What to do in Munnar
Munnar is one of the most popular hill stations, an ideal honeymoon destination and summer gateway of India. Munnar is famous among honeymooners and tourists from all over the world for its cool climate, cozy weather, landscapes, tea plantations, natural beauty, wildlife etc. Munnar was the official summer administrative capital for the erstwhile British. The area is located 1600 meters above sea level. The picturesque beauties of this land include misty rolling hills, sprawling estates, sparkling waterfalls, beautiful hamlets and fantastic mountain valleys. Its an ideal place for refreshment after a hectic tour in the rich cultured Kerala.The etymological meaning of the name Munnar is 'Three Rivers'. The land is located at the confluence of three mountain streams namely Muthirappuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala.
This fantastic outing spot is well connected by road. Munnar is located 120 kilometers from Aluva on the National Highway 49 that links Kochi to Munnar. KSRTC operates frequent bus services from all major town in Kerala to Munnar There are even buses from Pollachi and nearby town in Tamil Nadu. But The most ideal for a Munnar tour is picking a tourist car.
Places of attraction in and around Munnar
1. Tea Museum
To know the history of tea and tea plantations in High ranges, this will be the best place. It is the one and only tea museum in the entire nation. The museum is located in an old estate in the Kannan Devan Hills.
This place Mattupetty is located at a height of 1700 meters above sea level. The Mattupetty Lake created by the Mattupetty Hydro Electric Project, is the main attraction here. The sleepy hills and vast grasslands with woods around make this place ideal for tranquil lovers. Boating is possible herein the reservoir. Variety of boats varies from the slow and cheap pedal boats to fast and expensive speedboats are available here. You can even see wild elephants on the banks of the lake while boating. The boating is permitted here from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm.
The famous Echo Point is located 5 kilometers from Mattupetty. The Kunadala Lake and Kundala Tea plantations are the nearby attractions. The place Mattupetty is also famous for the highly specialized dairy farm here better known as the Indo-Swiss live stock project. 100 varieties of high yielding cattle are reared here. Visitors are allowed in three of the eleven cattle sheds here. One can visit the dairy farm from 9.00 am to 11.00 am and from 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm.
The place Mattupetty is located 13 kilometers from Munnar and easily accessible.
Kundala is most famous because of the Sethuparvathi Dam here. The place offers stunning views of the surrounding areas. Boating is possible here in the reservoir. A few 'Shikara' (Kashmiri boat) are here for hire, which can give some romantic experience in water. The Kundala Golf Club is located here. With prior permission from the Club Secretary one can play a game of golf here or can involve yourself in a cup of tea thinking about the lost colonial days. The place Kundala lies 4 kilometers from Mattupetty on the Top Station road.
4. CSI Church
The CSI church is located on a hillock in Old Munnar. The church is a black basalt building with a very attractive bell tower. The exterior of the church may seems to be unimpressive but not the interior with wooden carvings, fantastic paintings etc. The church was established in 1910. The church is famous because of the 14 rows of rosewood pews and certain antique chandeliers. The church cemetery here was established in 1899, before the church was formed and the first one to be buried in the cemetery was Ileanor Knight, the wife of Henry Knight one of the General Managers of Kannan Devan Company.
5. Mount Carmel Church
The Mount Carmel Church is the first Roman Catholic Church in High ranges established in 1898. The church is located on a hillock and is surrounded by real nature beauty. During the time of the 1924 water flood, this church sheltered refugees. A chapel is also occupies this place dedicated to St. Antony.
6. Devikulam Lake
The Devikulam Lake is located 7 kilometers from Munnar. Devikulam Lake is said to be the longest in this region and an ideal place for fishing. In the middle of the lake there is a small island with a fishing lodge in it. Prior permission is needed to visit the place. A small temple dedicated to 'Sita' is also here. The pond near to the temple is considerd to be a holy one, because it is believed that Sita took a dip here.
