Kerala Tourism - Historic Natural Attractions of Munnar
Munnar proudly anchors some historic prominent sites along-with its picturesque beauty. My first article discusses some of the top attractions of Munnar in its vicinity. Those who want to lure its entire beauty can head to these riveting sites.
1. Sitadevi lake, Devikulam
Distant about 7km from Munnar is the spectacular hill station Devikulam. It is believed that the lake flowing here is sacred because Goddess Sita, wife of Lord Rama took bath in it during her stay in the nearby forests. Thus it got the name Sitadevi Lake. People come here to drink this crystal clear water rich in minerals with curative powers. The lake amidst verdant forests and hills teemed with songbirds is a majestic scenic spot in Munnar. The outpouring Pallivasal waterfall lies in the vicinity of this divine lake.
Pallivasal is a village located at about 8km from Munnar, near to Chithirapuram. It is the venue of the first hydro-electric project in Kerala. The dam and waterfalls are the main attractions here.
It is a beautiful hill station at a distance of 10km from Munnar. This quaint countryside still hosts several ancient old cottages and mansions built during colonial rule. Chithirapuram is another paradise of manicured tea gardens, verdant hills and evergreen forests laced with mountain streams.
This village is at a distance of about 21km from Munnar. Travelling further 13 km from Devikulam, Chinnakanal is reached. Hotels and tea estates present in this village are very popular and commuters lure the grand visual feast of the cascading waterfalls here. Chinnakanal waterfalls or powerhouse waterfalls gush from a height of about 800ft amidst dense tea slopes.
5.Tata tea museum
Housed in Nallathanni Estate of about 12km from Munnar, this museum showcases antiques related to tea processing that date back to more than a century. Tata tea museum is a tribute to the pioneers of tea production, whose sincere toils turned Munnar to a major tea plantation center of Kerala. The burial urn excavated from the vicinity of Periakanal Estate dating back to 2nd century BC, original tea roller Rotovane of 1905 used in CTC (crush, tear, cut) type tea processing, the Pelton Wheel used at Kanniamallay Estate in1920s, a rail engine wheel of the Kundale Valley Light Railway used in between 1900 – 1950 are some of the equipment displayed here.
A demonstration room for tea tasting is also included in Tata tea museum. Here one can taste the different varieties of tea and find out the nuances of tea processing in CTC and orthodox tea manufacturing units.
6. Anayirangal dam
This dam, perched on the hilltop is 22km from Munnar. The reservoir bordered by dense green forests let you cruise through it enjoying the wilderness. ‘Anayirangal’ literally translates to ‘elephant alight’ as elephants alight here frequently from nearby forests.
7. Kolukkumalai tea estate
Kolukkumalai tea estate is 35 km from Munnar. A ridge anchors Kolukkumalai tea estate and the factory where tea is processed. It is regarded as the world’s highest reputed tea estate at approximately 8000 feet above the sea level. With a bumpy ride for about 90min through the narrow rocky terrain, you can reach Kolukkumalai tea factory. The various stages of tea production can be studied in detail here.
Kolukkumalai hosts amazing vista of rugged mountains carpeted by tea plantations below. On clear nights Kodaikanal hills of Tamil Nadu state become visible from this point.
8. Top Station
Top Station, about 41 km from Munnar is situated along the border of the state of Tamil Nadu. Top Station has historic significance as it was the transshipment location for tea delivered up here from Munnar by railway and then down by rope-way to Kottagudi. With the mesmeric view of the ethereal hills of Munnar, Top Station always charms its guests atop. During the ‘Neelakurinji’ season, this point becomes clustered with Neelakurinji(blue bells) flowers that tend it to be called ‘Neelakurinjimala’. The wildlife Kurinjimala sanctuary is also nearby.
Top Station, Munnar
Westwood Riverside Garden Resort
We had the fortune to visit the magnificent hill station Munnar in 2002 Dec. Even if my memories have become old, Munnar still tops the list of nature blessed heavens that I’ve ever visited. Our stay at Westwood Riverside Garden Resort also summed it up. This resort perched in the hills of Munnar facing a lake in a stunning backdrop of green hue was surreal along-with the cool, pure air of the wilderness.
The room maintenance and service were excellent apart from the scrumptious food served from the restaurant. The staff also behaved affably attending gently to our requests and demands. Looking forward to make our next trip to Munnar and stay in Westwood Riverside Garden Resorts……..
Do you like these historic attractions of Munnar? If yes, would you like to visit them?
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© 2013 Radhika Sreekanth