Posted by: getaway2india | January 12, 2010

Munnar – The land of 3 Rivers

Munnar – The land of 3 Rivers

Munnar is a hill station situated 1600 m (5400 ft) above sea level in the Indian state of Kerala. It was a summer resort of the British government in South India. It is pronounced “Moon-aar” meaning “Three rivers” in Malayalam Language. The three rivers are – Madupetti, Nallathanni and Periavaru which flow through this town, but join some distance away from Munnar. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India, Anamudi, at 2695 m. The neelakurinji, a blue flower which blooms only every twelve years, is found in this region. It bloomed last in December 2006.

Munnar - The land of 3 rivers

It can be divide into Old Munnar & Munnar –  Old Munnar, is where the tourist information office is, and Munnar, where the bus station and most guest houses are located.

Altitude :                    1600 Mts to 1800 Mts above sea level.

Temperature :            Min. 0 deg.C – Max. 25 deg.C.

Clothing : Warm Clothes and Rain Gear.

Tourist Season :         August – March

Getting in


By Car

Munnar is 140 km (about 3 hours) from Kochi. But it could also be a good 6 hours if you are driving up or down, as the road  is narrow, twisty and curvy since the road it is also blind in some places and there are a lot of trucks and buses that seem to drive as if they own the road. Although the road is smooth (NH 49),. Make sure you have a very light meal before you drive to Munnar on these roads. The continuous – winding roads could create the urge to vomit. Kothamangalam is on the way and is 80 km away from Munnar. Between Kothamangalam and next town “Adimali”, you can experience a beautiful cool drive through a natural forest. Alongside, you can see many refreshing waterfalls.

Once you reach Adimali, Munnar is just 30 kilometers away – but it will take almost an hour to reach. Around 22 kilometers from Adimali, you can start seeing the tea plantations on both sides of the road and a panoramic view of the Western Ghats. The view is extremely beautiful during the early mornings. The speed on the Ghats will be not more that 30/kmph, even if there are no vehicles ahead of you, due to the curve-y nature of the roads.

Munnar can also be reached from Kodai Road, Madurai, Udumalpet. The drive to Munnar involves about 3 hours on the ghat section. There are 17 hair pin bends and traversing them can make you feel nauseated. However if you eat light while travelling you can enjoy the scenery during the drive.

Munnar is about 150 km from Coimbatore. Coimbatore-Munnar route is a very scenic route and though a bit longer is generally considered worth the extra time spent.

Kodaikanal is nearly 170 KM away from Munnar. [ Kodaikanal – Perumal Malai – Mayiladum Parai – Mooliyaru – Oothu – Falls View – Ganguvarpetty – Ghat Road – Periya Kulam – Theni – Bodi – Bodimettu – Devikulam – Munnar.] This route is a highly scenic one.

To See

  • Echo Point – 15km from Munnar, on the way to top station from Munnar is a small lake set amidst rolling hills. Every loud call made from a spot on the lake embankment is returned manifold by the echo from the surrounding hills. Young tourists throng to this place to listen to the echoes of their friendship calls.
  • Top Station, 37km from Munnar on the Kerala and Tamil Nadu border, has great views of the Western Ghats. Top station is the “top”-tourist attraction. This place gives a real ‘above the clouds’ experience. Regular buses go to Top Station (1 hr) from Munnar. A jeep costs Rs 400. The area is known for the Neelakurunji plant, which flowers only once every twelve years. The flower is violet.

Kundala Lake

  • Kundala Lake – This lake is very beautiful amidst lush jungles. Hiring a pedal boat and exploring the lake and its surroundings is an awesome experience. Except at the place you hired the boat, don’t expect to find humans around the lake as it is surrounded by scenic jungles and hills.