7. High Points in Munnar
Munnar includes certain high points which givers panoramic views of the surrounding places. The Lock Heart Gap is located 13 kilometers from Munanr, which offers a bird’s eye view of the Bison valley and surrounding hills. This place is also ideal for Rock climbing. The place Pothamedu is located 6 kilometers from Munnar, filled with thick plantations and surrounded by lush mountains. This place is also a spectacular viewpoint. This place is an ideal one for trekking and Long Mountain walks. The Nyayamakad Gap is located 10 kilometers from Munnar on the Munnar-Coimbathore road. This place offers splendid view of the Thalayar valley on one side and the Munnar valley on the other side.
8. Waterfalls in Munnar
The Powerhouse waterfall is located 18 kilometers from Munnar. The waterfalls cascade down a steep rock 2000 meter above sea level. Another splendid waterfall Attukal is located 9 kilometers from Munnar in between Munnar and Pallivasal. Its an ideal place for trekking. Nyayamakad is a land of amazing waterfalls. Its also a enchanting trekking spot. The Valara and Cheeyapara waterfalls are also splendid, located at a distance of 10 kilometers from Munnar on the Adimali-Munar route.
9. Blossom International Park
The park is a fantastic place for fun loving people. The park is located on the Kerala Hydel Tourism Center on the Kochi-Munnar National High way. Boating is possible from here through the Munnar waterways. The park offers cycling through the valleys, roller-skating, campfire and games too. The visiting time here to this park is from 10.00 am to 7.00 pm.
10. Top Station
Top station is the highest point in the Munnar -Kodaikanal road. The ropeway here to reach the top is the main attraction here. This place lies 35 kilometers from Munnar and an ideal place for trekking.
Kolukkumalai is the highest tea plantation in the country. its is located 7900 feet above the sea level. The journey to this hilltop is an adventure itself because of the narrow road on which you are moving through the sprawling tea plantations. The tea factory visit here is worth. This hilltop is an exceptional one for trekking. Kolukkumalai lies 50 kilometers from Munnar and is accessible only by road.
12. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
This sanctuary is located at Devikulam taluk, 20 kilometers from nearest town Marayur. The sanctuary is regarded as unique than other sanctuaries in Kerala, because of its ecological, floral and geological significance. The main attraction in the sanctuary is the giant squirrel seen here, which is endemic to this region. The sanctuary is spread over 90 square kilometers and rich in flora and fauna. The sanctuary is the home of several rare medicinal herbs and an entire forest of sandalwood is under the sanctuary. Chinnar sanctuary has the richest reptilian fauna. Besides crocodiles more than 30 species of snakes are observed here. White Bison, Nilgiri Tahr, Tiger, Leopard, Sambar, Wild dog, Barking Deer, Bonet Macaque, Porcupine Wild Boar etc are the main animals seen here. It is observed that over 220 species of birds are here. The Sanctuary offers great trekking opportunities. Prior permission is needed here for trekking. The ideal time to visit this place is between December and May. This place is 60 kilometers from Munnar and easily accessible by road.
13. Eravikulam National Park
The Eravikulam National Park is located in between the beautiful Kannan Devan Hills and Anamudi. The Park covers an area of 97 square kilometers and is comprised of virgin grasslands and wooded valleys. The park's main attraction is the Nilgiri Tahr and it is observed that one third of the world population of this animal resides here. Eravikulam is also famous for the Neelakurinji flowers, which bloom only in a 12-year span. This ecosystem is exceptionally rich in orchids and balsams. Apart from Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri Marten, small clawed otter; mongoose, Indian civet and also dusky striped squirrel are seen here. There are also elephants, Sambar, Gaurs, Macaque, Tiger, Leopard and Nilgiri Languor lives here on which Nilgiri Languor is endemic to Western Ghatts. Over 120 species of birds and 100 species of butterflies are observed here in this biosphere. The park lies 13 kilometers northeast of Munnar. November to May is the best time to visit the place. This place is also ideal for trekking and long walks.