Lush green tea plantations, streams flowing from the hillsides, and winding undulating paths are how Munnar can be best described. Located in the Western Ghats mountain range in Kerala, Munnar is a hill station, known as the resort town for the British upper-class in the 19th century. Today, Munnar is one of the most popular tourist places for its beautiful nature.
There are a myriad of activities and sights to experience in this beautiful hill station, from massive tea plantations to National Parks to amazing Ayurvedic Spas.
A Guide to Munnar
1. Kolukkumalai Tea Estate
One of the highest tea plantations in the world, Kolukkumalai Tea Estate is at an elevation of 7900 ft with spectacular landscape all around. Surrounded by the lush and dense Kolukkumalai Hills, the drive up to the plantation is breathtaking. The tea factory in the plantation is more than a century old and still uses traditional methods to make some of the best tea from the region. It is a unique place to understand the processes that go into tea cultivation and production.
Tea aficionados can sample various tea at the factory and purchase them at the retails shops in the vicinity. The factory remains closed on Sundays, and an entry ticket usually costs INR 75/-.
Another must-visit in the area would be Tata Tea Museum that houses some complex artefacts which were in use since the establishment of tea estates in India by the British in the early 1900s’.
2. Eravikulam National Park
Located in the hills of Kannan Devan in Munnar, Eravikulam National Park spans over 100 sq kilometres, divided into various zones by the forest department. The national park is quite well-known for being a safe haven for the endangered Nilgiri Tahr (a species of Ibex) which is usually found on cliffs very high up in the mountains. It is an unforgettable experience to see these lean and slender animals climb down the cliffs on their hooves without a single misstep.
CC BY 2.0 – Raj. A mecca for wildlife lovers, Eravikulam National Park, is open daily.
3. Lakkam Waterfalls
An extremely well-known vacation destination that attracts visitors all year round is Lakkam Waterfall. Located in the scenic region of Idukki that lies on the way from Munnar to Marayoor, you can find Lakkam in the midst of thick greenery and rolling hills, adding to its charming magnificence. The water cascades down the rocky cliffs of the wonderful Eravikulam Plateau (7300 feet above sea level) and dishevels on to the rocks below, turning them into plunge pools. The tranquil setting of the falls makes it a paramount point to visit while in Munnar.
Lakkam Waterfall provides plenty of photo opportunities and is known to attract a lot of nature photographers. The area near the falls makes for a lovely picnic area as well.
4. Mattupetty Dam
CC – Wikimedia Commons
Mattupetty Dam and its lake are popular scenic spots in Munnar. Located close to Anamudi peak and enclosed by tea plantations, spice gardens and rolling hills, Mattupetty Dam is essential in sustaining livelihood in the region. The dam is an ideal spot for a day of outing in nature to enjoy the guided trek. The District Tourism Promotion Council (Munnar Tourism) is responsible for the upkeep of this area as well as maintaining boating regulations in the Mattupetty Lake.
5. Ayurvedic Spa Therapy
Kerala is popular for Ayurvedic treatments, including refreshing spa and health treatments. Munnar with its greenery and freshness isn’t any different! The chilly weather makes it an ideal location for health and wellness therapies. The massages and treatments here use mystical approaches to unwind the psyche and body. They also offer various types of massages such as the traditional deep tissue massage or a Balinese massage.
Massage and treatment costs vary with establishments — best to check with them individually.
6. Shopping in Munnar
Being a hill station, Munnar is a perfect place to shop for souvenirs or local produce such as tea and coffee. Other popular local products in Munnar also include spices and aromatic oils, with various scents of lemongrass and eucalyptus. Locals believe that these ointments help to heal the body and joint pains. Spices such as cardamom, clove and cinnamon can be found in the shops around Munnar.
CC – Wikimedia Commons
1. Spice Tree Munnar – A small 18-room hotel, Spice Tree is nestled in the hills. Big, cooling rooms with individual spa baths and modern amenities, the hotel checks all boxes when it comes to hospitality. The hotel features an indoor and an outdoor pool along with a restaurant, a health club, a poolside bar and a cafe.
2. The Panoramic Getaway – With unmatched panoramic views from the hotel and upscale luxury amenities, The Panoramic Getaway is an abode within itself. Their spacious rooms are filled with various advanced features such as smart televisions, Wi-Fi, modern gadget connectors, panelled switches. With fabulous food and service, a world-class Spa and a helipad, it deserves to be one of the best in Munnar for sure.