Lush green mountains, terraced tea plantations, valleys, forest, trekking and hiking trails, rich flora and fauna – Munnar, a hill station in Kerala, has a landscape that inspires artists, stirs the soul and calms the mind. It’s no wonder then that this destination attracts thousands of tourists, year after year. If you too have been planning a trip, we recommend you include these places to visit in Munnar in your itinerary.
Munnar – The Land of Three Small Rivers
A combination of the Malayalam words Moonnu and Aar, meaning three and small river respectively, Munnar gets its name from the confluence of three rivers – Kundaly, Nallathanni and Mudhirapuzha. These freshwater bodies crisscrossing the expanse of this hill station go on to enhance its beauty manifold.
Mountains covered with floating clouds, a mist in the air, refreshing breeze, stunning valleys, and tea plantation as far as the eye can see, adventurous rides on mud roads and steep slopes with hairpin curves, this hill destination has so much to hold its visitors in thrall. No matter which of the many splendid places to visit in Munnar you choose, rest assured that perfect landscapes and breathtaking sights await you at every step of the way.
10 Best Places to Visit in Munnar
There is no dearth of places to visit in Munnar, but which ones to add to your itinerary solely depends on the amount of time you have at hand. If you are planning a Munnar day tour, you’ll probably be able to explore just three or four of these attractions, whereas if you are looking for places to visit in Munnar in 3 days, you can cover them all.
We bring you this detailed rundown on the best tourist attractions this hill town has to offer, so you can choose which ones to fit into your Munnar itinerary depending on your travel plans:
Cheeyapara and Valara Waterfalls
Located on the way to Munnar, between Neriamangalam and Adimali, Cheeyapara Waterfalls have a terraced cascade that flows down in seven steps. You get a splendid view of the waterfall from a road that runs parallel to its second last step. It is a great spot to take a little break, enjoying a hot cuppa with a view. If you have time at hand, you can also explore the Valara waterfall close by.
Flowing in the midst of a dense natural jungle, the Valara waterfall makes for a breathtaking sight. Of course, you need to walk through the jungle to reach this hidden delight. If you intend to add this pitstop to your Munnar itinerary, make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes and light but full clothing on the day of your journey.
Your Munnar itinerary is incomplete without a visit to one of the many gorgeous tea plantations in this hill town. With the lush green plantations soothing your eyes and the fragrance from tea plants titillating your nose, these sprawling estates are a delight to the senses. There are more than 50 such tea estates in Munnar, and if you are not sure about which of these would make the ideal pick for you, you can get in touch with Munnar travel agents to sign up for an organised tour of these plantations. These tours present an excellent opportunity to learn about different exquisite varieties of tea and interesting trivia about tea genesis.
Tata Tea Museum
You’ll see tea gardens aplenty on your trip to Munnar, perhaps even get a chance to try your hand at picking tea leaves, but a visit to the Tata Tea Museum is your only chance to witness the process of tea production, right from plantation of tea saplings to tea leaves being processed in an automated factory. Located inside the Nallathanni estate, the Tata Tea Museum also pays homage to the first planters who transformed this small hill station into the epicentre of tea trade in the state. Sip on a cup of freshly brewed cardamom tea as you see a demonstration on history, growth and evolution of Munnar’s tea plantations. It is, hands down, one of the most enriching places to visit in Munnar.
If you are pressed for time and looking for just the most breathtaking of places to visit in Munnar in 1 day, Kundala Lake must make the cut. With abundant visual delights for as far and wide as the eye as can see, the gorgeous landscape of this lake invigorates the body and mind. Created as a result of the Asia’s first arch dam, this lake is marked by turquoise blue waters, lush green surroundings and a complete disconnect from the humdrum of city life. The valley and hills around the Kundala Lake are home to the exotic Neela Kurunji flowers that bloom once in 12 years. The lake can be accessed via a winding uphill road that leads to the Top Station viewpoint.
Pothamedu View Point
If you want to observe the beauty of this hill town from a vantage point, the Pothanmedu viewpoint must definitely feature on your Munnar itinerary. Sitting at the zenith of this viewpoint, you can watch the hypnotic sight of lush green rolling hills engulfed in a soft, tingling mist. The drive itself has many a scenic delight to offer, as you traverse through narrow roads and an old bridge. Reaching the Ppthanmedu viewpoint involves a short trek on a trail crisscrossing through dark jungles and steep hills. For those you enjoy a good hike, this makes for the perfect dose of an adrenaline rush.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
For anyone looking for recommendations on places to visit in Munnar in 2 days or more, the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is a great pick. Tucked away in the folds of the Western Ghats, this captivating and gorgeous wildlife sanctuary is a nature lovers’ paradise with an exotic range of rare and endangered flora and fauna. It is one of the few places where you can still spot the Great Grizzled Squirrel of India, for instance. Of course, navigating through the deciduous forests is a time-intensive exercise but the surreal calm that you experience here makes it worth your while. Imagine catching a glimpse of a herd of elephants or gaurs in their natural habitat as you trek through the grasslands and high ranges of the sanctuary. Absolutely priceless!
