Munnar Tours | Tourist Attractions in Munnar
When the scorching heat of southern India becomes too relentless, seek some relief in Munnar. At nearly 6,000 feet above sea level, the cool mountain air is a world away from the dusty lowlands; it's no wonder that Munnar was the summer resort of the British during colonial times. Munnar's trademark is its manicured tea plantations, covering practically every hillside in sight - look closely and you can see armies of women harvesting the world-class leaves by hand. The town itself is an eyesore, but makes a good base for exploring the lovely hills and mountains beyond; plantation tours, trekking and river trips are all possible
Rajamala National Park near Munnar is where you’ll fin the endangered nilgiri tahr, a shy but sweet-tempered mountain goat. The Hills surrounding Thekkady and Munnar are lovely for trekking, rich in waterfalls and birdsong.
Eravikulam National Park
Eravikulam is one of Kerala’s finest wildlife reserves, and its excellent location, a mere 16 km from Munnar, makes it an unforgettable experience for any lover of the outdoors. The park, a spread of 97 km across Rajamalai Hills, is a combination of grassland and shola forests. The Atlas moth, the largest of its kind in the world, is a unique inhabitant of the park. Other rare species of fauna found here are the Nilgiri Langur, the lion-tailed macaque, leopards, tigers, etc.
Anamudi Peak inside Eravikulam National Park is the highest peak (2695 m) in peninsular India. It towers over the sanctuary in majestic pride. The hill is abundant in all kinds of rare flora and fauna. It is best know for the endangered Nilgiri tahr (hemitragus hylocrious) although it does harbour a number of other equally interesting denizens— such as Atlas moth (the largest of its kind in the world), Nilgiri langurs, lion-tailed macaques, leopards and tigers. An ideal place for trekking, facilities are provided here and tourists are allowed to go on foot up to Anamudi.
Thattekad Bird Sanctuary
The sanctuary lies near Kothamangalam and is 80 km from Munnar. Also known as the Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary (after India’s most famous ornithologist, who was instumental in its establishment). Thattekad spreads out over a relatively small area of 25 sq km of dense forest of rosewood, teak and mahogany. But don’t let the diminutive size of the sanctuary put you off; this modest bit of land harbours a fairly impressive selection of avifauna, guaranteed to have any avid bird-watchery yearning for more.
Thattekad’s resident species number more than 270, of which the more prominent ones are crimson-throated barbets, rose-billed rollers, sunbirds, shrikes, Malabar grey hornbills, Malayan night herons, rusty-tailed flycatchers, Ceylon frogmouths and parakeets. In addition, the sanctuary is home to more than 200 species of butterflies, plus a few mammals—including leopards and bears.
Top station, 41 km (1hr) from Munnar is aptly named, as it is home to some of the highest tea plantations in India. It lies on the state border between Kerala and Tamilnadu and commands a panoramic view of rolling green hills.
On the way to top station, at a spot on the lake embankment, amid some hills, every loud sound is echoed manifold by the surrounding hills— the spot is called Echo point which also offers panoramic views. It is just 15 km from Munnar. An excellent place, especially for young travelers to disembark for a while, yell out — and listen to your voice coming back to you!
Marayoor lies 40 km from Munnar. It is a place not to be missed for its combination of ancient caves, sandalwood trees and souvenirs from ancient civilization and more. A natural forest of fragrant sandalwood trees, Marayoor has a sandalwood factory owned by the Forest Department of Kerala, where attractive objects are d’art crafted from the precious wood.
The other important site here is a series of muniyaras (caves) dating back to the New Stone Age. The muniyaras contain rock paintings of considerable archeological significance, also part of the pre-historic excavations at Marayoor, are dolmenoid burial chambers consisting of four erect stones covered by a horizontal capstone.
Other popular attractions at Marayoor include a children’s park that lies under a banayan tree extending over a hector of land, and the Thoovanam waterfall.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary lies 60 km from Munnar, a mixture of thorny scrub and deciduous forest that is home to some of Kerala’s most interesting wildlife. The prima donna here is the highly endangered giant grizzle squirrel, of which as estimated global count is less than 200. Other than this extremely rare creature, Chinnar’s resident species include elephants, tigers, chital, sambar, Indian bison and monkeys.