Munnar – Hill Station in Kerala
About Munnar – Hill Station in Kerala
If ever in your lifetime, you wish to see unadulterated natural beauty at its peak, then a visit to Munnar would be a worth making decision. It has lakes, mountains, tea plantations, rarely found flora and fauna with parks to soothe you from the noisy, speedy and chaos of city life. It is located at the meeting point of 3 mountain rivulets named Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. In the Idukki district of the Kerala, on 5200 fts above sea level makes Munnar not only a hill station but a place of adventures as well. Blossoming once in 12 years, the flower Nilakurinji is also found here. With the height of 8838 fts, Anamudi, being the highest in South India is ideal for trekking. History says that once it was the summer resort of the former British Government Officials in South India. Munnar was later developed for nurturing tea plants.
Though the early history of Munnar is yet unknown today. But it is said that the early residents of the region are fellows of the Muthuvan tribal community. Still, it persisted a desolate and uncharted landscape till the second half of 19thcentury when determined planters from insofar as Europe begun plantations here. In 1924, the plantations of Munnar underwent an obstruction in the form a devastating monsoon. Weighty landslides and swamping at several places caused heavy loss of possessions and life. However it was difficult but the natives succeeded in coming back to usual life in a couple of months. Far-reaching replantation was done in numerous parklands. Today Tata Tea Ltd. plays a major role in tea business of Munnar. Besides tea, Munnar is famous for spices like cardamom, cinnamon, clove, coffee, ginger, nutmeg and pepper etc. Your tour to Munnar calls to be incomplete if you don’t visit waterfalls like waterfalls like Attukal, Cheeyapara, Chinnakkal, Kuthumkal, Lakkam, Nyayamakad, ThoovanamandValara.
Munnar is one of the most picturesque locations of the state with some great holiday facilities and is located at the confluence of the Rivers Nallathanni, Mudhirapuzha, and Kundaly. The tea plantations, exotic flora and fauna, stunning hills, forests and great trekking spots like Anamudi mountain peak, make Munnar a perfect honeymoon as well as family holiday destination.
Activities To Do in Munnar
Munnar has a host of things that can be enjoyed no matter whether you are on a family picnic or a honeymoon. Many people enjoy sightseeing in these beautiful hills. Animal sighting at Eravikulum national park is popular with tourists and many people also go trekking in to the Anamudi peak. The locations here are extremely serene and honeymooners can also enjoy the tea plantations, resort stay amidst the scenic villages and the dense forests of the nearby regions can also be enjoyed.
- Jeep Safari to Kollukkumallay
- Elephant Safari and Plantation Tour
- Speed boating in Mattupetty Dam
- Trekking and Camping
- Rock Climbing and Rappelling
- River Crossing
Facilities in Munnar
Food and Beverages:
Munnar have many resorts, restaurants, coffee/tea shops, snacks courts, wine and bear parlor etc are available. While on a trip to Munnar, one must try the local Kairali cuisines. Both vegetarian and non vegetarian food is easily available.
Most public facilities including public toilets, security, police stations and public transportation is readily available in Munnar.
What makes Munnar a major tourist attraction?
Munnar is a captivating hill station of Kerala and is mostly known as a honeymoon destination and thus the place has many hotels & resorts as well places of scenic beauty. The place offers fantastic options for a surreal holiday including resort stays among tree plantations and the breathtaking Western Ghats. The tourists can also enjoy idyllic retreats between sprawling tea estates. Couples can enjoy the green vegetation and spend time in the haven of nature while also visiting the waterfalls and lakes in the region. The highest point of the Munnar – Kodaikanal road is known as the ‘Top Station’ which is located at a height of 1700 mts and provides a panoramic view of the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu. Here are some of the top places to visit while at Munnar:
- Munnartea plantations and tea museum
- Pallivasal Hydroelectric Plant.
