Munnar is a town and hill station in the Idukki district of the southwestern Indian state of Kerala. The name Munnar means three rivers because of its location at the confluence of the Mudhirappuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly rivers. Sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities are the main attractions of Munnar and makes this a popular resort town. Neelakuranji, the flower which bath the hill in blue, blooms here once in a year. The highest peak in South India is in Munnar, Anamudi , which is ideal for trekking.
The native flora and fauna have mainly disappeared in Munnar due to habitat fragmentation resultant from the creation of plantations. The new Kurinjimala Sanctuary to the east, the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary,Manjampatti Valley and the Amaravati reserve forest of Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary to the north east, the Eravikulam National Park and Anamudi Shola National Park to the north, the Pampadum Shola National Park to the south and the Palani Hills National Park to the east ,protects several species.
Some of the options you can explore in and around Munnar to enjoy the magnificent hill station of Munnar are listed below:
Eravikulam National Park- This is one of the main attractions of Munnar and it is famous for its endangered inhabitant, the Nilgiri Tahr. It is spread over an area of 97 square km. This park is haven for several species such as rare butterflies, animals and birds. This is also a best place for trekking. Apart from these, an excellent view of the planations can be seen. Neelakurinji makes it one of the beautiful destinations when it covers the hill slopes with a carpet of blue. Neelakurinji blooms once in twelve years.
Anamudi Peak- It is located inside the Eravikulam National Park. Being the highest peak in South india, it stands at a height of over 2700 m. One can go for trekking with permission from the Forest and Wildlife authorities at Eravikulam.
Mattupetty- This is located 13 km far from the Munnar town. It has storage dam and beautiful lake and is situated at a height of 1700 above sea level. One can go for boat riding to enjoy the surrounding atmosphere. It is also famous for the dairy farm run by Indo-Swiss Livestock Project with different breeds of cows.
Pallivasal- It is the first Hydro-electric project in Kerala. Located 3 km from Chithirapuram in Munnar. It is a place of natural beauty and is famous as a picnic spot.
Chinnakanal and Anayirangal- Chinnakanal is near Munnar town. There is a waterfall here known as Power House Waterfalls. It falls down a steep rock 2000 m above sea level. The beauty of the place is due to the presence of Western Ghats. Seven kilometers from Chinnakanal will land you to Anayirangal. Anayirangal is 22 kms from Munnar and it is filled with tea plants. Anayirangal dam visit will definitely be something different in your journey and it is surrounded by tea plantations and forests.
Top Station- It is about 32 km from Munnar. Being the highest point on the Munnar-Kodaikanal road, it is at a height of 1700m above sea level. It is also a platform to view the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the spots in Munnar to enjoy the Neelakurinji flowers blooming over a vast area.
You have not visited South India if you have missed on visiting the hill stations of Munnar. Not only it gives you an opportunity to enjoy the evergreen hill station but also also introduce you to the tea plantation and cultivation.
How to get there:
Nearest railway station: Aluva about 108 km and Angamali, about 109 km
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, via Aluva - Munnar Rd, about 108 km