MUNNAR -HILLSTATION IN SOUTH INDIA


Munnar is one of the popular hill station in India. It is in Kerala in south India. Munnar situated in Western Ghats at an altitude of 6000 ft. Every year millions of people visiting this place which is situated in Idukki district in Kerala.

Munnar is a hill station where the visitors can spend their time in vast and beautiful tea gardens, thick forests, wide hill ranges, lakes, valleys, wild animals.

Munnar has emerged as an all-season destination. The tourist season at Munnar, like all the other popular tourist destinations in Kerala starts from August and runs up to March. However, unlike other destinations, Munnar has a summer season in April to May when crowds come to this cool hill station to escape the heat in the plains. Munnar is less crowded from June to July during the monsoon season.

The below mentioned spots are the main places where tourists should visit when they are in Munnar.

1.MATTUPETTY DAM

Mattupetty is located 13 km away from Munnar. The main attraction is the dam and lake here. The dam of Mattupetty is a storage concrete gravity dam. The dam was constructed under the Pallivasal Hydro-electric project in the late 1940s, for the purpose of water conservation and power generation. Now the dam is a vital source of electricity generation in Munnar and a haven for many wild animals and birds due to its constant water availability. The most attractive part of Mattupetty dam is its still water which reflects the tea garden around. You can engage yourself with water sport activities like speed boating organized by district Tourism Promotion Council of Idukki (Munnar) and enjoy the pretty natural surroundings of this beautiful dam. Also you can have an adventure trekking in the nearby Shola forest.

2. Mattupetty Dairy Farm

Mattupetty is the place where Kerala’s prestigious Live stock project under Kerala Live Stock Development Board. It started in 1963 with the name of the ‘Indo-Swiss Project Kerala’. This big project spread over 191 hectares of land. It is a big help for thousands of diary farmers. Today this project is a world renowned one and many nationals from around the globe coming here to study different courses in modern diary technology.

There are more than hundred types of cattle are living here including breeding bulls and cows.Animal Husbandry, Fodder and Semen Bank are the mainstays here, along with an impressive Training Center, which holds courses for veterinarians, para-veterinarians and technicians in the field of animal production. It began as the ‘ Indo – Swiss dairy project’ in 1963, with the aim being to develop a new cattle breed which can adapt to the local environment. The KLDB was formed in 1976 and has developed the Mattupetty Project as a model livestock village, with the first deep frozen bull semen in the country being produced here in 1965.

3. Kundala Lake

Kundala is located approximately 20 km from Munnar on the way to Top Station and it is at a height of 1700 meters above the sea level. People love to see the Cherry gardens here, that blossoms twice in a year and make the surroundings of the lake even more attractive. However, the famous Neela Kurunji flowers, which bloom once in twelve years and change the green valleys of Kundala into refreshing blue beauties, are hard to see, because of their rare availability.

The Kundala Lake gives way to an artificial dam ‘Kundala Dam,’ which is another famous attraction of this region. It was constructed for Pallivasal Hydro Electric Project in 1946 and is Asia’s first Arch Dam, also known as Sethuparvathipuram Dam. One can see many a thing in the surrounding of this dam, like the green valleys, tea gardens, waterfalls, eucalyptus and pine trees, etc. The boating is another major attraction at this glorious lake.

4. TOP STATION

Top station received the name because it is the highest area where you can watch the beauty of Not only Munnar but a vast area of Western Ghat and the valley of Theni district of Tamil Nadu.It is located around 32 km away from Munnar and this point has a height of 1700m. Top station is located enroute to Munnar -Kodaikanal  road.From this point you will have a feel that you can touch the clouds with your hand that gives an awesome feeling to the tourist. When the Blue colored flower ‘Neelakurinji’(Strobilanthus),  which will blossom once in every 12 years, this place will change a bluish look every where. The next flowering season of Neelakurinji is on 2030.

5. ECHO POINT

It is a charming place in Munnar, which got its name from natural echo phenomenon situated at a scenic lake bank. Echopoint is located on the way to Top station it is 15 km away from Munnar with an altitude of 600 feet.Echopoint is always filled with greenery thus it will fill tourists a happy feeling all the time. Also one can walk with the nature here, who want to do a natural trekking, the facilities also available here. The place surrounded with mist covered hills, water falls and clean air will be a visual treat.

6.Eravikulam National Park

Eravikulam National Park,Also  known as Rajamalai Wildlife Sanctuary located around 45 minute drive away from Munnar. IN 1978, this area declared as a national park includes areas from Kerala ,Karnataka and Tamil nadu states. Important animals seen here are Elephant, Nilgiri langur, Nilgiri marten, Atlas moth (largest in the world), lion-tailed macaque, small-clawed otter and a rare tiger or leopard. Anamudi, which is the highest peak in south India is the central part of this National park. The beautiful slope area is the home for many rare plants and trees including orchids and beautiful wild balsams.