- Eraviculum National Park
- Trekking to the Araimudi Peak
- Visiting the scenic towns of Chinnakanal and Anayirangal.
- Boat rides in Mattupetty lake
- Visit the top station
- Visit the Power House and the Lakkam waterfalls nearby
- Stay in the hill retreat and enjoy the spectacular views of the western Ghats
Best Time to Visit Munnar:
The winter months from November till February are the best time to visit Munnar. The temperature at this time is pretty soothing and thus the pleasant weather makes it a perfect spot for a romantic honeymoon. Avoid to visit Munnar in the monsoon months.
How to Reach at Munnar:
Munnar can be easily accessible by Flight, Train and Road. Below are the details how one can reach to Munnar. While choosing the mode, one must know the distance and time by small car from these airports/railway stations to Munnar.
By Air & Train
There are three nearest airports located from where one can reach Munnar. These are Kochi (Cochi), Coimbatore and Madurai.
There are three nearest Railway Stations from where one can reach Munnar; Aluva Railway Station (before Ernakulam Railway Station), Coimbatore Railway Station and Madurai Railway Station.
(Aluva Railway Station is 15 mins before Ernakulam North Railway Station for those coming from Palakkad- Thrissur area.)
1. Kochi airport:
Kochi airport is the nearest airport to Munnar which is 115 kms. It takes 3.5 hrs drives to Munnar by a small car. There are many options of conveyance available like State Transport Bus, private taxi car etc. Best recommended mode of transport is by private cab. There is no charted bus or sharing tax available. Those who look for a cheap transfer, they need to look at State Transport Bus from Aluva Bus stand which is 10 minutes drive from Airport.
2. Ernakulam Railway Station:
Distance from Ernakulam Railway Station to Munnar is 140 kms and it takes 4 hrs drives. Those who are coming by train must alight at Aluva Railway Station instead of Ernakulam Railway Station. Aluva is closer to Munnar comparing to Ernakulam. Again there is only private taxi or State Transport Bus available to Munnar.
Coimbatore airport / Railway Station is 180 kms to Munnar and it takes 6-7 hrs drive. The route is through Pollachi–Udumalpet–Maryoor–Chinnar. Regular night buses are available from Coimbatore to Munnar by SRS, KPN etc. Since Udmalpet to Munnar is Western Ghat Road with steep heights, sharp U turn roads. Those who travel by bus to know that they need to change to small buses from Udmalpet. The best option available is by a private taxi.
Madurai to Munnar is 169 kms by road and it takes 4.5–5 hrs in a private small car. The shortest route is via Uslampetti–Theni–Bpodimet–Chinnakanal-Munnar. Tamilnadu Govt. local non ac buses are available and it takes approximately 7 hrs to reach Munnar.
Kumarakom to Munnar is 175 kms by road and it may take approx 5 hrs drive by a small car. The best rout available for a private taxi is via Pala-Unnunmkal–Adimali-Munnar. Those who are looking for State Transport Buses must go to Kottayam Bus stand to get buses to Munnar.
6. Fort Kochi:
Fort Kochi to Munnar is 160 kms and it may take 4.5 hrs drive by a private taxi. Those who are looking to go by State Transport Buses must go to Ernakulam Bus Stand (near south Railway Station) to get seats to Munnar. There are many state buses are available from Fort Kochi Bus stand to Ernakulam bus stand. These buses can be boarded from Vytila hub, but reservation and seat availability is only from where it originate.
There are two roads leading to Munnar. First one is via Chertala-Kundanoor-Marad-Trippunithura-Thiruvamkulam-Muvatupuza-Adimali-Munnar a total of 205 kms and it takes 5.5-6 hrs in a small car. This road is altogether is a highway and an easy to reach Munnar though the kms distance is more.
The second one is via Muhamma–Vaikom-Muvatupuza Adimali – Munnar which is 190 kms and it takes 6-6.5 hrs to reach Munnar. The road is comparatively narrow and in case of any traffic block enrooted, it may take little more. The best and easy conveyance is by a private taxi. Govt. Transport buses are also available directly from Alleppey bus stand to Munnar, which may even take more time to reach.
