The south-west state of India, Kerala is one of the major tourist destinations in the country with its silvery coast, serpentine backwaters, coconut grove swaying to the south-west wind and Western Ghats covered in aromatic spice and tea plantation. There is no dearth of places to see in Kerala and Munnar is one such place. Located at about 5,200 ft above the sea level, Munnar is a beautiful hill station in the district of Idukki, Kerala. Once the summer resort for the British, Munnar is known for its pleasant climate and pristine beauty. The rolling hills covered in mist intersected by the winding road, the dark emerald green coloured plantation and the few lone houses in midst of it will instantly make you fall in love with this place. Munnar is a very popular destination among the honeymooners. It is also an ideal place for nature lovers, wildlife lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike. You can indulge in boating, trekking and paragliding. Munnar is the perfect place to hang your shoes and just soak in the calm and relaxing atmosphere.
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Munnar got its name from the word Moonu Aaru, which means ‘three rivers’ in Malayalam. The hill station is situated at the confluence of Kundaly, Nallathanni and Madhurapuzha. This place offers you a refreshing break from the humid climate of the coastal part of the state. The ethereal beauty of the scenic valley, rolling hills, virgin forest and waterfalls will enchant you. Munnar is one of the places in India with rich biodiversity. There are two parts of Munnar, the Old Munnar and Munnar. You will find most of the hotels and guest houses in Munnar and the tourist information office in Old Munnar.
The Muthuvan tribal community was the early inhabitants of Munnar and till the second half of the 19 th century, it was still unexplored and wild. Later, Munnar was developed as a plantation town by John Daniel Munro, the then British resident to Travancore. This hill station was under the control of the Travancore kingdom however the royal family of Poonjar was the landlord of the region. It was the jenmam land of Poonjar royal family. Munro found that out of the many hills of Munnar, Kanan Devan hills have the perfect condition for the plantation. Munro met Rohini Thirunal Kerala Varma Valiya Raja, the head of the Poonjar royal family regarding his plantation plan. Rohini Thirunal agreed to give the Kanan Devan hills on lease to Munro. In 1877, the hills that comprised of around 1,36,600 acres of land was leased out to John Daniel Munro by Poonjattil Koickal Rohini Thirunal Kerala Varma Valiya Raja for an annual sum of Rs 3,000. Munro also had to pay a deposit of Rs 5,000 for the land.
In 1879, Munro established the North Travancore Land Planting & Agricultural Society. The cultivation of crops like sisal, cardamom and coffee were started in several parts of this region by the members of the aforementioned society. The cultivation of these crops was later discontinued after finding that tea is the ideal crop for this hilly region. Tea cultivation was started by a European planter, A.H. Sharp, in 1880. About 50 acres of area at Parvathy was used for the tea plantation by Sharp. Parvathy is presently the Seven Mallay estate’s part. James Finlay and Company Limited (Finlay Muir & Company) started tea plantation in this region in 1895. A total of 33 independent estates were purchased by the firm. To manage these estates, the Kannan Devan Hills Produce Company was established in 1897.
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Munnar gained popularity as a tourist destination in the second half of 20 th century. The hill station with its scenic beauty and colonial charm attracted many tourists. Several hotels and guesthouses cropped up to cater to this steady stream of visitors. People flock to this place to see the lush greenery and the sprawling tea plantation. Other interesting places to visit in Munnar include Chinnar, Thattekad and Eravikulam wildlife sanctuaries. These protected areas are home to many of the endemic and threatened species like the grizzled giant squirrel, the sambar, the gaur, elephants, Niligiri langur, the Nilgiri wood-pegion and Nilgiri Thar. The valley is also famous for the Neelakurinju flowers that bloom once in 12 years. During this time, the valleys and hills get blanketed by the purple-blue blooms. Here is a list of some of the attractions in and around Munnar.
Sightseeing in Munnar
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
Covering about 90 sq km, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the midst of the Western Ghats in Kerala. The region falls in the Kanthalloor and Marayur Panchayaths of Devikulam Taluk in Idukki. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary was established in August 1984 and was declared a protected area.
