“Munnar”, which means three rivers in literal terms, could have easily counted as one of the all time favorite destination of every tour operating agencies across the country. Covering an area of approximately 26 sq. km, Munnar is situated in the district of Idukki, in Kerala. The name of this place owes thanks to the confluence of three rivers – Kundala, Maddurappuzha and Nellatheni.
The scenic beauty of the place and the lush landscapes has been captured by various film makers in countless numbers. This hill station situated at about 1600 Meter above the sea level is home to the highest peak in South India – Anamudi which stands at a height of over 2700 Meters.
The written documents have began noticing “Munnar” after the arrival of foreigners, especially that of Europeans. Thus, you could hear the name “Munnar” in history books of early 19th and 18th centuries. Home to a number of resorts and summer vacation palaces, the place was obviously the most preferred vacation spot for them. You could even say that it was Europeans who started the current trend. But, the role of the beauty of this exotic location is no less in this process. With sprawling tea and coffee plantations apart from various spices, “Munnar” also attracts the interest of people around with endemic species such as “Neelakkurinji” which only blossoms at once in twelve years.
It was in 1897 that the “Kannan Devan hills company” was established and aimed to reap maximum from the place, which receives an average rainfall of around 250 cm, an average temperature in the range of 0 – 25 degree Celsius. Thus, the place is home to sprawling tea as well as coffee plantations. You could also find wide varieties of tea plants such as “The tender light – leaved Assam, the hardy Manipuri, large leaved Lushai” etc. And these specifications also make “Munnar” an ideal place to visit in vacations. The best time to visit “Munnar” is between the moths of September/October – May.
Places to visit
Eravikulam National Park: Some 15 Km away from Munnar, Eravikulam national part was established aiming to protect Nilgiri Ibex. The Devikulam Taluk, in which the place situates, was given national park status in the year 1978. Even before that, it was given sanctuary status and covers a wide area of 97sq.KM. Filled with evergreen forests and pristine ecological species, this is undoubtedly one of the places to visit in your life.
Rajamala: A similar greenish landscape where you are supposed to see large numbers of rare wild species, most of which are in the red data book. The permitting authority – Wild life DFO, Munnar allows visitors to enter the region at nominal fares.
Devikulam: A hill station, where you could visit “The Sita Devi Lake”, which is rich in minerals. The place is also home to velvet lawns. The place is around 7 KM away from Munnar.
Mattupetty: Home to the Indo – Swiss live stock dairy project, Mattupetty boasts of over 100 varieties of cattle. Kundala tea plantations and Kundala lake too adds charm to the place.
Apart from these, Munnar has numerous places to visit for, such as “Pallivasal” – the first hydro electric project in Kerala, Chithirapuram, Lock heart gap – which offer not only eye pleasure but also tickles your adventure quotient.
The current settings of “Munnar” enables it to consist large numbers of tourists at any time, while in the season time you could expect the coming of people virtually in the form of bees. But, numerous hotels and forts situated in Munnar won’t disappoint you in terms of facilities. Providing a wholesome treatment, these apartments offer you a wide range of fares for accommodation.
How to reach Munnar
Munnar is easily connected by roads with other places. From major towns in Kerala such as Cochin, Trivandrum, Calicut, an approximate distance of 130 KM, 357 KM, and 337 KM respectively could be expected. At the same time, the nearest town from Tamil Nadu is Coimbatore which is at a distance of 248 KM from Munnar. With the directional boards assisting throughout the roads, anyone could easily trace out the right root to Munnar from these towns.
The nearest “Railway station” and “Air Port” are respectively the Ernakulum railway station and Cochin International airport from which an approximate travel time of over 4 hours could be expected.