Munnar is known the world over for its misty tea gardens, scenic hills, paths covered with fog, and cool climate. There are also several pretty streams that gently cascade down the rocky ledges. The sights, sounds, and smells of Munnar captivate eyes as well as the mind.
Munnar got its name from the three rivers – 'aars' in Malayalam – that flow in the area. There are Muthirapuzha, Nallathanni, and Kundali. Munnar is located between the panchayats Pallivasal, Devikulam, Marayur, Mankulam, and Kuttampuzha.
The topography of Munnar became what it is now thanks to the tea gardens owned by the Tatas. However, the first tourist bungalows near Munnar town were built by the British. The CSI church and cemetery at Old Munnar were also built by them. At the highest point in this cemetery lies the tomb of a British lady named Eleanor Isabel May.
Let us take a tour of the main attractions in Munnar.
This is located on the roadside between Neriyamangalam and Adimali. The water cascades down seven levels on the rock. The waterfall is the first stop on a Munnar trip.
A hill in the Eravikulam National Park, Rajamala is the habitat if the Nilgiri tahr. The forest department conducts a safari to a distance of 4 km into the Rajamala. The trip starts from Adivaram. Another one kilometre has to be covered on foot.
There are ten hairpin bends along the route. Tickets have to be purchased to travel to Rajamala from Munnar. This trip covers 14 km.
The Chinnar trip through paths flanked by scenic tea gardens taking the Devikulam route is an interesting road trip. Along the way, boat safari is available at Anayirangal dam. Another destination on the trip is the 'viewpoint.'
The boating point for travellers to Munnar is at Mattupetty Dam. An 'echo point' near the dam provides the ideal spot to capture stunning images of the landscape. The place is about 15 km from Munnar.
This is the second dam that can be encountered on the route to Top Station. Boat trip is available here, too. Another attraction is a garden nearby where cherry flowers bloom in abundance.
Top Station is the highest point in Munnar from where the view of rolling hills along the state border can be enjoyed the best. Near the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border a restaurant awaits travellers. Top Station is 36 km from Munnar town on the road to Kodaikanal.
Spice and tea gardens thrive on the hills of Munnar and visiting a spice plantation is an important part of Munnar visit. By taking the help of a tour guide, travellers can learn about the importance and medicinal value of each spice and plant.
All the gardens have outlets selling spice products and traditional medicines. Good quality items are available here.
Shopping at Munnar
Though Munnar is a very small town, it has many attractions drawing visitors round the year. The mist is the most important factor, but a variety of home-made chocolates and teas of different flavours available in the markets are other highlights. No traveller to Munnar leaves the place without buying at least a small packet of the local tea.