2. Mattupetty Dam
3. Kundala Lake
4. Echo Point
5. Eravikulam National Park
6. Marayoor Sandalwood Forests
7. Blossom Park
8. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
9. Lakkom Water Falls
10. Tea Plantations
11. Attukad Waterfalls
12. Mattupetty Dam
Top station is unanimously accepted as the most beautiful and serene destination in Munnar. It is situated at a distance of about 32 kilometres from the city centre in Munnar. Being the highest point in Munnar, the view from Top Station is a treat to the eyes as the overall panoramic view from high up of the Western Ghats is majestic and indescribable as the feeling of being at the top of everything while even the clouds lie below you is indeed one of a kind. It is the true example of unaltered natural beauty. Trekking and hiking to the Top station are also not harsh due to the gentle terrain but most of all, the landscapes and sceneries on the way is also unique and beautiful. Nature walks to the Top Station is usually preferred by tourists as it is the best way to experience the whole beauty of the place. The Top Station measures an altitude of approximately 1700 km and the view from the top offers many waterfalls and lush green valleys. There are very few places in the world that remain untouched and unhampered and the Top Station is one among them. A perfect place for reconciliation with nature, Top Station has a lot to offer for photographers and nature painters. Top station is also a perfect spot for camping and night stays as waking up in the laps of nature the next day is a feeling you wouldn’t trade for the world.
Mattupetty dam located at a distance of about 13kms from Munnar. A prominent hill station and tourist spot, the Mattupetty Dam has way more than just a dam to offer to the visitors. The main attractions of Mattupetty are the scenic lake and Mattupetty dam. Built under the Pallivasal Hydro-electric project dating back to the 1940’s for the conservation of water and production of electricity, the dam at the same has also been serving as a marvel for the eyes of numerous visitors since decades. The dam is a Storage Gravity Dam conserving water for hydroelectricity providing a huge source of power and revenue to the state. The hill station registers an altitude of approximately 1700 meters and hence has a very pleasant and soothing climate throughout the year. The very uniqueness of the lake in Mattupetty is that it remains stagnant, still and calm throughout reflecting the scenic tea plantations and lush green forest around. The other name of Mattupetty is “cattle village” because of the huge cattle farms which are a product of a bilateral agreement between the Swiss government and India’s called the Livestock Project launched in the year 1963. The Shola forests in and around Mattupetty is an attraction too as it ideal for trekking, hiking, and other adventure purposes. The Shola forests also offer views of rare and endangered varieties of birds. Mattupetty has been a picnic spot for the people living around since ages as the District Tourism Promotion Council provides various boating facilities in Mattupetty including slow speedboats and speed launches. The nearby Kundala lake is also worth a visit.
Kundala is beautiful town falling right on the way to the Top Station in Munnar and is famous for its mesmerising and picturesque sceneries. The town is famous for its lake also known as the Kundala lake which is located at a distance of about 20 kilometres from Munnar. The main specification for which the lake is famous for is the Neelakurunji flowers that give out a very fragrant smell and blooms only once in 12 years. The town also boasts of the Kundala dam which is the first arched dam in the world. Pretty big an achievement for a small town! The lake is situated at a height of 1700 meters above the sea level which is a marvel in itself. The lake adds a special serenity to the place which is indescribable and can only be experienced. It feels like magic as the sun glitters on the water surface creating an illusion of lights reflecting from a million pieces of shattered glass as the surrounding greenery adds to the beauty that makes the whole place majestic and mystical. It is a photographer’s paradise as he can never have his fill from the scenic beauty of Kundala. The arch dam in Kundala also provides boating facilities which are another experience as they aren’t ordinary boats. They are the famous Kashmiri shikkara boats which make the feeling all the more amazing. A nearby golf course and some waterfalls are some other attractions at Kundala. The nearest railway station to reach Kundala is Kottayam wherein private cabs and buses are available.
Echo Point in Munnar is considered one of the most beautiful tourist spots of Kerala. The fragrance of rolling tea from the gardens amidst the set up of misty clouds meeting eye pleasing mountain peaks describes Munnar. Interestingly and as evident from the name, echo point is named after the natural phenomenon happens here. The plantation of coffee, tea and spices distribute light and sweet aroma to the surroundings, which further adds up to the beauty of echo point. Not only this, tea gardens and echo point of Munnar are popular among trekkers, tea travellers, curators and travel bloggers.
Here in the realm of tranquillity, passion of photographers
get a new high taking into account its scenic gorgeousness. Other perks of paying a visit here include boating and listening to the chirping of birds which soothes the mind and carries it away from the routine noise loaded upon our ears. Intriguing enough, Neelakurinji is a rare flower that blooms here. The highest point in Munnar can be reached easily via available conveyance options there. The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport which is about 115 kilometres and nearest railway station is Changanacherry, 93 kilometres away from Munnar.
