In the great state of Kerala along the Western Ghat lies a beautiful and serene hill station called Munnar. Munnar is an idyllic hill station, famous for its tea estates, exotic scenery, abundance of flora and fauna and craggy peaks. One of the biggest tea-plantation area of South India, Munnar is one of the most beautiful and popular hill-stations of Kerala. Situated on the banks of three rivers- Madupetti, Nallathanni and Periavaru, Munnar is also blessed with natural view-points apart from the tea-plantations.
What was earlier the summer resort of the British is now the pride of the Idukki district of Kerala. Its vast stretches of tea plantation amidst the high mountains and pristine valleys are nothing short of heavenly. It has a wonderful combination of clear streams, thick forests and vast grasslands that make it a truly wonderful and irresistible tourist destination. It is also home to strobilanthus or “neelakurinji” which is a blue flower that blooms once every twelve years, covering various mountain sides in a beautiful shade of blue.
Munnar is divided into Old Munnar, where the tourist information office is, and Munnar, where the bus station and most guest houses are located. The Eravikulam National Park, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and tea plantations are its major attractions. Munnar is a treasure chest of scenic beauty and is home to the some really amazing sights. The waterfalls of Munnar are considered among the most scenic and beautiful in the country. About two kilometers away from the Munnar town amidst lush green forests and hills are the Atukkad Waterfalls. The roads leading to these waterfalls are narrow and rather difficult to drive on but the view there is definitely worth putting in the effort. The ambience there is ideal for a fun filled and relaxing picnic. Other such beautiful waterfalls are Cheeyappara Waterfalls and Lakkom Waterfalls.
Munnar’s cuisine is where you’ll find all popular items off a conventional Keralan cuisine. From essentials like Idli, Vada, Sambhar to the widespread Banana chips, all is almost staple here. Other than that a number of places will have menus of various cuisines and a huge number of options. One might also want to visit the early morning food stalls in the bazaar which might offer you an enjoyable breakfast. While here, you might not want to miss the popular Cardamom tea.The unspoilt natural beauty of Munnar makes it a perfect place for National parks and sanctuaries. First on the list is Eravikulam (Rajamalai) National Park. Here you can take the opportunity to see the Nilgiri Thar, an endangered species of mountain goats, rolling grasslands and sholas, spread over 97 square kilometers in the Rajamalai hills endowed with rare flora and fauna, It is also home to lion-tailed macaque, leopards and tigers. The Kurichi or Neelakurinji Flowers turn the hills of Rajamalai blue once every 12 years and the next bloom will be in 2018. If you’re wondering whether going to the high peak just to see some goats is worth all the effort or not then you should know that the walk along the park is very romantic and has some breath taking views.
Munnar experiences a moderate climate throughout the year. May to August is the best time to visit Munnar as the temperature is pleasant and reaches a maximum of 35 degrees. A very romantic place for the couples and honeymooners. Also, a favourable destination for the nature lovers and trekkers.