7. TATA TEAMUSEUM

Tea is not only the main crop in Munnar for which the place is famous for, but it also spread in the veins of local people living in Munnar. We can say 90 percent of Munnar people connected to the jobs related to tea. Therefore TATA Tea established a tea museum  in 2005 which consists the pictures and different machineries associated with the history of Munnar. The museum is located at Nallathanni Estate of TATA Tea company. We can watch the journey from old tea roller to the modern fully automated tea factory. It has many precious scenes like a sundial placed in a granite block which was made in 1913 by the Art Industrial School at Nazareth, Tamil Nadu. It has other attractions like the ‘Pelton Wheel’ used in the power generation plant in the 1920s, tea roller, and a rail engine wheel of the Kundale Valley Light Railway.

A demonstration room for tea tasting is another attraction where on would come across different varieties of tea. One can taste some of the most exotic varieties of tea available around the world here. It has steadily turned into a must-visit spot for those who wish to travel into the soul of Munnar.

8. CHINNAR WILD LIFE SANCTUARY

Chinnar wild life sanctuary is a protected area adjoining Tamilnadu. The area is diverse in eco systems and rich in ethnic cultural heritage.This area consists of many medicinal plants and creatures like grizzled giant squirrel, star tortoise, tufted grey langur, gaur, spotted deer, slender loris, wild elephant, crocodile, tiger, leopard and many a birds, insects.This wild life sanctuary is home to the Great Grizzled Squirrel of India. Numbering less than 200, they are among the most endangered species on the planet.

9. MARAYOOR SANDALWOOD FORESTs

Marayoor is an unspoiled forest with its original form, very less such forest at present in the world. The atmosphere in Marayoor is so greenery with thick forest and lively tea plantations. Also, Marayooy is famous for its sandal wood forest. There are around 65000 sandalwood trees in Marayoor forest with high quality. One can gain more knowledge about these trees at ‘Sandalwood Regeneration Experimental Plot,’ which is run by the State Forest Department. The tourists can also see the processing of sandalwood in this forest and take a stroll in the jungle, only after taking permission from the Forest Department.

10. MARAYOOR JAGGERY

Marayoor Jaggery is another interesting thing tourist can visit as apart of Munnar visit. This is a famous variety of solid molasses produced as ‘Marayoor Sarkara’ is known to be the best sarkara (jaggery) in the market with 97 percent sugar content. The production of sugarcane is high in this region as it falls in the rain shadow area, which helps in maintaining the temperature and the PH value of the Earth. The sugarcane is cultivated in around 1,500 acres under Molasses production.

11. MARAYOOR DOLMENS

Marayoor Dolmens are belongs to Neolithic Age, these are burialground built above the ground with large stone slabsand are called “megaliths”.These are more than thousand years old and required special note. Many anthropologists and archaeologists from all over the world visit this fascinating destination to explore the remnants of Dolmenoid cists belonging to the Megalithic age. The tourists trek through the area of Muniyara to reach 15 different types of Dolmens, between 3000 BC and 14000 BC. Some of the dolmens here even belong to the Iron Age, which is proven by the smoothed rocky stone slabs that can only be done with iron tools. These aboveground structures are unique as they are made of stones that are vertically laid on the ground and covered with one single stone on the top.

12. ATTUKAL WATERFALLS

Attukal Waterfalls is famous for not only the waterfalls but a trucking spot also. This is an unforgettable trekking spot for those who visited here. This place gives you the visual treat and varieties of scenic beauty at every moment. The waterfall lays 9 km away from the Munnar town, on the way to Pallivasal. It is one of the most attractive destinations, which you should not miss while planning a trip to Munnar. Attukal offers the beauty of water falling from the top of the mountain.

LAKKAM WATERFALLS

At a distance of 40 km from Munnar & 1.5 km from Marayoor, Lakkam Waterfalls is one of the popular falls around Munnar and a wonderful tourist attraction. It is situated between Rajamalai and Marayoor on Munnar – Udumalpet road.

With a height of over 50 feet, this wide and scenic waterfall is situated in dense forest. The water is collected into a small pool at the bottom and it offers a great opportunity to play in the cold mineral waters of the Lakkam Waterfalls. The waterfall is formed by Eravikulam Stream which is originated in the Eravikulam National Park. This stream is a tributary to Pambar River which is merged into River Cauvery.

The waterfall is situated close to the main road and needs a little walk for 10 minutes to reach from the road. Post monsoon season between October and January is the best season to visit the falls for best experience though the falls carry good flow of water till March.

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