places in and around munnar
One of the most popular hill stations located in beautiful state of Kerala in South India, Munnar has always beckoned countless holiday seekers, nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts from far and wide. With its pristine natural beauty covered under thick layers of emerald forests and sprawling tea & spice plantations, it undoubtedly, for a perfect holiday destination where tired souls can spend few days in utmost peace and tranquillity, away from humdrums of the chaotic city lives. Needless to say, the tranquil little town is a delight for adventure seekers too; with its hill terrains and luxurious greenery, it calls for countless trekkers and campers from across the nation to explore its hidden trails sprinkled with panoramas of captivating waterfalls, sparkling rivulets and teeming birdlife. If you too are planning for a vacation in Munnar and looking for a holiday travel guide listing down the top attractions and tourism places in this picturesque town, here we bring to you a consolidated vacation guide with its 14 best places to visit and things to do. Hope you like the guide!
Famously called the land of tea gardens, a visit to Munnar would be incomplete without taking a trip through some of its bountiful beauties. Located 38 km. from Munnar is the picturesque Kolukkumalai Tea Estate, perched at an elevation of almost 8000 ft. and claimed to be one of the highest in the world. Cuddled amidst the rolling green hills covered in veils of mist and blessed with a soothing cold breeze which carries a mild aroma of tea leaves, a stroll here is sure to leave you completely rejuvenated. And when you are here, do not forget to sip some flavourful assortment of teas produced in its hundred years old factory that still uses traditional methods of tea production; needless to say, what your tea savouring experience here all the more enjoyable is the mesmerizing vistas of the nature’s splendour all around. If you are at the estate in the evening, wait for the sun to go down sprinkling the hills and gardens with its orange-golden hues; nothing short of a visual spectacle, it would truly be a sight to behold and engrave in your memories forever.
Located just about 15 km. from Munnar, Eravikulam National Park is one of the must visit places when you are holidaying in this beautiful hill town of Kerala. Spread over a sprawling area of 97 square kilometres and dotted with lush forests and shola grasslands unique to the region, the park for an excellent home to a number of wild species including gaurs, sambar deer, Indian muntjacs, small clawed otters, golden jackals, Indian bisons and a variety of mongoose. Amongst all these wild residents, the one which is most celebrated and grabs all the attention is the rare and endangered Nilgiri Tahr; with almost 750 of these threatened mountain goats living here and enjoying a wonderful time amidst their natural environs, no wonder! The park calls for countless wildlife enthusiasts every year to provide them a rendezvous with these shy and lovely creatures, often found sitting on the rocks, resting under the shade of thick trees and grazing in the bushes, giving candid poses to all the ardent wildlife photographers. The unique and fascinating feature of this park is unlike other wildlife sanctuaries, you need not book a jeep safari to spot the wild residents here; the Rajamalai or the tourist zone of the park is open to all and can be best explored on foot.
Munnar, a trek to the fascinating Anamudi Peak finds it place at the topmost position. Situated inside the Eravikulam National Park and perched at an elevation of close to 9000 ft., it proudly enjoys its status for being recognized as the highest mountain summit in the Western Ghats and whole of South India; no wonder! It is also commonly referred to as the ‘Himalaya of the South’. Needless to say, a trek to Anamudi is definitely an experience in itself and leaves even most seasoned of the trekkers gasping in awe of its lush terrain, wildlife bounteousness and gorgeous scenic beauty sprinkled with captivating vistas of emerald green forests, sprawling tea plantations and three beautiful rivers, Vaigai, Thamirabarani and Periyar that lend it an unmatched heavenly charm. The sweet aroma of spices, gurgling music of gushing waterfalls, soul-soothing symphony of singing birds and frequent sightings of Asiatic Elephants and Nilgiri Tahrs along the trek, further your experience here an unforgettable one.
If you too are amongst those arduous trekkers who wish to have a taste of trekking the lap of Anamudi, be informed that though hiking here is quite a common activity, it still requires a special permit from the national park authorities. So, when planning a trekking expedition here, do sure you all the arrangements accordingly and well in advance. Getting a fair insight on the forecasted climate conditions on your day of trek is further advised and which will keep you away from falling in last minute weather trapsMunnar, if you are on a lookout for a spell-binding cultural extravaganza in this land of tea gardens, there can be no better place than the Thirumeni Cultural Centre. A small theatre in the heart of Munnar, it daily showcases a one hour Kathakali performance wherein the beautifully masked artists elegantly present to you a dramatic story taken from the chapters of Hindu mythological epics and puranas; with their elaborate costumes and brilliant facial expressions, you are sure to be left in awe of this enchanting cultural feast.
Besides this enchanting treat, at the centre, there is something for the martial art lovers too. Right after the Kathakali performance, the stage sets for yet another interesting show which leaves all the guests perplexed and bewildered. Yes! I am talking about the enthralling and hair-raising display of Kalaripayattu, the ancient and traditional martial art form of Kerala renowned as the mother of all ‘modern day martial arts’. During the show, the warriors dressed in black stun you with their brilliant combat fighting skills; spinning and whirling like elegant ballet dancers, flying into the air with the agility of an elk and performing intensely with ring of fire, dexterously curling and gyrating it before finally jumping through it. The rigorous fights with metallic weapons like swords, daggers and spears in the concluding part of the show would be yet another marvellous spectacle that would keep you transfixed to your seats.