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Munnar

Surrounded by lush green-carpeted tea and coffee plantations, Munnar is a picturesque hill station situated in the eastern part of Kerala. The town is located at the confluence of three mountain streams—Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni, and Kudala—and is known for its clean, neat, and brightly painted ambience. The beautiful landscapes, cosy weather, and the smell of tealeaves make Munnar one of the most sought-after destinations in South India. Precisely these were the reason why the British always retreated to Munnar when the heat and humidity was on its peak in other parts of Kerala. Munnar is situated near the Anaimudi Peak, the highest peak in the Western Ghats. The hills here are covered with a carpet of flowers in bloom. Also found here is an exotic plant called Neelakurunji that flowers just once in a 12-year period. Its next scheduled flowering is in 2006.

Sightseeing:

Pothamedu:

One of the major plantation hubs of Munnar, Pothamedu is situated at a distance of around 6 km from the town. Views of coffee, tee, and cardamom plantations are excellent from this place. It is an ideal place for trekking and hiking amidst lush mountains, rolling hills, and breathtaking scenery.

Devikulam:

Devikulam is an out-of-the-world experience among exotic flora and fauna, cool mountain air, and velvet lawns. An idyllic hill station, Devikulam is located at a distance of around 7 km from Munnar. The Sita Devi Lake situated here is an ideal picnic spot with its picturesque surroundings, mineral water and trout.

Pallivasal:

A place of immense scenic beauty, Pallivasal is situated around 8 km from Munnar. It has the distinction of being home to the first hydropower project in Kerala.

Attukal:

An ideal place for long trekking, Attukal is situated between Munnar and Pallivasal. The place is a feast for the eyes with its panoramic waterfalls and rolling hills.

Nyayamakad:

An excellent picnic and trekking point, Nyayamakad is situated at a distance of 10 km from Munnar near Rajamala. Nyayamakad is a land of scintillating waterfalls with water cascading down from a height of around 1,600 metres.

Nyayamakad-Munnar:

An excellent picnic and trekking point, Nyayamakad is situated at a distance of 10 km from Munnar near Rajamala. Nyayamakad is a land of scintillating waterfalls with water cascading down from a height of around 1,600 metres.

Mattupetty Lake:

Created by a small hydroelectric dam project, this lake is situated at a distance of around 13 km away from Munnar. The dam is flanked by steep rolling hills and woods all around. A cattle breeding centre-cum-dairy project (a joint project between India and Switzerland) situated here offers a realistic insight into the modern cattle breeding industry.

Rajamala:

A precious but little-known place situated at a distance of 15 km from Munnar, Rajamala is home to almost half the population of Nilgiri tahrs (a rare mountain goat). In fact, the Eravikulam-Rajamala region is the natural habitat of this almost extinct species with around 1,000 of them staying here.

Chithirapuram:

This small hill station exudes an old-world charm with its old playgrounds and courts, bungalows, and sleepy little cottages that point to its colonial past. Situated at a distance of around 10 km from Munnar, Chithirapuram is home to Pallivasal hydel power project.

Echo Point:

As its name suggests, the place has a natural echo phenomenon. It is situated at a distance of around 15 km from Munnar on the way to Top Station.

Excursions From Munnar:

Anayirankal:
Surrounded by lush tea plantations and evergreen forests, Anayirankal is situated at a distance of around 22 km from Munnar. A visit to the splendid reservoir and the Anayirankal dam gives excellent views.

Cheeyappara:
Located between Neriamangalam and Adimali on the Kochi-Madurai Highway, Cheeyappara and Valara waterfalls are a treat to the eyes. The fall cascades down in seven steps making it unique.

Marayoor:
Around 40 km from Munnar, Marayoor has many firsts to its credit. It is the only place in Kerala with natural growth of sandalwood trees, natural caves with murals, and relics from Later Stone Age civilisation. 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. Some nearby destinations such as Thoovanam and Rajiv Gandhi National Park are also of great interest.

Meenuli:
Meenuli is an ideal place for trekking with its huge rock extending over 500 acres in area and two acres of evergreen forests upon it. From the top of the rock, one can see the Lower Periyar Area, Bhoothathankettu and even up to Ernakulam on a fine day.

Top Station:
Situated at an altitude of 2,200 m, Top Station offers wonderful views of the valley down below and panoramic landscape. The hilltop is situated at a distance of around 41 km north from Munnar town on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border. According to a local belief, the place derived its name from Middle Station and Lower Station, both lying down the valley, which were once connected to this place via a ropeway.

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