State : Kerala
Munnar is located at the Idukki district of Kerala State in India.
The word "Munnar" means three rivers. 3 mountain streams
(Madurapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala) are joining together here.
During the British rule in India, Munnar was the summer resort of
the Government officials. The natural beauty, calmness and mild
cold climate throughout the year makes it the favourite tourist
place of both Indians and foreigners.
There are about 30 tea plantations in and around Munnar. Among these,
majority of the plantations are owned by Tata Group's Kannan Devan
Tea Estate. The tea estates, hills, lakes and forests inside Munnar
range exposes it's beauty. The Munnar hills are covered by tea plants
which makes the feeling of seeing a wide green carpet.
The local people here speaks Malayalam (the official language of
Kerala) and Tamil (the official language of Tamilnadu). English
is taught in schools from the primary level and even common people
can read and speak English. The easiest route to reach Munnar is
from Ernakulam which is about 135km and takes about 4 hours. The
Aluva-Munnar road extends through Perumbavoor, Kothamangalam and
Adimali. Bus services are available to Ernakulam (135km), Thekkady
(100km), Thiruvananthapuram(300km), Palani (120km) and Coimbatore
(150km) from Munnar. Frequent bus service is available daily to
Theni from where you can go to Madurai or Kodaikanal.
The history of Munnar dates back to the ancient times. Relics obtained
point out to a stone age civilization in the area. However, as far
as the written history is concerned, it is available only after
the 10th century. Duke of Wellington holds the distinction of being
the first European who set his feet in Munnar. Soon after, the Tamilians,
also known as Muthuvans, too came in large numebrs and settled down
in the area. This was followed by the headman of the villages of
Anchanad and Kannan Thevar acquiring lands to the north of the high
ranges which actually belonged to native Rajah of Poonjar.
The Poonjar chief, a subordinate of the Maharaja of Travancore,
lent around 588 sq km of land around Munnar to a British lawyer
who was also a tea planter. The tea planter, J D Munro, worked hard
and converted the entire area covered by forest into a plantation.
The efforts of Munro got further boost when Messrs Finlay Muir &
Company bought the land from him. Around a century later, in 1976,
Tata Finlay Ltd became the owners of the plantation. Still later,
in 1983, Finlay sold out its share to Tata and moved out. Since
then, the company became Tata Tea.
Place to See
Mattupetty (13 km from Munnar)
Situated at a height of 1700 Mts , Mattupetty is famous for its
highly specialised dairy farm, the Indo-swiss live stock project.
Over 100 varietes of high yielding cattle are reared here.Visitors
are allowed into three of the eleven cattle sheds at the farm.
The Mattupetty lake and dam , just a short distance from the farm,
is a very beautiful picnic spot. The sprawling Kundala tea plantations
and the Kundala lake are other attractions in the vicinity. DTPC
Idukki provides boating facilities on the Mattupetty Dam. Speed
Launch and slow speed motor boats are available on hire.
Devikulam (7 km from Munnar)
This idyllic hill station with its velvet lawns, exotic flora and
fauna and the cool mountain air is a rare experience. The Sita Devi
Lake with its mineral waters and picturesque surroundings is a good
picnic spot. The lake is also ideal for trout fishing.
Rajamala (15 km from Munnar)
The natural habitat of the Niligiri tahr , Rajamala is 2695 Mts
above sea level. Half the world's population of the rare mountain
goat or tahr which is fast becoming extinct, is now found here.The
Niligiri tahr in Rajamala are now to be found in small herds found
in Eravikulam-Rajamala region. The total number of Niligiri Tahrs
in Rajamala is estimated to be over 1300.
Eravikulam National Park (15 km from Munnar)
The 97 sq. km. park is situated in the Devikulam Taluk and is home
to the Nilgiri Tahr. The Anamudi peak (2695 Mts) is located in the
Southern region of the park. Originally established to protect the
Nilgiri tahr (Nilgiri Ibex), the Eravikulam National Park is situated
in the Devikulam Taluk of the Idukki District. It was declared as
a sanctuary in 1975. Considering the ecological, faunal, floral,
geo-morphological and zoological significance, it was declared as
a National park in 1978. It covers an area of 97 sq kms of rolling
grasslands and high level sholas (evergreen forests). The park is
breathtakingly beautiful and is easily comparable to the best mountain
ranges found anywhere in the world.
Kundala (20 km from Munnar)
Kundala is a picturesque town on the way to Top Station. The Golf
Course which belongs to Tata Tea Ltd. is located here. The Kundala
artificial dam is another attraction. Aruvikkad Waterfall is also
How to Reach
: Near by airports are at Kochi (130 kms) and
Madurai (142 kms). .
: Nearest railway stations are at Kochi and
: The place is well connected by a well developed
network of road transport.