Munnar is situated in the Idukki dstrict of Kerala amongst the Western Ghats. The popular hill station is situated 5400 sq ft above sea level. The word Munnar means three rivers referring to the three streams of Muthirappuzha,
Nallathanni and Kundaly Rivers flowing through the town. The highest peak in South India, Anamudi, is located 13 km away from Munnar.
Munnar is significant for its tea plantations and many of them were started by the British. A blue flower called 'Neelakurinji' in the
local language of Malayalam, which blooms every 12 years, is found in this region. One of the main attractions is the Eravikulam National
Park which holds endangered species like the Nilgiri Tahr and various rare species of butterflies.
The weather in Munnar varies from 0°C to 25°C. The best time to visit Munnar is between August and March. Heavy rainfall
is experienced between the months of June and September.
Places to visit
Most of the sightseeing spots in Munnar are to do with the scenic landscapes and natural surroundings. Few major attractions are:
Mattupetty: Mattupetty dam and lake situated 10 km from Munnar is a popular picnic spot. The main attractions are
speed boat cruise on the lake and horse riding. The forest around also makes it an ideal location for trekking and bird watching.
Another main attraction here is the Indo Swiss dairy farm. This highly specialized dairy farm is one of its kind with more than
100 varieties of high-yielding cattle being reared. Another nearby attraction is the Kundala Tea Plantation.
Eravikulam National Park: The Eravikulam/Rajamalai Wildlife Sanctuary is situated 16 km from Munnar. This 97 sq km park used to be
hunting preserves for British Planters. The park is situated along the high ranges of Western Ghats surrounded by rolling grasslands.
Visitors are allowed only to the tourism zone. This park is the natural habitat of the rare mountain goat, Nilgiri Tahr. The park also
has a variety of birds and colourful butterflies. The highest peak in the Western Ghats, Anamudi, is situated towards the south of this
Echo Point: Echo point in located 15 km out of Munnar on the way to Top station. This spot is by a small lake amidst rolling hills.
A loud call made from this point is returned manifold from the surrounding hills. The surrounding terrain is ideal for trekking and offers
a panoramic view of the green hills.
Elephant Lake: Elephant Lake is called so because of the number of elephants that comes here to drink water. This picnic spot
situated 18 km from Munnar is surrounded by tea plantations and forests.
Tata Tea Museum: The museum is located in the Nallathanni Estate of Tata Tea within just 2 km from Munnar. The museum has on
display many curios, photographs and machinery depicting the milestones of the flourishing tea industry of the region.
There is also a demonstration room where one can get an insight into the various processing methods and also do some tea tasting.
Power House Waterfalls: The Power House Waterfalls is about 18 km from Munnar. This waterfall cascading down a steep rock about
2000 meters above sea level is said to emanate from Devikulam, few km from Munnar. The water is believed to have curative powers and
acts as a natural massage. The best time to visit is soon after the monsoons.
Top Station: The Top Station is situated at an altitude of 2200 meters and is 40 km from Munnar.
One can get a sweeping view of Western Ghats from this vantage point.
Kundala Dam: Kundala is located 20 km away from Munnar. The main attractions are the artificial lake and dam.
The mountain slopes in the backdrop are covered with thick tea plantations. The nearby Aruvikad Waterfalls and the nine-hole
golf course owned by Tata are other popular attractions.
Chitirapuram: Chithirapuram is a sleepy countryside laced with tea gardens located 10 km away from Munnar.
This small town has old playgrounds, courts, cottages and mansions from the British era. Chithirapuram is famous for its well
manicured tea plantations and is also home of the Pallivasal Hydel Power project.
CSI Church: This church was built by Scottish tea estate managers in 1910. This church is popular among tourists
because of the unique architecture and still has the original stained glass work and many brass plaques in the memory of tea planters.
The church is built on a rocky outcrop and has 14 original rows of rosewood pews and an ornate chandelier.
Munnar Elephant Park: The elephant safari at this park takes you through misty forests, deep valleys and rugged hill paths of
Munnar forests. The elephant shower, elephant feeding and displays of elephant commands and communications are popular attractions.
Things to do around Munnar
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary: Chinnar Wildlife sanctuary is located about 60 km from Munnar in the Western Ghats of Kerala.
Chinnar is famous for White Bison of Manjampatti, Hanuman monkey, Grizzled Giant squirrel and also holds a rich variety of reptiles
like viper, cobra and python. The rock-strewn patches in the sanctuary offer an ideal condition for trekking and mountain climbing.
Salim Ali (Thattekad) Bird Sanctuary: Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is located about 80 km from Munnar. The sanctuary is spread
over an area of 25 sq km and is one of the richest bird habitats in India. The sanctuary has a rich and varied birdlife including
Woodpeckers, Malabar grey hornbills, Ceylon frogmouths, parakeets, rose-billed rollers etc.
Kolukkumalai Tea Estate: The Kolukkumalai tea estate is known to be the highest tea estate at a height of 8,000 ft above
sea level. It is located about 35 km from Munnar. Apart from the tea factory, it is also popular for the panoramic view of the hills
and the green valley.
Other nearby places to visit
Thekkady 105 Km
Kodaikanal 175 Km
Valparai 33 Km
Shopping and Places to eat
Tea, Coffee and spices are the main things to shop from Munnar. Cinnamon, Cloves, Cardamom and pepper can be found abundantly
in the shops. The home made chocolates are the next favourite item to shop.
Places to eat:
The local delicacy of Munnar is Rice and Fish Curry. There are several street vendors offering snacks like vadas,
spicy chilli bajjis and bondas savoured with hot coffee and tea which makes a good combination in the cold weather.
The local spicy cashew nut is a must try. There are several restaurants offering vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisines.
The weather in Munnar is pleasant throughout the year, yet the best time to visit Munnar is between August and March.
The temperature in winter could go below 0°C. Heavy woollen clothes are required during winter and light woollen clothes throughout
the rest of the year. Munnar experiences intermittent showers all year round, but the monsoon months are from June to September.
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