A dream destination and the perfect spot for people who enjoy trekking, hiking, wildlife, silence, peace and greenery, Munnar is one of the most popular hill stations in South India. It is nestled in the Western Ghats at an altitude of 6000 ft and is located in Idukki district of Kerala.
Munnar is called “Kashmir of South India”. The name Munnar is believed to mean “three rivers” referring to its location at the confluence of the Mudhirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly rivers. With a view that inspires painters and artists who view the lakes and verdant tea gardens, Munnar has a lot of places that is a must visit. Munnar and its iconic greenery always remain attractive to people, and thus this place always enjoys a massive crowd of visitors most of the time. However, there are various places in the hill station where one can enjoy absolute peace and be one with nature.
In this blog post, I have provided the complete details about Munnar required to plan an itinerary.
Read : Gangtok Complete Tour Guide
How to get to Munnar?
Reach Munnar by Air:
Munnar does not have an airport of its own. The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport, which is 110 kilometres away by road and is not only well connected to the rest of the country but also to different parts of the world. From Cochin, you can hire a cab to get to Munnar. The Madurai International Airport is 140 kilometres away from Munnar. In case one de-boards at the Madurai International Airport, one can hire a cab or board the state transport or private buses to get to Munnar.
Reach Munnar By Train:
The nearest railway station from Munnar is at Aluva, which is at a distance of 110 kilometres from Munnar. You can also reach Munnar through the Ernakulam Railway Station, which is 130 kilometres away or the Madurai Railway Station, which is at a distance of 135 kilometres. From all these points, you can either hire a cab or board the state transport or private buses.
Reach Munnar By Bus:
Munnar is also well connected by road. Bus services are available from different parts within the state as well as neighbouring states. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation provides bus services to Munnar from all major cities in Kerala. Most of these buses stop at the Town bus stand in the main bazaar area near the confluence of the river and the Tata headquarters.
What is the best time to visit Munnar?
Munnar is an ideal holiday destination for its pleasant climate and beautiful landscape. The climate in Munnar remains pleasant throughout the year. But a month wise break up helps in the better understanding of the weather there.
- December to February: The winter months by far are the best time to visit Munnar. The weather remains pleasant, and the temperature falls to ten degree Celsius, making it a perfect honeymoon time as well as an ideal time for those who love adventures such as rock climbing, trekking and rappelling.
- March to May: With the beginning of summers, the temperature in Munnar ranges from 19 – 35 degree Celsius. The weather is again pleasant during this time. Summer in Munnar is a perfect time to enjoy sightseeing and visiting tea estates and the Tata Tea Museum.
- June to September: Monsoons in Munnar have a charm of their own. It is a great time to visit the hill station if one is looking for a quiet vacation without swarms of tourists. Though many tourists avoid Munnar during the monsoons, this is a great time to enjoy the lush green foliage and discounts on hotel tariffs.
Things that I should carry to Munnar?
Staying comfortable during your trip to Munnar is essential. By understanding what to bring to Munnar, you can enjoy your trip and save money.
It is always recommended to pack light as this gives you more room for goods you might purchase during your trip.
You must pack warm clothes as when the sun goes does; the temperatures can drop drastically. Carry a light jacket for evenings in coastal areas while you’ll need something heavier in October–February for the hills.
Also, carry comfy sneakers as you’ll be walking a good amount while in Munnar. You also won’t always have paved paths to follow. So make sure your shoes are comfortable walking shoes built to resist some moisture (from walking in the dew). In the case of new shoes, wear the shoes around town for a few weeks first. This way there is enough time to mould to the shape of your foot and reduce any possible discomfort while in Munnar.
Carrying a mosquito repellant is always helpful as mosquitoes are found in abundance during monsoons.
Places of attraction in Munnar
Stretched along the Western Ghats, this ‘hill range’ as it is widely called, has many breathtaking sights and landscape perfect for honeymoon and even for a family vacation.
