Munnar is one of the most popular hill stations in South India. It is nestled in the Western Ghats at an altitude of 6000 ft and is located in Idukki district of Kerala. This picturesque hill station beckons nature lovers from far and near.
Large tea plantations, forests, hill ranges, valleys, and wildlife makes anyone fall in love with this place. I am going to share 13 places that you should visit (or try to) when you are in Munnar. And if you already visited Munnar recently, then I hope these will make you want to do another trip very soon!
1- Mattupetty Dam
Mattupetty dam and its reservoir are located 13 km away from Munnar. This concrete gravity dam is built between the hill ranges and it is used mainly for water storage for hydroelectric projects. Its reservoir is an idyllic place to enjoy the serene nature. It is also said to be one of the waterholes where the elephants in the region often visit.
2- Kundala Lake
Kundala Lake is an artificial reservoir of a minor arch shaped dam huddled between the mountain ranges. It is about a 20 km drive from Munnar. There is boating facility there.. and don’t forget to go for a Shikara boat ride while you are there!
3– Top Station
It is about 40 km from Munnar and it is 1,880 meters above sea level. The panoramic view of the Western Ghats and the valley of Theni from Top station is simply breathtaking. The top station got this name from it’s being the uppermost located railway station on the Kundala Valley Railway.
4- Echo Point
Echo Point is about 15 km from Munnar. Go there and scream as loud as you can..and wait for a minute. You can hear your echo back! It’s quite interesting. If you have kids with you..they will love it. They can experience this natural phenomenon firsthand.
5- Rajamalai (Part of Eravikulam National Park)
Want to spot the Nilgiri Tahr? These highly-endangered species of mountain goats are found in abundance at the Rajamalai National Park, also known as Eravikulam National Park. Located 15 km from Munnar, the national park spreads over 97 sq km, houses Anamudi (the highest peak in South India) and is home to several protected species of flora and fauna.
Legend has it that Sita (of the Ramayana epic), once spent time at this picturesque lake, in the tranquil hills near Munnar. That’s how it came to be known as Devikulam (the Lake of the Goddess). It’s a popular tourist hub now and known for trout fishing.
7- Marayoor Sandalwood Forests
This is located at around 42 km north of Munnar through the Udumalppetta route. Marayoor is famous for the natural sandalwood forest. Not only that, this place is said to be part of the ancient stone age civilization dated back to 10,000 B.C. Stone age paintings, rock edicts and dolmens found there vouch for this rich heritage.
8- Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
Chinnar wildlife sanctuary is about 60 km from Munnar. It is situated on SH 17 in the Marayoor and Kanthalloor Panchayats of Idukki district. It is an ideal spot for trekking and enjoying wildlife closely. It is the habitat for endangered Grizzled giant squirrel in India. Almost 34 species of mammals including panthers, spotted deers, elephants, tigers can be found here. It is also a bird watchers paradise. 245 species of birds live here!
9- Lakkom Water Falls
This waterfall is about 25 km from Munnar on the way to Udumalaipettai. Lakkom waterfalls are part of Eravikulam National Park. The cascading waterfalls and the scenic surroundings make it tourists favorite hideout in Munnar.
10- elephant lake
It’s the perfect wow moment. Do take out your cameras! Here you get to watch herds of wild tuskers quenching their thirst at a lake! The Elephant Lake at Anayirangal Dam is a lush green carpet of tea plants about 22 km from Munnar. This is a picnic spot with great views of the wilderness. But do remember to maintain a safe distance from the animals.
How To Reach Munnar – Kerala
Munnar does not have an airport of its own. The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport, which is 110 kilometers away by road. From Cochin, you can hire a cab to get to Munnar. The Madurai International Airport is 140 kilometers away from Munnar. In case you de-board at the Madurai International Airport, you can hire a cab or board the state transport or private buses to get to Munnar.
State-run or private buses, plying from various towns in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, are the best way to get to Munnar by road. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation provides bus services to Munnar from all major cities in Kerala.
The nearest railway station from Munnar is at Aluva, which is at a distance of 110 kilometers from Munnar. The Ernakulam Railway Station is 130 kilometers away while the Madurai Railway Station is at a distance of 135 kilometers. From these points, you can either hire a cab or board the state transport or private buses wherever available.