Munnar, situated in the state of Kerala in Southern India, is one of the most famous hill stations in the country. In fact, it is the second most popular hill station in South India after Ooty. The name of the place is derived from two Malayalam words ‘munnu’ and ‘aaru’ which means ‘3’ and ‘river’ respectively. Munnar is located at the confluence of three small rivers and hence the name.
Munnar being a hill station, you might think that getting to the place would be difficult. Well, my sincere answer is that transportation is not an issue at all. The nearest railway stations are Ernakulam and Aluva (around 110km) and the nearest airport is Cochin (100km). The road journey from these places to Munnar is an experience in itself. You can feel and see the change in geography and natural beauty. There are a few prominent waterfalls also, on the way.
Munnar was one of the favourite locations of the British during their colonial rule. They are the ones who discovered the prominence of the place and made it into a paradise replete with tea plantations, oaks, farms, winding roads etc.
1. Eravikulam National Park
This famous National Park, located around 12 km from Munnar is home for various rare species of animals and birds such as the Nilgiri Tahr. It also offers you a splendid view of the surrounding mountains which are mostly covered with tea plantations. ‘Neelakurinji,’ a kind of flower which blooms once in twelve years, is also another attraction.
Mattuppetty, also known as Maduppetty, is famous mainly for its beautiful dam-reservoir area and the Indo-Swiss dairy farm project. It is an ideal place for trekking and other fun activities.
3. Anamudi Peak
It is the tallest peak in India outside the Himalayas, with a height of about 2,700m. Trekking is allowed at the peak with special permissions from forest authorities.
This place offers a wonderful view of Munnar and the surrounding mountainous region. It is also home to the first hydro-electric project in Kerala.
The name Devikulam for this hill station is derived because it’s located near Devikulam Lake in the city. The major attraction of this hill station is a wide collection of exotic flora, verdant lawns which embraces the mind of refreshment. Trout fishing in the lake is another attraction of this tourist destination.
Considered as the major plantation hub, offers an excellent view of tea, coffee and cardamom plantations. Trekkers and adventure freaks have trekked over these rough mountains for an adventurist holiday in Munnar.
7. Anamudi Peaks
These peaks are the highest peaks in south India located inside Eravikulam National Park with a height over 2700 m. Permissions from forest and wildlife authorities are required for every trek to climb the mountains.
There are also other places of interest such as Chinnakanal, Echo Point, Top Station and Rajamalai.
One thing you need not worry at all on your trip to Munnar is your accommodation. There are numerous hotels and resorts in and around Munnar which will provide you with the facilities you need. If you don’t wish to stay in Munnar’s cold climate, you can go to Kochi, which is just a couple of hours away.