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Munnar



Munnar Quick Information

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Summarise the city :
Cool and Refreshing Tea Estate Retreat

Best time to visit (High & peak months) :
All the year round except for the monsoons

Experiences :
Hill Station, wild life, immense scenic beauty

City calling code :
+91-4865

Recommended no. of days for a tourist :
2-3 days

Best buys :
Obviously the tasty tea from Tata Tea Sales Outlet and juicy strawberries.

Essentials to be carried along :
Cotton wears, Light Woolens for winters, sun blocks, cameras and binoculars

All about the city :
If your predilection is for the woods, waterfalls and mountains, one place that will always remain close to your heart, ever after you have visited it, is the quintessential hill town of Munnar. As the highly esteemed 'National Geographic Traveler' puts - Munnar is " one of the fifty must see destinations of a lifetime and one of the ten paradises of the world." Swathed in the velvety green carpet of tea plantations, it is one of the most romantic landscapes of the world. Eternal beauty and serenity that pervades all round penetrates through your senses to touch your soul.

The name Munnar (which means "three rivers" in Tamil) is derived from its location at the confluence of three mountain streams - Kundala, Mudrapuzha and Nallathanni. Encircled by wooded hills of the Annamalai ranges, it is crowned with the highest peak of South India, the Anaimudi (2695 m). The entire area of Munnar, about 557 square kilometer, belonged to and still belongs to the royal family of Poonjar and was given on lease for 99 years by the Poover king Kerala Varman to the British government in 1887. The Scottish planters used it as their summer resort in South India and also developed it for cultivation of coffee, spices and tea - Munnar's main claim to fame. Just give wings to your imagination and see if the tea plantations  over the undulating hills appear to you as a tortoise back or a carpet rolled out in the honour of the several guests that flock every year from several parts of the world. The tea plantations of Munnar is a part of one of Ashoka Holidays' Special Tours in India - A Learning Experience in Kerala , for the ones who travel to learn and vice-versa. 
 
The show does not end with the mist shrouded tea estates; Munnar has many things up its sleeves to sweep the tourists off their feet. The Neelakurunji (a blue colour flower) that springs once in 12 years to blanket the entire region and the highly endangered Nilgiri Tahr (mountain goat) are the main draws of this very touristy place. So, beware! You can avoid a trip to Munnar only till you are ignorant of it or you have not had a glimpse of it while surfing through the television channels or internet or simply leafing through a magazine.
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Munnar Tourist attractions

Name (suggested time required to see the place)DescriptionEntrance charges (if any) for Foreigner Close Day (if any) Open / Close time
Mattupetty (13 km from Munnar)Cruising in a 5-seater speedboat or a 20-seater launcher in the vast reservoir of Mattupetty dam in picturesque scenery here is undoubtedly an exhilarating experience. Kundala lake and Tea plantations in its environs enhance its attractions.INR 10none10 am - 5 pm
Church (1 km before Munnar on NH 49)A kilometer outside the town on the main road stands a colonial era Church with a façade no less impressive than a fortress. An adjoining cemetery has the tombstone of an English plantation manager's wife. It is said when she came first to Munnar after her marriage she was so captivated by her charm that she requested her husband to bury her in Munnar after her death. Unfortunately she was knocked down to death by Cholera only after a week she gave this statement.  Monday10 am - 5 pm Prayer timings 8 am
Tea MuseumTo have some elementary but interesting information about Tea and its evolutionary history in Munnar make a visit to the Tata Tea Museum that houses some artifacts and relics from the bygone era. At the adjacent tea processing unit see and learn how CTC (crush-tear-curl) tea is prepared. Do not forget the important tips, to prepare healthy tea, given by the guide who explains you the whole process there. INR 75Monday10 am - 4 pm
Pothamedu (3 km before Munnar on NH 49) and Devikulam (7 km from Munnar) Both these destinations are ideal places for long soothing mountain walks that can calm your senses with some of the finest views of the valley - tea, coffee and cardamom plantations forming a lush green carpet for the rolling hills all around. The Sita Devi Lake with its mineral waters and picturesque surroundings at Devikulam makes for a good picnic spot. The lake is also ideal for trout fishing.    
Silver CascadesMunnar is literally punctuated with numerous waterfalls. Many of them are a visual delight, becoming especially roaring and untamed during the monsoons. Few of them would even fall in your way to this hill town making the journey uphill or downhill very-very scenic.

