Munnar - Hillstation
Munnar with its impeccable beauty is the most famous holiday destination in South India. In the green and serene Kannan Devan Hills lies the quiet and restful resort of Munnar. Munnar is located in the Idukki district in Kerala. Munnar, the queen of hill stations is located at the confluence of three mountain streams namely, Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Munnar is located about 6,500 feet above the sea level along the western ghats on the eastern border of Kerala. Sprawling tea plantations, picture-book towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities make this a popular resort town.
There are various tropical plantations of tea, coffee, cardamom and other spices, dense forests and wildlife sanctuaries full with various types of flora and fauna. The major wildlife animals which are found in Munnar are the Nilgiri Tahrs (Mountain Goats), Langurs and Elephants. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here, is the Neelakurinji. This flower which bathes the hills in blue every twelve years, will bloom next in 2006 AD.
Rose Garden is a popular destination located in Mattuppetty which is about 2km away from munnar town in mattupetty road, different varieties of roses and flowering plants can be found. Rose Garden, besides being a feast to the eye, also is a place for bird watching and trekking. Different varieties of birds can be spotted here. Tourists also visit the rivulets and waterfalls in and around Mattuppetty while paying a visit to Rose Garden.
Mattupetty (the Cattle Village) is a small town which has become a popular picnic spot among tourists visiting Munnar. Mattupetty is located at an altitude of about 1700 m above sea level, at a distance of 13 km from Munnar. Mattupetty is famous for its Indo – Swiss Farm. The Indo – Swiss Livestock Project, which was formulated around 1963, was set in Munnar in collaboration with Swiss Government.
Situated on a hillock in Old Munnar is a CSI Church, which was established in 1910. It is a black basalt building with an attractive bell tower. Similarly the interiors are impressive with wooden carvings and magnificent paintings. It is famous because of the 14 rows of rosewood pews and certain antique chandeliers. An interesting thing about this church is that the cemetery here was established in 1899, before the church formed. The first person to be buried in the cemetery was Ileanor Knight, the wife of Henry Knight, one of the General Managers of Kannan Devan Company.
Eravikulam national park
Eravikulam national park is a lovely green paradise high up in the hills, home to the rare mountain goat ‘Nilgiri Tahr’. Eravikulam National Park is 8km from Munnar town(5 miles) above 5000 feet. Anaimudi, the highest peak in South India at a height of 2695 meters (8983 feet) lies in the Eravikulam National Park. Interestingly, half the world population of the rare Nilgiri Tahr is concentrated in this region. The sanctuary is a steep hike up a winding trail where you could spot small herds of this exotic mountain goat grazing with gay abandon.
Chinnar Wildlife sanctuary
The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the rain shadow region of Western Ghats of Kerala, India., and represents a large number of plants and animals unique to the thorny vegetation. Apart from the dry thorn forests, due to the significant variation in altitude and rainfall, it has a wide array of habitat types like deciduous forests, dry thorny forest, riparian types, sholas and grasslands that are interspersed with plains, hillocks, rocks and cliffs which provide microhabitats for varied forms of life.
Echo point (Palar)
Echo point is situated 15km away from Munnar and is an admirable adventure destination for the tourists. Some of the popular activities in this picturesque destination among the explicit views of the lush green hills are trekking and nature walks.
An appropriate place to disembark for some time, shriek and scream and enjoy the pleasure of your voice coming back. This is best enjoyed by the youngsters.
The highest peak (2695 m) south of the Himalayas, towers over the sanctuary in majestic pride. The slopes of the hills abound in all kinds of rare flora and fauna. The Atlas moth, the largest of its kind in the world, is a unique inhabitant of the park. Other rare species of fauna found here are the Nilgiri Langur, the lion-tailed macaque, leopards, tigers, etc.
An ideal place for trekking, facilities are provided here and tourists are allowed to go on foot up to Anamudi.
A protected area, the sanctuary is divided into three regions – the core area, the buffer area and the tourism area. Visitors are allowed only to the tourism area – Rajamalai – the region lying beyond the road entry into Eravikulam. Here one can observe the Nilgiri Tahr at close quarters.
Things to do in MunnarThe tourists can do various things in Munnar like Forest trekking, Camping, Angling, Plantation tours, Visit to a Tea Factory, Golf, Cycling and Boating.
How to reach MunnarBy Air: The nearest airports are located at Cochin and Madurai which are about 120 kms and 190 kms respectively.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is located at Madurai which is about 136 kms and at Kottayam which is about 114 kms.
By Road: Munnar is connected to various cities like Madurai, Cochin, Kottayam, Kozhikode, Trivandrum, Chennai and various other cities of South India and Kerala.