Munnar – The Tea Garden of South India
Munnar is the go-to place for a chill weekend or vacation, for most of the people from South India – and there is ample reason as to why. A drowsy little hill station nestled amongst the mountains of the Western Ghats, Munnar is one of the most-visited tourist destinations in India.
Munnar is a town located in the Idukki district of Kerala, It is around 120 km away from Kochi, 284 km from Trivandrum and 150 km from the Tamil Nadu city of Madurai. The town itself is located at an altitude of between 5000 to 8000 feet, so the climate is cold, as one would expect. This makes it the ideal destination for a relaxing weekend away from the hustle and bustle of urban life – getting there is easy with one of the reliable and affordable Kochi to Munnar cab services.
The Peculiarities of Munnar
The town was the summer destination of many officers during the British rule, so it has become ever more charming with some great Victorian architecture still in display among the bungalows and farmhouses. Munnar is different from most of the other South Indian hill stations in one more aspect – the tea plantations.
The altitude and the climate make the hills of Munnar the best place in the region to cultivate its most famous crop – tea. Even on the road while getting to Munnar, you are sure to pass through expansive tea plantations on either side of you. You can also visit tea factories in the area, and taste firsthand why the Munnar tea is so highly rated.
Munnar is also home to a floral rarity, called the Neelakurinji. Once every twelve years, the hillsides of Munnar turn to a hue of bluish-purple because of the extensive bloom of this flower. The next year of blooming of the Kurinji is 2018 – and it is a sight to revel in.
Munnar is also a trekker’s paradise, with various trekking trails to suit any visitor. If you are an amateur, there are many soft trails which will lead you to some amazing viewpoints. Else, there are winding trails which take you through plantations, forests and waterfalls to the summit of some of the peaks nearby.
Anamudi, the highest peak of South India is also located in Munnar. Anamudi stands at an altitude of 2965 metres, and there are many trekking trails which can take you to the top.
Places to see in Munnar
Munnar has a range of places to visit and revel in, from waterfalls to national parks. Some of the most visited sights in Munnar include the Mattupetty Dam, Anamudi peak, Devikulam, Top Station, Kundala Lake and the Attukal Waterfalls. You can also visit the Kannan Devan tea factory, to see how the leaves are processed and made into the packet form. If you are a wildlife aficionado, the Eravikulam National Park nearby is home to a range of flora and fauna including the Nilgiri Tahr, Giant Squirrel, Tiger, Leopard and Sambhar.
You can get to Munnar in less than 6 hours if you hire a Savaari cab in Cochin – so start packing, and have that chill weekend you deserve!