Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Mountains of Possibility: Munnar Beckons

There’s more to explore in Kerala than just beaches, temples, and the backwaters. Experience tranquillity like never before in the lush hills of Munnar. Nestled along the Western Ghat range of mountains, this idyllic hill station in the Idukki district offers more than just a sightseeing experience. Its landscapes, dotted with green tea plantations and enveloped by mist, will keep you coming back for more.

The hill station offers you a breath-taking view of the surrounding hills and mountains as it’s situated at 5,200 feet above sea level. You can reach Munnar by taking a train to the Ernakulam and Aluva railway station. Or you can take a flight to Cochin International Airport, and after 2-3-hour drive you will find yourself in Munnar.

Tea plucking at Munnar

It was first discovered in the 1870’s by a British resident, John Daniel Munro, of the then Travancore Kingdom. He started the trend of cultivating plantations of coffee, tea, and other plants across the hills. Today, Munnar is the commercial centre of one of the country’s biggest tea estates, which are operated by the TATA industry.

Mattupetty Dam

A visit to the Mattupetty Dam will take you along scenic routes that will leave you enthralled. This site is 13 km away from Munnar and is located in a beautiful setting, against the backdrop of the hills. The dam provides water for some of the major hydroelectric projects in the town. You will also be able to visit the famous Indo-Swiss farm of Mattupetty. Hundreds of cattle are reared here as a part of the Indo-Swiss Livestock Project.

Eravikulam National Park

Nilgiri Tahr at Eravikulam National Park

For nature and wildlife lovers, this place is paradise on earth. It houses one of the most endangered species in the world, the Nilgiri Tahr. It’s spread over an extensive area of 97 sq. km. along the crest of the Western Ghats and is just 15 km away from Munnar. A ride through the evergreen tropical forests of this park will show you the natural habitat of animals like elephants, langur, marten, and more. You will also encounter several species of exotic birds like the black-and-orange flycatcher, white-bellied shortwing, Malabar laughing thrush, and others.


A classic Munnar landscape

The name ‘Anamudi’ means ‘elephant’s foreheads’ and true to its name, it's also home to the largest surviving population of Asian elephants. It’s also the highest peak in Munnar and South India. When you trek to the top of this glorious mountain, you will come across breath-taking sights. From rivers and valleys to encountering many species of wildlife, Anamudi has a lot to offer.

Devikulam Lake

Devikulam is a tranquil lake nestled amidst the green hills of Munnar. According to local legends, Goddess Sita bathed in the pristine waters of this lake during her stay in the nearby forests. And, that’s how this lake got its name - Devi, which means ‘Goddess’, and kulam which means ‘lake’ in the native language. It’s around 13 km south of Munnar and is situated in the quiet little hill station of Devikulam. It’s an ideal spot for an impromptu picnic and you can unwind while taking in the gorgeous landscape surrounding you.

Attukal Waterfalls

Picture book view of Munnar tea estatess

An exquisite sight to behold, this waterfall is a must-visit for all. It’s around 9 km away from Munnar and is situated in the middle of verdant hills. The site is an ideal spot for adventure activities like trekking, water rappelling, and rock climbing. The summit offers a picturesque and panoramic view of the surrounding region, which is bound to leave you mesmerised. You can also visit other waterfall sites like Lakkom, Thommankuthu, and Nyayamakad.

Where Should I Stay?

Wake up to a magnificent view of the hills each morning when you stay at Sterling Holidays’ Munnar resort, Munnar Terrace Greens. It’s located in the village of Chinnakanal and offers you the perfect escape from the daily hustle and bustle of urban life. The stylish, modern, and minimalistic interiors of the resort are sure to make your stay a pleasurable one. With multi-cuisine restaurants that cater to your needs and its own clubhouse with indoor and outdoor games, Munnar Terrace Garden has it all.

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