Munnar is a cute town nestled in the Western Ghats in the Idukki district of Kerala.
“Moonu” in Malayalam is three and “aar” is stream. Munnar got its name as it is located at the confluence of three rivers Muthirapuzha, Nallathani and Kundala.
It is known for its pristine green valleys, misty mountains, tea estates, spice estates, waterfalls, and dams. The Nilgiri Tahr, an endangered species of mountain goat is found here and in the adjoining Eravikulam National park.
At an altitude of more than 5000 ft above sea level, it enjoys cool winters and pleasant summers. It provides a nice escape from the hot and humid summers of the plains in Kerala and has hence grown into a popular tourist destination over the years.
Resorts and home stays abound in Munnar and provide accommodation of various categories to tourists making it easily affordable for everyone. It has also developed into a popular hiking and trekking destination in south Kerala.
It is easily reachable from Kochi which is the nearest airport located around 140 km away.
Angamaly and Kochi provide railway connectivity at a distance around 120 to 140 km.
It is also a pleasant drive after taking a diversion to Munnar on the Kochi Salem highway.
One beautiful morning, we drove down from Coimbatore to Munnar.
We took the route via Pollachi, Udumalpet and Marayoor which works out to roughly 200 kms.
Marayoor is known for two things, the sandalwood forests and its jaggery.
The sandalwood forests of Marayoor
Molasses being processed into Jaggery
The finished product…jaggery balls
We also crossed Eravikulam National park on the way
Eravikulam National Park
Eravikulam is a reserve forest area where tourists are allowed only in designated areas . It is home to the endangered mountain goat known as the Nilgiri Tahr.
The entrance to Eravikulam National Park
The Nilgiri Tahr
Reaching Munnar late afternoon, we checked into our hotel and rested for the evening enjoying the climate and the scenery.
Tea gardens over acres and acres and over several hill ranges dominates the scene in Munnar.
View from the hotel
Mist covering the hills
Tea Gardens stretching as far as one can see….
Spice Estates abound in Munnar….particularly cardamom.
Over the next two days, we explored various points in and around Munnar.
Echo point lies about 15 km from Munnar town on the road to Top Station.
The Kundala lake provides a serene front to the hills on its backdrop covered with thick forests and lush green grass. These hills echo the sounds generated from across and hence the name.
Needless to say, one can hear a cacophony created by the tourists here!!
This pretty lake created by the Kundala Dam is another popular destination for tourists. Boating facilities in the lake in a backdrop of lush green mountains really make it a beautiful spot.
Early mornings are less crowded here and one can get beautiful pictures particularly if clouds have descended here , as they sometimes do.
The serene Kundala Lake
Located on the Top Station road, this dam and lake are part of the Indo Swiss livestock project . It is a popular picnic spot even for the locals and one can go boating on the lake or undertake hikes and treks from here.
A multitiered waterfall, Attukadu falls can be seen even from a distance as one approaches Munnar. It is located in the middle of a rocky terrain and reaching close to the falls may be difficult for the less agile. As expected, this waterfall is in its full glory during monsoons or immediately after. A small pool at the end provides a nice bathing spot!
Attukadu falls from a distance
The water cascading among the rocks
Enjoy the falls in this video
True to its name, it is the highest point in Munnar and offers unparalleled views of the Theni plains below. With green hills surrounding you on all sides. it gives a heavenly feel .
One of the highlights here is the blooming of the Neelakurinji in the hills once in twelve years. When in bloom, the hills literally turn blue in colour and adding to the beauty of the place
The Neelakurinji in bloom
The Blossom Park
Situated close to Munnar town, this park is home to a variety of flora and fauna and is a popular picnic spot. When we visited Munnar, there was an orchid exhibition on at this park. We were treated to a feast of orchids in full bloom making us long to carry some of them home!!
Another beautiful waterfall in Munnar is the Lakkam falls.
Adventure Sport Activities
Various adventure sport activities like zip lining, mountain biking, rope climbing etc are available here for the enthusiastic tourists. Some pictures…
Adventure Sport activities
After enjoying the cool climate and the lush green surroundings, we were treated to this wonderful sunset over the hills on our last day at Munnar
The sun sets on a wonderful holiday….
Driving back via Pollachi, we were put off by the traffic and the heat ; but we were pretty sure we would go back there soon….
So do visit this tea paradise and of course pick up some tea from the factory outlets there….to savour the cup of tea ; if not the estates
Do give me your comments and feedback…