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Munnar: General Information

Munnar Travel Guide: Popular Tourist Attractions & Places to Visit

Munnar Travel & Tourism Overview

Area: 557 sq. kms.
Elevation: 1,700 m
Location: Munnar is a tiny station, located in Idukki district
Language: Malayalam and English
Best Time to Visit: October to November and January to May

Enchanting hills of Munnar holds the secret of producing India’s best tea and spices. Perched at an elevation of 1600 m above the sea level, Munnar is a tiny hill station looks like a picture-book town where there are multicoloured flowers, manicured gardens, widening lanes, and snow-capped mountains. The unending expanse of tea plantation on both the sides of the widening roads leading to the pristine hill station, indeed make it an experience to cherish.

The name Munnar is believed to mean “three rivers”, referring to its location at the confluence of the Mudhirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly rivers. Munnar was once the tiny retreat of the English people who ruled in South India. Dating back to Raj Era, Munnar is undoubtedly a Kerala’s premier attraction. One of the best ways to explore Munnar is by taking the cycle tour of the region. Hire a cycle and explore the manicured tea plantation, enjoy gushing waterfalls, explore shimmering lakes and spot an animal called the Nilgiri Tahr at Eravikulam national park of Munnar.

Famous tea brand called The Kannan Devan is responsible for bringing Munnar on the world map since 1877. Tea plantation in Munnar was developed by a British resident, John Daniel Munro. It didn’t take long for the English people to figure out many of Kerala’s hilly regions were well suited for tea plantation. Once famous as the ‘High Rang of Travancore,’ currently Munnar is the commercial center of one of the world’s highest tea growing estates. There are 30 odd tea estates in Munnar which produces high-quality tea. Against the backdrop of majestic hills and mountain peaks, Munnar tea state is great for walking trails and some of the world’s very best tea. A Major portion of tea plantation in Munnar belongs to TATA-tea, which oversees almost every public facility in the vicinity.

Up in Kerala’s tippy top hills lie the tea estates of Munnar. The hill station has a legacy of its own when it comes to the origin of tea. Visitors can see genesis and growth of tea at the Tea Museum. The museum houses photographs, machinery and various other things which speak about the history and origin of tea plantation in Munnar.

For a gratifying stay in Munnar, tourist should go for a pleasurable boat ride to Mattupetty dam. Mattupetty is also famous for its dairy farm which is managed by Indo-Swiss Livestock Project. Here one can see a variety of high-yielding cows as well. Munnar plays a key role in India’s spice plantation industry. Spices like cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and turmeric are produced in abundance here.

Perched in the middle of manicured tea gardens, chattering water streams and exotic wildlife, Munnar is a delight for adventure seekers. Unspoilt and gentle hills of Munnar offer an excellent scope for adventure enthusiasts to indulge in action-packed adventure activities. Sailing over the hills via Paragliding and enjoy the mesmerizing view of Munnar’s scenic beauty certainly should not be missed.

Waterfalls in Kerala are some of the most spectacular in India. Spend a day in leisure at the Kerala’s most amazing waterfalls- Attukal, Cheeyappara and Valara. The bigger they are, the harder they fall –feel the power of the Kerala’s mightiest and most beautiful waterfalls. A splendid trip to the gushing waterfalls and reservoirs is an unforgettable experience. Munnar’s greenery and cool air draw streams of honeymooners and weekenders from many metropolitan cities of South India.

A paradise for bird watchers and wildlife aficionados, the Eravikulam National Park has been just an hour drive from Munnar. In the national park, one can get an opportunity to spot Nilgiri Tahr. These mountain goats are believed to be on the verge of extinction. Plenty of flora and fauna options keep one busy throughout the jeep safari journey. Other places worth a watch on a short trip to Munnar are Kannan Devan Tea Museum, Kundala Lake, Marayoor Sandalwood Forests, Blossom Hydel Park, echo point, Rose Garden, Mattupetty, Rajamalai National Park, and Elephant Lake.

Munnar is an idyllic escape into the natural wonders of God’s own country, Kerala. As soon as the dusk stretches into the silence of the night, one can feel the presence of serenity and peace in the middle of nowhere, an experience that can’t be explained in few words. Munnar is a lowland hill station whose scenery is magnificent. With its drowsy little bungalows, Munnar is one of the unique hill stations in India, which holds the old world colonial charm.

Interesting Facts

  • Anamudi peak located In the Eravikulam National Park is the highest peak in South India, standing at an elevation of 2700 m. Anamudi is an ideal spot for trekking as well.
  • Munnar is well known for its vast expanse of Neelakurinji flowers. Interesting point about the flowers is the facts that it takes place once in twelve years. The ‘kurinji season’ in Munnar is a magnificent sight as the hills and valleys are blanketed by Neelakurinji blooms.