Eravikulam National Park

  • Eravikulam (Rajamalai) National Park: 45 mins from Munnar. See Nilgiri Thar (Hemitragas hylocres) – an endangered species of mountain goats, rolling grasslands and sholas, spread over 97 sq km in the Rajamalai hills, rare flora and fauna, Atlas moth (largest in the world), lion-tailed macaque, leopards, tigers, The Kurichi or Neelakurinji Flowers turn the hills of Rajamalai blue every 12 years. The next bloom will be in 2018.

Chinnar

  • Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Chinnar wildlife sanctuary is located in the Western Ghats of Kerala. This wildlife sanctuary is spread in around 90 km of area and has a large number of plants and animals. This sanctuary is one of the protected areas in the western ghats because of its geomorphologic, ecological, cultural significance and floral.

Mattupetti Dam

  • Mattupetti Dam – 10km from Munnar, this popular for boating and horse riding and is a great place to spend the day especially if visiting with children. You could take the speed boat ride which is fantastic. It costs 300 INR if you have to hire a boat for you alone. The ride is for 15 minutes. The maximum capacity is 5 persons and you could save some money if you are a group of 4 to 5.
  • Mattupetti Indo-Swiss Farm – Better known as Mattupetti (cattle village), Tamil migrant labourers had once upon a time reared cattle here. The cool climate and abundance of fodder made it the ideal location for the Indo-Swiss dairy farm. Established in 1961, the Kerala Livestock Development Board (KLDB) manages this highly specialised dairy farm. The dairy farm is a unique one of its kind with more than 100 varieties of high-yielding cattle being reared.
  • Anamudi Peak inside Eravikulam National Park: The highest peak (2695 m) south of the Himalayas, towers over the sanctuary in majestic pride. The slopes of the hills abound in all kinds of rare flora and fauna. The Atlas moth, the largest of its kind in the world, is a unique inhabitant of the park. Other rare species of fauna found here are the Nilgiri Langur, the lion-tailed macaque, leopards, tigers, etc. An ideal place for trekking, facilities are provided here and tourists are allowed to go on foot up to Anamudi.

Waterfall

  • Atukkad Waterfalls – A scenic waterfalls amidst hills and jungles. You can find a road leading to Atukkad Waterfalls on Kochi road (just about 5 km from Munnar). This road is very narrow and needs a lot of experience to drive on.
  • Salim Ali (Thattekkad) Bird Sanctuary, http://www.prd.kerala.gov.in/thettakad.htm . Woodpeckers, Malabar gray hornbills, Ceylon frogmouths, parakeets, and rose-billed rollers are found here. It  is located 20km from Kothamangalam on the road between Ernakulam and Munnar. There are basic and mid-range hotels in Kothamangalam and an Inspection Bungalow in Boothathankettu. You can take a boat cruise from Boothathankettu to Thattekkad. For Foreigners/Indian Rs 40/10.
  • Blossom Garden – Houses many different varities of flowers.
  • Water falls – Check out the several natural waterfalls on the way to Munnar.
  • Chithirapuram is located at a distance of around 10 km from Munnar. This town is also famous for its tea plantations in the world. Chithirapuram has old playgrounds and courts, bungalows and sleepy little cottages which all give this place an old world charm.
  • Kolukkumalai Tea Estate – At a height of about 7130 ft, this orthodox tea factory lays claim to being one of the highest in the world. The view of the Western Ghats is absolutely enchanting.
  • Marayoor – Around 40km from Munnar. It is the only place in Kerala with natural growth of sandalwood trees, natural caves with murals, and relics from Later Stone Age civilization. There is a sandalwood factory of the Forest Department of Kerala and a children’s park extending across one hectare of land under the canopy of a single Banyan tree, all of which attract tourists in large numbers.