The sanctuary is around 65 km from Munnar and is a bio-diversity hotspot. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the 12 wildlife sanctuaries in the state. It is home to more than 965 species of flora and 580 species of fauna. There are around 29 species of snakes and 34 species of mammals. You can spot different types of animals here including Indian elephants, langur, Hanuman langur, Indian star tortoise, spotted deer and panther. The sanctuary is ideal place for birdwatchers. More than 245 types of birds can be seen here including yellow throated bulbuls. This park is also home to the Manjampatti white bison, which is a type of gaur. This animal is known for its ash-grey color unlike most gaurs, which are black in color. The vegetation of this place consists of rainforest and wet grassland. It also has a thick sandalwood forest. Pambar and Chinnar rivers flow through the park and are the main water sources. The rivers have more than 42 species of fishes.
Located deep in the thick vegetation of the sanctuary, the magnificent Thoovanam waterfall adds to the wild beauty of the place. Climb up the watchtower inside the park for sweeping views of the sanctuary. Within the sanctuary there are well demarcated regions for the tribal communities living there. There are 11 tribal communities in Chinnar and the main inhabitants of the park are Pulayars and Mutuvas. Their main occupation is farming. Chinnar is also one of the few places in the world where you can find dolmens. Dolmens are said to be tombs made using stones during the Neolithic period.
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You can stay in Munnar and visit the sanctuary as it is a one-day destination. In case you want to stay back, there are a few accommodation options inside the park itself. You can book tree houses, cottages and dorms for your stay in the sanctuary. It is recommended to carry ready to eat food items or food hampers as there are no eateries inside the sanctuary. Although the sanctuary remains open all through the year, the best time to visit Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is between December and April as the climate will be ideal for exploring it.
Kanan Devan tea museum
Photograph courtesy: Nikky Stephen/Creative Commons
Located at Nullatanni Estate in Munnar, the Kanan Devan tea museum is the first ever tea museum of the country. The museum showcases the growth and history of this beautiful district. It is the tea plantation in Kerala that is accessible to the tourists. With 16 tea manufacturing units, seven tea gardens and a production of 22 Million Kilograms of tea annually, Kanan Devan Hill Plantations is presently the biggest tea company in South India.
The first thing that catches your attention as you enter the museum is the granite sundial made by the Art Industrial School in Tamil Nadu in 1913. The items displayed inside the museum are equally fascinating. It has the original tea roller, ‘Rotorvane,’ which dates back to 1905. Other interesting items in the museum include an iron-age burial urn dating back to 2nd century BC and the Kundale Valley Light Railway’s rail engine wheel. The museum also has ‘Pelton Wheel’, which was part of the power generation plant in the 1920s in the Kanniamallay estate. One of the rooms of the museum includes magneto phone, iron oven, old bungalow furniture and wooden bathtub.
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Kanan Devan tea museum has a tea tasting demonstration room and kit displays different types of teas. The museum gives you information about the modern day tea production process. The museum is open on all days of the week except Monday from 9am to 5 pm. The ticket price to visit the museum is Rs 35 for children and Rs 75 for adults. If you want to take in cameras, you will have to pay Rs 20.
Eravikulam National Park
Eravikulam National Park is another attraction in Munnar. Covering about 97 sq km of area, the park is known for the Nilgiri Tahr, an endangered species. The park was established for the conversation of Nilgiri Tahr. The park is also home to other rare plants and animals like tigers, lion-tailed macaque and Atlas moth. The park offers you some breathtakingly beautiful views of the surrounding area. The park is ideal for nature lovers and is a good place for trekking. The park is also famous for Neelakurinji Flowers, which bloom once in 12 years. The blue-purple flower covered hill slopes is a sight to behold. Neelakurinji is an endemic plant to this region of Western Ghats. You will be able to see the bloom in 2018.
Another attraction inside the Eravikulam National Park is the Anamudi Peak, which is the highest peak in the South India. Rising 2,695 m above the sea level, Anamudi Peak is a great place for trekking. For trekking, permission is required from the Forest and Wildlife authorities at Eravikulam.
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The park remains closed during the period between February and March as it is the time for the Nilgiri Thar’s breeding program. The entry fee for the park is Rs 360 for foreigners, Rs 90 for Indian adult and Rs 65 for children. You can also reserve a ticket for the park in the city by paying an additional fee of Rs 50. The entire tour of the park will take you around five hours.
Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary
Photograph Courtesy: Nagesh Kamath/ Creative Commons
Also known as the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, the Thattekad bird sanctuary was Kerala’s first bird sanctuary. According to ornithologists Salim Ali, this sanctuary is the richest habitat of birds on peninsular India. Spread over 25km, the sanctuary is located on the north side of the river Periyar at the foot of Western Ghats. The sanctuary is home to different types of birds including rose-billed rollers, Ceylon frogmouths, Malabar grey hornbills and parakeets. The forest authorities conduct guided tours of the sanctuary at group as well as individual levels. Some area of the park is off limit for trekking activity. There are some areas that are marked for trekking and they are beautiful. The best way to watch the different types of birds in the sanctuary is to trek. A slow trek through the sanctuary will mesmerize you with its beauty.
The Thattekad bird sanctuary is open all days of the week from 6 am to 6 pm. Entry fees for the sanctuary is Rs 10 per person, Rs 25 for still camera and Rs 150 to shoot video film. There are several accommodation options in Munnar and a bungalow in Boothathankettu. There are also boat services from Boothathankettu to Thattekkad. You can take a boat ride to reach the sanctuary. The ticket price for the boat ride is Rs 10 for Indians and Rs 40 for foreigners.
Rajamala Wildlife Sanctuary
Located around 15 km away from Munnar, Rajamala Wildlife Sanctuary is a section of the Eravikulam Wildlife Sanctuary. Rajamala Wildlife Sanctuary is home to more than half of the population of Nilgiri Tahr, which is an endangered species. Nilgiri Tahrs are mountain goats of broad build with prickly fur and this sanctuary is their natural habitat. Male Nilgiri Tahrs have darker furs and are bigger than the females. Both have curved horns. The adult Nilgiri Tahrs are called ‘saddlebacks’ as they have a small area where the fur is light grey colored. Nilgiri Tahrs are Tamil Nadu’s state animal. Apart from Rajamala and Eravikulam reserves, Nilgiri Tahrs are found in Ponmudi close to Thiruvananthapuram. The sanctuary is also home to many reptiles and animals like gaurs, deer, elephants and panthers. With the rich vegetation of herb, trees and climbers, the sanctuary is a heaven for photography enthusiast and nature lover.
The sanctuary offers an enchanting view of the Rajmala Hills. It is also a good place if you are an adventure lover. You can indulge in rappelling, rock climbing and mountain trekking on the outer parts of the park. The sanctuary is also an ideal place to relax and soak in the natural beauty. Tourists are not allowed into the core area. Only the forest officials visit the core area for research and census. Hire a trained guide for trekking as it is very easy to get lost in these thick woods.
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If you are visiting the Rajmala Wildlife Sanctuary, you must visit the Pothundy Dam. The dam is a popular picnic spot. You can enjoy boating near the dam. It is advisable to carry water and food. There is just one guesthouse close to the entrance of the sanctuary and you have book the room in advance. You can also stay in Munnar and visit the sanctuary. You can visit the sanctuary throughout the year as the climate here is always moderate, but the best time to visit is the period between August and May. The sanctuary is open on all days of the week from 8am to 6pm.
Mattupetty is a beautiful hill station known for its serene lake and the dam. Located at an elevation of 1,700 m in the district of Idukki around 13km from Munnar, Mattupetty will mesmerize you with its pleasant climate, green valleys and scenic beauty. Like the rest of Idukki district, Mattupetty is blessed with nature’s bounty and is popular for spices. The cascades and the rivulets in the village add to the beauty of the place.
The village’s most popular attraction is the Mattupetty dam and lake. The dam was constructed to produce electricity and conserve water. It is a famous picnic spot and you can indulge in activities like horse riding and boating. Mattupetty village also has a dairy farm, which is operated by the Indo-Swiss livestock project. The dairy was established in 1961 in partnership with the Swiss government. The dairy farm has a research centre and cattle. You can combine your trip to Mattupetty with Thattekad Bird Sanctuary and Eravikulam National Park. Mattupetty has several accommodation options but fewer eateries.
The village is close to the Shola forest, which is ideal for trekking and is home to different types of animals and birds. The Kundala tea plantations are another must-visit place. The best time to visit the plantations is the period between September and March. You can also take a lazy stroll near Kundala Lake.
Pampadam Shola National Park
Located about 35km from Munnar, Pampadam Shola National Park is the state’s smallest national park. Covering 11.75 sq km Pampadam Shola National Park is a part of the Anamalai sub-cluster of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Pampadam was established in December 2003 by the Government of Kerala after acknowledging the zoological, geographical and ecological importance. The name Pampadam Shola means ‘the forest where snakes dance’ in Tamil language.
The park has different types of habitats and is home to 74 herb species, 22 species of trees and 16 species of climbers. The park also has southern hilltop tropical and west coast tropical evergreen vegetation.
