Munnar, destination for peace and tranquility

June 06, 2015 16:33
Munnar, destination for peace and tranquility

Munnar is a town and hill station located in the Idukki district in the Indian state of Kerala. Munnar is situated at around 1,600 metres (5,200 ft) above sea level in the Western Ghats range of mountains. The town is typically traditional with the real culture of Kerala depicted even in the usual shops, guest houses and is really beautiful. This hill station was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, winding lanes and holiday facilities has made this place a popular resort town. The exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neelakurinji (strobilanthus), which bathes the hills in blue once in every twelve years. Munnar situates in10.091234 Lattitude and 77.060051 Longitude.

The name Munnar is believed to have derived from the confluence of three rivers viz. Mudhirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly rivers. Munnar town is situated on the Kannan Devan Hills village in the Devikulam Taluk in the Idukki district. The tourist season is from August to March. The temperature varies from a minimum of 0⁰C to a maximum of 28⁰C. Warm clothes and rain gear are required when visiting Munnar.

How to reach

Air: Cochin International airport, also known as Nedumbassery Airport and CIAL is the nearest airport. It is around 110 km away from Munnar.

Rail: The nearest railway station is Aluva, which is at a distance of 110 km. Ernakulam railway station is 130 km and the Madurai railway station is 135km away from Munnar.

Bus: There are many buses plying to Munnar, from the nearest districts.

Kochi - It takes around 3.5 to 4.5 hours. Buses are available from Kochi between 6AM-6PM. Last bus leaves at 17:50 from KSRTC Interstate Bus Terminus.

Aluva - This is the nearest bus station from the Cochin International Airport. It will take around 4 hrs retouch  Munnar and around 3 to 3.5 hrs to come back from Munnar to Aluva.

Alappuzha - There are three direct services daily and the traveling time will be around 5 hours.

There are also buses plying from Coimbatore and Pollachi. Distance from the major cities towards Munnar is as below.

1. Cochin - 130 km
2. Madurai - 135 km
3. Aluva - 110 km
4. Alleppey - 180 km
5. Kumarakom - 140 km
6. Thekkady - 106 km
7. Pollachi - 120 km
8. Coimbatore - 160 km
9. Tirunelveli - 255 km

Places to visit

Eravikulam National Park: The park is famous for its endangered inhabitant, Nilgiri Tahr. It is spread over an area of 97 sq. km. This park is famous for the several species of rare butterflies, animals and birds. This is a great place for trekking and can have  a magnificent view of the tea plantations and panoramic vision of the rolling hills caressed by blankets of mists. The park is a hot destination when the hill slopes to get covered in a carpet of blue, resulting from the flowering of Neelakurinji, which happens once in 12 years.

Anamudi Peak: This is located inside the Eravikulam National Park. This is the highest peak in south India standing at a height of over 2700 m. Treks to the peak are allowed with the permission from the Forest and Wildlife authorities at Eravikulam.

Mattupetty: It is located about 13 km from Munnar Town, at a height of 1700 m above sea level, it is known for its storage masonry dam and the beautiful lake, which offers boat rides, can enjoy the surrounding hills and landscape. Mattupetty is famous for the dairy farm run by the Indo-Swiss Livestock Project, where one would come across different high yielding breeds of cows.

Pallivasal: It is located at about 3 km from Chithirapuram in Munnar is the venue of the first Hydroelectric project in Kerala and is favoured by visitors as a picnic spot.

Chinnakanal & Anayirangal: Chinnakanal waterfalls are popularly known as Power House Waterfalls, which cascades down a steep rock 2000 m above sea level. The spot is enriched with the scenic view of the Western Ghat ranges. Anayirangal, which is 22 km from Munnar, is a lush green carpet of tea plants. Anayirangal dam is surrounded by tea plantations and evergreen forests.

Top Station: This is about 32 km from Munnar is at a height of 1700 m above sea level. Travellers to Munnar make it a point to visit Top Station to enjoy the panoramic view it offers of the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu.

Tea Museum: Munnar has a legacy of its own regarding the origin and evolution of tea plantations. To preserve and showcase some of the exquisite and interesting aspects of the genesis and growth of tea plantations in Kerala's high ranges, a museum exclusively for tea was opened by Tata Tea in Munnar. This Tea Museum houses curios, photographs and machineries.

People who would like to shop for natural products, this destination is a heaven. You can buy various spices like ginger, cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, coffee, clove, nutmeg etc. You can get homemade chocolates. Just enjoy the white, dark, liqueur filled chocolates with nuts. You can also have an elephant safari which takes you through the misty forests, deep valleys and the rugged hill paths of the Munnar forests. The  features of this package are, elephant bath, elephant shower, elephant feeding, timber dragging demonstrations and displays of elephant commands and communication. Munnar is also known for year round destination to indulge in learning experience of holistic lifestyle with traditional form of Yoga and organic way of dining. You can also have an Ayurvedic oil bath and massages to rejuvenate your body.

By Premji

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