10 Awesome Destinations in Munnar (2023)
God’s Own Country, Kerala, is one of the most beautiful states of India. The coastal state is known for its beautiful landscape, the majestic Western Ghats, the serene network of backwaters, sprawling tea and spice plantations, golden sandy beaches, and the magnificent 600 kilometers of Arabian Sea coast. When you arrive in Kerala, you will be taken aback to see the palm-shaded greenery all around you. Peace and serenity, along with opportunities for rejuvenation through the many Ayurvedic massages Kerala has to offer, will take you to a world far away from the hustle-bustle of your daily life. Image Source
The tea-covered hill range that surrounds Kerala is dotted by many wildlife reserves, national parks, bird sanctuaries, and picturesque hill stations, out of which Munnar is one of the most popular ones.
Munnar is one of the most popular hill stations in Kerala. Located at an altitude of 1600 meters in the heart of the Western Ghats, Munnar is a pretty little hill station that is famous for its tea plantations, lush greenery, blankets of mist rolling down the mountains, and majestic peaks. Due to its natural beauty, Munnar is often referred to as the Kashmir of South India.
Let us begin this complete guide to Munnar by finding out where exactly Munnar is located and how to reach this quaint little hill station?
What Is There Is See In Munnar?
As mentioned above, Munnar is famous for its tea plantations, majestic peaks, waterfalls, and much more. The town is blessed with several natural viewpoints from where you get a panoramic view of the Western Ghats spread out all around you. Places to explore and see in Munnar depend a lot on whether you are looking to have a laid back and relaxing vacation or you want to experience a thrilling adventure. There are a plethora of tourist places to check out in Munnar, and there is something to do for everybody when you vacation here. From seeing the surreal sunrise at the Kundala Lake to having a relaxing picnic at the Attukad Waterfalls with your family, there is no end to things to do and explore in Munnar.
10 Awesome Destinations in Munnar
Let us take a look at the main attractions of Munnar:
1. Echo Point
Echo Point is one of the first things you should visit in Munnar. Echo Point is located at the height of 600 feet, around 15 kilometers from Munnar. Echo Point is located right in the heart of the serene Kundala Lake, and there are misty hills covered in lush green trees all around you. The place is named Echo Point as it has a fascinating phenomenon of echoing. So if you scream, you will get to hear your voice reverberate all around the mountains again and again.
The unique beauty of this place is because it lies at the confluence of three mountain ranges – the Mudrapuzha, Kundala, and Nallathanni. Since it is also located by the banks of a lake, there is a serene and calmness around this place. Many people like to go for a peaceful walk around the slopes of the hills or opt for boating in the waters of the lake.
Echo Point is a favorite spot for bird watchers as you can spot many native birds here. There are also several shops located on the periphery of Echo Point that sell several locally produced items.
Another attraction of this place is that you can find the very rare Neelakurinji flowers here. These flowers bloom only once in 12 years. You can try having the mangoes and pineapple being sold here by the local hawkers.
2. Photo Point
This picturesque place is located atop the low rolling slopes in the plains of Nilgiris. There are many tea gardens that surround this spot. Photo Point is also an excellent place for taking breathtaking photographs, as the name itself suggests.
Apart from the beautiful scenery and sprawling green tea gardens, Photo Point is also famous for its aromatic spices. While going up to the spot, the trek is spectacular, and you will pass by several spice plantations, making the journey worth it.
Photo Point is also a famous picnic spot and a filming destination, so think about taking a packed lunch with you when you are going up.
3. Atukkad Waterfalls
Located just two kilometers from Munnar, Atukkad Waterfalls is situated in amidst dense green jungles and majestic hills. This pristine cascading waterfall is a much sought-after tourist destination and picnic spot. However, it is essential to know that the road leading up to the falls is very narrow, and you need to be an experienced driver to drive on such a route.
4. Tata Tea Museum (also known as the KDHP Museum)
Situated in the Nallathanni Estate owned by Tata Tea, the KDHP Museum is just two kilometers from Munnar. You must visit the museum to check out a wide variety of antiquities, the most famous of them being a burial urn that was excavated from around the Periakanal Estate and is believed to go back all the way to the 2nd century AD.
Once you are in the museum, you will get to watch a 30-minute documentary that will take you through a historical journey of this place. Visitors are then taken to the factor to understand the process of tea production.
5. Top Station
Though a bit far away from Munnar, a distance of 32 kilometers, Top Station is actually located on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Top Station is famous for being the highest point in Munnar, located at 1700 meters above sea level. You should head to Top Station to take in the breathtaking panoramic view of the valley of the Theni District of Tamil Nadu and the magnificent Western Ghats. With low lying clouds and beautiful foliage all around, Top Station is one of the most incredible destinations to check out Kerala’s natural beauty.
6. Pothamedu View Point
While there are numerous viewpoints in Munnar that offer some of the most amazing views of the surrounding Western Ghats and landscape, the Pothamedu View Point gives you spectacular panoramic views of the many coffee, cardamom, and tea plantations in the area. This is the perfect place to check out some of the most stunning sunrises and sunsets. On a clear day, you can also get a glimpse of the Idukki Arch Dam, which is located around 60 kilometers from here.
