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Munnar
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Munnar Garden Munnar Neelakurinji Atukkad waterfalls Mattupetty Dam Echo Point Kundala Lake Eravikulam national Park Marayoor Book your tour Book Now

Munnar

Munnar is a beautiful hill station, and was the summer resort of the British. Tourists come here to see the vast tea plantations of the area. The town itself is typically Indian with the usual shops, guest houses and is really beautiful and traditional. It is a good place to stay to see the surrounding countryside. It is also a popular place for Indian honeymooners.

The town is divided into two parts, Old Munnar, where the tourist information office is, and Munnar, where the bus station and most guest houses are located.

The region in and around Munnar varies in height from 1,500 m (4,921 ft) to 2,695 m (8,842 ft) above mean sea level. It is pronounced "Moon-aar" short for "moonu aar" meaning 3 rivers. Three rivers - Madupetti, Nallathanni and Periayar which flow through this town, but join some distance away from Munnar.

Munnar is famous for its tea plantations, many of them started by the British. The "Kannan Devan" brand of Tea from the Tata is cultivated and processed here.

The strobilanthus ("neelakurinji" in Malayalam, the local language), a blue flower which blooms only every 12 years, is found in this region. It bloomed last in December 2006. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India, Anamudi, at 2,695 m.

PLACE TO VISIT

Atukkad Waterfalls, A scenic waterfalls amidst hills and jungles. You can find a road leading to Atukkad Waterfalls on Kochi road (just about 5 km from Munnar). This road is very narrow and needs a lot of experience to drive on.

Chithirapuram is located at a distance of around 10 km from Munnar. Chithirapuram has old playgrounds and courts, bungalows and sleepy little cottages which all give this place an old world charm. This town is also famous for its tea plantations in the world.

Photo Point, (2 km from Munnar). It is a small place filled with woods and a small stream. Good location to take photos.

Mattupetti Dam, (10 km from Munnar), this popular picnic spot activities like boating and horse riding and is a great place to spend the day e specially if visiting with children. You could take the speed boat ride which is fantastic. It costs Rs 300 if you have to hire a boat for you alone. The ride is for 15 min. The maximum capacity is 5 persons and you could save some money if you are a group of 4-5.

Echo Point, (15 km from Munnar), on the way to top station from Munnar is a small lake set amidst rolling hills. Every loud call made from a spot on the lake embankment is returned manifold by the echo from the surrounding hills. Young tourists throng to this place to listen to the echoes of their friendship calls.

Elephant Arrival Spot, (18 km from Munnar), Here you can board an elephant for a ride. It costs approximately Rs 350 per person.

Kundala Lake, (23 km from Munnar). This lake is very beautiful amidst lush jungles. Hiring a pedal boat and exploring the lake and its surroundings is an awesome experience. Except at the place you hired the boat, don't expect to find humans around the lake as it is surrounded by scenic jungles and hills. Unless you know how to row a boat, prefer a pedal boat, each trip lasts around 30 min and will be closed at 4:30PM

Top Station,(37 km from Munnar on the Kerala and Tamil Nadu border). Great views of the Western Ghats. Top station is the "top"-tourist attraction. This place gives a real 'above the clouds' experience. Regular buses go to Top Station (1 hr) from Munnar. A jeep costs Rs 400. The area is known for the Neelakurunji plant, which flowers only once every 12 years. The flower is violet.

Tata Tea Museum, (Around 2 km on the Nallathany road, from Munnar). Tourists can see pieces of colonial era and old bits collection. Videography and photography is strictly prohibited here. This museum remains open from 10AM-4PM every day, closed on Mon. There is a Rs 50 ticket fee for adults and Rs 25 ticket for children.

Eravikulam (Rajamalai) National Park,(45 min from Munnar). See Nilgiri Thar (Hemitragas hylocres) - an endangered species of mountain goats, rolling grasslands and sholas, spread over 97² km in the Rajamalai hills, rare flora and fauna, Atlas moth (largest in the world), lion-tailed macaque, leopards, tigers, The Kurichi or Neelakurinji Flowers turn the hills of Rajamalai blue every 12 years. The next bloom will be in 2018. One can actually debate if going to the high peak just to see some goats is worth all the effort or not. However, the walk along the park is very romantic and has some breath taking view.

