Munnar is located on the Western Ghats in the state of God’s own country, Kerala and is famous for its greenery and tea gardens. Hills, valleys, waterfalls, wildlife and rivers, Munnar has something for everyone. Munnar used to be the summer resort for the elite during the British rule. It is also a famous honeymoon spot for newlyweds with its breathtaking gorgeous
Best time to visit:
The best time to visit this place is between March and May. It is the perfect time to escape the hot summers and chill in the beautiful aura of nature with tea plantations surrounding you all around. Monsoon is from July-September and this is the time when the hotels and resorts are cheaper. If you are planning a romantic getaway then you sure can plan a trip during this time.
Ways to reach Munnar:
- By air - Cochin is the nearest airport which takes around an hour by flight. Other airports close by are Madurai, Chennai, Bangalore, which are other international airports.
- By train - The nearest railway station is at Aluva, which is close to 100 km from Munnar. Ernakulam and Madurai railway stations are also close by and you can take a cab or bus from here to Munnar.
- By bus - State-run buses ply frequently from all major cities. There are ac, and non-ac buses and semi, Volvo and sleeper styled buses.
- By road - Roads to Munnar are quite good and it makes a good road trip experience as well. Madurai to Munnar and Coimbatore to Munnar is a 6-hour long drive and Thiruvananthapuram to Munnar is a 9hr long drive. There will be views of plantations, hills and valleys, adding up to a memorable trip altogether. The ascent on the hills can get a little nauseous, so plan accordingly.
Places to stay:
- Munnar Tea Country Resort: This is a beautiful resort located around 10 km away from the main city. It offers a very hospitable experience and costs around 5000 per night. It is a good option if you want to splurge on your honeymoon.
- Munnar Minds Homestay: This is a budget option which costs around 1500 per night and is close to the tea museum. Basic amenities are provided here with good service.
- Mistletoe Homestay and Café: This is yet another hotel which is on the expensive side but is totally worth every penny that you spend. From outside grill and barbeque to the children’s park and swimming pool, this hotel has got them all. If you are looking to have an enjoyable stay then you should definitely consider this.
- Chandy’s Windy Woods: Chandy’s is famous among the tourists for its swimming pool, spa and wellness/ recreational centre. The hotel’s architecture is superb and lights up the whole surroundings at night. The average cost per night is close to 8000 per night.
- Joe Paul’s farm Stay- This is yet another budget-friendly option which would cost you only 2000 per night. The hotel is built in the middle of a farm and gives you the village cottage kind of experience. There are farm animals around as well which are quite friendly with kids.
Places to visit:
- Rajamalai National Park- Also known as Eravikulam National Park, this national park is the abode to some most rare and almost endangered species like the Nilgiri Tahr. Spread over a 97 sq km lush green area, Rajamalai National Park is built over Anamudi, the highest peak of South India.
- Devikulam- This Lake is a beauty that can’t be expressed in words. It is known for its tranquillity and fishing trout fish. Tourists can rent a boat and fish for half hour. It is believed that goddess Sita once spent some time here and is thus seen as a pious place.
- Elephant Lake at Anayirangaldam- An elephant lake is a great place for a laid back afternoon. You can just spend the time watching the elephants just wallow in the pond and splash water. The cool breeze and the fauna is sure to etch a mark in your heart forever.
- Top Station- This is a 44 km ride from the main city, but a must go place if you are planning a trip to Munnar. You will for sure fall in love with this place and it’ll be very hard to get away from its heavenly beauty. The feast to eyes are also the nilkurunji flowers that bloom only once in every 12 years.
- Kundala Dam Lake- Kundala dam lake was made to serve hydroelectricity to the nearby areas. This lake offers boat rides aka shikara rides, where the boats are decorated immaculately with flowers and tents. There’s also a goal course where you can go golfing. It is also Asia’s first arch dam.
- Kollukkumallay Tea Estate- For all the chai lovers, this place is your niche. This estate has bountiful tea gardens where you can pick leaves or just enjoy the aroma. The sunrises and sunsets are also quite picturesque here.
- Attukal Waterfalls- To enjoy a serene evening, one can head to the attukal waterfalls. The sound of the water falling and hitting the rocks, the smell of damp mud, the cool breeze and the cold water tickling your feet are sure to soothe your soul. You can even go trekking to the top of the falls and get a mesmerizing view from there.
- Onam – Onam is the biggest festival celebrated here. This festival is celebrated in September to mark the end of the monsoon period and beginning of the harvest festival. A lot of zeal and fervour is seen around the city with colourful flower arrangements. Key things to look out for are the tiger dance, boat races and the sadya (complete) meal. Sadya is a whole meal consisting of a lot of curries which are eaten with rice and then payasam (sweet dish) at the end. The curries will cover a multitude of tastes ranging from sour, spicy, sweet to bitter and tangy.
- Attukal Pongala- This is a festival celebrated mostly in Thiruvananthapuram, where goddess Bhagvati is worshipped, but it is also celebrated in Munnar. This festival is only celebrated by the women where they line up in the streets of the city and each one prepares a payasam, consisting of milk, rice, coconut and jaggery, in a pot.
- Thrissur Pooram Festival- Mostly held in Thrissur city at the Vadakkunnathan Temple, this festival marks the auspicious Pooram day, when the moon rises with the Pooram star.
Some must-try food items are-
- Parippu curry- It is a kind of dal which is make with special spices which add a very special flavour to the dish.
- Puttu with Kadala- Puttu is a breakfast dish made out of rice flour, water and salt. It is made in cylindrical shaped stencil and is eaten with any curry, the famous being kadala (spicy chick pea curry)
- Idiyappam- It is the most healthy and fulfilling breakfast that you can have. Idiyappam consists of thin strands made out of rice flour which are steamed in the shape of an idli. It is eaten with an egg curry on the side mostly.
- Malabar Biryani- Known for its aroma and exotic taste, malarbar biryani includes boiled egg, curd, pickle and salsa in it.
- Banana chips- When in Kerala you cannot dare to forget the world famous banana chips. Keep them in your purse and snack all day.
Shopping is fun in Munnar because there are markets all around and you can buy anything, anywhere. Some must buy items are handpicked tea leaves, coffee beans, spices (like cardamom, clove), Kerala silk saree, Veshti (white lungi for men), and traditional handcrafts made with the cane.
A few of the shopping markets are-
- Johnson’s wood craft
- Misha Jn Munnar
- Government run handloom shops
- Deeja Gift House
- Abbas and Co. Tea merchants
- Buy some authentic tea and homemade chocolates to take home
- Enjoy all adventure sports like fishing, trekking, camping and boat riding.
- Have ola and uber apps installed on your smartphones because they come very handy since most of the travelling here would be by cab.
- Don’t forget to walk on clouds at some trek points of the hills here.
- Enjoy eating in banana leaves and eat the small, sour variety of banana, which you won’t get anywhere else, at the end of the meal.
Festival Calendar of Munnar
|Feb||1. Attukal pongal|
|May||1.Thrissur Pooram Festival|
|Aug||1.Nehru Trophy Race, 2. Onam|