Ecotourism is defined by Wikipedia as "Ecotourism is a form of tourism involving visiting fragile, pristine, and relatively undisturbed natural areas, intended as a low-impact and often small scale alternative to standard commercial (mass) tourism."
The practice of responsible ecotourism deals with increasing awareness and enhancing the life of the local population and maintaining the integrity and minimise the disturbance to the toured environment
Munnar has always been at the forefront of the ecotourism movement. The lush green tea fields and the cardamom plantations have been the image that Munnar has projected in many a Kerala Monsoon Tour programme as well as in other media. However, there is more to view in Munnar than the eye sees.
Munnar or "Three rivers" as it is called in Malayalam, is a hill station that has gained interest in the time of the British who needed relief from the sveltering heat of the Kerala Summers. The beautiful hills were slowly transformed into plantations which brought to Munnar a symmetric form that was viewable over large distances.
One of the major tourist attractions among many is the Pallivasal Powerhouse Waterfalls which is a place of spectacular beauty and tourists can savor the 2000 metre fall. Another major contributor to ecotourism is the floriculture center project that serves as a nursery of forest flora and a storehouse of the treasures of the forest. The Munnar Botanical garden are a major collection of various plant species.
To further encourage local industries, a visit to the town of Mattupetty, home to the Indo-Swiss livestock project, is considered informative. However, the locals also offer a loot of goodies like home made chocolates and souvenirs.
Echo Point is another tourist gathering spot that offers a birds-eye view of the maginificent Munnar plantations, though it is situated 15km away. Devikulam is next in line as an ecotourist spot that has a lake believed to have waters which the character Sita from the Religious Epic Ramayana is said to have bathed in. The waters here are infused with minerals and also offer a great scenic view.
The Kundala Lake is a favorite honeymoon spot as it offers boat rides and has one of the best gof courses owned by the Tata tea company.
The many vistas of Munnar are testament to the fact that this isn't just a hill station. It is a destination unlike others in that Munnar is an ambassador of ecotourism that has shown no damage to the environment and also has improved the local population's growth prospects.