A picturesque region of rolling mountains wearing gorgeous, well trimmed costumes of tea plantations, beautiful lakes, waterfalls and wildlife sanctuaries that breed some of the dear gifts of Mother Nature, Munnar is one of the topmost attractions of Kerala and one of the best summer destinations of India. Located over 100 kilometers from Kochi, Munnar is mostly made up of sites with natural beauty and some other attractions such as a tea museum, a flower garden and churches.
Munnar grew in fame after JD Munroe, a British officer, recognized the potential of the land here to grow tea. Munnar owes a lot today to its sprawling tea plantations. It is believed that the place took its name from the name of JD Munroe himself.
For most of the tourists, the visit to Kerala begins from Munnar as it is the nearest major attraction to Kochi, which provides entry to Kerala in forms of its international airport and a busy railway station. A location widely fancied by the couples on honeymoon, a major number of tourists head directly to Munnar without spending a day or two at Kochi. Scaling the short distance of 100 kilometers easily takes three to four hours. As witnessed everywhere in Kerala, the road passes through the busy traffic produced by the never ending series of towns and villages. Later, towards the end of the journey, begin the mountains offering roads in a state of constant damage due to heavy rainfalls during monsoon.
Munnar in itself is a small town offering a wide range of hotels and home-stays. It is highly recommended that you chose a place that offers a nice view of the valley, for experiencing Munnar is more about spending time in the company of nature than sight-seeing. It is not one of those destinations where you should rush through your stay visiting popular attractions. The best way to enjoy this beautiful location is to root a stay here for three days minimum in company of your favorite books and music. You can spend a few hours during the day visiting popular sights, but what will make your Munnar trip memorable is early morning treks in the woods and soothing sunsets watched while relaxing in cozy chairs with a cup of tea.
Of the places that you can visit in the Munnar town itself is the Tea Museum, the one and the only in India. The museum exhibits tea processing equipment and machinery such as the original tea roller made in 1905 amongst other attractions such as curios and photographs. It is also one of the rare places where you can watch the interesting process of tea production.
Blossom International Park in Munnar town draws a lot of tourists, especially those who love to gaze at flowers of different kind. Apart from the exotic and beautiful flowers, the park also offers boat rides offering great views of Munnar.
Munnar town also has some old churches such as Mount Carmel Church and CSI Church. Although these are not very attractive from the outside, they can make a memorable trip if visited at leisure.
One of the highly visited spots around Munnar is Mattupetty Dam, situated 13 kilometers from the main town. The ride to this picturesque location is full of great views of the mountains and valleys. This calm and serene picnic spot is made up of a lake stored by the dam on the height of 1700 meters from the sea level. Several shops of souvenirs and restaurants here add to the touristy feel of the destination.
Further from Mattupetty, on a distance of 4 kilometers is the Sethuparvathipuram Dam of Kundala. Another beautiful destination by a great water body, this dam offers ideal views to make attractive postcards. The boating facility here is highly sought after as it provides great views of the scenic surroundings.
Mattupetty and Kundala being on the same route make a wonderful trip and easily consume half a day. On this route you pass by several places where you can get down and stray off the road for short excursions.
Munnar is one of the famous destinations in India. En route to Thekkady, it is possible to visit Munnar over a night stay. However it is highly recommended that you spend at least two to four nights here to enjoy this wonderful destination.