Munnar a hill station on the Western Ghats; The name Munnar is believed to mean "three rivers", referring to the town's strategic location at the confluence of the Madhurapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly rivers. The town is surrounded by the country's highest tea gardens. Layers and layers of tea estates, mountain mist, waterfalls and wildlife sanctuaries make Munnar almost surrealistically beautiful. The lofty mountain ranges with misty peaks, sprawling tea estates and serene climate provides a quiet and peaceful resort. Panoramic views of low-lying clouds and mist filled valleys make it a pretty little heaven with a cool, bracing climate and is also famous for the wild orchids locally called Neelakurinchi which blooms once in 12 years. Munnar is famous as Honeymoon destination and Romantic getaway, has a variety of attractions to feast your eyes like placid lakes, meandering streams, misty mountain peaks, sylvan valleys, rare orchids and wildlife. Plantation visits, treks, tea factory visits, cycling, boating, paragliding, day tours to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary etc add to the excitement of exploring the truly unique destination.
Photo Credit: Amit Rawat
Location: Idukki District in Kerala
Altitude: 5000-8000 ft above sea level.
Area : 26.2 sq. km.
Temperature:(Summer: 15.2°C - 25°C) & (Winter : 0°C - 10° C )
Languages spoken: Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi and English.
Main Airport: Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport at a distance of 110 km away from the Munnar city. Another alternate Airport is Madurai International Airport at a distance of 140Km from Munnar.
Main Railway Station: The nearest railway station is Aluva at distance of 110 km. other main stations are Ernakulam at 130 km and Madurai at 135km; you can get direct connectivity of Buses and Cabs from these places to Munnar.
Main Bus Station or Road: Munnar bus station is on the main street, Main Bazaar.
From Aluva- it is nearly 110 km to Munnar. Just outside Aluva railway station you can hire a taxi for Munnar for Rs 2000. There is a bus stand nearby as well which operates frequent buses to Munnar.
From Kochi- buses takes approximately 4-5 hours, Although the road is smooth, it is narrow, twisty and curvy. About 70kms out of cochin you can experience a beautiful cool drive through a natural forest. Alongside, you can see many refreshing waterfalls. 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.
Distances from Munnar to various cities:
Cochin - 130 km, Madurai - 135 km, Aluva - 110 km, Alleppey - 180 km, Kumarakom - 140 km, Thekkady - 106 km.
Munnar has lot of local restaurant options for eating out – and a whole range of roadside eateries stacking up on local fare. Guest can enjoy both Vegetarian as well as non vegetarian food available in the market.
Places of Tourist interest:
Mattupetty (13 km from Munnar):
Situated at a height of 1700 Mts, is famous for its highly specialized dairy farm, Over 100 varieties of high yielding cattle are reared here.
The Mattupetty lake and dam:
Just a short distance from the farm, is a very beautiful picnic spot. The sprawling Kundala tea plantations and Kundala lake are other attractions in the vicinity.
Mattupetty Lake and Dam
Pothamedu (6 km from Munnar):
Pothamedu offers an excellent view of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in Munnar. This destination is ideal for trekking and long mountain walks.
Devikulam (7 km from Munnar):
This idyllic hill station with its velvet lawns, exotic flora and fauna and the cool mountain air is a rare experience. The Sita Devi Lake with its mineral waters and picturesque surroundings is a good picnic spot. The lake is also ideal for trout fishing.
Pallivasal (8 km from Munnar):
This is the venue of the first Hydro Electric Project in Kerala and a place of immense scenic beauty.
Attukal (9 km from Munnar):
A panorama of waterfalls and rolling hills, located between Munnar and Pallivasal, is a feast for the eyes. The place is also ideal for long treks.
Nyayamakad (10 km from Munnar):
Located between Munnar and Rajamala, Nyayamakad is a land of breathtaking waterfalls. The waters cascade down a hill from a height of about 1600 meters. The enchanting surrounding makes it an excellent picnic spot and trekking point.
Chithirapuram (10 km from Munnar):
Still exudes an old world charm with its sleepy little cottages, bungalows, Home of the Pallivasal Hydel Power Project, this hill town is also famous for its picturesque tea plantations.
Lock Heart Gap (13 km from Munnar):
This is an ideal place for adventure tourism and trekking. The fresh mountain air, the mist-clad hills and panoramic view make it worthy of a visit.
Rajamala (15 km from Munnar):
The natural habitat of the Niligiri tahr , Rajamala is 2695 Mts above sea level. The Niligiri tahr in Rajamala is now to be found in small herds found in Eravikulam-Rajamala region.
Eravikulam National Park (15 km from Munnar):
The 97 sq. km. park is situated in the Devikulam Taluk It was declared as a sanctuary in 1975. Considering the ecological, faunal, floral, geo-morphological and zoological significance, it was declared as a National park in 1978. It covers an area of 97 sq kms of rolling grasslands and high level sholas (evergreen forests). The park is breathtakingly beautiful and is easily comparable to the best mountain ranges found anywhere in the world and and is home to the Nilgiri Tahr. The Anamudi peak (2695 Mts) is located in the Southern region of the park.
Getting around the destination:
Auto rickshaws ply the hills around Munnar they can take you to places or you can also negotiate with them for the full day sightseeing options, Local Cabs can also be hired in a similar fashion.
Shopping Areas & Entertainment:
Munnar is famous for tea. Tourists may buy it straight from the numerous tea estates or from the various shops in Munnar. The KDHP (Kannan Deven Hill Plantations), a Tata company outlet, offers good quality tea at reasonable prices. Since some tea varieties are not easily available at regular markets, making a visit to KDHP allows you to indulge in some exotic flavored tea shopping experience here. If you are a tea connoisseur, you can, then, check out different tastes and flavors of tea. Visit Kumily spice market to see and buy spices. Apart from spices, you can also shop for traditional Kerala items, like the Nilavilakku (a traditional lamp), which is considered auspicious on any occasion. Earthen utensils are popular shopping items in Munnar, apart from the bronze and copper utensils and artifacts. Another popular memento to shop for in Munnar is Indian-made foreign liquor which can be purchased at affordable prices. Hand crafted models of snake boats and sandalwood artifacts make some other famous and memorable souvenirs to pick from Munnar. Visit a factory and they will be all the more glad to give you free samples of their spices and tea leaves. You can always shop for small handicrafts and other knick-knacks that are easily available in the roadside shacks and definitely home made chocolates
Marayoor (42 km): The largest concentration of high-quality natural sandal wood trees and a sandal wood factory are the present day attractions. The best things to buy are tea, coffee, spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and pepper.
Best time to visit:
Best time to visit is between September to May, monsoon can experience a heavy downpours.Clothing Heavy Cotton in summers and Woolen for winter months
Festivals of Munnar are the occasions of mirth and excitement. Attukal Pongala, Thrissur Pooram Festival, Nehru Trophy Boat Race, Onam are few of the popular celebrations. Travel Tips (apply sun block lotion while you leave Munnar because as you descend the hills the weather gets warmer and causes sun burn). While visiting religious places, remove your shoes outside and respect the traditions of the place.