Munnar Kerala, India
Munnar is a beautiful hill station, and was the summer resort of the British. Tourists come here to see the vast tea plantations of the area. The town itself is typically Indian with the usual shops, guest houses and is really beautiful and traditional. It is a good place to stay to see the surrounding countryside. It is also a popular place for Indian honeymooners.
Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams – Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. 1,600 m above sea level, this hill station was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture-book towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities make this a popular resort town. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neelakurinji. This flower which bathes the hills in blue once in every twelve years, will bloom next in 2018. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India, Anamudi, which towers over 2,695 m. Anamudi is an ideal spot for trekking.
Let us now explore some of the options in and around Munnar that would provide travellers ample opportunities to enjoy the captivating hill station of Munnar.
About 15 km from Munnar, the famous hill station of Kerala, is the beautiful Rajamala. The natural habitat of the Nilgiri Tahr (Hemitragas hylocres), the Eravikulam – Rajamala region is now home to half the world Tahr population estimated at around 1300. But the Tahr is only one of the reasons to make a visit to Rajamala. The picturesque beauty of this mountain will make you want to tent here forever!
#2 Eravikulam National Park
One of the main attractions near Munnar is the Eravikulam National Park. This park is famous for its endangered inhabitant – the Nilgiri Tahr. Spread over an area of 97 sq. km., this park is also home to several species of rare butterflies, animals and birds. A great place for trekking, the park offers a magnificent view of the tea plantations and also the rolling hills caressed by blankets of mists. The park becomes a hot destination when the hill slopes here get covered in a carpet of blue, resulting from the flowering of Neelakurinji. It is a plant endemic to this part of the Western Ghats which blooms once in twelve years.
#3 Anamudi Peak
Located inside the Eravikulam National Park is the Anamudi Peak. This is the highest peak in south India standing at a height of over 2700 m. Treks to the peak are allowed with permission from the Forest and Wildlife authorities at Eravikulam.
Another place of interest, located about 13 km from Munnar Town, is Mattupetty. Situated at a height of 1700 m above sea level, Mattupetty is known for its storage masonry dam and the beautiful lake, which offers pleasurable boat rides, enabling one to enjoy the surrounding hills and landscape. Mattupetty’s fame is also attributed to the dairy farm run by the Indo-Swiss Livestock Project, where one would come across different high yielding breeds of cows.
Pallivasal, located at about 3 km from Chithirapuram in Munnar is the venue of the first Hydro-electric project in Kerala. It is a place of immense scenic beauty and is often favoured by visitors as a picnic spot.
#6 Chinnakanal & Anayirangal
Near the town of Munnar is Chinnakanal and the waterfalls here, popularly known as Power House Waterfalls, cascade down a steep rock 2000 m above sea level. The spot is enriched with the scenic view of the Western Ghat ranges. When you have traveled about seven kilometers from Chinnakanal, you reach Anayirangal. Anayirangal, 22 km from Munnar, is a lush green carpet of tea plants. A trip on the splendid reservoir is an unforgettable experience. The Anayirangal dam is surrounded by tea plantations and evergreen forests.
#7 Top Station
Top Station, which is about 32 km from Munnar is at a height of 1700 m above sea level. It is the highest point on the Munnar-Kodaikanal road. Travellers to Munnar make it a point to visit Top Station to enjoy the panoramic view it offers of the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the spots in Munnar to enjoy the Neelakurinji flowers blooming over a vast area.
#8 Tea Museum
Munnar has a legacy of its own when it comes to the origins and evolution of tea plantations. Taking account of this legacy and to preserve and showcase some of the exquisite and interesting aspects on the genesis and growth of tea plantations in Kerala’s high ranges, a museum exclusively for tea was opened some years ago by Tata Tea in Munnar. This Tea Museum houses curios, photographs and machineries; all of which have a story to tell on the origins and growth of tea plantations in Munnar. The museum is located at the Nallathanni Estate of Tata Tea in Munnar and is worth a visit.
#9 Echo Point
Echo Point is situated about 13 km away from Munnar town, towards the Top Station or Top Slip. Echo Point is a phenomenon found in most of the hill stations. Munnar also has an Echo Point at a scenic lake bank. At Echo Point, people can clearly hear their loud voice echoing within the reservoir.
Echo Point is also a picnic spot where tourists as well as natives love to stroll along the misty green slopes of the lake. Nature walks at Echo Point is a popular activity. Also, tourists can go for trekking through the nearby coffee, tea and spice plantations and grasslands. Cool breeze along with calm serene surroundings make Echo Point a favourite place among wayfarers.
#10 Muniyara, Marayoor
Muniyara is part of Marayoor which is 40 km from Munnar, in Idukki district, central Kerala.
A fascinating destination for anthropologists and archaeologists from all over the world, Muniyara has remnants of Dolmenoid cists belonging to the Megalithic age. Dolmenoids were burial chambers made of four stones placed on edges and covered by a fifth one called the cap stone. Some of these Dolmenoids contain several burial chambers, others have a quadrangle scooped out in laterite and lined on the sides with granite slabs. These are also covered with cap stones.
Muniyara is part of Marayoor. Marayoor occupies a vast area on the slopes of the Western Ghats in Idukki district and is an important pre-historic site in Kerala. Apart from the Dolmenoid cists in Muniyara, Marayoor is famous for its natural sandalwood forests and pre-historic rock paintings
Cochin International airport also known as Nedumbassery Airport and CIAL is the nearest airport. It is 110 km away from Munnar by road.
Aluva railway station the nearest railway station is Aluva, from there you can catch taxi and bus. The station is near to the railaystation. Distance from aluva to munnar is 110 km
- By car
From Kochi: Munnar is 130 km (3.5 hr) from Kochi. The road is blind in some places and there are a lot of trucks and buses that seem to drive as if they own the road. Although the road is smooth (NH 49), it is narrow, twisty and curvy. Kothamangalam is on the way and is 80 km away from Munnar. Between Kothamangalam and next town “Adimali”, you can experience a beautiful cool drive through a natural forest. Alongside, you can see many refreshing waterfalls. Once you reach Adimali, Munnar is just 30 kilometers away – but it will take almost an hour to reach. This is the last place where you can spot a decent restaurant before Munnar. Around 22 km from Adimali, you can start seeing the tea plantations on both sides of the road and a panoramic view of the western ghats. The view is extremely beautiful during the early mornings.