About: Munnar is a favorite holiday destination of people who love to travel. This beautiful hill in the Idukki district of Kerala is situated on the Kannan Devan hills of the Western Ghats at the confluence of the rivers Kundaly, Nallathanni and Madhurapuzha. It occupies an area of around 550 sq. km, and is well above the sea level, at 1,600 metres.

The tea plantations of Munnar, started by the British--who considered this place to be their summer resort--are the main attraction. The majority of the area around the hill station is covered by dense forests of the Western Ghats. Munnar remains moist and cold almost throughout year, including summers, when temperature never exceeds 16 degrees Celsius. Monsoons are spectacular here, as one gets to see several streams and gushing waterfalls paving their way through lofty mountains or drizzle-drenched gardens. Recently, Munnar has become the most sought-after destination in Kerala, where people go to witness the spectacular view of hills and vegetation as well as relax and unwind in the lap of nature.

Tourism: Known as the haven of tranquility and peace, Munnar is an ideal destination for a nature lover. It is characterized by vast tea plantations that stretch across the pristine valleys in abundance. The exotic flora and fauna of the place, the dense forests and the wildlife sanctuaries, the cool breeze with a unique freshness and aroma in it, make Munnar one of the best hill stations in South India. Picturesque towns, colonial bungalows, streams and rivers, gurgling waterfalls, winding lakes, misty weather, and various options for trekking and holidays make Munnar quite lucrative among the tourists. Anamudi, the highest peak of South India, with a height of 2,700 metres, is situated in Munnar. It is undoubtedly one of the hot-favorite trekking zones for mountaineers. Mountain biking is also prevalent here. Neelakurinji is a special flower found in these hills that blooms once in 12 years. There are several tourist packages available in Munnar, especially designed for honeymooners, that include sightseeing tours and rides on beautiful houseboats. The people are warm and cordial, and that is another reason why the place is so popular.

Hotels: Muunar being a popular hill station, there is no dearth of accommodation to suit every pocket.

Low-budget stay (under Rs. 1,000): Chummar Cottage, Theresian cottages, Westend Cottages, Krishna Lodge, Hilltop Lodge, Marthoma Rest House, Ambat Home Stay, Rheinberg Home Stay, Munnar Tourist Home, Greeshmam Holiday Inn, Aida Tourist Home, and many more. One may not expect a grand and luxurious stay in these budget accommodations, but comfort and required amenities are guaranteed.

Medium-budget stay (up to Rs. 2,500): Winter Green Resorts, Dream Homes, Marthoma Retreat Home, Bell Mount Resorts, Mermaid Hotels, Green Spaces, Munnar Castle House, Royal Retreat, Spice Country Resorts, Ela Eco Land, Green Jungle Holiday Resort, Dew Drops, Ripples and Rocks, Green Planet Resorts, and many more. All these places offer luxurious and comfortable stay to the guest, with all basic amenities required. The rooms are well furnished and spacious, offering a panoramic view of the area around.

Luxury stay (Rs. 5,000 and above): Tea Valley Resorts, Blackberry Hills, Tall Trees, Fort Munnar, Mountain Clad Resorts, etc. Needless to say, these places are equipped with high-end facilities that will ensure a grand treatment.

Transport: Munnar is widely visited by tourists from all across the nation as well from foreign countries.

By air: Munnar does not have its own airport, and one has to rely on the nearest Cochin International Airport in Kochi, which is around 100 km away. Tourists need to take taxis or cabs to reach to the place once they land in Kochi. Other airports are even far away, like Madurai Airport, Thiruvananthapuram Airport, Coimbatore Airport and Kozikhode Airport.

By rails: The nearest railway station is the Angamaly Station, which is around 120 km from the place. It is connected to all major cities of the country.

By road: There are several private buses and state transports that are available from Kochi, Madurai, Kunilly and Kottayam. However, the journey through the road is the best part of the tour to Munnar, where the visitors can enjoy the picture-perfect panoramic views of the mountains and valleys through the curvy roads.

Within the city: Getting around the city of Munnar is easy. There are several buses that run at regular intervals to cover shorter distances inside the town. Cycle rickshaws are popular for even smaller distances. The town being smaller and the roads being reasonably quiet, one can hire a bicycle from DTPC or simply take a walk to enjoy the misty weather and the cool breeze.

Nearby areas to visit: There are several places nearby that can be recommended to tourists.

Marayoor, the only place in the state of Kerala where sandalwood trees are found in abundance, is just 40 km from Munnar. If tourists manage to move 10 km ahead, they may witness the beauty of the Kalvari Mount, situated near the Mariyapuram and Kamakshi villages of the Idukki district.

Roughly away by the similar distance from Munnar is the Ramalkalmedu, which is visited by most of the tourists to enjoy the freshness of its calm atmosphere as well as the rolling hills covered by greenery. This hilltop offers a spectacular view of the villages like Kambam and Bodi, while trekkers find this place very interesting as there are lots of opportunities for them.

Trekkers and mountaineers should also not miss Meenuli, the huge evergreen forest upon the 500 acres of rock that is ideal for climbing and jumping. Nadukani, located around Munnar, is high in altitude and a few well-known towns like the Moolamattam as well as the Malankara Lake are visible from the high pavilions. For those who like adventure tourism, Thommankuthu should be the ideal place to visit. Risky yet exciting, this place is also know for the gurgling seven-step waterfall that has a cascade at each step and a pool beneath. All this make the place a great picnic spot as well.

Last Updated on : 25/10/2013