Tourist Places Munnar Hill Station - Kerala
Most beautiful districts of Kerala
Munnar was the summer hill station of the British Government in the south. The town is situated on the confluence of three mountain streams, Muthirappuzha ( Kannimalayar), Nallathanni and Kundala. Munnar has some of the biggest tea plantations in the world.
Nothing of the present can be compared to the Munnar of the past says people of yesteryears. The Munnar of the past was Paradise, while the Munnar of the present, is 'Paradise Lost', due to many factors. It is a lost glory to what it was just a few years ago, may be as recent as three or four decades ago- Ecologically, in its fantastic natural scenic beauty, in its Biodiversity, Socially and in every conceivable aspect.
Earlier Munnar was found to be an unpolluted beautiful land with crystal clear rivers flowing silently, with sunlight reflecting iridescent ripples on their sandy bottom. Standing over the bridge that connected the Munnar town to the Maatupatty road, one could see Carp and Trout in small shoals swimming in the clear water. Dark patches at the bottom of the river were tadpoles by the thousands, and water plants waved below in rhythm with the flow of water. The banks of the river were clean with grass and natural flora which supported many life forms. The rivers were filled with different species of frogs whose croaking especially on the advent of the monsoon was a delight to hear. The millions of tadpoles transformed to little frogs crossed the roads about September, and various species of birds supported by the plant life on the banks of the river fed on them.
In Munnar today, frogs don't croak, birds if any don't sing, the rivers are murky and dirty with alleged flushing of septic tanks of the many resorts secretly and periodically. Before the advent of Tourism, Munnar had scarcely 300 motor vehicles in all categories like two wheelers, Cars, Tractors and a few buses and Lorries commuting to the city. Today there are over 500 Auto rickshaws, more than hundred commercial and owner driven vehicles on a daily basis, centred within Munnar Town and more buses coming and going in and out of Munnar daily. Add to this fantastic pressure of traffic in this little 'Heritage' plantation town, there are at least 1500 motor vehicles like cars, vans, tourist buses mostly diesel visiting Munnar every day, during the Tourist season, spewing out smoke and exhaust gases.
Munnar is now a well-developed tourist spot and all sightseeing places are extremely crowded with domestic tourists wherein vehicles need to be stopped 1 KM away from the place due to the increasing crowd day by day near the sightseeing places. Nowadays the very base of the Munnar hills are dug out in the most unscientific and reckless manner causing major landslides and catastrophic damage to the land. Already man has done irreversible damage to this beautiful heritage town. The greatest loss to Munnar is the loss of its fantastic and unique 'Old-world' traditions, customs and culture which we are never going to regain - ever.
Temperature: Min. 0c - Max. 25c
Tourists Season: August to May
Altitude: 1600Mts to 1800Mts above sea level
OTHER SIGHTSEEING OPTIONS IN MUNNAR
Kundala Dam which is 28 kms away from Munnar is a Hydro Electric Project is a beautiful sight. The tranquility of the place will never fade from the memory of the tourists. Cherry blossoms which appear twice a year and kurinji flowers which bloom once in twelve years will stay in your mind even years after you leave the place. Pedal boats and Kashmiri shikaras are made available to the tourists to make the memories of their visit everlasting.
Power House Waterfalls (17 kms from Munnar) - There is a lovely waterfall, which originates from the legendary 'Sita Devi Kulam' near Devikulam, believed to have been the bathing place of 'Sita' wife of 'Rama' of Ramayana (the epic story that works even now as the cultural unifying foundation of several nationalities in South-east Asia). The visitors to the waterfalls believe that the medicinal and curing powers of the water will act as a natural massage and have curing properties.
Anayirankal (27 kms from Munnar) - Sprawling tea gardens surrounded by evergreen forests on the slopes of high mountain ranges make the Anayirankal Lake and Dam a very popular picnic spot. Herds of elephants often visit the lake to quench their thirst, giving the visitors a rare opportunity of seeing elephants in open place from safe vantage points.
Pallivasal (8 kms from Munnar) - The unparalleled beauty of nature and the astonishing heights of human achievements meet at the sight of the first hydro electric project of Kerala. A visit to this place will fill the body and the mind and will be fixed in the mind forever.
