A favoured summer resort during the British Raj, Munnar was touted as the ‘Switzerland of India’. Perched at an altitude above 5000 ft overlooking luscious tea plantations, the mountainous hill resort located in the Idukki district of Kerala is a popular escape during the summer months of April to May. Come June, the monsoon season transforms the town into a whimsical visual experience for the intrepid traveller. Regardless of the time of year, Munnar’s mesmerizing landscape beckons honeymooners, holiday seekers and nature enthusiasts throughout. Temperatures are of subtropical climate; warm in the day and cool in the evenings. Here are some reasons to visit!
Steeped in culture and history of chai, the Kolukkumalai Tea Estates sprawls a picturesque rolling carpet of green. A visit to Munnar would be absolutely incomplete without a stroll amidst the hilly flora and fauna. Elevated 8000 ft into the clouds, the breeze carries faint aromas of tea leaves, almost as if you’re in an outdoor spa. Rejuvenate yourself with a myriad of teas produced in its factory that has retained its traditional methods of tea production. Even better, come in the evening and tantalize your senses even more with a perfect view of the sun dipping behind the crest of the mountains as the sun sets.
Closeby is the Lockhart Gap for the trekkers. Beyond the undulating terrains, the panoramic view of steaming valleys is bound to beckon a return.
If grasslands are your grounds, watch the splendor of wildlife at the Eravikulam, Thattekad or Chinnar wildlife sanctuaries. Best explored by foot, the Eravikulam National Park is home to the endangered Nilgiri tahr where you’d see herds of them roaming freely. A note to visitors is that the park closes during February to March as it is the breeding and calving season for the ungulates. There is no online ticketing facilities and queues are expected on weekends and public holidays.
If you’d like to take your experience to a whole new level, hike up the Anamudi Peak and engulf yourself in lush terrains of emerald green. Look down at the convergence of Munnar’s three rivers – Vaigai, Thamirabarani and Periyar and out for the Asiatic elephants that frolick the lands.
Sighting Rare Blooms Amongst The Clouds
While Munnar might be the place for a digital detox, the vantage point of Top Station provides some photo-worthy views that will entice any shutterbug for that next Instagram perfect post. Go in the morning and this place is no less than a heaven and most definitely a perfect start to the long day ahead. Many flock to this site to view the spectacle of the Neelakurinji flowers, which blooms once in 12 years! Witness the special moment this year between July to October with your loved ones and prepare to return uplifted and inspired by the magic of nature.
ASMR with the waters
For the uninitiated, ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) is the tingling, shivery feeling going down your neck when you’re stimulated by sensorial stimulations. The next few stops might put you at ease and cure your insomniac tendencies, but you’d probably want to keep your eyes open for these beauties instead.
Near Top Station is Echo Point, famed for its natural phenomenon. Any loud calls made from a spot around the embankment of the lake is returned from the surrounding hills, and makes you feel like one with the wildlife and nature in a seeming conversation of spectacular beauty.
Finally, we come to Mattupetty Lake. The dam is the pride and joy of Kerala and is the perfect picnic spot on a cloudy day. Boating facilities are also available for the adventurous. Don’t be surprised to sight elephants while at it. The area is also famous for its eucalyptus oils which make perfect little gifts and momentos.
Other notable attractions also include the Devikulam, Chinnakanal Waterfalls, Sandalwood Forests and Kundala Lake.
Away from the hustle of habitual life, Munnar boasts a dreamy landscape that is a cynosure of visitors from far and wide. It’s also home to the church where the Life of Pi was filmed. The hidden treasures that you’d unlock on just a short trip to this town will leave your hearts full and mind clear.