Munnar is one of the most captivating hill stations on the Western- Ghats. It has an elevation of 5000 to 8000 feet above sea level. Rambling green tea plantations, picture perfect villages, winding lanes, and holiday facilities make this a popular resort town.Anamudi, the highest peak in South India, towering over 2695 m. above sea level is in Munnar, along with other mountain ranges. The high ranges of Munnar are known as KannanDevan Hills, named after KannanDevan who had been landlord in the Anchanad Valley on the eastern side of the district. The main agronomy in Munnar is tea and coffee. It has an array of flora and fauna. The Neelakurinji found in the grasslands of Munnar has the unique characteristic of blooming only once in 12 years. This flower which bathes the hills in bluish-violet hue will bloom next in 2018 AD. The nearest major railway stations are at Ernakulam and Aluva (approximately 140 kilometres (87 mi) by road). The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport, which is 105 kilometres (65 mi) away.
Places of interest
Mattupetty: Mattupettyhas an elevation of 1700 m above sea level. The Lake and Dam area is a popular picnic spot with a spectacular view of the tea plantations and the lake. Boating facilities are available in thereservoir. Mattupetty is also known for its highly scientific dairy farm, the Indo-Swiss Live Stock project. The Shola forests in and around Mattupetty are ideal for trekking and are habitat to a variety of rare birds.
Echo Point: Echo Point has a natural echo phenomenon and offers a panoramic view of the distant mountains and the valleys surrounding the area.
Eravikulam National Park: A sanctuary for the endangered mountain goat of South India, the NilgiriTahr( Hemitragushylocrious), Eravikulam National Park stands out for the unadulterated beauty of its rolling grasslands and sholas, spread over 97 sq km in the Rajamala hills.Rajamalahas been the natural habitat of the NilgiriTahr. Half the world’s population of this rare mountain goat is found here, which wasfast becoming extinct. New conservation efforts are now in place to help revive this rare species.
Anamudi: This is the highest peak (2695 m) south of the Himalayas. The slopes of the hills proliferate in a wide variety of rare flora and fauna. The Atlas moth, the largest of its kind in the world, is a natural inhabitant of the park. Other rare species of wildlife found here are the NilgiriLangur, the lion-tailed macaque, leopards, tigers, etc.
Kundala Lake, (23 km from Munnar): This lake looks splendid amidst lush tall trees on its bank. One can hire a pedal boat and explore the lake and its surroundings, which can be a cooland awe-inspiring experience. This entire area is surrounded by scenic jungles and hills. Unless you know how to row a boat, go for a pedal boat. Each trip lasts around 30 minutes and will be closed to public at 4:30PM.
Top Station, (37 km from Munnar on the Kerala and Tamil Nadu border). Offers great aerial 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 ride costs Rs. 400. The area is known for the Neelakurunji plant, which flowers only once every 12 years. The flower is violet.
Tata Tea Museum: Also known as the KDHP Tea Museum, (Around 2 km on the Nallathany road, from Munnar). Try not to miss this. Tourists can see a collection of historical story bits of Munnar from the early colonial era. A very interesting 30-minute film is screened, and visitors are then taken around the factory to understand how tea is processed.
Kolukkumalai Tea Estate: It is situated at a height of about 2,175 m (7,130 ft).This orthodox tea factory is one of the highest in the world. The view of the Western Ghats is absolutely enchanting.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary: Chinnar wildlife sanctuary is in the Western Ghats of Kerala. This wildlife sanctuary has a large number of plants and animals. It is spread across a wide 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 culture.