Athukad: 8 km from Munnar (near Pallivasal), just off the Kochi road is Munnar's major lure. Two other on the same route are Cheeyapara falls plummeting from a height of 500 ft, right next to the highway. Valara falls, only a kilometer away from here, and Powerhouse waterfalls (18 km from Munnar on the road to Thekkady) are also quite enchanting.
   
Nyamakad (10 km from Munnar)Another pearl in the necklace of Munnar is the breathtaking view from Nyamakad gap, on Munnar-Coimbatore Road, where you see Talayar valley on one side and Munnar valley on the other. Chances of spotting colourfully dressed tea-pickers intent on their work and a gaur or elephant foraging in the nearby jungle make the drive upto Nyamakad worth an effort. Gravel Bank in its remote corner is a prime fishing site in Munnar.   
Eravikulam National Park (13 km from Munnar)This is a sanctuary set up for the preservation of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr, the main inhabitant of the park. Now the park has the largest known population of Tahr's existing in the world. Besides one can also find Atlas Moth (largest moths in the world in terms of total wing surface area), Elephants, Sambhars, Gaurs, Lion-tailed Macaque, Nilgiri, and Langurs. 132 species of birds has also been reported to exist here.

The highest peak of South India, Anaimudi is the pride possession of Eravikulam. Intially the visitors are supposed to board a government bus to navigate some distance in the park. A distance of about 1-1.5 km further has to be covered on foot - an easy but rewarding trek. Eravikulam is also famous for Kurunji, the blue flowers that blanket the whole region when they blossom after every 12 years. Next expected to bloom here in 2018.
INR 220
Still camera: 25 Video camera: 200
Closed during monsoons7 am - 5 pm
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Getting there - how to reach Munnar

AirRailRoad
Near by airports are at Kochi (130 kms-4 hours), Madurai (142 kms-4.30 hours) and Coimbatore (156 Km- 4.5 hours). Nearest railway stations are at Kochi, Kottayam and Madurai. It is 130 km east of Kochi, 198 km north east of Alappuzha, 142 km north west of Madurai, 142 km north east of Kumarkom, 110 km north of Thekkady.
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Munnar Excursions

Excursion (distance in kms / time taken)Write up on the excursion
Top Station (32 km from Munnar on road to Kodaikanal/ 60 min)Lying on the outskirts of Munnar, Top station precariously clings to a steep ridge in Tamil Nadu, 3 km from interstate border. Stupendous view of the mountains around, the plains of Tamil Nadu and the ruins of old ropeway station are, for what people come here. The rare Neelakurunji (strobilanthus), a flower that blooms once in 12 years, belongs to this region. The Blue colored Neelakurunji blooms so extensively in this region, giving it a bluish hue, that the mountains here are known as Nilgiris (literally meaning Blue mountains).
Marayoor (40 km from Munnar/ 2.25 hrs)It is the only place in Kerala that has a natural growth of sandalwood trees. The place has left glimpses of the ancient caves (muniyaras). Hamlets, rocky hills, rivers, brook, cave temples, sugar cane fields, waterfalls, Neolithic period's stone coffins, sandal wood and bamboo forests are all in store for the visitors.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary (10 km ahead of Marayoor and 60 km from Munnar/ 3 hrs) To enjoy wildlife traverse on the Rajamala-Udumalpet road (SH 17) that snakes right through Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary - home to deer, leopards, elephants and the endangered grizzled giant squirrel. If you are lucky the legendary white bison may appear to give you a rare glimpse.

Besides enjoying a Chinnar Safari, you can trek into the interior of the jungle, do river and waterfall trekking and stay in a tribal hut or tree house.
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Suggested Places to eat at Munnar

Name of the place Phone / Email Cuisine Avg. cost per person for a mealOpening & closing time
Rapsy Restaurant Non veg (speciality: Chicken & mutton biryani)   
Saravana Bhavan  Veg South Indian fare  
High range club (minimum 4 hrs notice is required) Typical English food  
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Travel and tour program -  Munnar, Kerala, South India

Tour NameNo. Of days Other places covered Detail's link (if applicable)
Best of Kerala9 nights/10 daysKochi - Munnar - Thekkady(Periyar) - Kumarkom - Alappuzha - Kovalam (Trivandrum) 
Kerala Wildlife Tour9 nights/10 daysKochi - Munnar - Thekkady(Periyar) - Kumarkom - Kochi  - Wayanad  

A Learning Experience in Kerala

- a special tour in India

8 nights/9 daysKochi - Munnar - Thekkady(Periyar) - Kumarkom Kovalam (Trivandrum) 
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