Munnar Top Station
Want to witness Munnar from a vantage point but don’t fancy the idea of treks? The Top Station is the place for you to be. Perched at a height of nearly 1,700 metres, the Top Station offers breathtaking panoramic views not only of the hill town but also the Western Ghats in the distance. With the gorgeously green Theni Valley sprawled out in front of you and a gentle, cool breeze brushing against your face, the Top Station is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Munnar. Standing here, you can catch a glimpse of little settlements extending all the way to the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. Top Station quite literally makes you feel on the top of the world.
Eravikulam National Park
Being close to nature is the whole idea of planning a retreat to hills, right? And what better way to retreat to nature than visiting a national park that abounds in raw natural beauty and wildlife alike. The Eravikulam National Park, one of the first in Kerala, fits that bill perfectly. Home to the largest population of the endangered Nilgiri Tahrs, the national park is one of the top places to visit in Munnar for nature enthusiasts and animal lovers. The terrain marked by plateaus, mountains, grasslands and gorgeous streams adds to the delight of the experience.
Lakkam and Attukad Waterfall
Waterfalls are a typical attribute of hill stations and Munnar is no different. The sight of white, frothy water cascading through the lush green jungles and merging into clear streams never gets too old to inspire awe. That’s why the Lakkam and Attukad Waterfalls must feature on your list of places to visit in Munnar. Even though the waterfalls are not easily accessible, they do offer a breathtaking view. If you are feeling adventurous, you can hike your way to these waterfalls and along rough terrain of their cascade. We do, however, recommend that you hire a local guide in Munnar for embarking on such an adventure.
The Lakkam Waterfalls originate from the Eravikulam Plateau and fall on the Munnar-Marayoor route, about 25 km from the town. Attukad Waterfalls is located about 26 km from Munnar, on the route to Pallivasal.
Blossom Hydel Park
Located on the banks of the Muthirappuzha River just 3 km from the town, the Blossom Hydel Park is a destination of inescapable natural beauty. This expansive green space with fountains, immaculate gardens and waterfalls is home to mountain butterflies and migratory water birds. A delight for nature lovers, the Blossom Hydel Park in one of the most serene places to visit in Munnar.
5 Best Food Places to Visit in Munnar
No matter what the destination, no holiday is complete without its fair share of gastronomic indulgences. Here is a roundup of the best eateries in Munnar to make sure you don’t miss out on the experience:
If you love South Indian food, this is the place to be. Sarvana Bhavan serves the best dosas, idlis, appam and sambhar you can find in Munnar.
This cosy restaurant with a homely feel is every vegetarian’s delight. From South Indian to North Indian and some Chinese and Continental dishes thrown in the mix, their exhaustive all-vegetarian menu has something for everyone.
Contrary to popular belief, Kerala’s cuisine abounds in scrumptious non-vegetarian delicacies and the Mezbaan Hotel in Munnar is definitely the place to indulge in them. They are best known for their preparation of different types of biryani but the shawarma and grilled chicken here is equally delectable.
Seafood is Kerala’s speciality and Silver Spoon in Munnar does a fine job of celebrating it. Hands-down the swankiest place in this tiny hill town, this restaurant serves some of the best seafood you’d ever taste. The Malabar fish preparation here is to die for.
Tree Top Restaurant
Experiential dining on your mind? Enjoy a meal in a treehouse at the Tree Top Restaurant that serves an eclectic mix of Indian and International cuisines.
Best Time to Visit Munnar
Even though it is a hill station, Munnar has become an all-season destination in recent times. The places see the highest influx of tourists between April and May with people thronging the hill station to escape the scorching heat that engulfs a better part of the country. The crowd takes a dip in the months of June and July, due to the risk of sight-seeing plans getting often washed out by frequent and heavy rains. However, Munnar is also at its greenest and most vibrant during this time of the year and constant haze of mist hanging over it adds to its charm. So, if you are seeking a calm, serene retreat, the monsoon months may be the best time to visit. Much like the rest of Kerala, the typical tourist season in Munnar runs from August to March.
Do You Need a Munnar Travel Package for a Wholesome Holiday Experience?
The answer to that question strictly depends on your own travel preferences. If you prefer the comfort of having all your travel requirements catered to and don’t like surprises, it is a good idea to outsource your trip planning to experienced Munnar travel agents. On the other hand, if the freedom of going it alone and not sticking to schedules when on holidays resonates with you more, you can plan your trip on your own. Make sure you prepare a travel info of Munnar before embarking on the trip for a pleasant experience. This doesn’t necessarily mean sticking to a strict itinerary but definitely acts as a framework to help you improvise as you go.
Need help planning your trip? Reach out to us here.