The park is famous for its Nilgiri marten, which is endemicandendangered species. Nilgiri marten is a small carnivore. Apart from Nilgiri marten, the park has many endemic and threatened species. The park has a total of 93 species of moths, 14 species of birds,100 species of butterflies and nine spices of mammals. Langurs,Indian wild dogs, barking deer, leopard and tigers are some of the other animals found in the park. Among birds, you can see pied kingfisher, blue-capped rock-thrush and blue rock-thrush. There are also pythons and cobra.
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The eco-tourism activities are organised by the Eco-development Committees, which includes the tribal community of the region, and the Forest Department to promote tourism and offer means of sustainable livelihood for the tribal and local communities. The Forest Department also organises adventure trekking from the Munnar-Kodaikanal forest road to Vandaravu’s watch tower.
The period between December and April is the best time to visit the park. Although the park does not have any accommodation options but you can book one of the log houses in Nedavarpu and Kuttikadu. You can also stay in Munnar, which is just 35 km away from the national park. It is recommended to carry food with you as there are no eateries inside the park. The park is open on all days of the week from 8 am to 7 pm.
Things to do in Munnar
Munnar is a place where you can just hang up your boots and relax but there is no dearth of things to do here, here is the list.
Walking or Trekking- Munnar is an ideal place for trekking. The scenic valleys, rolling hills and fragrant tea plantation will keep you fresh and energetic during the entire walk.
Cycling- One of the best ways to explore the beautiful hill station of Munnar is by cycling. The winding roads, vast tea estates and misty hills will make cycling more interesting.
Fishing- Trout fishing is another activity you must try in Munnar. You can visit Sita Devi Lake for trout fishing. Dip your fishing rod in the lake and enjoy the fresh catch.
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Rappelling or Rock Climbing: Around 30 m high steep rock in Munnar is a popular place for mountain climbing activity.
Boating: Boating is another popular activity in Munnar. There are many places where you can enjoy a boat ride. From Kashmiri Shikara to speed boat to paddle boat, Munnar has everything.
Rafting: Another way to explore this pristine hill station is by rafting tours, which are organised by the Forest Department’s eco tourism project.
Visit the Christ Church: Christ Church is a Protestant church located in Old Munnar. Although the exteriors of the church have worn out, the interiors retain its old world charm. Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church was the first Catholic Church in this region.
Learn Yoga- Surrounded by tea plantation, Kaivalyam is a health retreat where you can stay and experience a holistic lifestyle. Learn yoga and organic dining ways here. For more information call 04865 232 628.
Explore the tea plantations on bike- In munnar, you can rent a scooter, Royal Enfield or any other bike to ride through the beautiful valley and hills. Bike is the most convenient way to reach nearby destinations like Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and Top Station. You can rent a bike at Gokulam Bike Hire (for more details:094472 37165)
Visit Munnar Supply Association (MSA): Munnar Supply Association is a landmark in Munnar and is worth a visit. Established in 1900, MSA is the oldest departmental store in the region. Even after 102 years, the departmental store is still popular and relevant as it kept reinventing. The ‘planters’ operate the store and manage its day to day activities. This red tiled building made of red brick with a porch, buttresses and gables is today a heritage site.
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Spot rare birds and animals- Usually people overlook the bird population of a national park or a sanctuary. Munnar is the best place to spot some of the Western Ghats endemic birds. Try to look for Malabar parakeet, the Wayanad Laughing thrush and the white bellied treepie.
Visit The High Range Club- This colonial-style club house is a social adda for the area’s tea ‘planters’. Teak and wicker is used for the construction of the club house. It has a lounging area with a bar. You can have good meal or read your favorite book in the library or indulge in a game of billiards. Call 04865 230 253 for more details.
Visit Munnar Carmelagiri Elephant Park- Here you can enjoy the elephant safari. The park offers differtn types of packages like one day tour, half day package and one hour package. These packages include elephant feeding, elephant bath, displays of communication with the elephants and elephant shower. For price and other details, call094478 27696.
Shop- You must buy tea, spices and coffee from Munnar. You will get fresh spices like pepper, cardamom and cloves. Buy green tea and other types of tea straight from the wholesaler at a really good price. Homemade chocolates and cashew nuts are other items you must buy when you visit Munnar.
Places to stay in Munnar
There are several accommodation options in Munnar. From budget to mid-range to luxury hotel, Munnar has it all. Here are some of the staying options.
