Munnar is, often, presented as a one-day destination to be covered among a bouquet of Kerala destinations. However, this scenic hill station located on the Western Ghats, in Idukki district, deserves more of your time.
Given its strategic location at an altitude of 1,600 metres above sea level, there’s no dearth of vistas. To make the best of Munnar sightseeing, we recommend a five-day itinerary.
A hastywalk through the sprawling tea plantations will not do justice to the Munnar tea legacy. Visit the tea museum, originally run by Tata Tea, for some novel insights into the tea-making process. Browse through the curios, photographs and also the machinery that once made your cuppa possible.
Lookout for cascading waterfalls along the roads; not all of them may make it to the must-see list, but each of them has a distinct charm. The most popular one is, perhaps, the Valara waterfalls.
When it comes to hotels in Munnar, look for something that is closer to the tea plantations. There are Munnar resorts that cater to varied travel budgets.
Head to Eravikulam National Park, considered one of the best national parks in Kerala, for a morning trek. Keep the timings in mind please, its open from 7.30 am to 4 pm. Famous for its endangered inhabitant – the Nilgiri Tahr, the National Park (also known as Rajamalai National Park), is also home to rare species of butterflies, animals and birds.It also houses the Anamudi Peak (2700 metres), the highest peak in South India.
Once every 12 years, Munnar witnesses the flowering of Neelakurinji, a plant native to this part of the Western Ghats. The next blue carpet bloom is expected in 2018, says Munnar tourism.
The entry to the Eravikulam National Park is charged at Rs 90 for Indians, Rs 65 for children, and Rs 360 for foreign nationals.
Mattupetty Dam Lake
Go gently through your day today at the Mattupetty Dam Lake. Take your pick from the impressive fleet of speed boats, pedal boats and row boats for some fun on the serene waters.
Next, head to Echo Point, another lakeside spot that lets you play around with the echo of your voice. Close by, there’s Top Station (1700 metres), the highest point on the Munnar-Kodaikanal road, offering a panoramic view of Tamil Nadu, the neighboring state.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, counted among the most reputed wildlife sanctuaries in India, is home to 34 species of mammals, 245 bird species and about a thousand varities of flowering plants. This 90.44 sq km sanctuary also houses the endangered Grizzled Giant Squirrel.
Along with the best of Munnar Wildlife, the sanctuary is renowned for the Thoovanam waterfall. Sightseeing in Munnar is incomplete without some overwhelming yourself by the vistas from the watchtower.
Drive about 22 km from Munnar to Anayirangal Dam. Watch wild elephants at the reservoir surrounded by tea plantations, from the comfort of your car. It’s an experience like no other!
On your way back, stop at the Power House Waterfalls, also called as Chinnakanal Waterfalls. Watch the cascading effect down a rock that’s 2000 metres above sea level.
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