Kerala is known as God’s own country. The state’s utmost beauty defines it without needing any words. The state has a pleasing climate and is a must-visit during your lifetime. Here is one such place in Kerala which is incomparable in terms of elegance- Munnar. Munnar is located to the east of Kerala in Idukki District. It is one of the best holiday spots during summer to relieve yourself in sultry days. Munnar is a pristine town and a popular hill station surrounded by mountains of Western Ghats. It is located at 1600 meters above sea level. Munnar derives its name from “Moon- aar” which in Malayalam means ‘three rivers’. As the name describes, this land is a converging place of three river streams namely Mudhirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly.
Munnar Tourist Attraction
The points of interest of Munnar tourism are Anamudi Shola National Park, Eravikulam National Park, Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Chinnar Wild Life Sanctuary, Pampadam Shola National Park, Kurinjimala Sanctuary, Rajamala Wildlife Sanctuary, Muniyara Dolmens, Kannan Devan Tea Museum, Blossom Hydel Park, Anamudi Peak, Mattupetty Dam, Mattupetty Dairy Farm, Kundala Lake, Top Station, Echo Point, Marayoor Sandalwood Forests, Attukad Waterfalls, Tea Plantations, Lakkom Waterfalls, Kolukkumalai Tea Estate, Elephant Lake, Cheeyappara Waterfalls, Lockhart Gap.
Reaching Munnar Hill Station, Kerala
There is no airport in Munnar. The nearer airports to Munnar are Cochin International Airport, Kochi, Kerala; Coimbatore International Airport, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu; Madurai International Airport, Madurai, Tamil Nadu; Trivandrum International Airport, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala and Calicut or Kozhikode International Airport (Karipur Airport), Kozhikode, Kerala.
The distance from Cochin International Airport to Munnar is around 110 km and takes over 3 hours to travel by four-wheelers via NH 85. Trivandrum International Airport is around 290 km away from Munnar and takes 7 hours of journey by four-wheelers. Kozhikode International Airport is at 260 km distance taking 6 hours travelling to Munnar. The distance from Coimbatore International Airport is 160 km and from Madurai International Airport it is around 270 km to Munnar. You will find cabs and cars from these airports to Munnar.
There are no direct railway lines to Munnar. The closest railway station is Aluva or Angamaly Railway Station. It is 110 km away from Munnar. The other railway stations are Ernakulam South Railway Station and Ernakulam Town Railway Station (North). Both are located at 130 km of distance from Munnar. One can take public transport or hire a taxi to Munnar from these railway stations. Trains are available to these stations from cities or towns like Hyderabad, New Delhi, Narsapur, Bengaluru, Chennai, Nanded, Vijayawada, etc.
There is no direct connection to Munnar either by airways or railways and one has to take a road route. Cochin International Airport and Aluva Railway Station are closer than other airports or railway stations respectively. These routes save time and money.
The bus routes to Munnar are from Chennai, Mysore, Aluva, Ernakulam, Kochi, Coimbatore, Bengaluru and other known neighbouring towns or cities in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Kerala State Transport Corporation and private cab companies provide the bus facilities to Munnar.
Places to visit in Munnar: Stay and Tour
On reaching any tourist spot, planning accommodation is a necessity. Many hotels can be found next to each other in Munnar as it is a tourist attraction. The hotels that are at close proximity to visit the points of interest of Munnar are Munnar Inn, Cloud Valleys, Grand Plaza Munnar, Green Ridge Holiday Home, Hotel C7, Jays Inn, Eastend Munnar, Munnar Mansion, OYO hotels, Hotel Emerald Inn, etc. So on reaching a junction of hotels, one can choose from many options of hotels situated at closer distances.
Day 1 in Munnar:
The tour can be started with the neighbouring places near Munnar and your hotels. A cab or taxi can be booked or public transport can be used to visit the Munnar attractions from Munnar. Also, the hotels provide private vehicles by charging a certain amount to travel around the town. You may begin your tour from here-
The Blossom Hydel Park or Blossom International Park
The Blossom Hydel Park or Blossom International Park is a park with gardens, flowers and flower shows, ponds, lush green landscapes, etc. There are varieties of birds to watch. The park is also a play area for children. The entry fee for the park is very minimal. It is open from 9 am to 7 pm. Therefore this the place to start your day with. A whole day can be spent in this park. The park has River Muthirappuzha flowing through it. The boat rides in the river are really amusing.
Attukad Waterfalls give a great view. The water flows down amongst the dense forests and hills. The waterfalls are 7 km away from Blossom Hydel Park. The hills and landscape at this place are good for trekking and roaming. The actual waterfalls can be sighted from a wooden bridge. There is no entry fee and the place can be visited from 7 am to 7 pm.
Pothamedu View Point
The next site is the Pothamedu View Point. It is 20 min away from the Attukad waterfalls if you take a drive. As the name tells, it is a spot to view the beauty of nature and greenery from hills. Photography is the best thing to do at this place. Entry fee is not required to visit this place. However, you cannot dwell around here for a longer time.
Kolukkumalai Tea Estate
The next venue is the Kolukkumalai Tea Estate. It is very closer to the hotels mentioned above and 20 min away from Blossom Hydel Park. The tour can be started with this spot also. It draws the attention of tourists because of its leafy rugged hills and pleasant aroma of tea. The tea estate can be visited at any time of the day. It would be perfect as you will refresh yourself with a great taste of tea.
Day 2 in Munnar:
On the next day, your plan map can have the Tata Tea Museum, Eravikulam National Park, Anamudi View Point(Munnar), Anamudi Peak Waterfalls and Anamudi View Point- Kannan Devan Hills.