Allens Cottage: Away from the city noise, Allens Cottage will surely make you forget about the hectic life in the city.Spread across spice plantation, the hotel is a perfect base camp for trekking and other adventure activities. The property has a three-bedroom cottage and a five-bedroom cottage. The hotel also offers laundry service and can arrange camp fire on request. For booking and other details, call 944 7387095.
JJ Cottage: This is another budget hotel with modern amenities and orderly rooms. The hotel is located close to the city. Other facilities of the hotel include laundry service, Wi-Fi and transport to the railway station or airport. Call 9447228599 for more details.
Vedanta Wake Up: Located in Devikulam, Vedanta Wake Up is among the best budget hotels in Munnar. The hotel has a total of 21 rooms on four floors, including six dormitories and 16 double rooms. With the tea plantation in the backdrop, Vedanta Wake Up is an ideal location to take rest and get refreshed for more exploring. Wi-Fi is provided in the common room. To book a room, call 4865 264050.
Emmel Dwellings: Located just 1 km from Munnar, Emmel Dwellings has spacious rooms with basic amenities. The hotel offers complimentary parking space and free Wi Fi. Call 4865 231090 for more details.
Sunleo Spice Villas & Homestay: Surrounded by the organic spice plantation, Sunleo Spice Villas & Homestay offers eco-friendly cottages. The hotel is located in about 600 m from the main road and just 7 km from Munnar. There are 4 cottages that can accommodate more than 16 people. The view of the nearby hills from the terrace is beautiful.
Theresian Cottages (Homestay): Nestled in between two hills, Theresian Cottages is the perfect hotel if you want to wake up watching the misty valley. Every room of this hotel offers spectacular view of the hill station. The hotel os located close to several tourist attractions like
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and Eravikulam National Park. There are four rooms with attached bathrooms. Camp fire will be arranged by the hotel staff on request. For tariff and other details, call0484 4027801.
Double Tree Villa: At Double Tree Villa, you will have the option to select a deluxe room or a Tree House. Outfitted with modern amenities, the hotel offers comfortable rooms with quality service. Other facilities of the hotel include camp fire, sightseeing tours, jeep safari, and laundry service. Located in Chinnakanal,Double Tree Villa is near all the main tourist attractions. For further information, call 9961122555.
The Regency Hotel: Located near Munnar market and Tea County, The Regency Hotel has 30 clean rooms. There is a small coffee shop in the hotel and a well-equipped business centre. Other facilities provided by the hotel include free parking space, safe deposit box, safaris and laundry service. They also offer spa service. Call 04865 233 332 for more details.
Munnar Inn: Located in the Kannan Devan Hills village, Munnar Inn is close to tourist attractions like Mattupetty Dam, Lakkam Waterfalls and Tea Museum. The hotel offers facilities like travel assistance, plantation visit, guided trekking tours and Ayurvedic massages. The property also includes a multi-cuisine restaurant. Call 4865 231735 for more details.
Westwood Riverside Garden Resort: With multi cuisine restaurant called Wood n’ Spice and open-airbarbeque restaurant called Fire-Grill-Barbeque, Westwood Riverside Garden Resort is a hotel that is abuzz with activities. The hotel also has a health club and offers different types of activities like the waterfall tours, wildlife tour and hobby studio activities. You can call 95 44 95 11 44 for more information.
Woodpecker Holidays: Located in midst of thick forest, Woodpecker Holiday resort offers 3-star facilities to the guests. The hotel offers single and double bed cottages. The stylishly decorated cottages are comfortable with beautiful interior. The cottages open to a blanket of greenery. Some of the facilities offered by the hotel are car on hire, sightseeing tours and Ayurvedic treatments. Call 9744480120 for more details.
Nature Zone Resort: Nature Zone is the perfect resort for people seeking relaxing and calm holiday. Located in midst of the evergreen forest, this hotel offers you scenic view of this place. Fitted with standard amenities, the rooms are spacious and comfortable. The hotel also offers adventure and nature activities like rock climbing, rappelling and nature walks. Call 9447533330 for tariff and other details.
Munnar Tea Country Resort: The staff of the Munnar Tea Country Resort will ensure that you remain rejuvenated throughout your trip to Munnar. Located close to the tea estate, the hotel offers beautiful view of the surrounding area. You can select from four different types of villas. Apart from all the basic amenities, the hotel offers facitlities like guided tours of the region, a well stocked library and laundry service. For more information, call 94977 17353.
