Munnar is one of the popular hill stations in the Indian state of Kerala. The hill station is situated at an altitude of 5,600 ft in the Idukki district. Munnar literally means "three rivers" and its name is taken from the fact that it lies at the confluence of three mountain streams. Munnar was a summer destination most favoured by the British during the colonial period. Centuries later, it is still horded by tourists who are mesmerized by the endless span of tea plantations, exotic species of flora and fauna and the cool breeze of the beautiful hills and valleys.
Places to see in Munnar
Echo Point is situated around 13 km from the town of Munnar. Apart from being a place known and popular for echoing of self voice, the region is also a picnic spot where visitors love to take nature walks along the hill slopes. Tourists can also trek in the nearby tea, coffee and spice plantations. The cool breeze and serene surroundings make this place favourite among wayfarers.
The Elephant Lake or Anayirangal is a scenic location surrounded by tea plantations and is around 22 km from Munnar. The Lake is named after the herds of wild elephants that come here from the forests to drink water. It's very common to spot herds of elephants by the waters. Tourists can enjoy the panoramic view of the serene waters along with the backdrop of dense tea estates.
Tea plantations in Munnar should not be missed out for anything when one is visiting the place. The mild aroma of tea leaves is surely going to rejuvenate your senses and up your well-being.
Tata Tea Museum
The Tata Tea Museum is located at the Nallathanni Estate of Tata Tea just about 1.5 km from the Munnar town. Over a century, Munnar has been linked with tea plantations and is home to some of the best tea estates in the world. The museum is homage to the pioneers who transformed Munnar into a great tea plantation estate. The museum exhibits various pieces of antiquity and describes the origin and evolution of tea plantations in Munnar.
The CSI Church is a popular destination and an important landmark in Munnar. Built in 1910, it is a Protestant Church which is mostly built in stone by the Scottish tea estate workers and managers. The highlights of this Church are in its charming interiors. Just adjacent to the church is a cemetery with tombs which date back to 1894.
Rajamalai National Park (Eravikulam National Park)
Situated at a distance of around 15 km from Munnar, the park is divided into three sections - the core area, the buffer area and the tourism area. Visitors to the Park only have access to the tourism area. The National Park is the habitat of some of the highly endangered species of mountain goats called Nilgiri Tahr or Nilgiri Ibex. The park is quite rich in flora and fauna.
The Mattupetty Dam is located at a distance of around 13 km from Munnar. It's a perfect spot for a lazy picnic. The dam is surrounded by beautiful hills and tea plantations. Boating is very popular here. The DTPC (District Tourism Promotion Council) provides boating facility and has a fleet of row boats, speed boats and pedal boats. Rose Garden is also a popular destination near Mattuppetty Dam; an excellent place for bird watching and trekking.
Top Station is the highest point in Munnar and is easily accessible by tourists. It is around 32 km from Munnar and 1700 metres above sea level. The Top Station offers a panoramic and picturesque view of Munnar and its surrounding areas. The rare Neelakurunji (strobilanthus) plants belong to this region. These plants bloom only once in twelve years. The next bloom is supposed to take place in the year 2018. Top Station is located at border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
Around 60 km away from Munnar, it is an apt spot for trekkers and those who are fond of wildlife. Here, one can find the endangered Grizzled giant squirrel of India. Bird watchers will also love this spot as more than 245 species of birds live in this wildlife sanctuary.
Mattupetty Dairy Farm
This dairy farm is a part of Indo-Swiss Livestock Project. Cattle rearing is practiced here and also new varieties are developed scientifically.