Things to do in Munnar

  • Take a tour of Munnar tea garden and learn about the art of tea making at a century-old tea factory. One can also go to the Tata Tea Museum to see tea making and packaging process.
  • One of the best ways to explore Munnar is to take a cycling tour of the region.
  • Explore the sandalwood forest at Marayoor in Munnar. The park is also famous for its ancient painting which belongs to the pre-historic era.
  • Admire the view of gushing water streams at some of the famous waterfalls in Munnar- Attukal Waterfalls, Cheeyappara Waterfalls and Valara waterfalls.
  • Catch sight of Nilgiri Tahr, a rare animal which can be only found in the Southern part of India.
  • Majestic hills of Munnar beckon every adventurer. Enjoy Paragliding and catch the bird’s eye view of the lush green plantation.
  • Visit Blossom International Park for a peaceful time in Munnar. Here tourist can indulge in multiple activities like boating, roller skating and cycling.
  • Discover the joy of riding on the back of an elephant at Elephant Arrival Lake.

Must Visit Places in Munnar:Mattupetty Dam, Kundala Lake, Eravikulam national park, Kannan Devan Tea Museum, Kundala Lake, Marayoor Sandalwood Forests, Attukad Waterfalls, Blossom Hydel Park, Attukal Waterfalls, Cheeyappara Waterfalls and Valara waterfalls, Rose Garden, Mattupetty, Rajamalai National Park, Elephant Lake / Elephant Arrival Lake / Anayirangal

ClimateWinters (October to March): 11°C- 22°C
Summer (April to September): 19°C- 35°C

ShoppingMunnar is the best place to purchase tea, spices, strawberries, handmade paper greeting cards, aromatic oils, and homemade chocolates. TATA group runs a welfare centre in Munnar from where visitors can handpick some of the finest spices, apparels, gifts, and greeting cards. Some of the prominent places from where shopping can be done in Munnar are:

Names of the Outlet Famous For
KDHP (Kannan Deven Hill Plantations), a Tata Company outlet Tea
Aranya Naturals (Natural Dyeign Unit) Apparel
Athulya Hand Made Greeting Cards, Papers

Where to StayAll thanks to its environs and proliferation of visitors, Munnar is a popular tourist destination for people coming from Tamil Nadu. Munnar is not only the eco-friendly destination in India, but a honeymoon destination as well. One can breathe in the freshness of the nature, far from the city horologe and rediscover oneself dwelling a secluded lifestyle. Vacation in Munnar can be memorable if the hotel is in a favorable location. Over the years, tourism in Munnar has developed quite a few resorts including Forest camps. One can choose from luxury, budget, economy and resorts to stay at Munnar. Homestays are another option to stay in Munnar. For a luxurious and comfortable stay, there are following hotels and resorts in Munnar:

  • The Fog Munnar
  • Westwood Riverside Garden Resort
  • Bethel Varkis
  • Igloo Nature Resort
  • Red Sparrow hotels and Resorts
  • Camp Noel Resort Munnar
  • Nature Zone Resort Munnar
  • Bellmount Resorts
  • Seven Springs Plantation Resort
  • The Edge Resort
  • Blue Bells Valley Resort
  • EVM Mountain Club Resort
  • The Cool Resort
  • Tea Valley Resort Munnar

How to Reach

By Airways: The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport, which is around 125 km away from Munnar. The airport is well linked with all the major cities of India. Regular taxi services from the airport to Munnar are steadily available.

By Roadways : Munnar is well connected with all the important cities of India. One can get Kerala tourism buses or Volvo services from Kochi (124 kms.), Thrissur (148 kms.), Madurai (152 kms.) and Thiruvananthapuram (281 kms). Distance of Munnar from various other cities are:

Places Distance Time Taken
Thrissu 152 km 3 hours 17 mins.
Madurai 153 km 3 hours 19 mins.
Ernakulam 127 km 3 hours 10 mins
Chennai 572 km 9 hours 11 mins.
Bangalore 468 km 8 hours 23 mins.
Coimbatore 157 km 3 hours 53 mins
Mangalore 504 km 10 hours 59 mins.
Mysore 337 km 7 hours 22 mins.
Alleppey 171 km 3 hours 56 mins.
Kozhikode 268 km 5 hours 55 mins.
Meghamalai 128 km 3 hours 18 mins.
Kumarakom 143 km 3 hours 50 mins.
Teni 76.3 km 1 hour 54 mins.
Thodupuzha 77.6 km 1 hour 58 mins.

By Railways: The nearest railway station is located in Kochi or Ernakulam. It is a major junction of the trains coming from various parts of India including Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata, Mangalore, etc.