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Neelakurinji in Munnar
Written by Janani on July 1, 2020 Share on

Munnar, Kerala – All you need to know about Munnar

Munnar, with sprawling tea plantations, charming towns, winding lanes and exotic flora, is a popular resort town in Kerala. Without a doubt, it is the most visited tourist destination in Kerala. Munnar is the largest tea-growing region and one of the best hill stations in South India. This quaint town, located in the Western Ghats of Kerala is set at an altitude of 6000 feet. Once known as the High Range of Travancore, Munnar used to be the summer resort of the Britishers during colonial times.

 

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Munnar is a spectacular spot in Kerala that is known for its green belt of lush forests and unending expanse of tea estates. It is also known to house some endangered species like Neelakurinji and Nilgiri Tahr. Its pristine valleys, mountains, and exotic varieties of flora and fauna make it the most sought after hill station in Kerala. Mattupetti, Periavaru, and Nallathanni – the three rivers flowing through this region make it even more popular attracting thousands of visitors every year towards it.

Its misty hills, pristine lakes, and rocky terrains have further turned it into a popular trekking and camping site. While trekking or camping, stop at the various viewpoints segregated throughout this region and look at the stunning valleys, alluring hills, and gorgeous rivers. 

How To Reach Munnar?

Located in Kerala, a state famous for its magical beauty, Munnar in the Idukki district is one of the most celebrated hill stations in God’s Own Country. It is enriched with lush and breathtaking touristy places with many things to do and see. Are you wondering how to reach Munnar? Reaching here is not a difficult task at all. With comfortable services via air, rail and road, you can reach Munnar with ease. 

Munnar in Kerala
Source: Google Images

There are no such Railway station or Airport in this hilly region. However, there are several stations and airports nearby. These airports and stations are well connected to Munnar by state highways and national highways. Private cabs and state-run buses are available with ease, so you don’t need to worry about how to travel from these railway stations and airports to the town of Munnar.

By Air:

Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport, which is about 125 km away from Munnar. The Cochin airport is well-linked with all the major cities of India and also with cities around the world. A number of taxi services are operated from the airport to Munnar and thus you can reach Munnar from Cochin.

By Rail:

Kochi or Ernakulam is the nearest major railway station. The Kochi or Ernakulam Junction connects various parts of India including Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata, Mangalore etc to Munnar. Aluva is the nearest railway station, at about 110 kilometres. However, it is not a major railway station and it is not connected to cities across the country. 

By Road:

Munnar has a well-established road network with state and national highways connecting Munnar to various parts of the country. You can either board the buses from the bus station or hire a car to reach Munnar. Hire a car and enjoy the beautiful views whilst on the road, breathing in the cool mountain breeze.

Best Time To Visit Munnar

It is always the best time to visit Kerala and the same goes for Munnar. But Munnar is at its best during the months of October-November and January-May. The monsoon almost gets over by September end. With the end of Monsoon, the atmosphere starts getting greener with a pleasant temperature during the months of October-November. 

Monsoon in Munnar
Source: Google Images

Winter in Munnar starts to bid adieu by the end of February. With the end of the freezing winter, you can expect the temperature rise to an optimal level and continue until the end of May. If you are looking forward to the best time to visit Munnar, you should plan your dates between October-November and January-May.

Climate in Munnar

The misty hills of Munnar have a different story to tell with every season. Owing to its lovely atmosphere, Munnar remains a perfect destination for all those who visit Kerala. The tea estates, stunning waterfalls and adventures draw interests of tourists from across the globe. A simple walk amidst the lush green trees in Munnar is more than enough to induce utmost peace in you.

Here’s all that you should know about the climate in Munnar

Winter in Munnar 
(December to February)

The winter months are one of the best times to visit Munnar since the climate is cool and charming. The temperature during this time drops to ten degrees Celsius and is ideal for a cosy stay. This is additionally an incredible time to experience mountain climbing, trekking and rappelling. The nights can get very cold and so make sure you carry woollen clothes. 

