Snuggled in the green and serene Kannan Devan Hills, lies the quite and restful resort of Munnar, 136 km off Kochi. Magnificent views of low-flying clouds and mist filled valleys and cool climate makes it paradise on earth. It was opened up out of virgin forests a century ago by pioneering planters.
It is famous for its lush green surroundings, lakes, reservoirs, forests, and tea estates. The quiet environs of Munnar attract the traveler to relax in the lap of Mother Nature. Munnar also beacons the adventure-seeking traveler, who is interested in paragliding. It has some of the highest tea estates in the world.
Anamudi the highest peak in South India, towering over 2695m is also in Munnar. In the vicinity is the Eravikulam National Park, the home of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr that roams on a stretch of grassland or is seen climbing the pinnacles of the undulating hills. Around Munnar there are several exotic locations like Mattupetty, Eravikulam, Rajamala etc.
The best time to visit Munnar is between the months of October to March. Travelers must avoid the monsoon season while visiting Munnar.
Air : The nearest airport and railway station is at Kochi, which is 130 km west of Munnar.
Rail : The nearest airport and railway station is at Kochi, which is 130 km west of Munnar.
Road : Munnar is accessible by road from most of the towns in Kerala.
Places of Interest :
Devikulam : Devikulam is a dainty town, 16 km southwest of Munnar. It consist of irresistibly green slopes touching the sky at a thousand mt. and its silent clusters of slender red and blue gum trees. It has a lovely little lake hidden within the rolling hills. According to a legend, Sita Devi, the holy consort of Lord Rama, came down to frolic in the lake and the place came to be spoken about as 'Devikulam' (meaning the lake of the goddess).
The idyllic hill station with its velvet lawns, exotic flora and fauna and the cool mountain air offers a rare experience to visitors. The Sita Devi Lake is an ideal place for trout fishing.
Eravikulam National Park : Eravikulam National Park is 15 km north of Munnar. The sanctuary was declared as a National Park in 1978. Anamudi at 2694mt, the highest peak south of the Himalayas, is on the southern side of the Park. This is one of the wettest areas of the world. The sanctuary stands out for the stark beauty of its rolling grasslands and sholas, spread over 97 sq.kms of unblemished natural splendor.
The slopes of the hills abound in all kinds of rare flora and fauna. The Atlas Moth, largest of its kind in the world, is a unique possession of the park.
The animals found here are the tigers, panthers, wild dogs, civet cats, jungle cats, sloth bears, Nilgiri langurs and wild boar. Half the world population of the Nilgiri Tahr live here.
An ideal place for trekking, facilities are provided here and tourists are allowed to go on foot up to Anamudi.
Visitors are not allowed during the monsoon season.
Rajamala : Half of the existing world population of the rare mountain goat (hemitragas hylocres) is found in this natural area, which is fast becoming extinct. Approximately 1000 Nilgiri Tahrs are found here. The sanctuary is a part of the Eravikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, and visitors are allowed only to the tourism area in the Rajamala region.
The Nilgiri Tahrs are now reduced to small herds found in Eravikulam-Rajamala region. The total number of Nilgiri Tahrs in Rajamala is estimated at 1317.
Nyayamakad : Located between Munnar and Rajamala, Nyayamakad is a land of breathtaking waterfalls. The waters cascade down a hill from a height of about 1600 mt. The enchanting surroundings makes an excellent picnic spot and trekking point. It is 10 km from Munnar.
Chithirapuram : With its sleepy little cottages, bungalows, old playgrounds and courts, Chithirapuram still exudes an old world charm. Home of the Pallyvasal Hydel Power Project, this hill town is also famous for its picturesque tea plantations.
Pothamedu : It offers an excellent view of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in Munnar. The rolling hills, the cool mountain is ideal for trekking & long walks.
Mattupetti : Located at a height of 1700 m, Mattupetty is famous for its highly specialised dairy farm, the Indo-Swiss live stock project. Over 100 varieties of high yielding cattle are reared here.
Visitors are allowed into three of the eleven cattle sheds at the farm. The Mattupetty Lake and Dam, just a short distance from the farm, is a very beautiful picnic spot.
The sprawling Kundala tea plantations and the Kundala Lake are other attractions in the vicinity. DTPC Idukki provides boating facilities on the Mattupetty Dam. Speed Launch and slow speed motor boats are available on hire.
Lock Heart Gap : 13 km from Munnar is an ideal place for adventure, tourism and trekking. The place is worth a visit for it beautiful scenery.