The very name Munnar means ‘Three Rivers’ in the vernacular language, where three rivers; Madhurapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly amalgamate in a place which was named Munnar. Munnar is also popularly known as Kashmir of South India and it is spread in 26.2 sq. km area. Munnar is situated at an altitude of 6000 ft above the sea level in the Western Ghats range of mountains in Idukki district; Kerala, India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes, trekking and holiday facilities make Munnar one of the most-sought-after tourist destinations in the tourist map of India.
Munnar is popularly a tea town. The tea plantations have now been taken over by the Tata Tea Company. The tourists get a cordial welcome by the unending greenery and exotic smell of tea plantations in Munnar.
Among the exotic vegetation found in the forests and grasslands, Neelakurinji with the botanical name Strobilanthes Kunthiana flowers and bathes the hills in blue colour once in twelve years. The Neelakurinji will extensively bloom next in 2018. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India, Anamudi, which towers over 2695 Mts offering exiting trekking for the mountaineers.
Splendid tea plantations - perfect valleys, mountains, and lakes - exotic species of vegetation, wild sanctuaries, and forests – fragrance of spice perfumed cool air all truly making Munnar fascinating and makes Kerala truly a God’s own country.
Pothamedu which is 6 kms away from Munnar proposes an outstanding view of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in Munnar. The rolling hills, the lush mountain and the awe-inspiring scenery here is perfect place for trekking and long mountain walks.
Devikulam which is 7 kms from Munnar has relaxing hill station with its velvet lawns, soothing vegetation and fauna and the fresh mountain air is an unusual experience. The Sita Devi Lake with its mineral waters and scenic backdrop is a perfect picnic spot.
Pallivasal, which is 8 kms away from Munnar where the first Hydro Electric Project was established in Kerala. It is a place with enormous picturesque beauty.
Attukal which is 9 kms away from Munnar offers perfect scenery of waterfalls and rolling hills and it is a perfect place for trekking as well.
Nyayamakad, which is 10 kms away from Munnar, is a land of captivating waterfalls. The waters gush down the hill from a height of about 1600 meters.
Chithirapuram, which is 10 kms from Munnar, is hallowed with lethargic little cottages, bungalows, old playgrounds, and courts. This being the home of the Pallivasal Hydel Power Project, the hill town is also renowned for its scenic tea plantations.
Lock Heart Gap
Lock Heart Gap, which is 13 kms away from Munnar, is a perfect tourist spot for trekking. The fresh mountain air, the mist-covered hills, and panoramic view make the place alluring.
Rajamala, which is 15 kms from Munnar, is 2695 Mts above sea level is natural abode of the Niligiri Tahr. Half the world's population of the rare mountain goat or Tahr faces extinction is found here. The tourists will get to see the Niligiri Tahr in moving in small herd in Eravikulam-Rajamala region. The total number of Niligiri Tahrs in Rajamala is expected to be over 1300.
Eravikulam National Park
Eravikulam National Park spreading over an area of 97 sq. km is located 15 kms from Munnar is famous for Nilgiri Tahr. Anamudi peak towering 2695 Mts is located in southern region of the park. The park was established to protect the Nilgiri tahr (Nilgiri Ibex). In view of the ecological, faunal, floral, geo-morphological and zoological significance, the park was declared a National park in 1978.
Mattupetty located at a distance of 13 kms away from Munnar town is renowned for its extremely specialised dairy farm, the Indo-Swiss live stock project. Over 100 varieties of high yielding cattle are nurtured here. Tourists are permitted to visit three of the eleven cattle sheds at the farm.
The Mattupetty also has a lake and dam, just a short distance from the farm, is an attractive tourist spot. The extensive Kundala tea plantations and the Kundala Lake are other attractions in the neighborhood. Boating facilities in the Mattupetty Dam are provided for the tourists.
Anayirankal Dam Reservoir
Anayirankal Dam located 22 kms away from Munnar is one of the well-known tourist destinations. Anayirankal Dam is a small hydroelectric dam. As herd of elephant often comes to the shore of the dam to drink water, the dam got the name ‘Anayirankal’ Dam in vernacular language, which means ‘Elephant Climbing Down.’
It is a perfect place to cultivate the tea and tea plantation looking like a green mat adds more attraction to the place. The dam offers chance for the tourist to have boating in the lake. It is a perfect destination for relaxation and a location to spend time with family.
Sita Devi Lake
Sita Devi lake also known as Devikulam lake located at a distance of 13 kms south west of Munnar at an altitude of about 1000 meters above sea level is a tourist destination with captivating beauty. The dazzling crystal waters, towering trees, flowering bushes on the banks of the lake, and chirping songbirds make it a perfect tourist spot.
The Goddess, Sita Devi, of the Ramayana epic is believed to have bathed in the serene Devikulam lake waters bordered by flourishing, green hills. The lake allures tourists because of its therapeutic powers of its mineral waters.
