Travel to Munnar will take you to one of the most beautiful hill stations of Kerala. The name `Munnar' translates to `three rivers' in the local Malayalam language. Located on the Western Ghats, the town of Munnar lies at the confluence of the rivers Kundaly, Madhurapuzha and Nallathanni. Though located in Kerala, more than 70 percent of the population of Munnar comprises Tamils. This tourist destination of Kerala is the largest panchayat of the district of Idukki. Know more about the place from the Munnar travel guide in this page.
Fast Facts about Munnar:
Location- Idukki district of the Western Ghats of Kerala
Altitude- 1600 meters above sea level
Best time to visit to visit Munnar - between the months of August and March
How to Reach Munnar
Being one of the most popular tourist spots of not only Kerala but also India, travel to Munnar is easy as the hill station is well connected to the rest of the country by air, rail and roadways.
Travel by Air
The Cochin International Airport is closest to the town of Munnar. The distance of 110 km from the airport to the town is covered on road.
Travel by Rail
The nearest railway station to Munnar is also located 110 kms away from the hill station. Buses operate from the Aluva railway station to Munnar from morning 6o'clock everyday. The railway station of Ernakulam, which is better connected to other Indian cities is located at a distance of 130 kms from Munnar.
Travel by Road
Take a bus waiting outside railway station Aluva to reach Munnar at a cost of just 130 INR. You can also hire a taxi which will cost you between 1400 to 1600 INR. Buses also operate from neighboring Tamil Nadu cities of Coimbatore and Kodaikanal. The distances of 160 km and 170 km respectively are one of the most scenic drives in South India. If you take a car from Cochin International Airport, it will take you three and a half hours to reach Munnar.
The hill station of Munnar in Kerala was the British colonial rulers' official summer resort before India's independence. The tea plantations of Munnar have attracted visitors even before 1947. Most of these were set up by the British. The `Kannan Devan' tea brand produced by Tata is processed from the cultivations in Munnar. The small town in fact is one of the most traditional hill stations of India with its small shops and quaint guest houses that invite the tourists. Munnar is one of the most favorite destinations for honeymoon couples in India. It is divided into the two parts of Old Munnar and New Munnar; while the bus stand and hotels are mainly located in New Munnar, the tourist information office is the main building in Old Munnar. Munnar is the home to the highest peak of South India, the Anamudi.
Places to See in Munnar
What makes Munnar captivating to travelers? Listed below are the places that you must see on a travel to Munnar.
Eravikulam National Park - Also known as the Rajamalai National Park, this is home to rare species of flora and fauna. Tourists can trek on the hill slopes of this park which gets covered by the blue Neelakurinji flower that blooms once every twelve years. It was last seen in the year 2006. Among other animals, the Nilgiri Thar, an endangered variety of mountain goat, is found only here.
Anamudi Peak - Standing at a height of 2,695 meters above sea level, this is the highest peak of South India and located inside the Eravikulam National Park. Trekking is a popular activity on the Anamudi slopes, but tourists have to get permission from the Forest and Wildlife Authorities in Munnar.
Atukkad Waterfalls - This is one of the most scenic locations of Munnar, with water falling from high hills surrounded by jungles. Tourists can trek or drive on the way to the waterfall. The roads here are very narrow and sometimes dangerous for a drive.
Tata Tea Museum - This is the perfect example of construction of the British colonial era in Munnar. The museum is open from 10 in the morning to 4 in the evening. The Munnar tourism authorities do not allow photography or videography within the museum premises.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary - This area of 90 sq. km is one of the rare protected areas of the Western Ghats because it is home to geomorphic features, flora and local cultural species that is not found in other places of the Western Ghats.
Marayoor - This is the only area in Kerala which has natural sandalwood trees, natural caves and relics dating back to the Stone Age. The forestry department of the government of Kerala has set up a sandalwood factory at Marayoor to produce sandalwood products that are exported to other states and other countries.
Salim Ali (Thattekkad) Bird Sanctuary - This sanctuary is located in the midpoint of the road from Munnar to Ernakulam. It is home to some rare species of birds like the Ceylon frogmouth, rose billed roller, Malabar gray hornbill and parakeet.
Top Station - This is one of the highest spots on the Western Ghats. Standing on the top Station gives a person the feeling of being above the clouds. This is also another spot in Munnar where you will find the Neelakurunji flower.
Mattupetti Indo - Swiss Farm - This is a cattle farm of Munnar that was set up by the Tamil immigrants in the town. Since 1961, the dairy fam is managed by the Kerala Livestock Development Board. More than 100 varieties of cattle are found in this farm.
Kundala Lake - This lake is set in the middle of jungles in Munnar. The tourism board has arranged for boating facilities for tourists visiting the lake. Each pedal boat ride lasts for 30 minutes.
Photo Point - Any tourist would be interested in taking some good photographs while on a visit to Munnar. This spot has a wood and a stream. The surrounding scenic locales make it one of the most wonderful spots for photography.