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Places To Visit In Munnar
Munnar is a town situated on the Kannan Devan Hills in the Western Ghats mountain ranges of Kerala. It is located at a height of 1,600m above sea level and is one of the most popular hill stations in India. The name Munnar meaning “three rivers” came about by it being at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Studded with misty hills, winding lanes, sprawling tea plantations, exotic flora and fauna, Munnar was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India.
There are several places in Munnar and its vicinity that are of interest to the tourists that throng the place. From soaking in the breathtaking landscape to trekking up the highest peak in South India, from exploring the Eravikulam National Park to enjoying a boat ride through the canals, from setting up a tent for picnic to embracing the legacy of tea cultivation, Munnar has so much to offer to anyone who comes along visiting. In this section we look at some of the must see places in and around Munnar that are frequented by tourists from far and wide.
Mattupetty is located 13 kilometers from Munnar town at a height of about 1,700m above sea level. It is famous for the storage masonry dam, the beautiful Kundala lake and also the highly specialized Indo-Swiss Livestock Project (three out of the eleven cattle sheds are open to public). The Kundala tea plantations, misty hill ranges, and boating facilities (on the Mattupetty Dam) are also important attractions that lure tourists to the region.
Chithirapuram & Pallivasal
Chithirapuram is famous for its tea plantations, which when interlaced with cottages and bungalows still exudes an old world charm. About 3 kilometers away from Chithirapuram is Pallivasal, home of the first Hydro-electric project in Kerala – The Pallivasal Hydel Power Project. The dam is so beautiful that areas in its vicinity are often chosen as picnic spots by visitors.
Nyayamakad is famous for its breathtaking waterfalls where water cascade down a 1,600m hill. It is located between Munnar and Rajamala and is an excellent picnic spot and trekking point.
Chinnakanal & Anayirangal
Chinnakanal is a town near Munnar famous for the Power House Waterfalls which cascade down from a height of 2,000m. The place is breathtakingly beautiful especially with the Western Ghats as the backdrop. Anayirangal on the other hand is famous for its dam surrounded by tea plantations and forests, which provide an awesome spectacle.
The Top Station is located about 32 kilometers from Munnar town at a height of 1,700m above sea level. It is at the highest point on the Munnar-Kodaikanal road and therefore offers a great view of the nearby state of Tamilnadu.
Rajamala is located 15 kilometers from Munnar and is home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahrs. It is estimated that about half of the world's population of mountain goat or tahr is found here. Unfortunately the destruction of habitat due to their conversion to tea plantations has restricted the increase in population of the Nilgiri Tahr. Nowadays they are found mostly in the Eravikulam-Rajamala region.
Eravikulam National Park
The Eravikulam National Park spans an area of 97 sq. km. and is famous for its endangered inhabitant, the Nilgiri Tahr. After first spotting this rare mountain goat in the mid 1900s, the area was marked as an establishment to protect the Nilgiri Tahr. In 1975 the region was made a sanctuary and subsequently in 1978, a national park.
The Eravikulam National Park is undoubtedly one of the most important and most visited places in the region owing to its ecological, faunal, floral, geo-morphological and zoological diversity. It is home to several species of rare butterflies, animals & birds and also to Neelakurinji, a plant endemic to this part of the Western Ghats which blooms once in twelve years. The next time it blooms will be in 2018.
Anamudi, the highest peak in South India standing at a height of 2,695m is also located within the Eravikulam National Park. The regions nearby the peak are covered with misty hill ranges and lush green vegetation. Trekking is allowed with permission from the Forest and Wildlife authorities at Eravikulam.
Munnar has a story to tell when it comes to tea plantations. The Tata Tea Museum located at the Nallathanni Estate strives to do exactly that. It preserves and showcases some of the exquisite and interesting aspects on the genesis and growth of tea plantations in Kerala's high ranges. With curios, photographs and machineries, the museum walks the visitor through the legacy of tea cultivation in the misty mountain slopes of Munnar.
How To Reach Munnar
- By Air: Nearest airport is Kochi International Airport (105 kilometers).
- By Rail: Nearest railway station is Aluva (110 kilometers).
- By Road: Buses and Taxis are available from Kochi.
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