Nestled in the green garden of God’s Own Country, Munnar is one of the most fascinating travel destinations in South India, hosting thousands of honeymoon couples and foreign delegates every year. The enchanting sights of lush green tea plantation and panorama of Western-ghat Mountain magically blend with the veil of floating clouds, offering a passionate holiday experience that you are longing for. However, Munnar is vast and needs proper planning to cover the worthy corners, especially if you are planning a short trip to Munnar; below, I’m introducing the complete list of nearby attractions and especially highlighting the 12 best places to visit in Munnar hill station. Hope this will help you to plan a memorable trip to the green paradise.
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Brief introduction to the Green Paradise, Munnar
Situating at the lap of Westernghat Mountain, Munnar is the real pride of Kerala. At an elevation of about 1500 ft from sea level, Munnar offers a pleasant climate (0-25 oC) throughout the year, which is unmatched by the common humid climate of the rest of Kerala. So, you can plan to visit Munnar in any season, even during the hot summer to get some healthy relief.
During the British era, in the 1800s, Benjamin Swayne Ward was in a survey for uncovering the Western Ghats and Periyar forest, and discovered the confluence of three rivers – Mudhirapuzha, Nallathanni, and Kundaly. Certainly, the name “Munnar” was derived from the combination of two words, “Moonnu” (Three) and “Aar” (Small River), and established as the new summer capital of the British.
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12 Best Places to Visit in Munnar (Must Visit)
Munnar hill station and its surroundings are rich with unique biodiversity and endless natural beauty. It’s not possible to cover every corner of Munnar on a single visit unless you stay there for at least 7-10 days. In general, most away tourists plan to cover the whole of Kerala in 7-10 days, while stay in Munnar for 1-2 days. In fact, we also did the same on our first Munnar trip, but realized we left many things unseen, so planned a complete Munnar trip 2 years later.
All the Munnar tourist places can be divided mainly into 4 categories; Lakes & Dams, Waterfalls, Viewpoints, and Trekking options & wildlife explorations. Apart from these, a fifth class includes all other visiting places where you can spend relaxing afternoons or evenings, such as gardens, tea museums, etc.
Check the complete list below.
|Viewpoints & peaks
|Lakes & Dams
|Lakkom Water Falls
|Kolukkumalai Tea Estate
|Mattupetti Indo Swiss Farm
|Tata Tea Museum
|Trekking & Wildlife
|High Range Club
|Eravikulam National Park
|C.S.I Christ Church
|Pothamedu View Point
|Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
|Sevenmallay Tea Estate
If you don’t have much time to cover the whole of Munnar, just plan a short trip and enjoy the selective beauties. Below I’m highlighting 12 most important places to visit in Munnar on a shorter trip.
Located at an altitude of 1700 meters from sea level, Kundala Lake is an evergreen natural gem in Munnar, and a lovely place for honeymoon couples to hang out. Shaded with blue sky and mists of floating clouds with a perfect blend of rolling tea plantations around the lake, this place creates an ever-enchanting atmosphere fulfilling the wanderlust of nomadic travelers, making a vacation much worthy beyond your expectations.
A peaceful boat riding through the tranquil water of Kundala Lake is something that you can’t miss when you visit this eternal place surrounded by lush green.
The postcard-perfect sight of blooming cherry blossoms around the lake (and the whole of Kundala valley) appears twice in the year and lasts for only 2 weeks. Also, Kundala area is the land of world-famous Neelakurinji flower that blossoms once every 12 years. Undoubtfully, seasonal visits to Munnar, as well as Kundala Lake, will blow your mind with the colors of nature.
3 km away from Munnar hill station, photo point is a worthy roadside stoppage right on the way to Echo Point. It’s a place where lush green valley gets divided by serpentine pitch road, featured with cascade of tea estate on one side and lines of pine trees on the other.
Your visit during monsoon season offers you a breath-taking sight of colorful natural garden when the valley gets covered by plenty of blooming flowers. However, most tourists remain unaware of this beautiful spot unless the car driver mentions it, and eventually, they pass away over without having a stoppage. I suggest, must take nature’s breath here on your way to the Echo point and have some memorable snaps.
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Situating at the bank of picturesque Kundala Lake and surrounded by hilly landscapes, so-called Echo point is famous for its natural echo generating phenomenon. That means, if you shout standing on the Echo Point, your voice will revert back to you repeatedly, providing you with some funny excitement on your Munnar trip. Notably, the riverside confluence of 3 mountain ranges (Nallathanni, Mudrapuzha, and Kundala ranges) is mainly responsible for such echo generation.