To Do

  • The High Range Club has a charming colonial style. The club house is built of wicker and teak and is the social hub for the tea “Planters” of the region. Members enjoy lounging in the bar over Planter’s Punch followed by a good meal, a game of billiards or reading a book in the library.
  • Munnar Supply Association (MSA) Set up in 1900, this is another nostalgic landmark worth visiting in Munnar. It is the oldest department store in the area and has been re-inventing itself to stay relevant and popular after almost 102 years. The store was run by “planters” who still manage its affairs. The MSA is a red brick, red tiled building with gables, buttresses and a porch and is now a heritage site.
  • The Christ Church, in Old Munnar. The exteriors have worn out with time though the charming interiors still have a very nice ambiance. It was consecrated way back in 1910 and still has 14 original rows of pews. The first Catholic Church in the High Ranges was Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church.

Boating

  • Boating There are several places to go out for boating in Munnar. One can choose among paddle boats and speed boats to Kashmiri-Shikara. Young couples who travel to Munnar should not miss out on the beautiful ‘Kashmiri-Shikara’ boat ride. It is one of the most romantic experiences.
  • Walk in the Clouds – Trek to your heart’s content while the clouds slowly descend upon you.
  • Rock Climbing and Rappelling – Munnar has a steep rock face about 100ft.

To Eat

Kerala is famous for Fish Curry. For snacks, one should try local Spicy Cashew Nut, Chilly Bhaji with hot tea as they are a traditional snack and makes good combination in cold weather.

  • Bamboo Hut, G.H. Road. Wide range of food for reasonable prices, although service can be a “bit” slow. On the upside, the place usually has good music (from Bob Dylan to electronic chill-out sound), which is normally quite hard to find in India.
  • Mahavir Jain Restaurant – Provides authentic North-Indian food. Meals at Mahavir Jain restaurant are a total hit. They provide meals ranging from Gujarati-meals to Punjabi-Meals. Non vegetarian food is not served here. One cannot stop eating the delicious rotis at this place. However, compared to other restaurants, this place is slightly expensive. Meals start from Rs. 75/-
  • Saravana Bhavan – Right at the heart of town is the most inexpensive places to eat. The service here is quick and the food is absolutely delicious. But one has to be accommodating when eating at Sarvana Bhavan. You might have to share your table with others. This place provides South Indian dishes, served on a Banana leaf.
  • Silverspoon Restaurant, Main Bazaar (Right beside the bus station). Breakfast until 11:00. This place does a great value buffet breakfast – cornflakes, toast, omelet plus Indian breakfast food for Rs. 95.
  • TreeTop Restaurant, Ph 04865 264273, 264399, http://www.autumntreesmunnar.com/. Autumn Trees in Devikulam, a Multi-cusine restaurant having 70 person seating capacity. Vegetarian & Non-Vegetarian food available.
  • CampNoel – Multi Cuisine Restaurant, Pazhathottam, Munnar (Near Top Station), Ph 04865-214095, 7am to 10 pm. At 6,800 feet above sea level, CampNoel is possibly the highest altitude restaurant in Kerala. Enjoy scrumptious food in a breath-taking setting!
  • Patel Gujarati Restaurant, (Near Post Office). Gujarati and Marwari meals. Eat your heart out. Amazing food for under 100 rupees
  • Purohit Restaurant, Inside Hotel Dhanyasree, Dhanyasree Jn. Chilling Plant Road, Munnar (Nr Tea County Resorts), Ph 04865-232552 232553 9946239251. 0600-2230. Bombay, Jain, Gujarati, Rajasthani, Punjabi and South Indian food. Good Gujarati Unlimited Thali at INR 85 (July 09). Budget.

Munnar has some amazing street food (try the Gobi noodles), so if you are after a cheap and delicious meal check the area around the bus stand in Munnar (not the KSRTC bus stand in Old Munnar).

Tour Packages

  • Cab Rentals:

Munnar Travels:-  Most of the tourists to Munnar are coming by train to Ernakulam or Cochin Airport. From there Munnar is around 150 KM. Hence if you keep a cab with you from arrival moment till departure will help each tourist to save lot of money.

