Recalling an era of colourful gardens

Gardens maintained by KDHP near former railway station building a good draw

Updated - February 18, 2021 11:41 pm IST

Published - February 18, 2021 11:39 pm IST - IDUKKI

The well maintained garden close to the railway station building of the erstwhile Kundala Valley Light Railway in Munnar.

The well maintained garden close to the railway station building of the erstwhile Kundala Valley Light Railway in Munnar.

Imagine a colourful garden close to a colonial building in the tea plantation area on the banks of the Muthirapuzha river.

Flower gardens were part of the Raj era plantation life with estate bungalows usually situated on top of a hill providing a panoramic view of the surrounding green. After Independence, the Scottish plantation style of life continued in major tea plantation areas.

The flower gardens were maintained well and the bungalows where the top management staff lived were kept intact.

Munnar, which is often called the Kashmir of South India is most beautiful during Spring when the flowering trees on either side of the road is a visual feast.

The flower gardens maintained by the Kanan Devan Hills Plantations (KDHP) close to the former railway station building of the erstwhile Kundaly Valley Light Railway is an attraction now.

“Every building of the Raj era was in beautiful locations. The beauty of the location is not the one when seen from outside but from within the buildings. The gardens are also seen as part of the buildings. In Devikulam taluk even the estate lanes (quarters for workers) are also placed beautifully with space for vegetable gardens. There is a sort of landscaping in almost all the buildings in the tea plantations in Devikulam and Peerumade taluk, though the latter has witnessed a collapse of the system now,” says Kiran Mathew who has studied the British era life in Munnar.

There are some flower plants which were of foreign origin in Munnar. The cool climate and soil conditions in Munnar are best suited for flower plants, he said.

It is a riot of colours in the cool climate of Munnar at the old railway garden now. A variety of flowers including Zinnias, Marigolds, Larkspur, Hollyhocks, Gloxinia, Lady's Lace, Antirrhinums, common orchids, Aster, Cosmos, Alstroemeria, Alyssum, Geraniums, Phlox, Cineraria, Giant Sunflower, Dwarf Antirrhinum , Salvias, and a variety of roses form this colourful sight in the well-manicured old railway station garden.

The Kundaly Valley Light Railway was launched by the erstwhile British- owned KDHP Company way back in 1909 for the transport of passengers as well as goods between Munnar and Top Station. This railway network was badly damaged by the floods of 1924 and later abandoned.

Authorities are now planning to introduce the hill railway network for tourists reaching Munnar.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.