Things to See and Do in Munnar
Things to do around Munnar
Munnar town serves as a useful hub for exploring the spectacular mountain region surrounding it. Several of the summits towering above the town may be reached by day treks through the tea gardens or in buses that wind their way up to the aptly names Top Station, a hamlet famous for its views and meadows of 'Neelakurunji plants' (see below) to the more distant nature sanctuaries .
Some of the attractions and accommodation options near Munnar:
40 km from town. Marayoor’s fragrance reaches to the toilets all over the world. The largest natural sandal plantation of Kerala is here. During the trip an encounter with a herd of gaurs is a possibility. They frequent the plantations and venture out to the main road to claim ownership.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
60 km from Munnar and 20 km from Marayoor. Sample the wildlife here and compare with elsewhere. Elephants, sambars, spotted deers, gaurs, wild pigs, giant gnizzled squirrels, tigers, panthers, peacocks etc sighted here. If lucky, the legendary ‘white bison of Manjampatti’ may be sighted. The Forest Department arranges trekking.
(a species of hill flower)
Munnar is renowend for the Neelakurunji (a species of hill flower) flowers. It flowers only once in every twelve years. The next flowering is due in Oct/Nov 2016. The entire hillsides get carpeted by the blue flowers. During the blossom period tourist from far and near troop into Munnar to view this extraordinary phenomenon of the nature. Seeing this phenomenon is believed to bring prosperity. This belief accelerates the craze for seeing blossomed Neelakurunji. Top station, accessible by bus from Munnar ( starting 5.30am; 1hr 30mts) and jeep taxis, is a great spot to catch the best views of this amazing natural spectacle.
If you want to sidestep the crowds completely and enjoy breathtaking scenery,the remote Kolukkumalai estate is a great option. Located 23Km out of Munnar at an altitude of 2400m, it is officially India's highest tea plantation, well known for its tea leaves prized for their delicate flavour. The only way to reach it is by jeep, via the Chinnakanal Suryanelly Estate. An old bridle way drops down the east flank of the mountain from here to the Tamil plains- a popular trekking route.
Located at an altitude of 1700 m. Mattupetty is famous for the Indo- Swiss live stock project under which over 100 varieties of high yielding cattle breeds are reared here. It is one of the largest of such ventures in India. The visitors are allowed into 3 of the 11 cattle sheds in the farm. The Mattupetty lake and dam is only a short distance from the farm. Boating in speed launch and motorboats provided by the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) is a popular activity here. The Kundala tea plantation and the Kundala Lake are the other tourist attractions nearby. There is also a spectacular garden with many flowering plants including dahlias, as many as 64 varieties of dianthus and 250 varieties of roses in all possible hues and colors, which makes it a must see spot in Munnar.
Situated on the way to Top station from Munnar, Echo point is a small lake surrounded by hills. A perfect spot for trekking and adventure tourism, echo point takes its name from the natural echo phenomenon existing here. Every loud call made from the lake bank comes back as echo from the hills surrounding it. It is hugely popular among youngsters who call out their friends' names to listen to the echoes of friendship!
Top Station (32 km from Munnar)
True to its name, Top station has some of the highest tea plantations in India. Located on the border between the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, it promises a panoramic view of the spectacular scenery of the plantations and the rolling valleys around. The highest point on the Munnar-Kodaikanal road, from the Top station you get a distant view of the Arabian Sea on sunny and clear days. This spot is well known for the fabled flowers of Neelakurinji, which blooms only once in 12 years.
Power House Waterfalls (17 kms from Munnar)
Located on the way to Thekkady from Munnar, Power house waterfalls drops down steep rock 2000 m above sea level, offering a truly spectacular sight. Located at a distance of 18 km from Munnar, these waterfalls originates from the 'Sita Devi Kulam' near Devikulam, believed to have been the bathing place of 'Sita' wife of 'Rama' of Ramayana (the epic story that binds many cultures in South-east Asia). During the monsoon months, the waterfalls will be in its full glory. Many believe that these waters have medicinal properties.
Anayirankal (27 kms from Munnar)
Set amidst sweeping tea gardens and verdant forests on the slopes of high mountain ranges, Anayirankal Lake and Dam is a must see picnic spot in Munnar. Catch the spectacular sight of herds of elephants, which drop in to quench their thirst from a safe distance.
Rajamala (15 km from Munnar)
Home to the near extinct and rare type of mountain goat of The Nilgiri tahr, (Hemitragas bylocres), Rajamala is another popular tourist destination. Over half the world population of this rare goat is seen in and around Rajamala. The kurinji flowers that blooms only once in twelve years is also seen here, which makes it a really special place to be in. A must see spot in any Munnar itinerary.
Eravikulam (17 km from Munnar)
Eravikulam national park, home to the largest surviving population of Nilgiri Tahr is a rocky grassland dotted with dense forests and mountains that are often cloaked in thick mist. A truly spectacular sight, Eravikulam national park is also a haven for some rare near-extinct animals like Gaur, Sambar and Indian Muntjac as well. Anamudi, the highest peak in South India (2695 Mtrs) is also a part of the park.