Winter in Munnar
Source: Google Images

Summer in Munnar
(March to May)

March marks the start of summer in Munnar. The summer also stays charming. However, the temperature goes up between 19 degrees Celsius and 35 degrees Celsius. Summer in Munnar is an ideal time to tour and visit the tea homes and the Tata Tea Museum. Carry light cotton for summer. Also, carry an umbrella. Drizzles are normal during this time.

Spring in Munnar
Source: Google Images

Monsoon in Munnar
(June to September)

This monsoon season is an incredible time to visit Munnar. Monsoon in Munnar has its very own appeal. This is an extraordinary time to appreciate the beauty of Munnar all to yourself, without swarms of visitors. Make sure to carry an umbrella to keep away from the rain.

Though October-November and January-May are the highly suggested months to visit Munnar, choose the one that suits you best and go explore the amazing heaven!

See & Do

Munnar is the perfect destination for a peaceful and rejuvenating retreat in the Western Ghats. There’s no dearth of tourist attractions and things to do in and around Munnar. All of them are perfect to spend the entire vacation with your friends and family. For a blissful vacation in Kerala, make sure you do the things listed below 

1. Visit a Tea Plantation and Tea Factory 

Any trip to Kerala begins and ends with Tea. Tea is all around you in this verdant countryside. The climate and altitude of Munnar have made the valleys of this region ideal for growing species, especially Tea. Tea is the primary cash crop since the colonial period. Majority of the plantations here belong to several large private tea estates, especially the TATA Group. 

Tea Gardens in Munnar
Source: Google Images

Though there are plenty of tea estates, you simply can’t hop over the fence and visit the tea plantations. These plantations are privately owned and trespassing is strictly forbidden.

If you plan on taking a tour across the estates, visit the tea factory museum here.

2. Hiking in Munnar 

Some of the best hikes in Munnar (note that all have to be done only with a guide)

Trekking through the Tea Plantations: A variety of half-day and full-day tea plantation treks are offered in Munnar. They are the best option if you really want to get out and see the landscapes. These treks aren’t that challenging or long adventures. The average length of treks ranges between 10-12 km and 16-20 km. 

Hike through tea Plantations
Source: Google Images

Phantom Mountain Hike: It is a short but picturesque hike. It includes an ascent of 400 metres. The views on this hike are wonderful.

Meesapulimala Trek: This hike is the most appealing hike to many tourists. At about 40 km outside of Munnar, it involves a decent drive and about 4-6 hours of walking. The trail leads to a wonderful mountaintop way above the clouds. 

Guesthouse Hikes: One final option is the guesthouse hikes. All you have to do is to stay at a locally-run guesthouse. The owner of these guesthouses takes the guests out on a short and secret hike. 

Note: Not all guest houses offer a hike.

3. Try a Thali with Locals

Served on a banana leaf, a thali involves at least six small dishes which cover the six different flavours of sweet, salt, bitter, sour, astringent and spicy in a single balanced meal. 

Kerala Thali
Source: Google Images

This Keralan meal is served with mountains of fat spotted rice which is only available here. It is commonly served as a quick lunch and is simply called a ‘meal’ or ‘meals’ on the menu in Kerala. 

4. Visit the Wild Elephant Village at Anakulam 

Are you an animal lover? Then you should definitely not miss this place.

Baby Elephant Playing
Source: Google Images

At about 40 km from Munnar is Anakulam. Visit Anakulam to view a family of elephants in their natural habitat from a respectful and enforced distance of 50 metres. Herds of elephants live in the forest and they visit the river daily to drink and play. You get to see them when they naturally visit the lake to drink and play. Human interaction is strictly not allowed. 

5. Visit a Spice Farm

Visiting a spice farm is a surreal experience. Here, you get to understand how pepper, cardamom, turmeric, and ginger grow and some owners do explain the medicinal properties of every spice. This tour will be a subtle reminder about how we take the roots of our food completely for granted. 

Turmeric plant
Source: Google Images

6. Take an Auto-rickshaw or Taxi Tour

The most popular way to tick off a few of the most popular sights in Munnar is to take a private auto-rickshaw or taxi tour. Have you not thought about any particular place to visit? These drivers offer set-day trip routes and the rates depend pretty much on your negotiation.

