Driving down to the Rajamalai National Park from Munnar takes approximately 45 minutes. This Park covers about 97 square kilometers of the Rajamalai Hills and has an abundance of flora and fauna for all to savor. Here you can catch sight of the Nilgiri Thar or Hemitragas hylocres, which is an endangered species of mountain goats, the lion-tailed macaque, tigers, the Atlas moth and leopards. The gently sloping grasslands will overwhelm you. Whether or not you catch sight of the goats, the romantic walk in the park will remain imprinted in your memories.
Within the National Park is the Anamudi Peak, which is the highest peak in the South. It looms high in the horizon over the sanctuary. The Atlas moths (largest in the world) are ubiquitous denizens of the park. The resilient can hoof it up to Anamudi.
For those who revel in bird watching, they should head straight for the Salim Ali bird sanctuary. They are sure to spot parakeets, Ceylon frogmouths, Malabar gray hornbills, rose-billed rollers and woodpeckers. This bird sanctuary is found on the road that leads from Ernakulam to Munnar. If the bird buffs can get enough of the place they can stay at hotels in Kothamangalam, which is only 20 kilometers away from the sanctuary or you could opt for a Bungalow in Boothathankettu. Here one can go on a boat cruise right up to Thattekkad.
Mattupetti means cattle village. There is an Indo Swiss Farm at Mattupetti where the migrant labourers from Tamil Nadu used to rear their cattle. The Indo Swiss dairy chose this place for the large quantities of silage and the favorable weather. They set up the place in the year 1961. This specialized dairy farm is run by the Kerala Livestock Development Board. There are over 100 breeds of cattle here.
At about 40 kilometers from Munnar hill station you will come across Marayoor in Kerala. where there is a natural growth of sandalwood trees. The caves here have murals in them worth exploring and also some relics from the later Stone Age civilization. The Forest Department runs a sandalwood factory at this locale. There’s a children’s park that extends across one hectare of land under the canopy of one Banyan tree. This draws a great many tourists to this spot.
The Kolukkumalai tea estate claims to be the highest in the world. It is situated at an altitude of 7130 feet. The scene from here is totally mesmerizing.
Located in the Idduki district of Kerala is a town called Munnar. The entire tourist area is actually referred to Idduki district and the town is merely a minor fraction of it. The words Munu and aaru in Malayalam mean three and river respectively giving us the name Munnar. The town is developed close to the convergence of the three rivers called Muthirappuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Surrounded by a sprawling forest, Munnar hill station is for all intents and purposes a pass. There is a conflict between the Government of Kerala and the Poonjar royal family about the ownership. Munnar is a town right out of a book. The twisting streets and hiking paths are a dream for the adventurous. The expansive tea plantations are the highlight of this delightful town. Nilgiri Langurs and elephants roam free in over here.
Munnar hill station is set on a height of 5400 feet above mean sea level. The temperature here dips down to a minimum 0 degrees Celsius and goes only as high as 25 degrees Celsius. That is the USP of this town as it is cool throughout the year. The best season to travel to Munnar hill station is from August to March.
Munnar hill station has the distinction of being the region where the exotic Neelakurinji grows. This plant has blue flowers that blossom only once every twelve years. During this time the hillsides appear bluish in color. The last time it blossomed was in December 2006, therefore the next time it will only blossom in 2018. The highest peak in South India is in Munnar, called Anamudi. This peak stands at a height of 2695 meters.
The title of Kashmir of South India has been bestowed on Munnar for its immaculate beauty. The British Government in South India considered Munnar its Summer Capital. Munnar is a favorite of the Honeymooners in South India.
To get to Munnar hill station, you must drive from Kochi, which is 140 kilometers away and takes about 4 to 5 hours to arrive at. The road is wonderful as it passes through a forest offering cool winds and lovely waterfalls from time to time lending aesthetic beauty. On the way you will come across Kothamangalam and then Adimali. You will see the tea plantations from almost 8 kilometers before you get into the town of Munnar. The best time to travel this portion is early morning as the panorama is enchanting. You can also approach Munnar from Kodai Road, Udumalpet and Madurai. The hairpin bends on this road are treacherous. Another approach to Munnar is from Coimbatore which is a much longer but more picturesque road.
The tea plantations for which Munnar hill station is famed were first cultivated by A.W. Turner in the vicinity of Devikulam in the year 1877. Initially they tried cultivating several crops such as cardamom, sisal, coffee and cinchona. Finally they discovered that tea grew very well in this region. A.H. Sharp was the first one to plant tea at Parvathi. Muir and Co. procured this area. Later it was called James Finlay and Co. until finally the Tata Group acquired all of Finlays shares.
A nice video of some of the scenery of Munnar, Kerala, India. This was shot during a family trip to Munnar. Put on your speakers to listen to a very nice narration done by a kid. Starts with Mattupetti Dam, Top Station, tea plantations, way side scenery on the way to Mario, and ends with the beautiful gardens near Munnar.
Munnar tea plantations video
Munnar is situated in the Idukki district in Kerala at an altitude of 6000 ft. It is located at the confluence of the Muthirappuzha, Chandavurai and Kundaly rivers. The exotic Neelakurinji flower, that blooms once every 12 years, grows here.
A tiny glimpse of the waterfall at Munnar.
Fantastic view of the Valley from a Hotel balcony.
Last one in this series…
This video was made for some friends,who had visited Munnar. You will be blown away by the beauty of this place and wonder whether this place is really in India. Most of the snaps you see were shot in mattupetty indo-swiss project for cattle farming. Enjoy the scenic beauty of Kerala – the gods own country.
The inviting and captivating scenario of the Western Ghats from the Top Station are a sight to behold. Top station is located on the Kerala and Tamil Nadu border. The phrase soaring in the clouds must have been penned here as that is what one experiences at this spot. It is about 37 kilometers away and takes an hour to drive from Munnar hill station and you can catch regular buses to take you there.
If you have children accompanying you then there is a wonderful spot where one could go boating or even horse riding and spend the day having a picnic. This place is called the Mattupetti Dam. The speed boat ride here is quite an experience. The ride lasts about 15 minutes and five people can be accommodated on the boat.
When you visit Top station, on the way you could stop over at Echo Point, which is about 15 kilometers out of Munnar hill station. There is a lovely lake here and when you stand at the banks and make a loud sound it will reverberate back to you several times over from the hills around. Young lovers enjoy calling out their sweethearts name to hear it resonate.
Tourists truly enjoy the numerous waterfalls contributed to by rainwater that they encounter on the way to Munnar as you they can snap some memorable photographs. The Atukkad Waterfall on Kochi road is a favorite as the hills and forests that surround it add to the charm. The path that leads to this waterfall is awfully narrow and only the experienced driver should make headway on it.
Set in the midst of green forests, the Kundala Lake is worth a visit. You could rent a pedal boat here and probe the area as you will be faced with a collage of landscape. Nature has showered all the colors that it has to offer over here.
The ecstasy of the variety of flowers in the Blossom Garden is all but believable. You will bring back a treasure trove of memories from here.