If God ever mulls over options to choose his abode on earth, Munnar will prominently feature on that list. This is exactly the thought that struck my mind when I visited this beautiful hill station in the “God’s Own Country” Kerala. Blessed with abundant natural beauty, Munnar is often referred to as the ‘Kashmir of South India’. The popular tourist places in Munnar are replete with charming vistas of tea plantations, rolling hills, tranquil lakes and stunning waterfalls.
Here is all you need to know to plan your trip to this hilltown, including a handy 2-day itinerary.
A Quick Glance Through
- How To Reach Munnar
- Best Time To Visit Munnar
- Top 12 Tourist Places
- Where To Stay
- Other Nearby Attractions
How To Reach Munnar
The best way to reach Munnar is by road from Kochi (126 km). Munnar doesn’t have an airport. The nearest airport is in Kochi, which is connected by flight to many cities in India and outside. You can hire a cab or catch a bus from Kochi to reach Munnar.
Aluva (105 km) is the nearest railhead for reaching Munnar. It has direct trains from cities like Chennai, Mumbai and Trivandrum. Kerala State Transport buses also run from all major cities in Kerala to Munnar.
Refer to the above map for driving directions from Cochin International Airport to Munnar town.
Best Time To Visit Munnar
Munnar is located at around 5,200 ft above mean sea level. It experiences moderate weather throughout the year. However, the summer season lasting April to June is warm with an average high temperature touching 25-26 degrees.
There is heavy rainfall during the monsoon season from July to August. So, the best time to visit Munnar is from September to March.
Top 12 Tourist Places in Munnar
The astounding natural beauty of Munnar attracts a lot of nature lovers. Continue reading this post to know which are the best places in Munnar to visit in 2 days.
1. Chinnakanal Waterfalls
A popular stopover on the way to Munnar from Kochi, the scenic Chinnakanal Waterfalls lies some 18 km away from Munnar town.
You can cover this attraction on the same day when you are arriving in Munnar. It is also referred to as Power House Waterfalls, named after a power house situated next to it.
The waterfall gushes down from an impressive height of about 6,500 ft and the surrounding lush green tea plantations add to its charm. Owing to its strategic location on the Kumily-Munnar highway, it is one of the major tourist places in Munnar.
It is believed that the falls originate from Sita Devi lake in Devikulam. According to legends, Sita Devi wife of Lord Rama, bathed in the beautiful Devikulam lake. So, the lake is considered sacred and is also known to have medicinal properties.
2. Photo Point
On day 1, you can visit the prime attractions located on the Munnar – Top Station Highway. Photo Point is the first halt on this route. It is roughly 4 km away from Munnar Bus Depot and takes less than 15 minutes to reach here by cab.
This is a small stretch of road in the midst of beautifully landscaped tea gardens. It offers excellent opportunities to capture the scenic beauty of Munnar with your camera. One can also feel the rich aroma of tea leaves emanating from everywhere.
3. Mattupetty Dam and Lake
Head over to Mattupetty Dam next, which is almost 20-minute drive away from Photo Point. This dam is a major source of electricity generation for Munnar town.
The backwaters of Mattupetty Dam are one of the most popular tourist places in Munnar. It is also known as Mattupetty Lake. Encircled by lofty hills and dense Shola forests, the lake is a delight for nature lovers and photographers.
Boating is the best way to explore the pristine beauty of this place. There are many options to choose from. You can hire a pedal boat, a motorboat or a rowboat.
For adventure seekers, it offers trekking opportunities in the surrounding Shola forests. A lot of birds including many types of raptors and waterfowls can also be sighted during trekking.
About a few kilometers away from Mattupetty Lake is a dairy farm spread over almost 200 hectares. It is operated by Indo-Swiss Livestock Project.
Over 100 varieties of high-quality cattle are reared here. If you are interested in gaining some insights into animal husbandry, this is the place for you.
4. Echo Point
Echo Point is less than 10 minutes drive from Mattupetty lake. It is one of the famous tourist places in Munnar to experience the natural echo phenomenon.
Scream anything as loud as you can and wait for a few moments. Your voice echoes through the surroundings and you can hear it back.
Kids enjoy this a lot and love to repeat it many times. So, don’t miss this place if you are visiting along with kids. It is situated at an altitude of 600 ft and is quite popular as a picnic destination.
5. Kundala Lake
Another ethereal beauty, Kundala Lake lies almost 8 km away from Echo Point on Munnar-Top Station highway. By cab, it doesn’t take more than 20 minutes to reach there from Echo Point.
The Kundala water reservoir was created due to the construction of Kundala Dam on the Periyar river. The dam and the reservoir have become one of the major tourist places in Munnar and draw a large number of tourists.
Many types of boating options are available to choose from, such as pedal boat, speed boat and shikara boat. You can also try horse riding here. It is a perfect place to relax and spend some moments in the lap of nature.
You may also like: 20 Major Lakes in India That Will Amaze You.
6. Top Station
At an elevation of 1700 m, Top Station is the highest point in Munnar. It is a historic location that was once used as a transit point for tea transportation from Munnar to other parts of India and England.
It was the uppermost railway station of Kundala Valley Railway way back in the early 1900s. This place is situated in the Kannan Devan hills along the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. Top Station offers breathtaking views of the Western Ghats and lush valleys below.
If you are visiting here just before sunset, it’s worth waiting a little longer for sunset to occur. The lofty hills provide a perfect backdrop for stunning views of the sunset. Besides this, it is also popular for the rare Neelakurinji flowers which bloom once in twelve years.