To Stay

Budget Hotels

Royal Retreat

  • Allens Cottage, luxury and standard cottages with tasty food and good service. Away from all disturbance of City. http://www.allenscottage.webs.com/
  • JJ Cottage, Phone: 04865-230104, Mobile: 94461 30593 / 94472 28599, jjcottagemunnar@sancharnet.in. Close to the KSRTC bus stand in old Munnar. JJ Cottage offers nice rooms, very friendly and helpful staff and good and cheap food Double rooms approx Rs300 during the low season

Mid-range Hotels

Expensive Hotels

Club Mahindra Munnar

Windermere Munnar

Contacts:

  • Main Post Office, Tel : 91-486-2530280.
  • Police control room: 100
  • Fire station: 101
  • Ambulance: 103

Ayurvedic Treatment / Massage

  • Swatic Ayur Care Centre, tel. -91-9447031656, 91-4865-231656,230395.
  • Surya Ayurvedic Health Resorts, Chithirapuram, tel. 91-486-2563204.

Stay safe

Apply sunscreen lotion while you leave Munnar because as you descend the hills the weather gets warmer and causes sun burn.

The Devikulam, Eravikulam National Park is nearby.

  • Kodaikanal Route

Approx 170 KM.

Munnar – Devikulam – Bodimettu – Bodi – Theni – Periya Kulam – Ghat Road – Ganguvarpetty – Falls View – Oothu – Mooliyaru – Machoor – Mayiladum Parai – Perumal Malai – Kodaikanal –

Approx 240KM

Munnar – Devikulam – Udumbanchola – Cumbum – Uthama Palayam – Thevaram – Bodi – Theni – Periyakulam – Falls View – Oothu – Perumal Malai – Kodaikanal.

  • Kochi-Valpara-Palani Route

Kerala High Court, Kochi – 0 KM

Chalakudi – 46 KM……

Athirapally Water Falls …… 78 KM…… Watch Maram ……….. 96 KM

Sholayar Power House ….. 113 KM……

Malakkappara ……………133 KM …….Upper Sholayar Dam – 138 KM

Valpara ………………….. 162 KM……

Attakatty …………………. 189 KM ……Aliyar Dam ………….203 KM……

Naalu Moola Sungam -….. .213 KM

Erisinampatti …………….  226 KM

(Better road thru Erisinampatti – Mukkonam – Udumalpettu to Palani)……

Jolipetty ………………….  240 KM

Palani ……………………  278 KM

There are lots of busses to Cochin (Ernakulam Bus Stand) every day.

There is a bus to Calicut (Kozhikode) every day at 1:45PM. Approx 9 hours to get there if you are lucky. Rs 141.

To  Buy

The best things to buy are Tea, coffee, spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and pepper and definitely homemade chocolates.

  • Munnar Fancy, INTUC Building, GH Road, Munnar, Kerala, India – 685612. Ph:91-4865-232554
  • Leo Gift House
  • D.M.Samuel & Sons
  • DMS Jewellery
  • Marakkar Shopping Centre
  • Rahim Book Stall, Tel : 91-486-2530759
  • DTPC stall, Tel: 91-486-2530682. Good for spices.
  • Sunny Traders, Tel : 91-486-2530476. A tea shop.
  • Shakthi Hills Computers,kanthalloor, Tel : 04865246444. Computer Stationary
  • Sri Velavan stores,munnar, Ph 232379. a home of all provisions & stationeries
  • Abbas & Co. Tea Merchants, 25, Bazaar, Munnar PO 685 612. Abbas & Co is wholesaler and also provide retail sale. Really good price for Tea, Green Tea, Coffee, Cashew – Nuts, Homemade chocolates, Spices, Aloe Vera Gel Budget.
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Responses

  1. Very usedful.

    • “with phone number of car driver and rate” … boss even with so much detail I put up you couldnt find those?… you must be really dumb!

  2. itz very good information

  3. good information keep it up.

  4. very useful information

  5. super good information for munnar tourists.


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