Meesapulimala (25 ms from Munnar): The second highest peak in Kerala (2650 meters), offering a splendid view of Tamil Nadu spread out below, is reachable via 'Silent Valley', a picturesque tea plantation area. Idukki, Mattupetty and Anayirankal reservoirs can be viewed from this spot on clear days.
Marayoor (42 kms from Munnar) - The bits and pieces of a new stone-age culture (caves, paintings and underground tunnels) and places connected with the legendary wanderings of 'Raja and Sita' (Ramayana) and the 'Pandavas' (the Mahabharata) make this place important historically. The largest concentration of high-quality natural sandal wood trees and a sandal wood factory are the present day attractions.
Anamudi Peak - This hill is rich in various kinds of flora and fauna and is very well known for possessing endangered animals. Anamudi peak shelters many animals as it resembles the original abode for the animals with its dense forests. Nilgiri languors, leopards, tigers, and macaques are found here. (Visitors are not allowed in Anamudi peak)
EXCURSION FROM MUNNAR
Devikulam - This beautiful hill station is located at a distance of 7 kilometers and is known for its beautiful lawns and rare flora and fauna. There is a lake known as Sita Devi Lake.
Attukal - Located at a distance of about 9 kilometers from Munnar, Attukal provides beautiful scenery of stunning waterfalls and lush green hills. Attukal is usually visited for trekking excursions.
Pothamedu - Pothamedu is situated at a distance of 6 kilometers from Munnar. This lush green area is famous for its cardamom, tea and coffee plantations. The zigzag mountainous roads make an excellent place for long walks in the lap of nature.
Iddukki Dam (60kms from Munnar) - The Idukki Dam is built on the Periyar River, in the ravine between the Kuravan and Kurathi Hills in the southern part of Kerala. This is the world's second and Asia's first arch dam, constructed across the Kuravan and Kurathi hills. 550 ft. high and 650 ft. wide, the dam lies close to the Cheruthoni barrage. To its west is the Kulamavu Dam. Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is sited close by.
During the vacation for Christmas & Onam, this dam will be kept open for public visit
Extra activities in Munnar
Day Trek in Meesapulimala (Duration 7-9 hours) - Meesapulimala - the second highest peak in South India, around 25 kilometers drive up to Silent Valley estate through the Kanan Devan Hills tea plantations and scenic beauty valleys etc. The trek will be through the Shola grass lands, Pine forests, valley of Rhododendrons etc
Top station valley trek (Duration 5-6 hours) - Around 29 kilometers drive up to Yellapetty estate through the Kanan Devan Hills tea plantations, villages, Madupatty, Echo-Point, Kundala Dam etc..., and the trek will be through the tea plantations, dense shola forests, mountain ridges, shola grass lands, etc...,
Kolukkumalai Jeep safari, tea trail and Orthodox Tea Factory (1935) visit (Duration - Full day tour) - 'The highest tea growing estate in the World'
Chinar wildlife sanctuary safari, through the Anamudi shola National Park (Duration - Full day tour) - 'The biggest shola forest in India',
Distance by Road
The distance from Munnar to Alleppey is 195Km & will take 05.5hrs drive
The distance from Munnar to Kumarakom 160Km & will take 04.05hrs drive
The distance from Munnar to Kottayam 141Km & will take 04hrs drive
The distance from Munnar to Guruvayoor 180Km & will take 05hrs drive
The distance from Munnar to Thrissur 150Km & will take 05.00hrs drive
The distance from Munnar to Madurai 180Km & will take 04.5hrs drive (This road is under construction works at present)
The distance from Munnar to Palani 140Km & 04hrs drive
The distance from Munnar to Coimbatore 170Km & 05.00hrs drive
Air : The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport (140Km /4 hours by road)
Sea : Cochin Harbour is the nearest harbour to Munnar which is 180Kms away from Munnar
Train : Ernakulam Railway Station is the nearest station to Munnar and it is 150Kms away from Munnar
Another railway station to Munnar is Coimbatore which is 200Kms from Munnar