The name Munnar (which means 'Three Rivers' in Tamil) is derived from its location at the confluence of three mountain streams - Kundala, Mudrapuzha and Nallathanni. Munnar was once a summer resort for the British government in South India. Tucked into the Western Ghats, surrounded by tea and spice plantations, soaked in atmosphere, Munnar is heart-stopping beautiful. Munnar is also known as the Kashmir of South India. The main cultivation crops in Munnar are Tea and Coffee. The specialities of Munnar are jungle honey, strawberries, tea and most rare flower Neela Kurunji which blooms once in a 12 years. The Munnar hills are covered by tea plantations which look like a wide green carpet. It`s the place you would love to visit. and wish never to leave. The town retains its colonial British character with neat bungalows, cottages,gardens filled with flowers and the smell of fresh spices, tea and roasting coffee beans that hangs heavy in the air.
Munnar Quick facts
Munnar Geography and Climate
The climate in Munnar is basically cool, partly because of the altitude and green ambience and partly due to the very heavy monsoons from June to September.
Best time to visit Munnar
The best time to visit Munnar is between the months of October to March. Travellers must avoid the monsoon season while visiting Munnar.
Munnar isknown as the Kashmir of South India. The tea plantations in Munnar are a result of the British government's discovey the possibility to grow tea in the pleasant climate of Munnar. There are many varieties of plants grown in the forests and plantations of Munnar, which have medicinal properties. These plants are collected by practitioners of Ayurveda, the traditional system of Medicine in Kerala and their extracts are added to the oils used in Ayurvedic massage therapy. Munnar is the best known of Kerala's hill stations. You can see the scenic attractions of Munnar ,on your Kerala tours with the Backwaters of Kerala.
Munnar Near Getaways
Neriamangalam Periyar Bridge: This Links Ernakulam and Idukki districts. 70 km from Kochi and 60 km to Munnar on Kochi - Madurai NH 49. It was inaugurated by Sree Chithira thirunal Maharaja of Travancore on March 02, 1935.
Set at an altitude of 6000 ft in Idukki district. 1600 m to 1800 m above sea level Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha,Nallathani and Kundala.
All major cities in Kerala are well connected with different parts of India through a good network of roads. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and various private bus services connect all the big and small cities inside Kerala.
How to reach Munnar by Rail
Nearest Railway Station is Ernakulam Railway Station (4 hours from Munnar). Aluva (ALWAYE) or Ankamaly Railway Stations are the nearest stops to get down to go to Munnar.
Festivals of Munnar are the occasions of mirth and excitement. Attukal Pongala, Thrissur Pooram Festival, Nehru Trophy Boat Race, Onam are few of the popular celebrations.
Attukal Pongala (February): Is the one and the only temple festival in the world where women assemble together to make offerings by cooking a pudding for the goddess in the Attukal temple. It is taken home after the chief priest of the temple will come and sprinkle the holy water and will shower the flowers.
The Pongala Festival: It is celebrated during the Malayalam month 'Kumbha' ( Feb-March) in the Makam Nakshathram. The ten-day long celebration commences in the Malayalam month of Makaram-Kumbham (Feb - March) on the Karthika Nakshathram.
The local people here speak Malayalam, which is also the official language of Kerala, whereas the second language is Tamil. T-Shirts, Woolen clothes are ideal dresses to wear in Munnar.
Munnar Religious Places
The Christ Church: It Is an important place to visit in Munnar. This Christ church of Munnar is divine even today. It was built by the British tea planters in 1910. This church is known for its stain glass windows. It has a number of brass plaques in memory of the tea planters. It looks magnificent with stain glass windows and is very beautiful amidst the thronging natural beauty. The sanctity of the Christ church is unspoiled as it is far away from the busy city life and visitors love to admire the church and its peaceful atmosphere.
Attukal Bhagavathy Temple: This Temple is located at Attukal, 2 km away from the city. 'Pongala' is the favourite offering to Attukal Bhagavathy. This temple is considered as the Sabarimala of the Women. The Goddess is worshipped here as the Supreme Mother. The pilgrims who visit the Sri Padmanabha Swami Temple also visit Attukalamma without which their pilgrimage is not considered as complete. The Pongala festival is celebrated during the Malayalam month 'Kumbha' ( Feb-March) in the 'Makam Nakshathram'. The ten-day long celebration commences in the Malayalam month of Makaram-Kumbham (Feb - March) on the 'Karthika Nakshathram'. The temple structure is a blend of Kerala and Tamil styles of architecture. There are beautiful carved figures of Mahishasuramarddini, Goddess Kali, Rajarajeswari, Sree Parvathy with Lord Paramasiva and various other depictions of the Goddess in and around the temple.
