Munnar, Kerala - Pankaj Tours & Travels, India
Destinations - Munnar

Munnar is Kerala's premium hill station. A hill station transcending excellence – Munnar is surrounded by gently undulating hills swathed in the soothing green of vast tea estates makes it perfect tourist destination in south India. Situated at an altitude of 1600 m above sea level, its bracing climate with the laidback atmosphere and its delightfully refreshing colonial air makes it the most sought-after destinations.

Munnar was once a sleepy little hamlet, until Scottish planters discovered it. Later the British who ruled India, developed it more into one of southern India's most important centers for the cultivation of tea, coffee and spices. They made it their summer hideout because of the cooler climate and the mesmerizing mountain scenery.

Rajamala

The natural habitat of the Niligiri tahr , Rajamala is 2695 m above sea level. Half the world's population of the rare mountain goat or tahr which is fast becoming extinct, is now found here.The Nilgiri tahr in Rajamalai are now to be found in small herds found in Eravikulam-Rajamala region. The total number of Niligiri Tahrs in Rajamala is estimated to be over 1300. Visiting Time : 0700 - 1800 hrs. Visitors are not allowed during the monsoon. Entry Pass : Rs. 10 for adults, Rs. 5 for children below 12 years, Rs. 50 for foreigners. Permitting Authority : Wild Life DFO, Munnar.

Eravikulam National Park

Eravikulam is one of Kerala's finest wildlife reserves, and its excellent location, a mere 16 km from Munnar, makes it an unforgettable experience for any lover of the outdoors. The park, a spread of 97 km across Rajamalai Hills, is a combination of grassland and shola forests. 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.

The main body of the National Park is a high rolling plateau with a base elevation of about 2000 mts. Most of the knolls and peaks rise 100-300 mts. above it with some mountains reaching altitudes of over 2500mts. The highest peak is Anaimudi(2690mts). The vast grasslands interspread with sholas (patches of stunted evergreen forests) are the last remnats of the unique ecosystem that was once prevalant in the upper reaches of the Western Ghats. The park is criss-crossed by perennial streams that originate in the sholas. The park is devided into 3 regions - the core area, the buffer area and the tourism area. Visitors are allowed only to the tourism area which is in the Rajamala region. The Nilgiri Tahr can be observed at close quarters here. Trekking facilities are available here. Tourists are allowed to go on foot up to Anamudi. This is also a place for adventure tourism.

The climate is described as tropical montane. The Park experiences very heavy rainfall. It recieves its major precipitation during the south-west monsoons (June-August). The average annual rainfall is about 3000mm. January-March are relatively dry months. In winter, the temprature goes down even below freezing point.

Anayirangal

It's a lush green carpet of tea plants. A trip on the splendid reservoir is an unforgettable experience. The Anayirangal dam is surrounded by Tata Tea plantations and evergreen forests. It is an ideal picnic spot.

Nyayamakad

Nyayamakad, 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.

Power House Waterfalls

The waterfall on the way to Thekkady from Munnar cascades down a steep rock 2000 m above sea level. The spot is enriched with the scenic Western mountain ranges, and is an ideal place for a break on the way to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady.

Anamudi Peak

Anamudi Peak inside Eravikulam National Park is the highest peak (2695 m) in peninsular India. It towers over the sanctuary in majestic pride. The hill is abundant in all kinds of rare flora and fauna. It is best know for the endangered Nilgiri tahr (hemitragus hylocrious) although it does harbour a number of other equally interesting denizens - such as Atlas moth (the largest of its kind in the world), Nilgiri langurs, lion-tailed macaques, leopards and tigers.

An ideal place for trekking, facilities are provided here and tourists are allowed to go on foot up to Anamudi.

Mattupetty

Famous for its Indo-Swiss livestock project, Mattupetty is situated at a height of 1700 m and is just 13 km from Munnar. There are over 100 varieties of high yielding cattle at the specialized dairy farm and visitors are allowed into three of the eleven cattle sheds at the farm. The Mattupetty Lake and Dam, just a short distance from the farm, is a very beautiful picnic spot. Nearby is the Kundala tea plantations and the Kundala Lake, both tourist attractions. Boating facilities on the Mattupetty Dam on speed launches and slow speed motor boats are available.

Mattupetty Dam, near Munnar in Idukki District, is a storage masonry dam built in the mountains of Kerala, India to conserve water for hydroelectricity. It has been a vital sources of power, yielding along with other such dams, huge revenue to the states. The large amount of perennially available water allows wild animals and birds to flourish. The sprawling Kundala tea plantations and the Kundala lake are other attractions in the vicinity. Speed Launch and slow speed motor boats are available on the Mattupetty Dam.

Pallivasal

Pallivasal is the first Hydro electric project in Munnar. It is a bewitching place that makes a good spot to spend a quiet evening by the side of natural lake. Photography is strictly prohibited at the station. It is a place of immense scenic beauty and is often favoured by visitors as a picnic spot.

Chinnakanal

Chinnakanal is a beautiful village in Idukki District of Kerala. It is about 20 km from Munnar. Near the town of Munnar is Chinnakanal and the waterfalls here, popularly known as Power House Waterfalls, cascade down a steep rock 2000 m above sea level. The spot is enriched with the scenic view of the Western Ghat ranges.

Top Station

Top Station, which is about 32 km from Munnar is at a height of 1700 m above sea level. It is the highest point on the Munnar-Kodaikanal road. Travellers to Munnar make it a point to visit Top Station to enjoy the panoramic view it offers of the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the spots in Munnar to enjoy the Neelakurunji flowers blooming over a vast area.


Chithirapuram

With its sleepy little cottages, bungalows, old playgrounds and courts, Chithirapuram still exudes an old world charm. Home of the Pallyvasal Hydel Power Project, this hill town is also famous for its picturesque tea plantations. This place is 10kms away from Munnar.


Tea Museum

Munnar has a legacy of its own when to comes to the origins and evolution of tea plantations. Taking account of this legacy and to preserve and showcase some of the exquisite and interesting aspects on the genesis and growth of tea plantations in Kerala's high ranges, a museum exclusively for tea was opened some years ago by Tata Tea in Munnar. This Tea Museum houses curios, photographs and machineries; all of which have a story to tell on the origins and growth of tea plantation in Munnar. The museum is located at the Nallathanni Estate of Tata Tea in Munnar and is worth a visit.


Marayoor

Marayoor is the only place in Kerala that has natural sandalwood forests. Ancient dolmens and rock paintings in Marayoor date back to the Stone Age.

Ezhuthu Guha rock paintings are sited in the Koodakavu Sandalwood Reserve Forest at Marayoor in the Marayoor Panchayat at an elevation of 1000 meters above mean sea level. More or less 90 painted motifs can be seen here. However, as the place is the most famous rock art site in Kerala, it attracts a large number of visitors and has been extensively vandalized since it was brought to wide public attention. 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.

The climate in Marayoor is characterized by mild wet winters and hot dry summers. Generally Marayoor experience a moderate climate, temperatures varying 21 °C to 27 °C with minimum seasonal variation except in winter.

Gallery