Auto-rickshaw Tour
Source: Google Images

These auto-rickshaws or taxis take you around for local sightseeing. Also, note the entrance fees will not be included. 

Some of the most popular local sightseeing tours are;

  1. Eravikulam National Park Tour
  2. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary & Waterfalls Tour
  3. Echo Point & Top Station Tour 

Places To Visit In Munnar

Munnar is known for its magical beauty. Its captivating beauty makes your holiday more fun-frolic and memorable.

Here’s a list of 5 most stunning places to visit in Munnar;

  1. Mattupetty Dam
  2. Kundala Lake
  3. Top Station
  4. Mattupetty Dairy Farm
  5. Echo Point

Mattupetty Dam:

A water reservoir in Idukki district, located at about 13km from the heart of the hill station. Owing to the availability of water, it has an exotic range of flora and fauna thriving around it. If luck favours, you will also be able to spot Asiatic Elephants here. 

Boating in Mattupetty Dam
Source: Google Images

Best Time to Visit: August to May
Instructions for Tourists: Mattupetty Dam also serves as an elephant visiting the ground.
Open Time: 09:30 AM – 05:00 PM

Kundala Lake:

This artificial lake is located about 20 km from Munnar. It is well-known for its bountiful beauty and charm. This lake serves as a hotspot for nature lovers and is also home to ‘NeelaKurunji’, a flower that blooms once in twelve years.

Nilakurinji in Munnar
Source: Google Images

Best Time to Visit: Anytime
Instructions for Tourists: Bathing in this lake is strictly not allowed.
Open Time: 09:00 AM – 05:00 PM

Top Station:

Enjoy panoramic views of the Western Ghats, here in Top Station. Located about 40 km from Munnar, Top Station offers an amazing view of the most gorgeous valleys in Munnar

Top Station in Munnar
Source: Google Images

Best Time to Visit: Anytime
Instructions for Tourists: Avoid visiting Top Station during monsoon. 
Open Time: 06:00 AM – 07:00 PM

Mattupetty Dairy Farm:

The Mattupetty Dairy Farm is known for its Indo-Swiss dairy farm. A visit to this dairy farm should not be missed at any cost; its locale makes it one of the most picturesque places to visit in Munnar.

Best Time to Visit: September to March
Instructions for Tourists: Timings mentioned are strictly followed.
Open Time: 09:00-11:00 AM & 02:00-03:30 PM

Echo Point:

If you were browsing for the most stunning places to visit in Munnar, you would have come across the place Echo Point. Located 15 km away from Munnar, Echo Point is also known to be one of the most mystical places to visit in Munnar.

Echo Point
Source: Google Images

Best Time to Visit: Anytime (Avoid monsoon).
Instructions for Tourists: slopes are steep. 
Open Time: 07:00 AM – 06:00 PM

Other Places To Visit In Munnar:

1. Eravikulam National Park: A UNESCO World Heritage Site – home to endangered Nilgiri Tahrs.

Best Time to Visit: September to May
Open Time: 08:00 AM – 04:30 PM

2. Tea Museum: Century-old Tea Museum in Munnar

Best Time to Visit: Anytime (November to February is more preferable)
Open Time: 09:00 AM – 05:00 PM (Closed on Mondays)

3. Attukad Waterfalls: Most picturesque waterfalls in God’s own Country! 

Best Time to Visit: June to September
Open Time: 10:00 AM – 06:00 PM

4. Blossom International Park: Home to rare and exotic flowers. 

Best Time to Visit: June to September
Open Time: 09:00 AM – 07:00 PM

5. Lakkom Waterfall: A stunning cascade with its surreal beauty and evergreen vistas.

Best Time to Visit: June to September 
Open Time: 07:00 AM – 07:00 PM

Not just these, Munnar also happens to be the most popular pick among many beautiful honeymoon destinations in India. However, you can also plan your trip to Munnar with friends and family, for an amazing fun-filled experience. So, what are you waiting for? Check-out some cool Munnar Tour Packages and book your customised trip to Munnar with Pickyourtrail and have an amazing vacation!

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