Mannavanur is a very small farming village about 35 Kms west of Kodaikanal. The village is famous for its terrace farming technique. The village is a paradise for nature lovers and travellers who like to experience the tranquillity and simplicity of a village life.

To be honest, we did not have any plans of visiting Mannavanur when we had planned a trip to Kodaikanal – infact we did not even know about this place. We happened to see few photos of a picturesque village at the hotel that we were staying and checked with the front desk about the place. That’s when we got to know about this place and since the photos were so scenic that we decided to explore Mannavanur.

We left our resort at around 10:00 AM and reached Mannavanur at 11:30 AM. The highlight of our trip was the drive. The 30 Km drive ( from Kodaikanal lake & Coakers walk) through the forest is extremely scenic through thick forests (pine and teak trees) on both sides. Visibility was pretty bad as the entire landscape was covered with fog and road conditions were not that great – explains why we took around 1.5 hrs to cover a distance of around 30 Kms.

Read my blog on Kodaikanal lake and Coakers walk for more information on places to visit in Kodaikanal

Note: The drive though beautiful and scenic is pretty lonely (not many tourists visit this place) and takes you through very remote locations. During the entire drive, we did not find any vehicle. Though the locals told that this entire stretch is very safe to drive, my wife and I at many spots were left wondering if we had taken the right decision. There was practically nothing en-route to Mannavanur and God forbid if you have an emergency or vehicle break-down, it will take considerable time for you to find help. 

Drive to Manavanur - 1
The scenic drive through the forests. We took this photo at around 10:30 AM – check out the foggy roads ahead. Visibility was pretty poor during our entire drive due to the foggy conditions.
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The drive takes you through the thick Palani hills Forest Conservation area. Notice that the roads are fairly decent but are very narrow with practically no run off area. It would be extremely tough if you have to cross any oncoming vehicle.
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Took this picture once we cross the forest area and the landscape cleared a bit.
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Another shot of the scenic roads that are mystical – lonely, picturesque and hidden in mist.
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Another shot taken during the drive.
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A foggy valley ahead – drive slowly and be cautious when you are driving in these conditions.
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We reached Mannavanur at around 11:30 AM and were greeted by the cool breeze and a beautiful landscape. Notice the unique terrace farming technique that the local use to increase their productivity.
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The terrace farmers grow  a variety of vegetables – potatoes, cabbage, cauliflowers, French and butter beans, broccoli, carrots etc.

Another attraction at Mannavanur is the lake. Since we were visiting this place in February – well past the monsoon season, the lake was pretty dry and did not have the usual greenery that it is associated with. We were very disappointed with what we found and regretted the timing of our visit. You will find many sheep grazing around, as Mannavanur is well known for its Sheep farms.

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The walk towards the lake. Since very few people visit this place, the entire landscape is very clean and devoid of any trash.
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Pretty disappointed to see a lake which had dried up considerably. During monsoons this entire place transforms into a paradise.
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As we were preparing to drive back to kodaikanal, I managed to capture the entire Mannavanur village in one frame. The village has around 600 households in total.

To be very honest, we were a bit disappointed with our trip to Mannavanur as the place did not look as picturesque as the photos that the hotel had on display. We quickly realized that the beauty of this place depends on when you visit this place.

Read the following blog of a fellow blogger Rahul who visited Mannavanur during Monsoons and check out how beautiful the entire landscape is.

Mannavanur is a beautiful place best visited during the monsoons – from September to January. The entire landscape during monsoon is covered with greenery and the dark monsoon clouds provide a perfect setting for any nature lover to bask in the beauty of nature.


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