Aruvi Resorts: Located at Thekkinkanam, Aruvi Resorts is one of the luxury hotels in the region. The rooms are confortable with all the basic amenities. Facilities provided by the hotel include dormitory, camp fire, kids’ play area and laundry service. To book a room or more details, call 4865 266884.
BEST PLACES TO EAT IN MUNNAR
While finding fancy restaurants in Munnar might be a task, there is no dearth for good eateries here. Like all other places in Kerala, it is a good place to gorge on street food. Though vegetarian restaurants are plenty, restaurants serving typical Kerala non-vegetarian food is difficult.
How to reach
Munnar is 130.5 km east of Kochi. You will take three and half hour to reach Munnar from Kochi by road. From Aluva, Munnar is around 110km away. You can book a cab from Aluva railway station to reach Munnar and it will cost you about Rs 2000. Bust stand is close to the railway station. There are regular buses from Aluva bus stand to Munnar and the cost of the ticket is around Rs 70 per person. The bus service starts at 6am.
If you are travelling by train, Aluva is the nearest railways station, which is 110km away from Munnar. From the station you can take a bus or a cab. Ernakulam railway station is 130km away from Munnar.
Cochin International airport is the nearest airport, which is located at Nedumbassery, is around 125km away from Munnar. You can hire the pre-paid taxi from the airport to reach the hill station. Both non-AC and AC cabs are available. An additional premium of 15-25 per cent is charged as night charges.
Weekend getaways from Munnar
Photograph courtesy: Karthick Ramachandran/Creative Commons
Located 151.8 km west of Munnar, Kumarakom is a cluster of scenic islands around the Vembanad Lake. Kumarakom, which is a part of the Kuttanad, is synonymous with Kerala and backwater. It is known for its serene backwaters and has an elaborate network of canals and is surrounded by a velvety blanket of paddy fields. It is believed that Kumarakom was founded by Alfred George Baker by reclaiming wetlands from the Vembanad Lake. You can still see the house where Baker lived, History House, on the banks of Vembanad Lake. Kumarakom is close to Aymanam or Ayemenem village, where the Booker Prize-winning novel The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy is set. Kumarakom is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state of Kerala. There are several places to visit in Kumarakom like Bay Island Driftwood Museum, Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall and Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary.
Mathikettan Shola National Park
Located around 40 km south of Munnar, Mathikettan Shola National Park is located between several other national parks like Eravikulam National Park and Pampadam Shola National Park. Mathikettan Shola National Park covers 12.82 sq km area and was once a part of the Cardamom Hill Reserve region. In 2003, Mathikettan Shola National Park was declared as a national park. The name of the park means ‘mind confuser’ in Tamil language as it is believed that once you enter the forest you will forget the path instantly.
The Mathikettan region and the shoal forest are a significant elephant corridor in the southern part of India. With several trekking trails, the park is extremely popular among the adventure seekers. Trekking through this forest will give ample opportunity to spot exotic birds and animals. Some parts of the forest have been given out on lease for cardamom farming. Mathikettan Shola National Park is home to some of the most beautiful and rare animals like panthers, tigers, Nilgiri Tahrs, spotted deer, flying squirrels, wild elephants and giant grizzled squirrel. The park also has lizards, crocodile, turtles, pythons and cobras.
Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary:
Covering around 277 sq km area, Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is located at an elevation of 984 ft to 4593 ft. It was established in 1973 and in 2009, it was categorised as a tiger reserve. Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is part of the Anamalai Hills sub-cluster located in the Western Ghats. It is one of the most beautiful places in the Western Ghats. This biodiversity hotspot is also the first ever scientifically managed teak plantation in the world. The sanctuary is situated between Anamalai and the Nelliampathy ranges close to the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The reserve has three major rivers, seven valleys and three manmade reservoirs. The Vengoli Peak located in the reserve is one of the popular attractions as it offers you a chance to spot Nilgiri Tahrs and is quite easy to climb.
The reserve is home to different types of trees like rosewood, sandalwood and teak. It also has the world’s tallest and oldest teak trees. It is believed that the Kannimara teak tree is more than 350 years old. The place is also home to 1049 species of insects, 16 species of amphibians, 124 species of butterflies, 268 species of birds and 39 species of mammals.
BEST TIME TO VISIT MUNNAR
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Munnar is as given below. The best time to visit Munnar is also specified.