7. Kolukkumalai Tea Estate
Known for its excellent quality of tea, Kolukkumalai Tea Estate is the highest tea plantation in the world at 7900 ft.
The time-tested tea factory of Kolukkumalai still uses the traditional methods of tea production to retain flavour and aroma of the tea.
It was set up in the early 1900s by the colonial planters and the old British-era machines continue to function even today.
You should visit this place early in the morning to get the best experience. The morning mist, the fresh air on the hills and the panoramic views from the top are what make this trip unforgettable.
Tea packets are also available for buying and one can even sip different flavours of tea. It is definitely one of the must-visit tourist places in Munnar.
Since the tea estate is situated at a significantly higher altitude, you can reach there by jeep only. Own vehicles need to be parked at Suryanelli. Be ready to climb short distances, if you wish to explore this place fully.
8. Eravikulam National Park
Head next to the Eravikulam National Park which is located almost 7.5 km away from Suryanelli car parking. The park is most known for its remnant population of Nilgiri tahr.
It was established as the Eravikulam-Rajamala Wildlife Sanctuary in 1975 to conserve the endangered Nilgiri tahr. Later in 1978, it was declared as a national park. Eravikulam is one of the best tourist places in Munnar to explore the endemic fauna of the region.
Besides Nilgiri tahr, the park is home to many other mammals like lion-tailed macaques, jungle cats, dhole (wild dog) and porcupines. Over 130 bird species are also found in the park including Nilgiri pipit, Nilgiri flycatcher and Nilgiri wood pigeon.
9. Anamudi Peak
Anamudi Peak is located at the southern end of the Eravikulam National Park. At an altitude of 8,842 ft, it is the highest peak in the Western Ghats as well as in South India. So, it is also referred to as the ‘Everest of South India’.
The mountain peak, Anamudi, derives its name from the fact that it resembles an elephant’s forehead. Anamudi translates to elephant’s head in the local language.
It is a popular destination in Munnar for trekking adventures. The base location of the trek is situated inside Eravikulam National Park. The park also offers spectacular views of the Anamudi Peak and adjacent peaks.
You may also like: Top 7 Highest Peaks in India That Can Take Your Breath Away.
10. Pothamedu Viewpoint
It is about an hour’s drive to Pothamedu viewpoint from Eravikulam National Park by cab. This viewpoint is immensely popular amongst those interested in photography. It offers awe-inspiring visuals of the surroundings adorned with tea plantations and green valleys.
A little diversion from the Munnar bypass road takes you to this vantage point. So, if you have already been here on your way to Munnar from Cochin, skip this and head over to Attukad Waterfalls.
11. Attukad Waterfalls
Nestled in the evergreen dense forests of the Western Ghats between Munnar and Pallivasal, Attukad Waterfall is exceptionally beautiful. From Pothamedu Viewpoint, it is roughly 20-minute drive to this waterfall.
This place is irresistible with plentiful greenery, refreshing ambience and stunning landscapes. Amongst all the tourist places in Munnar, Attukad Waterfall is one of the most visited attractions.
With a number of gorgeous trails along the falls, it is also popular as a trekking destination. The climb is really steep, so be cautious and wear trekking shoes with a good grip. If you are not going to trek, sit on a rock, relax and enjoy the captivating beauty of nature.
12. Rose Garden
A well-maintained botanical garden and floriculture center, the Rose Garden is a wonderful place to visit in Munnar. From the Attukad Waterfalls, it is about 25 minutes drive to the Rose Garden.
Contrary to its name there are a wide variety of other plants and rare flowers. All the specimens on display are properly labelled for identification.
There are well-defined pathways for visitors to walk around and enjoy the picturesque beauty of the garden.
You may also like: The Most Beautiful Gardens in India.
Where To Stay in Munnar
Munnar offers hotels to cater to all budget types. Here are my top 3 recommendations.
Mid-range – Tea County resort
Tea County resort is one of the best options among the mid-range hotels. It is very well maintained and is operated by KTDC. The location is great, close to the city center.
Within the property, you will find a beautiful garden, a restaurant and a gym. The resort offers incredible views of the surrounding lush hills. All in all, you will have a wonderful stay here.
Budget – Grand Plaza Munnar
If you are looking for budget-friendly accommodation, Grand Plaza Munnar is a great place to stay. The hotel is centrally located and is well placed for sightseeing in Munnar.
The rooms are clean and gracefully designed. Guests will enjoy free wifi, plus a complimentary breakfast is included in the room cost.
Luxury – Chandys Windy Woods
For those looking to splurge on a luxurious stay, Chandys Windy Woods is a fabulous choice. It is set in a charming location in Chithirapuram, slightly off the Munnar town. All rooms are well-appointed and elegantly decorated.
A swimming pool, a spa, a gym, a coffee shop and an on-site restaurant ensure that guests have an awesome stay at the resort.
Other Nearby Attractions
Munnar hosts many other scenic waterfalls. If you have a day or two more to spare, make sure to visit Kuthumkal waterfalls. It lies almost 29 km away from Munnar and 6 km away from Rajakkad. The splendour of the falls in all its glory can be witnessed after monsoons.
Nyayamakadu Waterfalls is another gorgeous waterfall that is also worth visiting. It is located some 8 km away from Munnar town via Munnar – Udumalpet road. Thekkady, another major hill station of Kerala is 91 km from Munnar.
Kodaikanal, one of India’s most beautiful hill stations, is about 165 km from Munnar. It is almost 5 hours drive via Suryanelli and Theni.
You may also like: Top 12 Tourist Places in Kodaikanal.
Over To You Now…
Which all spots have you visited from this list of the top 12 tourist places in Munnar? Tell us in the comment section below.
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