Mesmerised by the beauty of Munnar, the British used it as a summer resort in South India. Situated at the confluence of three mountain streams, namely Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala, this beautiful hill station with craggy peaks and exotic lush foliage makes for an idyllic holiday destination for city-weary souls. Not only the clean, fresh air but also the natural setup of tea estates, rolling hills and picturesque towns here is sure to calm your senses. So, while you plan your holiday to this captivating hill station, don’t miss to include the following things to do in Munnar in your itinerary for a memorable vacation.
Things to Do in Munnar:
1. Explore Eravikulam National Park
The Eravikulam National Park, sprawling over an area of 97 sq. km, is one of the most popular places to visit in Munnar. The undulating rolling plateau covered with high altitude grasslands, shrubs and sholas is a sight to behold. Although home to many animals, birds and butterflies, it is the endangered inhabitant Nilgiri tahr that primarily lures visitors to this national park.
Another highlight of this sought-after tourist attraction in Munnar is the Anamudi Peak, which towers over 2695 m above sea level – the highest in South India. You can even trek up to the top after seeking permission from the concerned authorities.
2. Soak in the Views from the ‘Top’
Don’t miss the chance to visit the Top Station, aptly named so as it is indeed the highest point on Munnar-Kodaikanal Road that lies on Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. Although you might have to work up a sweat to hike all the way up, the views from the top will more than make up for it. Moreover, it is one of the best places to capture the mesmerising sight of the blooming of the exotic blue coloured Neelakurinji flowers that happens once in every twelve years.
Even though the destination is over 32 km from Munnar, the hour-long journey is memorable in itself because of the beautiful views that you get to enjoy on the way.
3. Take a Shikara Ride on Kundala Lake
Not too far from the Top Station is the mirror-like Kundala Lake, one of the prime tourist sites in Munnar. It is an artificial lake with stunning verdant hill slopes forming its backdrop, making it picture-perfect, especially at dawn when the sun rays create a glittering effect on its placid waters.
The lake also has an artificial dam, popularly known as Kundala Dam, where you can enjoy the famous shikara ride as well as pedal boat ride while soaking in the spectacular views. Another place in Munnar that offers boating facility – speedboat, motorboat, paddle boat and rowboat – is the captivating Mattupetty Dam, which is also a famous trekking spot.
4. Admire the Beauty of the Waterfalls
Virgin environs and lush greenery around the waterfalls in Munnar make you fall in love with this hill station almost instantly. This place is actually dotted with a number of cascades that draw nature lovers, fun seekers and adventure enthusiasts in large numbers round the year.
Attukal Waterfalls, Lakkam Waterfalls, Nyayamakad Waterfalls, Pallivasal Waterfalls, Valara Waterfalls, Thoovanam Waterfalls, Cheeyappara Waterfalls and Chinnakanal Waterfalls (also known as Power House Waterfalls) are some of the best cascades in and around Munnar. You can experience moments of repose, amidst the cool breeze and mist, formed by the gurgling waters cascading down from the rocky cliffs.
5. Watch Tea in Making
Sprawling tea plantations are omnipresent in the resort town of Munnar, which is also home to the world’s highest elevation tea plantation – Kolukkumalai – at 7900 feet. The green vistas, cool breeze and lush greenery here make for a beautiful view that you will surely cherish.
Munnar is home to India’s first-ever Tea Museum, located at Nullatanni Estate of the Kannan Devan Hills Plantations Company (KDHP). It tells you everything that you need to know about the popular beverage including its history, cultivation, machinery, plucking, packaging, etc. In addition, shows are organised here at particular timings to acquaint you with the process of tea making – right from plantation to packaging. You can also see many interesting items on display at the museum like tea roller, rotor vane, Pelton wheel, iron-age burial urn, magneto phones, granite sundial, manual calculators, etc.
6. Go for a Picnic with Loved Ones
Drenched in mist and greenery, Munnar is home to many serene spots where you can go for picnicking with friends and family. Mattupetty Dam is extremely popular with picnickers, and so is Attukal Waterfalls, Nyayamakad Waterfalls, and Pallivasal Waterfalls. Thumpachi Calveri Samuchayam is another famous picnic spot in Munnar. Just pack your picnic basket and some board games and head out to these sites for a leisure outing with family and friends.
Besides, Wonder Valley Adventure & Amusement Park and Dreamland Fun Forest Adventure Park are great choices for spending an entire day in the company of your loved ones.
7. Indulge in Adventure Activities
The rolling hills and thick woods of Munnar offer amazing options for adventurers from biking, cycling, hiking and trekking to rock climbing and mountaineering. Cycling is probably the best way to admire the pristine natural beauty of Munnar, while for the more adventurous souls, mountain biking is recommended. You can even opt for hiking up to the Top Station, camping at tea estates and enjoying a night safari at Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Munnar is actually a heaven for trekkers as there are so many options, including the trails that lead to Pothamedu Viewpoint, Lockhart Gap, Chokramudi Peak, Lakshmi Hills, Mathikettan Rainforest, Thommankuthu Falls, Devikulam, etc. If you love a challenging activity, then go on a mountaineering expedition to Anamudi and Meesapulimala – Kerala’s highest and second highest peak, respectively.
8. Spend a day at Spa
Before you head back home, don’t miss to get an Ayurvedic spa to rejuvenate your tired body. There is no dearth of spas in Munnar, including the government-approved ones that primarily practice the traditional methods of cleansing and detoxifying your body.
Along with ayurvedic massages, you can also avail ayurvedic treatment if you have any health condition. Not only does the expert aid in providing relaxation with the treatment but at the same time, advice you on your diet, routine-to-follow, etc. to help you heal naturally. So, don’t miss this opportunity of rejuvenating your body and mind while you are in Munnar.
Besides these, other popular things to do in Munnar include clicking some amazing pictures at the Photo Point, going trout fishing at Sita Devi Lake, watching Kalarippayattu and Kathakali performances at Punarjani Traditional Village, admiring the old-world charm of Chithirapuram and visiting Muniyara to see the Megalithic dolmens. You can also enjoy an elephant ride at Carmelagiri Elephant Park or watch these humongous animals satiate their thirst at Elephant Lake (aptly known as Elephant Arrival Point). Furthermore, spend some time befriending the winged creatures at Thattekad Bird Sanctuary (also referred to as Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary).
All these impressive things to do in Munnar ensure that your stay in this hill station in Kerala is simply unforgettable.