Tata Tea Museum
The fascinating process of tea making can be observed in the Tata Tea Museum. Located at the Nallathanni estate, the museum has curious and photographs that highlight the growth and evolution of tea plantation in Munnar. It is a tribute to the efforts of the initial planters who have transformed one of the most popular hill stations in South India and epicentre of tea trade in Kerala completely. With an entry fee of Rs. 75 per person, one can enjoy free cardamom tea and demonstration of the history of tea in Munnar.
Tata Tea Museum
Blossom Park or Hydel Park is a perfect spot for the enthusiasts who enjoy activities like cycling, roller skating and boating. It is situated near the Pallivasal hydroelectric project and you can also find the Hammocks and meditation camps. It is an ideal picnic spot for families looking for holidays in Kerala.
The picturesque views of the green hills covered with mist in Munnar can be seen from the Pothamedu Viewpoint. The drive to the Pothamedu Viewpoint takes you to an old bridge and narrow roads and the views during the drive are scenic. The hot tea from the tea shop near the viewpoint gives the feel of Munnar to the fullest.
Attukal Waterfalls is a must visit tourist spot in Munnar where one can enjoy the marvellous views of the waterfall amidst the hills and jungles. Located between Munnar and Pallivasal, the road to reach the waterfalls is itself picturesque. There is a narrow bridge through which you can drive and watch the waterfall but it is slightly risky as there are some potholes in the bridge.
Kundala is Asia’s first arch dam. Speed boating and pedal boating are the most popular activities in Kundala Lake. It is a perfect spot to visit with a pair of binoculars and the fresh mountain air, mist clad mountains and spectacular views make the visit even more worth. Window shopping and sightseeing in the toys shop is the perfect past time for the guests visiting Munnar.
The hills and valleys of this lake also have Neela Kurunji flowers blooming, which blooms once in twelve years. Echo Point gets its name from the echo that is generated when you shout here.
Mattupetty Dam is a storage concrete gravity dam built in the mountains of Kerala, to conserve water for hydroelectricity. Mattupetty is credited for it’s Indo Swiss Livestock project – a sophisticated dairy farm. Mattupetty Lake and Dam are a famous tourist spot. The spectacular views of the lake and the tea plantations spread out to wide areas are eye candy in Munnar. One can go boating and hire motor boats and speed boats as well. Elephants are often seen in this area.
Lock hart Gap
Situated close to Mattupetty, the Lock hart Gap is an ideal place for adventure lovers. Trekking is one of the most popular activities here. Apart from this, one can also experience the eye-catching views of the mist-clad tea garden hills, valleys of Munnar and fresh mountain air.
Lock Hart Gap
Eravikulam National Park
The rare Nilgiri Tahr is the main attraction of this sanctuary and is found in huge herds in the Rajmalai areas. They are beautiful, extremely tame, sheltered and would even pose for you for pictures! It is also the home for some of the prettiest and rarest butterflies. The Neela Kurunji flowers, found in the Kundala Lake, are also found here. The flowers in bloom and the mesmerizing views makes it a must visit spot. However, no visitor is allowed beyond the tourist area due to security reasons.
Eravikulam National Park
A land of waterfalls, rocky hills, rivers, bamboo forests, sandalwood trees, cave temples and paintings, Marayoor is a land of adventure. Dolmens in Malayalam are called Muniyaras or dwelling places for sadhus. These Dolmens are accessible from the road only at Kovikadavu and Pius Nagar, which is at a distance of 48 kilometres and 50 kilometres from Munnar respectively. Visiting Dolmens are perfect for those who are interested in history.
Marayoor’s fame and popularity grew when it became the only sandalwood forest in Kerala. Thoovanam waterfalls and Rajiv Gandhi National Park are other attractions in Marayoor. Neela Kurunji flowers are another yet spectacular native here. The climate is of Marayoor is totally different from that of Munnar.
Cheeyapara Waterfalls are on the way to Munnar and is a good spot to enjoy a break before reaching Munnar. Located after Neriamangalam and before Adimali, the waterfall flows down in seven steps. The scenic views of the waterfall can be seen from the road near the second step from the bottom.
