Munnar | India
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Munnar is a hill station in the Indian state of Kerala.

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About

Munnar hills Munnar is a beautiful hill station, and was a summer resort for the British during the British Raj. 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 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 Periavaru — 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. Eravikulam national park is one of the main tourist attraction, where you can find the endangered species of Nilgiri Tahr (mountain goat called "varayadu" in Malayalam). A trek to Rajamala ("King of hills" in Malayalam), in the morning is sure to spot a few friendly mountain goats. You can also find gaur, langur, lion-tailed macaque, and elephants depending on the season and time of travel. The altitude is 1,600 m- 2,000 m above sea level. Climate The season between October and March (post-monsoon) is considered the best to visit Munnar. Take some warm clothes and rain coats along with you. The temperature ranges from 14 to 25 degrees during summer, and 7 to 17degrees in winter. The atmosphere remains cool and pleasant throughout the year. Wild elephants in Munnar Nilgiri Tahr Talk Malayalam and Tamil are the main languages spoken here. Visitors often feel uncomfortable while talking with local people as they only talk in regional language. However, you can manage with English as people are highly educated here and they often communicate in English.

Munnar

Planning a Trip

1 Get in 1.1 By air 1.2 By train 1.3 By car 1.4 By bus By air Cochin International airport (COK IATA), also known as Nedumbassery Airport. It is approximately 125 km away from the Munnar by road. Taxi services are easily available from airport to Munnar that cost around ₹3000. Cochin International airport is nicely connected to metropolitan cities of India and some other cities abroad. Madurai Airport is more than 175 km from Munnar (by National Highway 49) and second largest terminal in Tamil Nadu after Chennai airport. The airport has direct connectivity with major Indian cities like Hyderabad, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. By train The nearest railway station is Aluva, 110 km. Ernakulam is 130 km and Madurai is 135 km. Angamali Railway Station is another nearest rail-head to reach Munnar. From all these railway stations, you can get direct regular buses to Munnar. First Bus starts at early morning 6AM and after that those are available at regular intervals. Apart from buses, you can easily get private taxis or cabs from all the railway stations. They charge around ₹150 per person if you opt for shared taxis. 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 ₹2000. There is a bus stand nearby as well which operates frequent buses to Munnar; ticket prices start from ₹70 per person. From Madurai: Munnar is about 135 km from Madurai and 80 km from Theni. Madurai - Theni - Bodi - BodiMettu-Devikulam - Munnar route is the most scenic route by National Highway 49(Via Madurai-Cochin HighWay). 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. Distances from Munnar to various cities: Cochin - 130 km Madurai - 135 km Aluva - 110 km Alleppey - 180 km Kumarakom - 140 km Thekkady - 106 km Pollachi - 120 km Coimbatore - 160 km Thrissur -154.5 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 By bus Munnar bus station is on the main street, Main Bazaar. Kochi - Takes around 6 hours. Buses leave Kochi between 6AM-6PM. Aluva - Nearest bus station to the Cochin International Airport. About 4 hrs uphill to Munnar, and 3-3.5 hrs downhill. Ticket price is around ₹70 one-way for a government-operated bus, up to ₹150 for a privately operated bus. Note that most buses have boards in Malayalam and not English. At Aluva, there are no signs, schedules or dedicated bus bays for Munnar-bound buses; many of them briefly stop at Aluva en route from Kochi/ Ernakulam to Munnar. Check with a few locals every 15 minutes, or ask and hang around the bus info office, so they can point you to the right bus when it arrives. There are also buses from Coimbatore and Pollachi.

