Located at the confluence of the Mudhirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly rivers, Munnar — a quaint, picturesque town, is a popular hill station in the South Indian state of Kerala. Erstwhile a summer resort for the British Raj, Munnar is an ideal destination for summer vacations. Lush greenery, winding roads, rolling hills, misty valleys, hiking trails — Munnar’s breathtaking beauty leaves one in awe.
Well known for its tea estates, vast, unending plantations dot the exotic mountains of Munnar. Blessed with abundant flora and fauna, Munnar is also home to the endangered mountain goat, Nilgiri Tahr. Blooming once in every 12 years, the rare Neelakurinji flower paints the entire hills of Munnar to blue; attracting thousands of visitors anxious to witness the nature’s extravaganza.
At a height of 1600 m, the climate at Munnar remains mostly pleasant throughout the year. October-March is considered the best time to visit the place.
Eravikulam National Park
A UNESCO World Heritage site, Eravikulam National Park is one of the main attractions of Munnar. The only habitat of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr, it is home to several species of rare insects, birds and wild animals. With ravishing beauty of its rolling grasslands, the park offers a magnificent view of the vast tea plantations spread miles in all directions. Anamudi — the highest peak in South India stands majestically in the central area of the park. A large number of tourists flocked to the park when Neelakurunji last bloomed in 2018.
Trekking to the peak is allowed after obtaining proper permission from the wildlife authorities. The Eravikulam National Park remains closed around February-March every year to facilitate breeding of the Nilgiri Tahr.
Around 13 km from Munnar, Mattupetty is a popular picnic spot. Amidst the hills and tea gardens, the still waters of the Mattuppetty Dam and lake reflect the tranquility of the place. Visitors get to engage in boating of all sorts; speed boat, pedal boat, motorboat or rowboat.
Mattupetty, meaning cattle village, owes its name to the famous Indo-Swiss Dairy Farm project, operating since 1961. It houses more than a hundred varieties of high yielding cattle on the farm. The farm is opened for visits from 9–11 am and 2–3:30 pm every day.
Tea plantation is an integral part of Munnar. The Tata Tea Museum established in 2005, chronicles the history and legacy of tea estates over the years. A visit to the museum gives the opportunity to watch the transition from the rudimentary tea roller to the modern fully automated tea factory. Also, demonstrations of various stages of tea processing are exhibited to the incoming visitors. Set up at the Nallathani tea estate, visitors get to taste some of the most exotic tea available around the world.
Pothamedu — around 6 km from Munnar, is the perfect spot to relish the beauty of Munnar. Pothamedu viewpoint provides a panoramic view of Munnar, adjoining valleys and the vast expanse of the Sahyadri ranges. Watching the sun go down the horizon from the viewpoint is totally mesmerizing. Visitors trek through the lush green tea, cardamom and spice plantations to reach the viewpoint. The viewpoint is a visual treat to photographers and nature lovers.
Camping in Munnar
Amidst the lush green vegetation and blanket of mist enveloping the hill town, camping in Munnar is pure bliss. Surrounded by hills and dense forests, Munnar is a haven for campers. Camping in Munnar is the best way to experience the wilderness and serenity of the town. Go for hillside camping atop the viewpoint, or dwell on the lap of the Kanan Devi Hills, overlooking the scenic, lush green landscape.
When in Munnar, planning accommodation in campsites would be ideal. Campsites offer some of the best experiences and their location- amidst the lush green lands and lofty terrains will never let you miss the serenity and wilderness of nature.