Marayoor - (Around 40 km from Munnar). It is the only place in Kerala with natural growth of sandalwood trees, natural caves with murals, and relics from late Stone Age civilisation. There is a sandalwood factory of the Forestry department of Kerala and a children's park extending across one hectare of land under the canopy of a single Banyan tree, all of which attract tourists in large numbers.

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary,Chinnar wildlife sanctuary is in the Wester Ghats of Kerala. This wildlife sanctuary has a large number of plants and animals. This wildlife sanctuary is spread in around 90² km of area. This sanctuary is one of the protected areas in the western ghats because of the significance of its flora, geomorphologic features, ecology and local cultural.

Salim Ali (Thattekkad) Bird Sanctuary, There are woodpeckers, Malabar gray hornbills, Ceylon frogmouths, parakeets, and rose-billed rollers. This sanctuary is located 20 km from Kothamangalam on the road between Ernakulam and Munnar. There are basic and mid-range hotels in Kothamangalam and an Inspection Bungalow in Boothathankettu. You can take a boat cruise from Boothathankettu to Thattekkad. Admission foreigners: Rs 40, Indian Rs 10.

HOW TO GET THERE

By air :- Cochin International airport (IATA: COK, ICAO: VOCI), also known as Nedumbassery Airport and CIAL is the nearest airport. It is 110 km away from the Munnar by road.

By train :- The nearest railway station is Aluva, 110 km. Ernakulam is 130 km You can get the direct regular buses to Munnar, just outside of Railway station. First Bus starts at 6AM.

By car

From Kochi : Munnar is 130 km (3.5 hr) from Kochi. The road is blind in some places and there are a lot of trucks and buses that seem to drive as if they own the road. Although the road is smooth (NH 49), it is narrow, twisty and curvy. Kothamangalam is on the way and is 80 km away from Munnar. Between Kothamangalam and next town "Adimali", you can experience a beautiful cool drive through a natural forest. Alongside, you can see many refreshing waterfalls. Once you reach Adimali, Munnar is just 30 kilometers away - but it will take almost an hour to reach. This is the last place where you can spot a decent restaurant before Munnar. Around 22 km from Adimali, you can start seeing the tea plantations on both sides of the road and a panoramic view of the western ghats. The view is extremely beautiful during the early mornings.

From Aluva : Aluva is nearly 110 km from Munnar. Just outside Aluva railway station you can hire a taxi for Munnar for Rs 1,400-1,600. There is a bus stand nearby as well which operates frequent buses to Munnar which cost just Rs 80-130.

From Coimbatore : Munnar is about 160 km from Coimbatore and 120 km from Pollachi. Coimbatore- Pollachi - Udumalpet - Chinnar - Marayoor - Munnar route is the most scenic route and though it will take bit longer, it is generally considered worth the extra time spent.

From Kodaikanal : Kodaikanal is nearly 170 km from Munnar. Kodaikanal - Perumal Malai - Mayiladum Parai - Mooliyaru - Oothu - Falls View - Ganguvarpetty - Ghat Road - Periya Kulam - Theni - Bodi - Bodimettu - Devikulam - Munnar. This route is also scenic. For detailed report and photos of Munnar to Kodaikanal route please see Munnar to Kodaikanal For detailed report and photos of route to Palani from Kochi thru Valparai please see Kochi-Valpara-Palani

Distances from Munnar to various cities:

Cochin - 130 km, Aluva - 110 km, Alleppey - 180 km, Kumarakom - 140 km, Thekkady - 106 km, Pollachi - 120 km, Coimbatore - 160 km

The road to Munnar is narrow with lots of bends and curves. Hire a taxi or a driver with local experience if you are not familiar with similar conditions

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