Munnar is a premium hill station of Kerala. It is a pleasant tourist spot in Idukki District and is situated around 1800 metres above the sea level. Munnar is a unique blend of misty hills with soothing greens of aromatic tea estates & spice gardens, lush green forests with tall red wood trees and rich wildlife. All these factors make Munnar a perfect tourist destination in South India. The city is enriched by three holy rivers, Muthirappuzha, Chandavurai and Kundaly. In Malayalam, “Munu aar” means “three rivers”. People believe that the name of the city is attributed to these three rivers.
History reveals that Munnar was developed to cultivate tea plantations by the British. It was a popular summer resort of Government officers during the British rule.
How To Get
Munnar is located 140 km from Kochi (4.5 hours approximately). The nearest airport (135 km) and railway station (115 km), both are at Kochi (Nedumbassery Airport and Aluva Railway Station respectively). Apart from this, Munnar is just 70 km from Idukki city. It is a popular hill station in South India and is well connected by all means of transport.
Trade & Business
Munnar is a great commercial place. As Munnar is a leading player in Tea segment, it has 30 registered tea plantations, most of which are owned by Tata Tea. Besides, Munnar is dealing in several kinds of spices for last 3000 years. It grows more than 12 varieties of pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and turmeric. In ancient times, Kerala was known as the spice capital of the world because of Munnar and Cochin.
Most of the residents of Munnar are employed in spice & tea plantations, and tourism industry. These are the great revenue generating sources.
Places To See
Eravikulam National Park is one of the biggest attractions of Munnar. It is spread over 97 sq km in Rajmalai Hills. Eravikulam is famous for rare species of animals including Nilgiri Tahr, Atlas Moth, Elephants, Sambars, Gaurs, Lion-tailed Macaque, Langur, Tigers and Leopards. This national park is also known for Neelakurinji, a flower found high on the mountains, which blooms once in 12 years. Its next bloom will be in 2018.
Anamudi Peak is another hot spot, which is the highest mountain peak in South India. It is situated inside the Eravikulam National Park and is perfect for trekking. 2695-metre high Anamudi peak is the habitat for several fauna species.
You can visit Chinnar Wilfdlife Sanctuary, which is a habitat for the endangered giant grizzled squirrel. Besides, elephants, gaurs, panthers, spotted deer, sambars, hanuman monkeys and rabbits can be found here.
Mattupetti Dam is 10km from Munnar and is a popular picnic spot for boating and horse riding.
Another 15 km from Munnar, is Echo Point. As the name suggests, the spot returns your loud voice manifold from the surrounding hills. It is very popular among youth as they make their friendship calls here.
Devikulam (7 km from Munnar) is famous for its velvet lawns. It has a lake called Sita Devi Lake, which is popular for Trout Fishing. Besides, Mattupetty Lake & dam and Kundala lake & tea garden contribute to make Munnar one of the most attractive hill stations of the country.
Best Time To Visit
The season between October and March (post-monsoon) is considered the best to visit Munnar. It is suggested to take some warm clothes and rain coats along with you. Temperature ranges from 15 to 25 degrees during summer, and 5 to 10 degrees in winter. The atmosphere remains cool and pleasant throughout the year.
The city is full of tea, coffee, and a variety of spices. Munnar is not a shopping place, but you can visit several factories or retail outlets to find out different types of tea, available in different flavours and several rare kinds of spices.
Flora And Fauna
Munnar is famous for its unique wet greenery. The most exotic flora is found in Munnar forests and grasslands. Munnar is famous for Neelakurinji flower. Besides, Munnar is also known for Eravikulam national Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and Palani Hills National Park. More than 120 species of birds are recorded in these sanctuaries.