Marayoor (42 km): The relics and remnants of a new stone-age culture (caves, paintings and under ground tunnels) and places connected with the legendary wanderings of 'Rama and Sita' (Ramayana) and the 'Pandavas' (the Mahabharata) make this place important historically and archaeologically. The largest concentration of high-quality natural sandal wood trees and a sandal wood factory are the present day attractions.
Trekking spots in Munnar are Anamudi, Rajamala, Meesapulimala, Top Station, Kundala, Devikulam.
Anaimudi Peak (Adventure sports) : This is the highest peak in south India. You can have wonderful views from this peak, which are in a way is a breathtaking holiday experience. This peak is a hub for various adventure sports like trekking, rock climbing and camping.
Rajamala: It is the natural habitat for the wild animals in Nilgiri Tahr. It is a best place for one to relax and refresh oneself. It is situated approximately 15 km from Munnar.
Youngsters can party at pubs and clubs with music and dance. Evening walk near the beaches gives is very relaxing.
Kidding around Munnar
Eravikulam National Park: This place is best suited for children to visit and see various birds, animals etc.
Munnar is famous for tea. Tourists may buy it straight from the numerous tea estates or from the various shops in Munnar. Visit Kumily spice market to see and buy spices. Visit a factory and they will be all the more glad to give you free samples of their spices and tea leaves. You can always shop for small handicrafts and other knick-knacks that are easily available in the roadside shacks.
Marayoor (42 km): The largest concentration of high-quality natural sandal wood trees and a sandal wood factory are the present day attractions.
Famous To Eat at Munnar
South Indian and North Indian food is served in most of the restaurants. Gurus is a famous restaurant in Munnar which will serve you with authentic South Indian snacks. So if you have some idle hours , drop in this restaurant in Munnar to have some coffee with snacks.
Munnar Museum and Hill Stations
Munnar is the best known of Kerala's hill stations. You can see the scenic attractions of Munnar on your Kerala tours.
Anaimudi Peak: It is the highest peak in South India, which is one of the major tourist attractions in Munnar. It is the best place for trekking with a height of 2600 m. The view of the nature from this point is said to be everlasting.
Devikulam Hill Station: 7 km from Munnar This hill station with carpeted lawns, exotic flora and misty air is a fascinating experience. Tea Museum Munnar : Tata Tea has opened the tea museum at Munnar. It showcases and highlights some of the fine and fascinating aspects on the evolution and growth of tea plantations in this part of Kerala. The tea museum houses photographs, curios and machineries. Each of them depicts a turning point in the flourishing tea industry in the region. The museum, set up at the Nallathanni Estate of Tata Tea in Munnar, is truly a tribute to the hard work of the pioneers and leaders in this field.
Gardens and Parks at Munnar
Among the plants found in Munnar is the Neelkurinji, which blossoms once every 12 years. It is the blue blossoms of the Neelkurinji plant that give the Nilgiri Hills or the Blue Hills their name due to their distinctive color.
Eravikulam National Park : It is located in Idukki District, Kerala. Nearest town is Munnar (15 km). Main attraction is Nilgiri Tahr situated in the Devikulam Taluk of the Idukki District. The 97 sq km park lies along the high ranges of the western coast in the Munnar Forest Division of Idukki district in Kerala. It lures the travellers with its irresistible grace and beauty. This park was established to protect the Nilgiri Tahr also known as the Nilgiri Ibex. The Rajamala is the natural habitat of this rare mountain goat. Half the world population of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr (Hemitragas Hylocres) lives here. Besides the Nilgiri Tahr other important fauna are elephant, leopard, tiger, malabar civet,sambar,barking deer, nilgai, langur, phyhon etc. The birds found are imperial pigeon, grey jungle fowl etc. It was declared as a sanctuary in 1975. it was declared as a National Park in 1978.
Lake at Munnar
There are many waterfalls, lakes and streams among the green hill slopes and valleys of the Western Ghats in Munnar, Kerala, India. Three mountain rivers the Kundala, Nallathanni and Mudrapuzha come together at Munnar.
Attukal Waterfalls (9 km): A panorama of waterfalls and rolling hills, Attukal, located between Munnar and Pallivasal, is a feast for the eyes. The place is also ideal for long treks.
The Sita Devi Lake: The Sita Devi Lake, located in Devikulam Hill Station which is 7 km from Munnar, is a good picnic spot with its mineral water and picturesque environs. The lake is also ideal for fishing.