Eravikulam National park
The Eravikulam National Park has set itself as one of the most important tourist destinations in Kerala. People from various places come solely to visit the Eravikulam National park as it has so much to offer to nature and wildlife lovers.
Spread across an amply wide area of about 97 sq km, the Eravikulam National park places itself along the sides of the Western Ghats. The geographical specification of Eravikulam National park is that it is a streamlined consistent hill plateau covered with dense forests called the ‘shoals’ which have tropical and sub-tropical evergreen characteristics. The Eravikulam National park was initially a wildlife sanctuary until 1978 when it was turned into a National park. The main objective of the Eravikulam National park was to protect the Nilgiri Tahr and Hemitragus Hylocrious as they are a very rare species on the verge of extinction. The park also showcases a vast range of very rare and unique varieties of herbs and shrubs which are geographically restricted to Eravikulam. A wide variety of other species also seeks shelter in Eravikulam such as langurs, elephants, omage flycatcher, Nilgiri wooden pigeon, Nilgiri pipit, etc. The park is distributed and characterised into three parts namely, the core, the buffer and the tourism area. The tourism area also called Rajamalai is where the tourist are allowed to travel and visit and the trips are hosted and organised by the forest department. The view of mountains and valleys with flowers in full bloom is a common sight in Eravikulam National park. The park surely has to be on your check list while in Munnar.
Marayoor Sandalwood Forests
On your way to Munnar, you will come across a place, a place where you would “want” to stay for a while. Or if you are like me, you might decide to build your home there! Why do you ask? Because it is just divine! Marayoor Sandalwood forest, as the name suggests is a hub for thousands of sandalwood trees, two aesthetic pre-historic sites, endemic animals and world famous varieties of solid molasses /jaggery (Sarkara in Malayalam).
Muniyara is an impressive prehistoric site at Marayoor. The 2000-year-old megalithic site and the scenic location of the site would win the hearts of archaeology enthusiasts and the ordinary travellers alike. Ezhutupara, the second site, is known for its ancient cave paintings. The paintings here are of two types – those drawn with reddish brown soil having iron minerals in different colours and those drawn with white clay soil.
As you drive by the place, you will come across occasional waterfalls. These forests are home to around 65,000 sandalwood trees. As a result, the whole place is filled with the fragrance of sandalwood and magnificent trees. The State Forest Department runs a sandalwood depot here where travellers can see the processing of sandalwood.
Another interesting sight in Marayoor is the scenic river called Pambar. It flows between the villages of Marayoor and Kanthalloor and originates in the Anamudi hills. The place also boasts of an amazing trekking track for adventure junkies. To sum up, Marayoor offers its visitors a great natural fragrance, delectable molasses and breathtaking scenery.
A visit to the Blossom Park is a must to complete your trip to Munnar. Situated approximately 3kms away from Munnar, the Blossom International park covers a whopping area of 16 acres in a plethora of colours ever imaginable. No wonder it is called “Blossom”. The park boasts of the rarest of flowers, the parks and lakes and also the Muthirappuzha river that flows across. The scenic and exotic piece of land have so much of nature’s beauty to offer that absorbing it all at one go is almost impossible. Filled with fresh flowers, lush green gardens, parks, butterflies and birds, the place is next to none when it comes to nature being the sole criteria of evaluation. The park is a part of a hill resort falling near the Kanan Devan tea estates named the Sylvan Hill resort. The park also has artificial waterfalls which are a treat to the eyes. Various other facilities are also provided in the park such as boating, adventure trails, etc. The months from November to February are the most suitable time to visit Blossom park as during winters, the flowers stay in full bloom and the entire park lights up to a wide spectrum of colours. The Blossom Park is a perfect place for photography enthusiasts, adventure seekers, nature lovers and families.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
Chinnar wildlife sanctuary falls between Eravikulam National park and Indira Gandhi wildlife sanctuary. Spread across an area of about 90 sq Km, the sanctuary is famous for its rich flora and fauna and also its cultural, geomorphic and ecological significance. Located at a distance of about 18 Km from Marayoor, and is one among the 12 protected wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala. The whole of Chinnar is blanketed with thorny xerophyte shrubs and rare varieties of plants. Falling under a protected area, the Chinnar wildlife sanctuary is located on the slopes falling on the eastern side of the western Ghats adjoining the state of Tamil Nadu in its close vicinity. The Sanctuary provides the breeding ground for a large variety of rare endangered animals like the spotted deer, star tortoise, gaur, giant squirrel, etc. The sanctuary also provides shelter for a mass population of tigers, leopards, wild elephants, crocodiles and birds. The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary clearly is a haven for the flora and fauna of the place. The Chinnar Wildlife sanctuary also provides with dormitories for a hospitable stay and has a cafeteria, an amenity shop, eco shops and an inspection bungalow to cater to the needs of the visitors. The Sanctuary charges a minimal entry fee from the visitors but it is truly worth it. The area brings you close to nature and the experience is one of a kind. It is indeed a must on everyone’s checklist while on a trip to Munnar.