There are two different routes one can reach Munnar from Trivandrum.
- By road: Normally drivers take HN47 from Trivandrum to Kundanoor and then Marad – Trippunithura – Thiruvamkulam – Muvatupuza – Adimali – Munnar approximately 370 kms and it take 9-10 hrs by small car. Since this road goes via Alleppey and Kochi, one can break the journey by staying in Alleppey or Kochi. The other route to Munnar is via Adoor. Trivandrum to Adoor via MC road. Ranni – Mundakayam – Kattapana – Puliyanmada – Munnar approximately 320 kms and it takes 8-9 hrs by small car. Both roads have its own advantages.
The second road passes through small villages, rubber plantations, small hills etc which make more attractive than the first option. This route goes via Kumali, one can opt to stay at Kumali for an overnight stay to break the long journey.
- By Train: One can option to travel by train from Trivandrum to Aluva and Aluva to Munnar is the shortest route. Ernakulam Railway Station is also another option.
We have specifically mentioned small car means any sedan car. Small SUV, Tempo traveler and buses take more time than small car.
Where to Stay at Munnar
Munnar is a popular hill station of Kerala and choosing a hotel is very important for a memorable stay. Most of the people first checks the review and later selects a hotel. But never mind to check the location. If a hotel is having a top review, it means that the hotel / service / rooms / cleanliness are good. Most of the reviews do not mention about the surroundings / scenic beautify etc.
Srees Tours & team travelled extensively to Munnar and nearby places and has wide knowledge of hotels located in and around Munnar. We select the hotels for our clients carefully and according to the client choice. The below article is dedicated to those guests who have given the right feedback to us which made us in this field perfect.
Why we write this article?
As we all know that Munnar is the best destination and especially best hill station in Kerala. The main attraction of Munnar is the cool climate round the year except Apr and May. Hills and valleys, green grasslands, mesmerizing tea plantations view, mist and fog, waterfalls and it goes on – which is not enough to express in words. To enjoy all these during a short trip to Munnar, an idle hotel of choice is required. Selecting a hotel in Munnar is very important for the guests who want to enjoy nature and surroundings. Suppose a client want to stay in resort which is close to tea plantations, but his agent booked or he himself booked through online travel portal a hotel which is in the city or not nearby, then the entire trip is spoiled due to wrong selection and location of a hotel.
Before coming to the subject of “Where to Stay”, we need to understand Munnar, its climate, surrounding places and where the resorts /hotels located and what is the advantage of each place.
Munnar is an ecological sensitive area and Govt has imposed ban on constructions on certain locations. This includes all type of construction in tea and cardamom plantations. Since last 5yrs, construction is restricted in selected parts of Munnar, new hotels are now concentrating in down town villages where locals stay.
Below are the places in Munnar where one can find accommodation or holiday rentals.
- Munnar City
- Baison Valley
Before selecting and booking a resort or hotel, the guest needs to know his own interest and priorities during their holiday to Munnar. Based on the feedback from our previous clients, we have prepared below questionnaire. Ask these questions yourself and answer is given before each question.
|I am on a budget tour and would like to have lunch and dinner in restaurants outside hotels||Choose a hotel in Munnar city.|
|I want to come and relax, need a good resort irrespective of where its location||Choose any resorts.|
|I want to see most of the sightseeing places and don’t want to miss anything.||Choose a city hotel.|
|I need a resort located middle of tea plantation or have tea plantation view from the room||
The entire Munnar have tea plantations. But there are only limited hotels or resorts located close to Tea plantation or have view available from resort.