Anamudi mountain towering 2,695-m is located 10 kms away from Munmnar in the Eravikulam National Park. After the Himalayan Mountain Ranges, it is the highest peak in India. The name Anamudi literally translates to "Elephant's Forehead," it is a reference to the resemblance of the mountain to an elephant's head.
The trekking to the top of Anamudi is the mother of all trekking and depending on one’s level of physical fitness and stamina the trekking can take between 1.5 to 3hrs. The trekking is really challenging as herd of elephants grazing on the mountain could come on the trekking pathways. Tourists who would like to venture into the audacious trekking have to seek prior permission from the Eravikulam National Park authorities.
Anamudi, along with the Eravikulam Park, homes one of the largest surviving populations of Asian Elephants, Gaurs and the Nilgiri Tahrs. The mountain, covered with evergreen flora and fauna and a vibrant avian life, makes it a paradise on earth. The green forest is also the source of some large and picturesque rivers in Kerala and the nearby State of Tamil Nadu.
The 160-foot-high Mattupetty Dam is located about 12 kms from Munnar town is a storage concrete gravity dam built between mountain ranges for hydroelectricity project. The Dam has a vast reservoir extending several kilometres into the hills allowing wild animals and birds to flourish. A cruise here in the dam an exciting experience, offering occasional view of Elephant, Gaur and Sambar. The dam has been an important source of power for the locality.
The Pambadum Shola National Park situated about 35 kms from Munnar on the eastern part of the South-Western Ghats shelters various dying out species of flora and fauna. It is the smallest national park in Kerala, with 131.80 hectares of land was declared a national park in 2003. The park cordially welcomes travelers with cloudy skies and mist offers options like wildlife watching and trekking. April-September is the perfect time to enjoy the marvel of Pambadum Shola.
Pambadum Shola National Park shelters Elephant, Gaur, Leopard, Wild Boar, Sambar, Common Langur, Nilgiri Marten, the only species of marten found in South India. Over 14 species of birds, 9 species of mammals and 93 species of moths are also seen here. The biggest surprise that the park has kept for the tourists is an incredible variety of butterflies that dwell in the shola forests.
Nature trail, an exciting trekking option offered here takes travellers through the Munnar-Kodaikanal forest road to Vandaravu where there is a watchtower offering amazing sight seeing.
The Western Ghats, Anamalai Sub-Cluster, including these parks, are under consideration of UNESCO World Heritage Committee to declare a World Heritage Site. The park is managed by the Kerala Department of Forests and Wildlife, Munnar Wildlife Division, along with Muttikettan Shola National Park, Eravikulam National Park, Anamudi Shola National Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kurinjimala Sanctuary.
Marayoor is located 42 kms north of Munnar on SH-17 connecting Munnar with Udumalpet, Tamil Nadu. Marayoor is the only place in Kerala that has a natural growth of sandalwood trees. Marayoor is a rain shadow region enclosed by mountains.
Marayoor is known for 'Marayoor Sarkara' (Jaggery) is of high quality with 97 percent sugar content is the sweetest one in India. Charming sugarcane fields spreading over 1,500 acres welcome tourist to the beautiful destination. Tourists visiting Marayoor during sugarcane harvest season can watch how jaggery balls are prepared in traditional ways. First, the sugar cane juice is boiled in a special type of huge vessel and then condenses to jaggery balls.
The sandalwood factory in the Forest Department, the caves (Muniyaras) with murals and relics from the New Stone Age civilization and the children's park elongates all over a hectare of land beneath shade of an individual Banyan tree are some of the major tourist magnetizations regarding Marayoor. Thoovanam Waterfall as well as Rajiv Gandhi Nation's Park are additionally nearby.
Neelakurinji with the botanical name Strobilanthes Kunthiana flowers and bathes the hills in blue colour once in twelve years. The Neelakurinji will extensively bloom next in 2018.
The Nilgiri tahr, an endemic and endangered species of mountain goat is very difficult to spot as it is confined to the higher rocky areas. The Rajamalai wildlife sanctuary is a good place to see them.
Freshly plucked carrots and strawberries are a great attraction. Do try the barbequed corn with Indian spices.
Daily sightseeing tours
Timing: 1000 - 1800 hrs. Fare. Rs.250.00 per head. For bookings, Please contact - DTPC Information Centre, Munnar, Ph: 04865 231516.
Tea factory visits
Permission to visit any of the 26 factories of Tata Tea Ltd. can be had from the Regional Office at Munnar, Ph: 04865 230561 to 230565.
Speed launch: Rs. 300 for 15 minutes (max. 5 persons). Safari Boat: Rs. 700 for 20 seats for 30 minutes. Boating Time: 0930 - 1630 hrs.
DTPC provides cycling facilities at Munnar (Rs 10.00 per cycle / hour and Rs 75.00 per cycle / day).