Apart from echo activity, echo point itself is an extremely romantic place to explore the serenity of enchanting Kundala Lake with a misty backdrop covered by the lush green hilly landscape. Indeed, it’s a perfect place to spend peaceful hours with loved ones. Boating into the lake or climbing the hilltop are some added bonuses that you can enjoy at Echo Point.
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Watching the panoramic view of WesternGhat mountain range standing on the topmost point around Munnar region offers an unforgettable experience that every tourist yells for. However, due to the rainy climate of Munnar, the top station often remains covered by clouds and fogs, but on a clear day the breathtaking sight of widespread lush green landscape immensely blows someone’s mind.
Worth mentioning, Munnar is the homeland of Neelakurinji flowers, and once in every 12 years, the top station offers a magical view when the lush green converts to widespread blue hue by the billions of blooming Neelakurinji.
This place is a bit away from Munnar hill station (40 km), but definitely, one of the most precious places to visit on Munnar trip. You are suggested to visit this place early in the morning and cover other spots on the return way. Alternatively, if you are planning to visit Thekkady or Periyar from Munnar, you may stop at the top station on the way.
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Eravikulam National Park
I guess, I don’t need to mention much about this destination! As you are planning to visit Munnar, you probably know (discover) about famous Eravikulam National Park and its precious reservation, Nilgiri Tahr.
Eravikulam National Park is a world-famous wildlife sanctuary for protecting extremely rare and endangered Nilgiri Tahr. In addition, a large variety of unexplored and region-specific flora and fauna make this place a natural haven for botanists.
Undoubtfully, Eravikulam National Park is one of the most popular places to visit in Munnar, especially if you are passionate about wildlife. Except for February-March, this part remains open throughout the year from 07:00 O’clock to 18:00 O’clock; for leaving Nilgiri Tahrs alone during mating season you aren’t allowed to enter there from February to March.
Note: This sanctuary remains crowded on weekends, so as an away tourist you should avoid visiting there on weekends.
Eravikulam National Park hosts beautiful Lakkom waterfalls, where you can reach easily by a short walk from the main road on your way from Munnar to Udumalaipettai. The cascade of stream, crystal clear pool water, and mist of deep green forest produce a charming atmosphere around Lakkom waterfall, offering a mind-blowing experience to the tourist of all age.
For your note, the entrance for Lakkom Waterfalls remains open from 9 AM to 4 PM; so you should plan your trip accordingly.
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On your Munnar trip, it’s much worthy to experience the breath-taking beauty of Anaimudi peak, the highest peak of Western Ghats as well as South India (2695 meters) that is situated inside the Eravikulam National Park. It’s a fantastic trip for the adventurous travelers who love trekking, though hiking is presently prohibited for common tourists by the forest department Kerala, mainly for providing peace to the wild animals (especially Nilgiri Tahr).
If you can somehow manage the permission from the forest department, this might be an ever remembering trek of your life.
Note: Once every 12 years, this place becomes earthly heaven with the appearance of Neelkurunji flowers.
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Situating close to Anaimudi peak, Mattupetty Dam is a popular destination due to the auspicious atmosphere of the place. Apart from the wide-angle view from the top of the dam, Muttupetty lake is especially attractive due to the dam-side lake that is surrounded by lush green valleys and part of Western ghat hills.
Casual boating and speed boating are some common activities that you can enjoy in the lake water, and being a fortunate tourist you may also have a chance to see wildlife around the lake.
Entry – 10/-
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Lock Heart Gap
Lockheart gap offers a spectacular view of a naturally formed heart-shaped gap between two adjacent mountains, where the evergreen forest of Western Ghat perfectly blends with the mist of floating clouds.
The enchanting atmosphere, heavenly beauty, endless serenity, and mind-blowing aroma of fresh tea leaves make this destination a must-visit place in Munnar. On a fine morning, you have to drive only 13 km from the Munnar town center to reach the viewpoint of Lockheart Gap.
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In the middle of the forest, surrounded by lush green and steep hills, Attukad Waterfall is one of the most mesmerizing places to visit in Munnar. The closest view of the falls can be obtained from a narrow bridge, though you must calculate the risk of adventure drive over it before step in. For a safer option, you can enjoy the breathtaking view with a hot cup of spicy tea right from the roadside viewpoint that lies on the sightful road towards Pallivasal.
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Although you can’t attend a trek to Anaimudi peak without prior permission from the forest division of Kerala, you have the freedom to wander through the trail of Chokramudi Peak. Indeed, it’s a much demanding day trip for the adventure lovers, reaching 2100 m above sea level.
From the starting point, the entire trek route is only 10 km, which can be completed within 6-7 hours if you are a beginner in trekking adventure or far before if you are an expert. For easy reach, winter is the most convenient season to hike through Chokramudi Peak. If you are a passionate trekker or adventure lover, then never miss this short trek on your Munnar trip.
