Unseen Passage: Munnar

Sloping hills, green, winding roads through rolling tea gardens, mists slowly enveloping the hills, silver oaks dancing in the wind, smell of cardamom in sprawling spice gardens and scenic resorts overlooking the valley; these are some of the scenes from Munnar, the breathtakingly beautiful hill station of Kerala.

Wherever you go through the winding roads, you will find rolling grasslands and velvet beds of tea gardens all around you. Recently trimmed patches alongside brown cropped slopes and freshly grown tea, make Munnar the Eden of tea gardens. I’m not exaggerating; you really won’t find a greater variety of tea gardens elsewhere in India.

But that’s not all, Munnar also has lots of other things to offer—the Neelakurunji flower [the flower that lights up its forests once in 12 years], the Nilgiri Tahr [a rare breed of mountain goat that is found only in Munnar] and the Anamudi [the highest peak in South India].

Munnar derives its name from the Tamil words munu [three] and aaru [river]. The town is situated at the confluence of Mudrapuzha, Nallathani and Kundala rivers. It is located near the Tamil Nadu border and is close to both Coimbatore and Kochi, making it a preferred weekend spot for those residing there. But its beauty lures people from far and beyond–it’s also a popular destination of foreign tourists coming to India. It used to be the favourite summer resort of the English, when the British ruled India. And why not? The town and its surroundings vary in height from 1700m – 2700m above sea level and offer stunning views of hills and valleys. It has a salubrious climate round the year, which makes it a pleasurable place to spend your vacation. Even in summer, the temperature varies from 8 degrees – 16 degrees Celsius.

In summer, the sudden showers turn its tea gardens into magical carpets and bestow an ethereal look to the landscape. No wonder many good resorts have cropped up in the area. A four or five night stay in these resorts can give you everything from recreational activities and tours to ayurvedic massages and treks—a total rejuvenation package. We booked ourselves into a resort near a tea garden. And as far as the eye could see, there was mist and miles of tea gardens. The main town is a little congested though.

Q. On the basis of your reading and understanding of the above passage, answer the following:

  1. What does one see everywhere in Munnar? Why is Munnar named as the Eden of tea garden ?
  2. How did Munnar get its name? What was Munnar famous as during the British rule ?
  3. What makes Munnar a popular tourist destination throughout the year ?
  4. Rain enhances the beauty of Munnar in summer. How ?
  5. The antonym of the word ‘winding’ in para 1 is
    1. meandering
    2. convoluting
    3. straight
    4. curvaceous
  6. The antonym of the word ‘salubrious’ in para 3 is
    1. inclement
    2. agreeable
    3. risky
    4. unstable
  7. Give a word that can replace the word ‘lures’ in para 3.
  8. Give an expression that can replace the expression ‘ethereal look’ in para 4.

Answers

  1. One can see rolling grasslands and velvet beds of tea gardens everywhere in Munnar. Munnar is named as the Eden of tea garden because it has the greatest variety of tea gardens in India.
  2. Munnar derives its name from the Tamil words ‘munu’ [three] and ‘aaru’ [river]. It was famous as the favourite summer resort of the English during the British rule.
  3. The favourable location and climate makes Munnar a popular tourist destination throughout the year.
  4. The sudden showers in summer change the tea gardens into magical carpets. This bestows an ethereal look to the landscape.
  5. straight
  6. agreeable
  7. attracts
  8. other worldly look

1 thought on “Unseen Passage: Munnar”

  1. Good one. I really loved this passage about Munnar. It is making me read it again and again. While reading the passage, I felt like travelling through the tea gardens of Munnar. Though a simple one, it gives a lot of useful information. As a Historian, the most interesting part I found here is about the meaning of Munnar. There is a river which flows in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh known as Munneru, the spelling and pronunciation of which is similar to Munnar. This passage is useful for students who appear for various competitive examinations as such passages help in improving their reading comprehension skills.

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