After a long gap, tourists are making a beeline for Munnar during the New Year season. The hill station has been witnessing heavy rush of tourists from the beginning of Christmas holidays.
With a temperature of 14 degree Celsius at night and 22 degree Celsius in the day, the holidaymakers were seen rushing to Cheeyappara waterfalls, Rajamala 5th mile, Echo point, Mattupetty, Kundala dam and Top station.
The hospitality providers are getting many inquiries from various parts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. “Bookings were over even before Christmas season and it is still running full,” said the owners of a major campsite in Munnar. Tour operators said they were receiving a lot of calls.
Long queues were seen for boating at the lake in Mattupetty. Munnar also experienced traffic congestion during peak hours.
“We started our journey from Kochi to Munnar on a bike but when we reached Munnar, it was so crowded that it took almost an hour to get out of it,” says Akash, who visited Munnar on Sunday.
Munnar, known for its misty tea gardens, 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 main attractions in Munnar are:
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.
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.
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.
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.'
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.
How to reach
By Air: The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport, which is 110 kilometres away by road. From Cochin, you can hire a cab to get to Munnar.
By Bus: State-run or private buses, plying from various towns in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, are the best way to get to Munnar by road.
By Train: The nearest railway station from Munnar is at Aluva, which is at a distance of 110 kilometres from Munnar. The Ernakulam Railway Station is 130 kilometres away while the Madurai Railway Station is at a distance of 135 kilometres. You can either hire a cab or board the state transport buses wherever available.