Flanked by lush green hills, Munnar has been one of the coveted holiday retreats since the erstwhile British era. The narrow winding lanes and beautiful towns, the tea gardens and mountain streams, the exotic flora and forests; make this place a heavenly retreat for everyone in South India.
Munnar is approximately 1,600 meters above sea level, and hence, boasts of salubrious climate throughout the year. People consider this hilly abode to be an ideal refuge after toiling in hot, and humid coastal plains of Kerala. Udumalaipettai is the nearest railway station to reach this place. International tourists could land at Cochin International Airport, and book cabs to visit these lovely hills.
Here are some of the places to visit in Munnar:
- Mattupetty Dam: The dam, which was built to conserve water, and generate hydro- electricity has become a major tourist haunt in Munnar. The beautiful lake hosts numerous water birds, and tourists also enjoy boat rides here. The adjoining lane offers an ideal stroll to those who wish to walk around the place, and enjoy the scenic views. Also, there are lovely picnic spots nearby for those who wish to spend the day here.
- Anamudi Peak: This is the highest peak in South India, and proudly stands inside Eravikulam National park. Tourists need permits from the Forest and Wildlife authorities to go trekking up the slopes. The misty peak is covered with rich forests, which serves as home for certain rare species.
- Echo Point: This is an adventurous destination for those who love trekking. Situated at a high altitude, Echo Point offers breathtaking views of emerald glades, which cover the adjoining hills. The picturesque place has derived its name from the natural echoes which resonate along the hill sides.
- Photo Point: As the name suggests, this scenic spot is frequented by nature lovers, and photographers for clicking stunning snap shots. Nature is at its best during sunsets, and it lies on the way to Top Station and Madupetty Dam.
- Top Station: This beautiful hill top has gained popularity because of the Neelakurinji flowers, which bloom once in 12 years. Clouds engulf the peak, and add to the mystic aura of this place. Tourists hire buses, or cabs to reach here, and admire the mesmerizing beauty.
- Eravikulam National Park: The park offers splendid views of tea plantations to the visitors. It hosts the largest population of Nilgiri Thar, one of the endangered species. Certain other rare animals, birds, and butterflies also live in this wilderness. The blue hills slopes carpeted with Neelakurinji flowers surround the rich habitat, and attract tourists in hordes.
- Kolukumalai Tea Estate: This place is has become a hot spot for tourists because of being the highest tea estate in the world. The tea leaves which grow here have special aroma due to the altitude. The sprawling tea gardens, and an adjoining tea factory witness bee lines of tourists daily. Here traditional method is used for crushing the tea leaves. Visitors take the opportunity of sipping different flavors of tea at the tea center. Also, this place offers excellent views of Tamil Nadu plains.
- Lockhart Gap: The winding trails meander through dense forests along the undulating hills, and offer enticing views to the visitors. The scenic heights are flooded with orange glow in the evenings, and hence, are capable of evoking poetic fancies in prosaic hearts as well.
- Attukal Waterfalls: Monsoon is the best time to witness this cascading beauty. Cradled by green hills, it has earned popularity due to the marvellous scenic views, which complement its splendour.
- Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary: This place is simply exemplary for its rich biodiversity. The mixed deciduous forests receive rains almost 10 months every year, and you could see sambhar, spotted dear, elephants, hanuman, peacocks and so on. Adventure seekers have awesome experiences while trekking up the narrow paths.
- Lakkam Waterfalls: This is located very close to Munnar. The adjoining valley covered with red blossoms is an ideal place for photography.