7. Eravikulam National Park
One of the big attractions in Munnar is the Eravikulam National Park, which is located at a 45 minutes’ drive away from Munnar. The Eravikulam National Park is home to a diverse variety of flora and fauna. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Eravikulam National Park is also known as the Rajamalai Wildlife Sanctuary. Before 1971, this place was managed as a game reserve, and afterward, control of the reserve was taken over by the Karnataka Government and declared as a national park in 1978.
Some of the popular animals you can spot here are elephants, Nilgiri langur, Nilgiri marten, lion-tailed macaque, small-clawed otter, the Atlas moth (which is the largest moth in the world), and a rare leopard or tiger.
With the rolling grasslands and sholas all around, the Eravikulam National Park is spread over 97 square kilometers in the Kannan Devan Hills. The hills are also home to many types of rare plants and trees, including beautiful wild balsams and epiphytic orchids.
8. Wonder Valley Adventure and Amusement Park
The last thing you may expect to find in Munnar is an amusement park at a hill station. The Wonder Valley Adventure and Amusement Park is a unique eco-friendly park that is surrounded by natural beauty. The park has maintained the region’s natural landscape to offer its guests an experience in the midst of nature as you go through the adventure trails and activities. This is the perfect place to spend your vacation if you are an adventure lover.
9. Kundala Dam and Lake
The Kundala Dam and Lake are famous all over Munnar and located within the lush jungles around 23 kilometers from Munnar. The Kundala Dam is an arch dam that is famous for the unique Kashmiri-style Shikara boat rides. There are also pedal boats you can ride.
Located approximately 40 kilometers from Munnar, Marayoor is an amazingly scenic locale. The place is famous for the naturally growing sandalwood forest here as well as the dolmens that go back to the Stone Age civilization. Marayoor has sugarcane fields, waterfalls, bamboo forests, and hamlets, all blanketed in glorious clouds. The fragrant sandalwood trees ensure that Marayoor provides you with a stunning sensory experience like no other.
Apart from these attractions, there are many other places you must see in Munnar. Some of these include:
- Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
- Elephant arrival spot
- Chinnakanal Waterfalls
- Lakkom Waterfalls
- Lock Heart Gap
- Chokramudi Peak
- Mattupetty Dam
- Rose Garden
- Indo Swiss Dairy Farm
- Mattupetti Indo Swiss Farm
- Blossom Park
- Anamudi Peak
- Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
- Cheeyappara Waterfalls
- Valara Falls
- Pallivasal Falls
- CSI Christ Church
Apart from visiting the typical tourist places in Munnar, you can also take some time out to trek in the natural landscape. This mesmerizing hill station offers a wide variety of trekking trails for trekkers to explore. You can choose to explore the many existing trekking routes, out of which some are pretty popular, and some are not so well known.
There are some routes that can be done within a day, and some may take longer to explore since many of these routes are interconnected to form a web of trekking trails. These longer trails are for more experienced trekkers as these make for a more adventurous and challenging experience. The level of difficulty of the trails also varies, though all of them offer the same experience of trekking through the breathtaking natural beauty of Munnar.
Where is Munnar Located?
This tiny hill station town is located in the Idukki District in the southwest of Kerala. It is located at 1600 meters above sea level, in the heart of the Western Ghats mountain range.
Specifically, Munnar is situated on the Kannan Devan Hills Village in the Devikulam Taluk. It covers an area of almost 557 square kilometers.
The hill station is located on the banks of three main rivers – Nallathanni, Periavaru, and Madupetti.
How to Reach Munnar?
Munnar is a famous tourist destination that is known for its breathtaking beauty. Reaching Munnar is not difficult as there are many comfortable traveling options to choose from air, rail, and road. The best option is to first reach Kochi and then hire a ride to take you uphill to this magnificent hill station in no time.
If you want to travel by air to reach Munnar, the closes airport is the Cochin International Airport, located around 125 kilometers away from Munnar. The Cochin airport is well connected to all the major cities of India, and there are regular taxis that are available to ferry you from the airport to Munnar.
If you want to travel by rail, the closest railway station is located in Ernakulam or Kochi. This is a major railway junction for trains coming from all parts of India, including the major cities of Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Mangalore, Kolkata, etc. The Aluva Railway Station is also quite close to Munnar, just 120 kilometers away from the hill station.
Once you reach Aluva, Ernakulam, or Kochi, you can reach Munnar by road as well. You can either hire a cab/taxi or take a bus to Munnar. It is possible to prebook your tickets on the website of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) or purchase it at the counter of the bus terminal that is located right next to the Aluva Railway Station.
Who Should Visit Munnar?
Munnar is the perfect place for everyone to visit. The scenic beauty of this place makes it a very romantic place for newly married couples. It is also a favorite destination for trekkers, adventure seekers, bird watchers, and nature lovers.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Munnar?
The best time to visit Munnar is during the months of September to March since the weather remains very pleasant. The summer months of April to June can be a little warm, but you can still visit during this season. The monsoon season, which begins in July and lasts till the end of August, sees heavy rainfall here, which is likely to disrupt your travel plans, and you won’t be able to see many tourist places or indulge in any outdoor activities. It is best to avoid visiting Munnar in the monsoons.
So now that you know about everything related to Munnar, it is time to book your trip and begin your exploration of this beautiful hill station in the heart of the Western Ghats.