Lakkom Water Falls
Waterfalls are a common sight in Munnar. These marvels of nature still manage to thrill and excite people at all ages as the Lakkom Water Falls majestically falling from a remarkable height is indeed breathtaking. The Lakkom Water Falls is one of the major tributaries of the river Pambar which falls under the Eravikulam stream in Eravikulam National Park. The Lakkom Water Falls is a major tourist attraction and falls on the way to Udamalaipettai from Munnar. Located approximately at a distance of about 25 km from Munnar beside NH 17, the Lakkom Water Falls also is a wonderful place for swimming and other fun activities. The waterfall is surrounded by dense forest consisting mostly of “Vaga trees”. Most of the cascades are inaccessible due to the harsh currents and steep terrain, however, the accessible bit is indeed a visual treat. The best time of the day to visit the Lakkom Water Falls is during sunrise and sunset. The view during these two times of the day are enthralling and a pleasure to the eyes. It is located very close to Vagavurai village. The village is also worth a visit.
Munnar is completely blanketed with Tea Plantations and hence is the tea capital of the state. Tea being claimed as the most widely drunk beverage in the world and especially in India, Munnar’s tea has indeed created a benchmark for other varieties of tea. Most of the world’s most renowned estates are situated in Munnar. Munnar approximately hosts more than 50 tea plantations which include enormous companies like Tata group, AVT tea, Brooke bound, etc. Munnar’s tea plantations contribute a large chunk to the country’s tea market and hence is a significant source of revenue. The tea plantations in Munnar began in and around the 1890’s when a subordinate ruler of Travancore leased a huge part of Munnar’s land to J. D. Munro, a Scottish tea planter. It marked the beginning of making Munnar the tea capital. It is said that the first tea sapling was planted by A. H. Sharp at a place called Parvathi and hence Sharp is credited for introducing tea to the Parvathi hills which now are a part of Seven Mallay Estate. Presently Kanan Devan Hills plantations company holds most of the ownerships of the plantations. The tea museum, an initiative by the TATA group is worth a visit while gazing through the tea plantations of Munnar. Apart from the tea, the symmetric lush green gardens create a mesmerising image which sticks to all of our hearts at the first glance itself. It is an experience of a lifetime.
Munnar is blessed with numerous waterfalls and among those, the Attukad Waterfalls are the most captivating and famous. Located between Munnar and Pallivasal in Idukki district, the Attukad Waterfalls have been a constant tourist attraction as the waterfall is enveloped by dense jungles and uneven terrains and hence can be reached only by a wooden bridge which is a marvel in itself. The Attukad Waterfalls have been serving as a picnic spot and a resting point for travellers on their way to Munnar over the ages. A warm cup of local tea grown and harvested within the vicinity of the place while gazing at the Attukad Waterfalls is a soothing experience, perfect for reminiscing the past and absorbing the present without a hint of worry for the future. The Attukad Waterfalls is located at a distance of approximately 9 km from Munnar and has something to offer to people of all ages. It is a perfect destination for jungle lovers too as the jungles around provide the perfect terrain for trekking and picnics. The monsoon season is the perfect time to visit Attukad Waterfalls as it remains in full flow and the flowering plants and shrubs around bloom to its full glory. The entry to the Attukad Waterfalls remains free till date and hence it is open to everyone. Numerous shops around provide with hot tea and snacks which are enough to act as a catalyst to your emotional experience while you stand still, mesmerized by the beauty of the falls.
Meesapulimala, literally translating to “Whiskers of a tiger mountain” is the second highest peak in Kerala after Anamudi. Located in Idukki district, Meesapulimala stands tall overlooking the breathtaking Sahyadri range on the western side and the vast plains of Tamil Nadu on the east. The name of the mountain seems to be derived from the appearance of the mountain from the south west valleys and that it’s formed of eight hills that make it look like a moustache. Also, it is the toughest peak to climb. Being a part of the Western Ghats, Meesapulimala boasts of a whopping height of 2,640 metres, ie; 8,661 ft above the sea level. Located in Suriyanelli, Meesapullimala is the ultimate trekking and adventure destination for hikers and travel enthusiast. The view from the top of the mighty mountain is indeed a treat to the eyes and your soul. Although it is a tough climb all the way up, the scenic view and thrilling experience make you involuntarily skip a beat. The trek is approximately of 1100 metres which begin almost at a height of 1500 metres and stretches up to 2600 metres. The whole range of hills is covered by a thick green blanket of the richest rainforests in the country. Meesapulimala very well showcases the true unaltered form of nature’s art through the natural hills and vicious blue waterfalls. The whole area is blessed with rich flora and fauna which included numerous endangered species. The experience at the top of Meesapulimala is one which will remain with you forever. The feeling when the clouds engulf you from all sides and the constant breeze sways past you nonchalantly is indeed unforgettable.