Another waterfall Valara is situated near Cheeyapara which is enclosed by dense jungles. The hot tea makes the visit to Cheeyapara Waterfalls even more enjoyable.
Life of Pi church
The story of ‘Life of Pi’ is based on a tiger that author Yann Martel saw in Trivandrum zoo in Kerala. In the movie which was shot in Munnar, there was a full scene capturing the beauty of Munnar when the protagonist Pi visits a church in Munnar. This church is indeed a peaceful as well as beautiful location to pay a visit.
Life of Pi church
Yet Another spot for adventure lovers and enthusiasts, Meesapulimala trekking is the perfect activity for those who are into hiking. The trek starts from the moist evergreen forests covered Silent Valley and goes in between the tea gardens. One can also grasp the views of the eye-catching far and wide Munnar Tea Gardens from the top of Meesapulimala on a cloudless day.
Adventure activities in Munnar
Where on the one hand, Munnar is a definitive destination for peace and nature loving tourists, there is no scarcity of adventure activities in Munnar too. An enthralling set of activities, starting from rock climbing, paintball shooting, treetop adventures to forest camping and calming campfire in Chokkarmudi Hills and many more are yet another reason for adventure lovers and enthusiasts to visit Munnar in bulks.
The beautiful hill range of Munnar provides a perfect setting for an exciting and adventurous trekking expedition. Some of the most scenic and breathtaking trekking trails in Munnar include Chokkramudi Hills, Anamudi, Lock Hart Gap, Meesapulimala, Idukki, Chummar, Kanan Devan Hills, Chithirapuram and Lakshmi Trek Hills. One can experience the serene views of nature with the fragrance of fresh tea leaves as it goes through the Munnar Tea Gardens. These points never fail to amaze the travellers and trekkers with their greenery and topography.
Mountain Biking is the most adventurous and satisfying sport in Munnar. With the biking gear in your hands, you can feel the adrenaline rush as you tackle the mountain trails. Mountain biking allows you to experience your journey through rough terrain, sharp cuts and rocky paths.
The beauty of Munnar lies in its beautiful long rivers and placid lakes. These waters provide ample opportunities for boating. One can enjoy the serenity of nature while this activity. Mattupetty Lake is one of the famous lakes for boating.
Rock climbing and Rappelling
The hills of Munnar are ideal for rock climbing and rappelling. This is yet another activity to test your adrenaline rush. If you love adventures, then you can acquire services from professional rock climbers to guide you throughout your activity.
Other attractions in Munnar
Strewed with lush green tree plantations and swaying swatches of thick forests, Munnar has grown as one of the best places to celebrate the spirit of holidays.
From exploring the tea gardens to drenching one’s self to the serenity of nature, Munnar is a truckload of panoramic sights which are a treat to eyes. Though, if it’s adventure one is looking for then Munnar has plenty of options in terms of trekking. Hiking around the mountains of Munnar gives a breathtaking view of this majestic hill station along the way. But the list doesn’t end here as Munnar has even more fun activities which can attract people and keep them absorbed in Munnar for days.
- One can also visit the Fun Forest Adventure Park. It is a scenic adventure park with activities like zip lining and obstacle course.
- A scenic botanical garden with greenhouses full of rare flowers, succulents and other specimens, the KFDC Floriculture Center is a picturesque location with a soothing atmosphere.
- Located at the Kanan Devan Hills, Photo point is a picturesque place to shoot pictures with the tea estate as background. You can also wear typical costumes of tea workers here and click pictures.
- Mount Carmel Pilgrim Center is a place of peace and tranquillity. Located on high grounds, it offers a great view of the town below.
Hence, we can say that Munnar is a perfect blend of serenity and adventurous activities. Where on the one hand, Munnar is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and the ones who want to enjoy the tranquillity and beauty of nature, on the other hand, it never fails to excite the adventure lovers with its list of thrilling activities. With such tourist spots, one can be soaked in the beauty of Munnar for long.