Tea plantations covering the winding slopes of the hills, the aroma of fresh spices in the air and rare flora and fauna set in a cool climate is what makes Munnar a haven of peace and tranquility. Munnar is a hill station in South India in the state of Kerala having an altitude of 6000 ft.. “Moonu” means three and “Aru” means river and hence the name Munnar which signifies the confluence of three rivers – Muthirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala.
Munnar was the favourite summer resort of the erstwhile British rulers in India and hence has a history to talk about. The tea plantations date back to the British period. Munnar attracts a lot of tourists throughout the year for Neelakurinji or Strobilanthus, a flower that blooms once in twelve years.
Munnar is truly captivating. Try stopping at the roadside to see the hills adorned with tea plantations, a sight that will leave you speechless and longing for more. Munnar is a place you would never want to leave.
Eravikulam National Park : This is the most popular tourist spot in Munnar known for its endangered inhabitant – The Nilgiri Tahr. This park is also home to several species of butterflies, animals and birds. Trekking can be done here to witness the rolling hills adorned with blankets of mist and peeping through the mist is the magnificent view of the tea plantations and the western ghats.
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.
Rose Garden: Located just about 2 kms on Munnar – Mattupetty road, the Rose garden is a must visit location. An entry fee of Rs. 20 per adult & Rs. 10 per kid. Also Rs. 20 for Still / Mobile cameras. Apart from stunning Rose varieties it has very rare collection of various other flowers and medicinal plants including the Insulin plant and Stevia. Plants and seeds can also be purchased from here. The view of the slopes & mountains from the Rose garden is a wonderful sight to watch.
Mattupetty Dam : If you want to do speed boating this dam is the place to be. With picturesque mountains and tea gardens all around and the view of water gushing from the dam is a beautiful sight to watch. If you do not want to do boating, standing on the bridge in front of the dam with water droplets kissing your face and soaking in the natural beauty is sure to give you the same pleasure. It makes up for an ideal picnic spot.
Kolukkumalai Tea Estate : Definitely worth a visit. You have to take a bumpy ride to this tea estate in an off-road vehicle (typically a local jeep) which in itself is an experience. Once at the top you are greeted with beautiful views of the valley with sheer stone cliffs. The Tea estate is one of the oldest running tea estate and you can get a guided walkthrough on the process of tea-making. Dont forget to sample their hot-chai and also pickup some for back home.
Kannan Devan Tea Museum : If you are visiting Munnar for the first time, you must visit this Tea Museum. On your entry you are shown a 29 min. documentary on the history of Munnar and the history of tea in India. From where you proceed to the factory where tea is processed. Tea forms a major drink in India and yet we know so little about it. This visit will clear all the myths about tea and bring you face to face with the benefits of tea and the correct way to prepare tea. Also the museum has a shop from where you can purchase Kannan Devan tea, both green tea and black tea in its purest form.
Elephant Park : Right at the entrance you begin to see huge elephants moving slowly inside the park. This park offers you elephant rides costing Rs. 400 per person. The elephants are huge but the ride is relatively short and not worth the money. If you really want to ride an elephant I would suggest you to do it in Thekkady inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
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.
Kathakali and Kalaripayattu Shows : Kathakali being the traditional dance form of Kerala characterized by heavy make up and costumes portraying the folk tales is an enchanting experience. Kalaripayattu is the traditional martial arts show. Both these shows are sure to leave you spell bound.
- Air: Cochin International Airport, via Aluva – Munnar Rd, about 108 km
- Train: Aluva about 108 km and Angamali, about 109 km
- Road: Munnar is well connected by roads to all the cities in Kerala. However, it is advisable to cover Munnar from Kochi.
Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum the land of Sree Anantha Padmanabhaswamy, is the capital city of Kerala. The city is surrounded by Tamil Nadu in the east whereas by Arabian Sea in the west.
Cochin, now known as Kochi has been of great importance since the historic times. It was a home for the Dutch who came to trade in India.
Thekkady houses one of the finest wildlife sanctuaries in India – The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Periyar is a Tiger Reserve with Bengal tigers
Kerala tourism is incomplete without the stay in a houseboat in the backwaters of Alleppey. Kerala is famous for its beautiful backwaters
- State: Kerala
- District: Idukki
- Famous for/as: Hill station famous for its tea plantations
- Languages: Malayalam, English
- Best time to visit: October – November and January to May
- Weather: Summers 15 to 25°C, Winter 5 to 25°C
- Pincode: 685612
- STD code: 04865
- State Govt. tourism website: https://www.keralatourism.org/destination/