Most of the resorts located close to tea plantation. But even some of the good hotels do not have tea plantation view. Please check with the hotel.
|I want to stay calm and quite area with good greenery and nature.||Couple of good resorts at Pothenmedu – Lachmi Estate and Chinnakanal are good.|
|I want to stay in a resort located inside the forest||Some of the resorts at Lachmi estate and pothenmedu offer this facility.|
|I want to experience Munnar Climate||Pothenmedu, Pallivasal, Chinnakanal, Lachmi Estate, Pulippara,|
|I want to experience Munnar greenery and good view||Resorts located at Pothenmedu, Pallivasal, Chinnakanal etc|
How to Decide where to stay in Munnar.
Below are the main deciding factors to choose best location of a resort in Munnar.
- Cool climate.
- Resorts located in and around tea plantations.
- Resorts located inside the forest.
- Resorts have best view available or top of hill.
- City Hotels.
Experience Munnar Climate
Main attraction of Munnar is cool climate, greenery, tea plantation and fog. Though the entire Munnar have cool climate and fog during Oct to Mar, it’s not always same on the down town areas, especially places like Anachal, Chithirapuram, Kunjithanni, Mankulam, Adimali, Merikulam, Baisonvalley etc. To find out real climate in different parts of Munnar, we need to know Mean Sea Level of each place. Munnar is located 1480 meters from sea level. When MSL is taken in to consideration, 1480 is based on Munnar city. It’s a known fact that when MSL increases, the weather becomes cooler, foggy etc.
|Location Name||MSL||Distance from city|
|Pulippara in Lachmi Estate||5640ft||12kms by road from city|
|Merikulam (Eety City)||3960||16kms|
|Chenkulam Dam area||3630ft||18kms|
In case a tourist wants to have cool climate, he can decide his stay in such a resort or hotel which is located at a proper place.
Resorts Located in and Around Tea Plantations
One of the main attractions of Munnar is its greenery and tea plantations. Though the entire Munnar have tea plantations, only limited options are available for tourists who looks for a resort have tea plantation view or located inside the tea plantations.
Resorts Located Inside the Forest
Munnar is located in Western Ghats and some parts of Munnar have covered green and thick shola forest. Though the entire Munnar is covered tea & cardamom plantation, only Lachmi estate and Pothenmedu have thick evergreen forests where one can find resort accommodation. It will be different experience for those who are coming from metro cities or those who want calm and quite atmosphere during their Holiday. The main attraction of staying in a forest resort is one can hear cicada and crickets chirping, see owls and fire flies in the night.
Most of these types of resorts are located little far away from Munnar city. Though Pothenmedu is just 4kms, Lachmi estate is approx 12kms. It is always not advisable to travel after sun set on Lachmi estate road as most of the time wild elephants are spotted on the road.
Resorts Have Best View Available or Located Top of a Hill.
Munnar is very famous for hills and valley and have fascinating view of mountain and valley available from some of the resorts. But all the resorts or hotels do not have this facility available. Resorts or hotels located on a proper hill side or top of a hill have good views.
Some of the best view available places are Pothenmedu hill side, Pallivasal, Pulippara and Chinnakanal. If you want to stay in a resort which has good views, please have a look of below links.
- Resorts located on a top of a hill.
- Resorts located at Pallivasal which have good view available from the resort.
- Resorts located at Chinnakanal which have good view available.
Munnar city is located on an altitude of 4818ft. Max radius of city is almost a km and most of the hotels are located on the road side. City hotels are most idle for those looking for a budget stay along with cheap restaurants. Most of the sightseeing places are located in different parts of the city and one need to come to city first to proceed for sightseeing. Summarily Munnar city is a centre point from where one needs to proceed. All the restaurants, spice shops and shopping places are in the city. All hotels are multi story buildings and hardly any resorts available except Tea County. Though it is comfortable for a budget stay the tourist may face problems like noise, horn and air pollution by vehicles and of course traffic jams during holiday seasons. We do not recommend city hotels for those looking for greenery and pollution free atmosphere to enjoy a holiday trip.