Tata Tea Museum
The Tata Tea Museum in Kannan Devan Hills is a museum which acknowledges the history of tea plantations and processing. The museum organizes shows on the plantations and other related information. The show timings are at 10 am and 2 pm. The entry fees of the museum are below Rs.100. It can be visited from 9 am to 4 pm. It is just 3 km away from Munnar.
Eravikulam National Park
The next station of your journey is Eravikulam National Park. It is a famous park in Kerala. The park is a residence for an endangered animal- Niligiri Tahr. It is also known for Neelakurinji, a blue-coloured flower which blossoms once in 12 years. The park is near to South India’s highest peak- Anamudi Peak. From the Tata Tea Museum, you would have to travel 8 km to this park. The park is open from 8 am to 5 pm. The entry fee is below Rs. 100 for Indians and under Rs. 300 for foreigners.
The neighbouring sites are Anamudi View Point which is 5 km distant from the Eravikulam National Park and Anamudi Peak which is 5 min away by car. Therefore, these places are best for trekking, hiking, sight-seeing and capturing photos.
Day 3 in Munnar:
Pampadum Shola National Park
Munnar sightseeing can be continued by visiting the places towards the east of Munnar. Pampadum Shola National Park is 40 km distant from Munnar. The name ‘pampadum shola’ means ‘forest of dancing snakes’. It is a clean, natural paradise with varieties of flora and fauna. The main attraction of the park is Gaur which grazes in the lush green fields. Many other animals like elephants, tailed macaque and langurs are found here. The park is a good spot for camping and spending leisure time. Also, accommodation facilities are available in the park for tourists. The entry fee is the same as for Eravikulam National Park.
On the way to Pampadum National Park, one may cover-up many Munnar tourist places. The trip can be started by visiting the Photo Point. As the name describes, it is the perfect point to click pictures. It has tea valleys and plantations around. It is open between 10 am to 8 pm. Followed by this are Carmelagiri Elephant Park and Carmelagiri Botanical Gardens.
Carmelagiri Elephant Park
Carmelagiri Elephant Park is a scenic park. The things to do are Elephant Safaris on elephants among the fields and mountains. The park is open from 9 am to 5 pm. The elephant ride charges are around Rs. 400. The Park allows photography and videography with certain charges.
Carmelagiri Botanical Gardens
Carmelagiri Botanical Gardens is a must-visit if you are a nature lover. The garden has numerous species of flowers, medicinal and herbal plants. It aims at preserving these species of plants. Also, the garden grows rare species of flowers, ayurvedic herbs and plants which are under extinction. These species of flora are decorated well all around the garden. The uses of the herbs are explained here. The garden also has a chocolate factory. The timings of the garden are from 9 am to 6:30 pm. The next stations, while you are on board, are Mattupetty Dam and Hitech Dairy Farm.
Mattupetty Dam is open from 9:30 am to 5 pm. The entry fee is Rs. 10 per person. One can enjoy boating and horse rides here. The charges of boat rides range from Rs. 300 to Rs. 700 based on the type of boating you choose.
The next stops after this dam are at Echo Point, Kundala Lake, Top Station and finally Pampadum National Park.
Echo Point is open from 7 am to 6 pm. The point has beautiful scenery with wide landscape and hills that echo the voice. It is a place where you can speak to yourself. Also, you can do these things at this place- trekking, hiking and photography. The entry fee for adults is Rs. 30 and for children is Rs. 15.
Kundala Lake is a serene spot filled with fresh air, clear waters, misty mountains, trees and hills. You can have boat rides here. You can walk around the lake and spend quality time with friends and family. The lake is open round the clock. There is no entry fee to visit the lake. But charges applicable for boat rides which range under Rs. 300.
Top Station is open from 6 am to 6 pm and there is no entry fee. It is the topmost point of Munnar. One can visit this place to enjoy the breath-taking view and nature’s beauty from the top point.
Photo Point > Carmelagiri Elephant Park > Carmelagiri Botanical Gardens > Mattupetty Dam > Echo Point > Kundala Lake > Top Station > Pampadum Shola National Park
Day 4 in Munnar:
Marayoor Sandalwood Forest
You can plan to visit Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and Sandalwood Forest, Marayoor and do some shopping too if you have not done any. Marayoor Sandalwood Forest can be visited first. This is a natural forest of sandalwood trees. It is a picturesque destination. The forest is known for Sandalwood trees and sugarcane farms. It is at a distance of 50 km from Munnar. There is no entry fee to visit the forest. The timings of the forest are from 6 am to 6 pm.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is a sanctuary with rich ecosystems, flora and fauna. It is located 2 hours away from Munnar. We find various creatures like gaur, langur, wild elephant, tigers, crocodiles, giant squirrel, spotted deers, etc. here. The sanctuary timings are from 8 am to 5 pm. The entry fees are very nominal (Rs.10 or Rs. 5). The entry fee is higher for foreigners. Separate charges are applicable to photography and vehicles.
Other Attractions of Munnar:
The other Munnar places to visit are Muniyara- Anakottapara Park, Anamudi Shola National Park, Lakkom Waterfalls, Lockhart Tea Museum, Cheeyappara Waterfalls, Thattekad Bird Sanctuary and more.
Distance from Munnar to other attractions
Lakkam Waterfalls is at a distance of 25 km, Muniyara Anakottapara Park is at a distance of 40 km and Anamudi Shola National Park is 53 km away from Munnar. These sites can be planned to visit on one day. Lockhart Tea Museum is 10 km distant, Cheeyappara Waterfalls is at a distance of 45 km and Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is 75 km distant from Munnar. One can schedule these places on a separate day as these take a long journey. The interesting things to do in Munnar are trekking, hiking, boating, rock climbing, sight-seeing, photography, bird watching and more.
Munnar can be visited at any time of the year. However, the best time to visit Munnar is during the seasons of monsoon and winter.
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