Munnar Tourism Attractions
Hidden Destinations, Visiting Munnar
Munnar tourism is one of the most important parts of Kerala Tourism. Munnar is India's most sought-after hill resort. It is also the centre of Kerala's premier tea-growing district. This area is aptly named as High Range.
"Munnar" literally means "three rivers". The name refers to the three mountain streams around whose confluence the town grew.
The Nallathanni and Kundala streams flow into the Muthirapuzha River. Three rivers together cascades out of the hills to join the Periyar and, later, the Arabian Sea.
Tea gardens are the single most attraction of Munnar tour. Thousands of acres of lush manicured tea fields surround Munnar.
Majestic eucalyptus trees sway gently in the wind and their fragrance wafting over air add beauty to the Munnar tourism. You can also see shola trees hug the mist-wrapped hillsides, sheltering several highly endangered species of wildlife.
A tour to Munnar is a journey through picturesque surroundings, but the most sought after offering is the unbelievably pure air.
There are also wild animals to spot, golf to be played, some trout fishing to be done... the list is endless. But if lazing around is all that you want when you visit Munnar, idyllic surroundings let you do that too.
A visit to a tea factory for a firsthand introduction to the tea-processing and tea-tasting is a must. It is an aromatic experience. And at the local Tea Museum, the first of its kind in India, one can take a look into the past.
Of course, for the more adventurous, there's the challenge of climbing the 2695m Anamudi, which tower majestically over town. This is the highest mountain south of Himalayas. There are other hidden destinations in Munnar like Kolukkumala.
Munnar is in a valley bordered in by hills. Many of its attractions are to be found on its outskirts, within a radius of 10 to 30 km from the town. All these places are considered part of the Munnar experience.
These places are linked to Munnar by local bus, taxis, jeeps and autos along a network of excellent roads. These include Eravikulam National Park, Marayoor and Chinnar, to the north of town along the Munnar-Udumalpet road.
Mattupetty Dam and Kundala Dam are on the Top Station Road. Devikulam and Chinnakanal lies south east of Munnar along NH 49. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is 110km south of Munnar.
Things to See and Do in Munnar
You must have to stay minimum of three days in Munnar to experience its climate and see around.
On the first day go to Eravikulam National Park. On the way back in the afternoon, visit Tea Museum and attached tea factory.
Second day morning head to Top Station. Enjoy the picturesque view of the plains of Tamil Nadu. When you are coming back take cruises at Mattupetty Dam and Kunadala Dam. In the evening you can shop for tea, spices and local made handicrafts.
Third day you have two options. First one is drive to Marayoor Sandal Plantations. Second option is jeep up the dizzying heights of Kolukkumala. It is the highest tea garden in the country, at 2400m above sea level.
Just a kilometre outside the town, the church rises, tall and stately, above the main road. The church has fortress like exterior behind the eucalyptus trees.
The church represent Munnar's colonial past. It is worth to visit the church and the tombstones in the nearby cemetery.
Perched on a lofty cliff at the entrance to Munnar, the view from Pothamdu is extensively scenic. From this high point, vehicles crawling up the serpentine road from Kochi resemble miniature toys.
The Tea Museum showcases the history of the tea industry in Munnar. It houses an interesting array of relics and artefacts from the past. You can also see several historic photographs and pieces of period furniture.
At the adjacent tea-processing unit, one is introduced to the various stages of tea manufacturing and tea-tasting. It is an insightful and educative experience.
For a breathtaking view of the Talayar Valley on one side and Munnar Valley on the other, Nyaymakad Gap is on the way to Eravikulam National Park. You will come across colourfully dressed tea-pickers intent on their work. You might even spot Indian bisons or elephants in the nearby jungle.
Eravikulam National Park
The main draw is the Nilgiri tahr, an endangered species of wild goat. Thanks to the conservation efforts over the years, the tahr can now be seen in large numbers.
Nilgiri tahr is very accustomed to humans. Tahr is today the pride of Munnar and Tourism here.
The views from the park are breathtaking. The Director's Leap viewpoint is very popular among local residents. Anamudi and Rajamala are part of Eravikulam National Park.
This 160-foot-high dam has a vast reservoir picturesquely extending several kilometres into the hills. A cruise here is an exhilarating experience. Occasional sightings of elephant, Indian bison and deer is an added bonus.
This 70-foot-high arch dam entices visitors with its serene ambience. Sky-blue reservoir is dotted with colourful rowboats and pedal boats. Cattle grazing peacefully on its banks against a backdrop of lush eucalyptus plantations.
The Lockheart Gap offers a scenic view of Bison Valley and surrounding hills. It is an ideal picnic spot.
Shopping and Munnar Tourism
You can't find fresher and better quality tea anywhere else. It is all grown and produced locally. The tea has the highest standard perfected over the last 125 years.
There are several sundry tea outlets in Munnar. But a tourist's safe bet would be Tata Tea Sales Outlet. The outlet is on the ground floor of the company's Regional Office in the heart of Munnar.
The entire range of tea is available here in convenient packs to suit individual tastes. You can also purchase aromatic oils such as eucalyptus and lemon grass.
Next to tea, luscious strawberries and spices are two of Munnar's better known specialities. Fresh and as a preserved, strawberries are available in a few selected outlets in the town.
At Tata Tea's Srishti Welfare Centre in Nallathanni Estate you can buy delicious High Range strawberry preserve. It is just 8-10 min drive form Munnar.
You can also buy handmade greeting cards. Purchases are contributions that go towards the Srishti Welfare Centre. This organization is working for the rehabilitation of physically and mentally challenged children of the plantation workers.
Hotels, Resorts and Other Accommodation
Munnar has large number of resorts and homestays. It is a very popular destination among the locals and middle class from Indian metros. So it is advisable to book the rooms early to get your choice.