Munnar is one of the busiest and has the world’s best tea estate. The quaint little hill station is famous for its sprawling tea gardens, winding lanes, and trekking options. The tea plantations have now been taken over by the Tata Tea Company. You would be fascinated by the rows of unending tea plantations on entry into Munnar. Among the exotic flora found in the forests here the Neelakurinji is a significant flower which blossoms in the hills in blue colour once in twelve years. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India – Anamudi – at a height of over 2695 mts and is an ideal destination for trekkers.
Location of Munnar
One of the most popular hill stations of India, Munnar is located in Idukki district of Kerala at a height of 1600 m above sea level. It is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams – Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. In Tamil ‘munnu’ means “three” and ‘aar’ means “river”. Hence “Munnar” is a shortened version of ‘Munnu Aar’.
What to see in Munnar?
Church of South India: A church, temple and a mosque are located on three hillocks overlooking the town. The church is a major tourist attraction standing tall like a fortress camouflaged by eucalyptus trees. It is a symbol of Munnar’s colonial past.
Pothamedu: 6 km from Munnar, Pothamedu offers an admirable view of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in Munnar. It is an ideal spot for trekking and mountain walks in the backdrop of exquisite scenery.
Devikulam: This idyllic hill station near Munnar is a popular tourist spot. The exotic flora and fauna and the cool mountain air is a rare experience. You can also enjoy a great picnic at the Sita Devi Lake with its mineral waters and picturesque surroundings. It also offers you with the opportunity of fishing.
Attukal Falls: Just about 8km from Munnar Attukal Falls is one of the major attractions in Munnar especially during the monsoon season in July-August. It is also suitable for log treks.
Tea Museum: When in Munnar, do not lose the opportunity to visit the Tea Museum run by Tata Tea which traces the growth of tea industry in Munnar from the 1880s. Interesting relics and artifacts, photographs are on display.
Lockhart Gap: This is an ideal picnic and trekking spot. The fresh mountain air, the mist-clad hills makes it worth a visit. This place offers a bird’s eye view of the picturesque ‘Bison Valley’.
Eravikulam National Park: Spread across an area of 97sqkm, this park is situated in the Devikulam Taluk and is home to Niligiri Tahrs. It was made originally to protect the dwindling population of Niligiri Tahrs, a highly endangered species of wild goat. This park is extremely beautiful and attracts hundreds of tourists every year.
Chithirapuram: 10 km from Munnar, this small town near Munnar has an old world charm. It is famous for is tea plantations and also home to the Pallivasal Hydel Power Project.
Excursions from Munnar
Mattupetty:13 km from Munnar, Mattupetty is situated at a height of 1700 mts above sea level. It is popular for Mattupetty the Indo-swiss live stock project. The famr rears over 100 varieties of high yielding. As a visitor, you are allowed entry into three of the eleven cattle sheds at the farm. The Mattupetty dam is also an important tourist attraction and a beautiful picnic spot. You can go in for a cruise as five-seater speedboats and 20-seater launches are available.
Top Station: Situated at a height of 1700mts above sea level, Top Station is located at a distance of 32kms from Munnar. The rare Neelakurunji (strobilanthus) belongs to this region. You can also get an exquisite view of Tamil Nadu from this place.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary: Bordering Tamil NAdu, CHinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated 60kms from Munnar. You can find a variety of animals here like the grizzled.
Accomodation selection in Munnar
Munnar provides a variety of options suiting all kinds of budget. Some of the hotels are High Range Club, Hotel Hillview, Royal Retreat, Westwood Riverside, and Autumn Trees Resorts.
Best season to visit Munnar
September to May is the best time to visit Munnar.
How to reach Munnar
By Air: The nearest airport is Cochin which is well connected with all major cities of India and World.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is Ernakullam Junction which is 127 km from Munnar and would cost you around Rs 1,500 in a taxi.
By Road: After reaching Kochi, take the NH 49 to reach Munnar. Munnar is also connected to Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu via Pollachi and Udumalaipettai. Several KSRTC and private buses sconnect Munnar from Kerala and Tamil Nadu, with connections to Trivandrum, Kottayam