In the heights of Western Ghats, at an elevation of over 5200 feet above the sea level, nestled safely in the mountains is this little town that attracts tourists from all over the world despite its remoteness. The lush greenery that one cannot miss throughout Kerala only gets amplified when you reach this hill station owing to the hectares of tea plantations that make up the economy of Munnar.
The famous “Neelakurinji”, the flower that blooms only once in 12 years, and the Nilgiri Thar that are only found in Munnar are only a few among the well-known attractions of this place. The Eravikulam National Park, a UNESCO world-heritage site protects the endangered Nilgiri Thar. The Neelakurinji,endemic to the western ghats has it next bloom in 2018.
One does not have to visit Munnar only to see these. Every turn, every corner is a treat to the eyes and remains so around the year, across the seasons. If the rains add beauty to the hills, the winter makes this place a dream with the mist clad mountains creating a vision from the postcards. Summer is never too hard on Munnar making it an ideal yearlong get away destination.
We chose to drive to Munnar from Ernakulam and then take the route through Theni back to Bangalore. This gave us the views on the ascent and descent on two different routes, and needless to say, both have their own unique views to offer.
The travel from Ernakulam to Munnar takes you through the lush green winding Ghat roads unique to Kerala. We stayed in Glenmore resorts, a small beautiful resort surrounded by cardamom plantations.
We chose this place because we were reaching at night and wanted to find something before Munnar and then proceed to Munnar the next day and get around there. The place itself is small but deserve a kudos for the friendly staff who runs it. The drive to the resort is quite an off-roading experience that requires expert maneuvering of the car – so we let one of the resort staffs do it for us, which we would say is a wiser thing to do! The resort is a great place to unwind and relax, read a book or take a walk through the plantations.
There are multiple things to see in Munnar and you can find an exhaustive list of things to do here. Please know that a few things are seasonal and may not be open all the time. We happened to reach during the mating season of the Nilgiri Thar which made Rajamala Reserve Forest off limits to tourists. It may be a wise idea to call up the hotels and check if there are any temporary restrictions as such before proceeding to plan your holiday.
We chose to stay at “The Wind” for the second day of our trip. This is after the main town and is on the other side of the town.
The place offers rooms built with beautiful views to the rolling green hills of Munnar. The only flipside was that you can book this place only if you have a car at your disposal because the ride down is quite bumpy and is quite an isolated place. The restaurant offers the most scenic views with an entire wall in glass that looks to the valley beneath.
The ride from Munnar to Theni will delight every traveler with the beautiful sceneries and winding roads in every turn.
The panoramic Mattupetty Dam reservoir can be viewed from the road while taking this route out of Munnar.
It is a long ride before you finally reach civilization and it is advisable to either have your food and proceed or carry take-aways to ensure you can enjoy the pleasant drive down.
Munnar is a quaint town that offers a relaxing getaway from the city life, noise and pollution. It is not as commercialized as Ooty or Kodaikanal so you will find lesser options for food and dining. However, the elevation also means the place offers you views incomparable to any other hill station along the Western Ghats. So enjoy the journey and take that vacation which is truly a break from all that is busy and fast and unwind in the lap of nature.
What to wear : Munnar can get cold in the winter months from November to January. So remember to carry woolens to keep you warm. The south-west monsoon blesses this place with ample rain, so should you pick the rainy months, remember to carry your rain ponchos and umbrellas to not let rain ruin your vacation plans. Go easy in summer with lighter clothes and slippers.
Where to stay: We have given two places that we chose above. There are abundant other places that you can choose to stay apart from these. You can find reviews on Glenmore Resorts and The Wind by following the links. We have added our personal reviews of these two places in TripAdvisor.