The moment roads start climbing upwards with sharp curves, the only colours you can see are green of the tea leaves and blue of the sky. Patches of white clouds dot the expansive view making you think if it were all a gigantic masterpiece by a godly painter.
Mist engulfs the top of mountains as if keeping in secrecy the best that Munnar has to offer.
The name Munnar comes from the three (moonu) rivers (aaru) Madupetti, Nallathanni and Periavaru which flow through this town. There is much written about the Neelakurinji, wild orchids in violet, but to actually be there at the time it blooms is something that words or photographs can't explain.
Abode of the British during summers, Munnar has a close understanding of western ideologies and still holds that old world English charm to some extent but strong local cultures defines the lifestyle of the people here.
At an approximate height of 1500 metres above sea level, Munnar is home to around 60, 000 people. There is much to see, do and feel in and around Munnar and the more you spend time, the less you feel you have experienced this majestic hill station.
Places to visit
There is no doubt that the landscapes of Munnar are capable of fascinating anyone, but there are many more attractive places situated close by that are not to be missed if you happen to visit Munnar.
Eravikulam National Park (15 km from Munnar)
The 97 sq. km. park is situated in the Devikulam Taluk and is home to the Nilgiri Tahr. The Anamudi peak (2695 Mts) is located in the Southern region of the park.
Originally established to protect the Nilgiri tahr (Nilgiri Ibex), the Eravikulam National Park is situated in the Devikulam Taluk of the Idukki District. It was declared as a sanctuary in 1975. Considering the ecological, faunal, floral, geo-morphological and zoological significance, it was declared as a National park in 1978. It covers an area of 97 sq kms of rolling grasslands and high level sholas (evergreen forests). The park is breathtakingly beautiful and is easily comparable to the best mountain ranges found anywhere in the world.
Mattupetty Dam ( 13 km from Munnar
Situated at a height of 1700 m, Mattupetty is known for its highly specialised dairy farm-the Indo Swiss Livestock Project. Over a 100 varieties of high-yielding cattle are reared here. Visitors are allowed into 3 of the 11 cattle sheds at the farm. Visiting time: 0900-1100 hrs and 1400-1530 hrs. Rate Rs.5 per head. Telephone:0486-530389. The Mattupetty lake and dam, just a short distance from the farm, is a very beautiful picnic spot.The sprawling Kundala tea plantations and the Kundala lake are other attractions in the vicinity. DTPC Idukki provides boating facilities on the Mattupetty Dam.Speed launch and motorboats are available on hire.
Devikulam (7 km from Munnar)
This idyllic hill station with its velvet lawns, exotic flora and fauna and the cool mountain air is a rare experience. The Sita Devi Lake with its mineral waters and picturesque surroundings is a good picnic spot. The lake is also ideal for trout fishing.
It is about 40 km from Munnar and it is 1,880 meters above sea level. The panoramic view of the Western Ghats and the valley of Theni from Top station is simply breathtaking. Top station got this name from it‘ s being the uppermost located railway station on the Kundala Valley Railway.
Nyayamakad (10 km from Munnar)
Located between Munnar and Rajamala, Nyayamakad is a land of breathtaking waterfalls. The waters cascade down a hill from a height of about 1600 meters. The enchanting surroundings makes an excellent picnic spot and trekking point.
Marayoor (40 km from Munnar)
This is the only place in Kerala that has a natural growth of sandalwood trees. The sandalwood factory of the forest department, the caves(muniyaras) with the murals and relics from the New stone age civilization and the children's park spread across a hectare of land under the canopy of a single banyan tree, are of great interest to tourists. Thoovanam waterfalls and Rajiv Gandhi National Park are also nearby.