Nyayamakad Waterfall produces the biggest cascade compared to other waterfalls around Munnar hill station and is a perfect place to meet nature’s beauty and local lifestyle together! On the road, you have a high chance to watch the local tea leave pickers in the widespread tea estates and the wild beauty of Nilgiri Tahr. The place is situated only 10 km away from Munnar, and it’s worth visiting there on your sightseeing trip.
Other worthy places to visit in Munnar
if you are visiting Munnar for longer holidays (5-7 days), you can cover some other places that are worthy to visit.
- Cheeyapara Waterfalls
- Meesapulimala (Special attraction for adventure lovers – Moderate trek)
- Mattupetty Dairy Farm
- Pothamedu View Point
- Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
- Chinnakanal Waterfalls
- Kolukkumalai Tea Estate
- Tea Museum
- Blossom Park
- Spice garden
- Rose Garden
- TATA Tea Museum
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Other things to do in Munnar
Besides the sightseeing, you can do several other things to experience the complete taste of Munnar. Hiking/trekking, rock climbing, mountain biking, shikara ride, night safari are some thrilling activities that most nature and adventure lovers prefer.
Apart from these, you can experience a special Keralian ayurvedic spa at Munnar, but you are suggested to book your spa hours at a reputed spa center. This activity rejuvenates your body and mind perfectly. Watching tea-making technology is another exciting thing that you can experience in Munnar.
Famous food of Munnar
Several delicious Kerala dishes are very popular among the tourists’ community, but you must try those foods from a reputed restaurant to get the actual taste. On your Munnar trip you can try the following dishes:
- Kerala Stew with Appams (veg)
- Puttu with Kadala Curry (veg)
- Keralian Spicy Chicken Fry (Non veg)
- Keralian Prawn Curry (Non veg)
- Keralian Beef Fry (Non vevg)
- Kairali thali
Caution: Low-grade restaurants can serve you dishes with an intense smell of coconut oil (especially for non-veg dishes), which you may not like. So choose only reputed restaurants for your fooding. Also for your note, in Munnar as well as Kerala, most of the reputed restaurants serve only vegetarian dishes, so for the best non-veg service, you have to search a bit more.
Best time to visit Munnar
You can visit Munnar anytime throughout the year. Many people from closer destinations plan Munnar trips for the summer holidays, mainly to get relief from severe hot of Indian summer. December to March are great choices for spending winter holidays with chilling cold of Munnar; also, Munnar remains relatively dry in these months. On the other hand, monsoon season offers the ultimate blooming beauty of Munnar.
How to visit Munnar?
People from Tamilnadu or home state Kerala generally visit Munnar by car because there is no rail station or airport in Munnar.
If you are an away tourist, first, you have to reach the nearest airport or rail station, that are Kochi Airport or Eranakulam Junction (127 km), respectively. Next, you have to rent a car and follow the road route towards Munnar; it takes around 2.5-3 hours from Kochi airport or Ernakulam Jn to reach Munnar hill station.
Madurai Airport (162 km) and Madurai rail station (152 km) are the second closest airport and rail station to Munnar. You can choose to favorable starting point based on your entire tour plan.
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Where to stay in Munnar?
Munnar hill station hosts many hotels and resorts of all budgets. So, it’s never a difficult job to get a stay option in Munnar. But you may be choosy and looking for the best options at an affordable budget, as I personally do.
As per my personal experience, I have created a separate article introducing the best hotels/ resorts in Munnar. This article may help you to find your favorite stay option during your Munnar trip.
Best places to visit in Munnar: The conclusive remarks
Munnar is a little hill station, but the surroundings are too much wealthy with nature’s gift. On my first Munnar trip, I stopped there for a shorter span as I didn’t have enough knowledge about the versatility of this ever-green place. I returned with an incomplete experience, but the next time I covered almost all the top attractions of Munnar.
As per my personal experience with this hill paradise, I have expanded the list of the best places to visit in Munnar. Hope this will help you to plan an ever-remembering trip to Munnar hill station. If you have any further queries, feel free to post your question in the comment box below. I’ll be more than happy to help you out. If you find the article useful, social sharing will be highly appreciated.
Dr. Suvankar Das is a scientific advisor by profession, associated with a CRO organization. He pursued his doctoral degree in Chemistry in 2015. Later, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher & scientist in a couple of institutes/companies.
Besides his scientific journey, Dr. Das is also a passionate traveler and travel blogger. He loves to share all his travel experiences with other travelers so that everyone can enjoy hassle-free holidays with their own tour plans.
He believes, the most beautiful thing in this world is the WORLD itself. so there is no way to live like a clock; rather live it like a compass!