When three mountain streams conspire to make you hold your breath on the road uphill in God’s Own Country, there is definitely a dream destination ahead. Located at an altitude of 5,200 ft above sea level, in the Idukki district of Kerala, Munnar offers an ideal getaway.
Wondering what’s the best time to visit Munnar? This hill station was once the summer retreat of the British, but it offers pleasant climate all through the year. Munnar Honeymoon packages are quite the rage during the cozy winters, while the monsoons offer solitude and the music of rains at the hillside home stays and cottages. You will cherish your stay at Munnar Tea County, and its fresh air will be one of your best memories much after you bid adieu to the place.
Here’s our pick of the places to visit in Munnar:
Located at an altitude of 1700 m above sea level, at 13 km from Munnar, Mattuppetty houses a unique Indo-Swiss Farm with over 100 varieties of high-yielding cattle, expansive grasslands and landscaped gardens.
Not too far away, there’s the Mattuppetty Lake and Dam, where there’s a boating experience to savor and the Rose Garden which is known for its shutterbug vistas.
You don’t need to go all the way to Kashmir for a ‘shikara’ ride. Head to Kundala Lake, around which the hills soar to the sky and the forests are thick and secretive; this is about 27 km from Munnar. The Kundala Dam – built in 1946 for Pallivasal Hydro Electric Project – is the world’s second and Asia’s first arch dam. The golf course ground and the tea plantations in the neighborhood are must-see additions to your list.
Rajamalai National Park
Rajamalai National Park
Want to spot the Nilgiri Tahr? These highly-endangered species of mountain goats are found in abundance at the Rajamalai National Park, also known as Eravikulam National Park. Located 15 km from Munnar, the national park spreads over 97 sq km, houses Anamudi (the highest peak in South India) and is home to several protected species of flora and fauna.
To feast your eyes on the Nilakurinji plants(a shrub that flowers once in 12 years), drive for about 41 km from Munnar town to the highest point on the Munnar-Kodaikanal road. The next bloom of bright blue flowers is expected in 2018. But there’s always the panorama of the tea gardens, verdant forests, and misty valleys.
Legend has it that Sita (of the Ramayana epic), once spent time at this picturesque lake, in the tranquil hills near Munnar. That’s how it came to be known as Devikulam (the Lake of the Goddess). It’s a popular tourist hub now and known for trout fishing.
Nothing spells romance like fantastic waterfalls against the backdrop of rolling hills. About nine km from Munnar town, there’s a slice of heaven called Attukad which can be reached only by crossing a wooden bridge through a dark and green jungle. A touch of the cool, refreshing Attukad Waterfalls is enough to revive a weary traveler. It’s also a popular trekking route and picnic spot.
Elephant Lake Anayirangaldam
It’s the perfect wow moment. Do take out your cameras! Here you get to watch herds of wild tuskers quenching their thirst at a lake! The Elephant Lake at Anayirangal Dam is a lush green carpet of tea plants about 22 km from Munnar. This is a picnic spot with great views of the wilderness. But do remember to maintain a safe distance from the animals.