journey of the rainbow trout, an exotic fish that found a home in the heart of India's southern paradise.
The Scots' Quest for Atlantic Salmon and Trout
In the 19th century, Munnar drew a significant number of Scots who sought to develop tea plantations in a landscape reminiscent of their native Scotland. Amidst the breathtaking beauty of the Munnar hills, they found a perfect escape for activities like hunting and horse riding. However, one element was conspicuously missing from their lives—the pleasure of angling and the delectable taste of Atlantic salmon and its sister fish, trout.
The Scots who deeply cherished the flavours of the Atlantic salmon and trout, were determined to bring this missing delight to Munnar. Inspired by the Chinese guru Lawei Tzu, who claimed that ruling a large country was akin to frying a small fish, the Scots embarked on a mission to breed trout in the chilly climate of Munnar.
The Challenge of Breeding Trout in India
Trout typically thrive in cold lakes and streams, which posed a unique challenge in the tropical Indian climate. The initial attempts dating back to 1909, to import trout eggs from Scotland and hatch them in India proved unsuccessful. However, the determination to establish a thriving trout population in Munnar remained unwavering. The journey to create a sustainable trout population included several trials and tribulations. Brown trout was the first species chosen for experimentation, but success was elusive. It was only after switching to rainbow trout that the endeavor began to bear fruit.
A Decades-Long Success Story
The relentless efforts to establish a trout population in Munnar culminated in success. Today, descendants of the rainbow trout thrive in the cool, pristine streams of the Munnar hills. Munnar is now home to one of the rarest hatcheries for trout breeding in India, is a living testament to this decades-long endeavor.
Visitors to Munnar now have the opportunity to not only witness the legacy of the Scots but also savor the unique taste of rainbow trout, priced at Rs 1000 per kg.
A Legacy Continued by the Kannan Devan Company
Even as Munnar's tea plantations transitioned from British colonial rule to Indian ownership, the trout hatchery remained, serving as a historical relic of times gone by. The Kannan Devan Company continues to maintain trout fish farming as part of the High Range Angling Association, established in 1933 for recreational fishing.
Visit to the Trout Hatchery - A Journey to Remember
To visit the Trout Hatchery maintained by the Kannandevan Company, one must embark on an arduous journey, crossing mountains and traversing kilometers of off-road terrain, within the Eravikulam National Park at Rajamala, far from Munnar. The hatchery is located on the banks of a cold forest stream, surrounded by an aura of pristine serenity.
Fish at the hatchery thrive in tanks filled with ultra-pure stream water, a testament to the dedication required to sustain their growth in Munnar's climate. Extreme winter conditions from December to February, which is the breeding season, are crucial for successful trout breeding. Moreover, these fish can only flourish in such clean water.
Nurturing the Rainbow Trout
At the hatchery, the rainbow trout hatchlings receive special nutritious food during the December-February breeding period. Buffalo intestine and beetroot are ground in a cutter, and after 2-3 months of growth, they are transferred to other tanks where they are fed with artificial feed prepared exclusively for trout.
A Nutritional Treasure
Rainbow trout, like its sibling Atlantic salmon, is a rich source of protein, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids. Beyond its entertainment and commercial appeal, it has become a favorite among people from North Atlantic countries due to its exceptional nutritional value.
Savoring the Experience
While Malayali cuisine may not be everyone's preferred style for cooking trout, the nutritional benefits of this exotic fish make it a sought-after delicacy. Kannan Devan Company's trout farming in Rajamala, while primarily non-commercial, offers an opportunity for those intrigued by this culinary adventure to taste the delectable rainbow trout.
In conclusion, the story of rainbow trout in Munnar is not just about fish; it's a testament to human determination, cultural exchange, and the delightful fusion of nature's bounty and gastronomy in the heart of the hills. When visiting Munnar, don't miss the chance to fry and savor a trout fish—an experience that encapsulates the rich history and unique flavors of this breathtaking region.
The Rainbow Trout at Blanket Hotel & Spa
At Munnar’s best luxury resort, the harmony between luxury and nature is taken to the next level. Blanket Munnar, sprawling property includes a carefully cultivated mountain garden, a testament to the commitment to preserving the natural beauty of Munnar. Here, guests can immerse themselves in the serene tranquility of the mountains, surrounded by verdant greenery and the gentle murmur of a crystal-clear water fountain. The resort's dedication to creating a unique and unforgettable experience for its guests extends to the cultivation of the rainbow trout, which Blanket Munnar has exclusively sourced from the Kannan Devan hatchery. These beautiful fish thrive in the cool, clear waters of the mountain garden. The well-maintained water fountain, with its gentle flow and pristine water, serves as the ideal habitat for these fish. The resort's expert team ensures that the fish receive the best care, providing them with the ideal environment for growth and reproduction.