Munnar

Top Attractions

1 See 1.1 Near Munnar Town 1.2 Mattuppetty Direction 1.3 Thekkady Direction 1.4 Coimbatore Direction 1.5 Other places to visit Some of these site would be more popular for Indian tourists than Western tourists. Near Munnar Town Atukkad Waterfalls (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). A scenic waterfalls amidst hills and jungles.  10.0704177.066161 Blossom Park (Also known as Hydel Park) (1 km from Munnar).  10.0344377.047812 Chithirapuram (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  Pothamedu View Point. A small village inhabited 1 km away from headworks dam. Coffee and Cardamom plantation are sights to behold.  Mattuppetty Direction Floriculture Centre. Run by the Kerala Forest Development Corporation. An extremely well-kept garden with a large variety of flowers and some herbal/ foliage plants, all against the backdrop of the tea plantations. Definitely worth a visit.  10.145477.20233 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  10.1044477.123614 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 especially if visiting with children. You could take the speed boat ride which is fantastic. It costs ₹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.  Mattupetti Indo-Swiss Farm. Better known as Mattupetti (cattle village), Tamil migrant labourers had once upon a time reared cattle here. The cool climate and abundance of fodder made it the ideal location for the Indo-Swiss dairy farm. Established in 1961, the Kerala Livestock Development Board (KLDB) manages this highly specialised dairy farm. The dairy farm is a unique one of its kind with more than 100 varieties of high-yielding cattle being reared. Tourists are not allowed to enter the farm.  Echo Point 10.1205477.151645 Munnar Echo Point (15 km from Munnar on the way to top station). 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.  Photo Point (2 km from Munnar). It is a small place filled with woods and a small stream. Good location to take photos.  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 ₹400. The area is known for the Neelakurunji plant, which flowers only once every 12 years. The flower is violet.  Thekkady Direction Signal Point is a view point from where the Munnar Valley can be seen. It is a nice relaxing place. This is otherwise called Cigarette Point, from the early days when junior managers of the plantation gathered to smoke there. From here one can see Chokarmudy Hill and Anamudy Hill. Idly Hill View Point Devikulam Sri Ayyappan Temple Munnar Heritage Tour, Lockhart Tea Factory Lockhart Tea Museum is a tourism destination which is giving a guided factory tour about orthodox tea manufacturing and can be visited their tea museum which briefs about the history of plantation. Lockhart Tea Park Chokarmudy Trekking Thangaiah Cave Lockhart Gap View Point Periyakanel Water Falls Anayirangal Dam / Boating Center Coimbatore Direction Anamudi Peak (inside Eravikulam National Park). The highest peak (2,695 m) south of the Himalayas, towers over the sanctuary in majestic pride. The slopes of the hills abound in all kinds of rare flora and fauna. The Atlas moth, the largest of its kind in the world, is a unique inhabitant of the park. Other rare species of fauna found here are the Nilgiri Langur, the lion-tailed macaque, leopards, tigers. An ideal place for trekking, facilities are provided here and tourists are allowed to go on foot up to 2 km from Anamudi. Going up to the peak is no longer permissible unless you have special permissions from forest department.  10.306877.206026 [dead link] 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.  10.1981877.008797 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. Please be aware that this park remains closed every year around February–March due to the breeding program of the Nilgiri Thar. Before visiting Munnar please check if the park is open or not. Tickets can be bought from the counter or online. Please be warned that if you do not reach the counter before 8:30AM, the queue can get so long that it may take a couple of hours to get the tickets. The visit to the park is arranged by buses. While coming back after the visit, you'd again have to wait in queue. The entire process of buying tickets, visiting park and coming back may take 4-5 hours. Indian: ₹120, Foreigner: ₹400, Camera: ₹40.  10.2713177.154198 Lakkam Water Falls. (24 km from Munnar). A small waterfall.  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. Naimakkadu Water Falls.  10.0943377.050459 Tata Tea Museum (KDHP Tea Museum). Around 2 km on the Nallathany road, from Munnar). Tourists can see a collection of odd bits from the colonial era. Photography is allowed on payment of ₹20; videography is strictly prohibited here. A very interesting 30-minute film is screened, and visitors are then taken around the factory to understand how tea is processed. This museum remains open from 10AM-4PM every day, closed on Mon. There is a ₹75 ticket fee for adults; lower for children. If you are not a tea connoisseur then you can skip visiting this museum.  Other places to visit Lukkam waterfalls, Munnar Kalvarimount, Situated at a distance of 5 km from Idukki, it is one of the famous hill stations and one can see the view of the reservoir from Idukki to Ayyappancovil. Kolukkumalai Tea Estate, At a height of about 2,175 m (7,130 ft), this orthodox tea factory lays claim to being one of the highest in the world. The view of the Western Ghats is absolutely enchanting. 9.9846777.2462610 Mathikettan national park (Poopara) (34 km from Munnar on Munnar Thekkadi route.).  10.1345576.6858611 [dead link] Salim Ali (Thattekkad) Bird Sanctuary (Dr. Salim Ali 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: ₹40, Indian ₹10.  Waterfalls, Check out several natural waterfalls on the way to Munnar. They provide an excellent place for photography.

Munnar