One of the most popular tourist destinations in Kerala, Munnar lies at the confluence of three streams – Nallathanni, Mudrapuzha and Kundala. Munnar is at an altitude of 1,600m above sea level. During the British era, this hill station was the summer retreat of the British government in South India. Read about the top 10 hill stations in India.
Today Munnar is one of the most popular hill stations in South India. Tourists flock to this place to see the lush tea gardens, picture-perfect towns and winding lanes. Munnar is a well-developed tourist place and as such plenty of holiday facilities are available here.
Munnar is blessed with an amazing variety of plants and flowers. The most famous, of course, is the Neelakurinji flowering plant. The blue flowers of this plant paint the hills and the grasslands blue every 12 years. Neelakurinji is expected to bloom again in 2018.
Neelakurinji is a plant found in the Western Ghats. When it blooms, its purplish blue flowers wrap the hills in blue. And then tourists make a beeline to these hills. There are several species of Nilakurinji and some of them bloom annually.
Anamudi, the highest peak in South India is also in Munnar. It has a height of over 2,695 m. Anamudi is the ideal place to go trekking in Kerala.
Tourist attractions in Munnar
There are several tourist places in and around Munnar.
Eravikulam National Park
Eravikulam National Park is one of the most important tourist places in Munnar. It is famous for its population of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr. The park is spread over an area of 97 sq. km. Several species of birds, animals and butterflies are found here. Eravikulam National Park offers ample opportunities for trekking. From here you will also get a magnificent view of the tea plantations and the misty hills. When Neelakurinji blooms, the park sees a dramatic increase in the number of visitors.
Nilgiri Tahr has its calves in the months of February and March. Because of this reason the park remains closed to visitors during these months.
The Anamudi Peak is inside the Eravikulam National Park. Visitors can trek to the peak after obtaining permission from the Forest and Wildlife authorities at Eravikulam.
Mattupetty is another tourist attraction near Munnar. It is about 13 kilometers from Munnar. There is a masonry dam at Mattupetty. It is mainly used for storing water for hydroelectric projects. Boating in the lake is a great opportunity to enjoy the scenic hills and landscape. Mattupetty is also famous for its dairy farm where several different varieties of high yielding cows are raised.
Pallivasal is near Munnar. This was where the first hydro-electric power project of Kerala built. A place of immense scenic beauty, Pallivasal is a popular tourist spot.
Chinnakanal & Anayirangal
Chinnakanal is near Munnar. The major attraction is the Power House Waterfall. Water cascading down the rocks from a height of about 2000 meters enchants visitors. You will also get a magnificent view of the Western Ghats from here. Anayirangal is about 7 kilometers from Chinnakanal (22 kms from Munnar). This place is known for its lush tea gardens. Boating in the beautiful reservoir is an experience you will not forget in a long time. Tea plantations and evergreen forests surround the dam.
Top Station is the highest point on the Munnar-Kodaikanal road. It is about 32 km from Munnar. From here you will get a panoramic view of Western Ghats and the valley of Theni. The view is breathtaking and that is the reason tourists make it a point to visit this place.
The Tea Museum tells the story of the tea plantations in Munnar. It was opened by Tata Tea. It houses rare photographs and machineries that explain the history of tea cultivation in Munnar.
How to reach
Munnar is well-connected by road. The railway stations at Aluva and Angamali are about 108 kilometers from Munnar. The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport.