6 Must see places in Munnar, Kerala

Munnar is a hill station town located in Idukki district of Kerala, one of the southern states in India. It is situated in the lush green mountain ranges of the western ghats. The name “Munnar” literally means “Three Rivers”. One can reach Munnar most conveniently from Cochin, the capital of Kerala. And the drive from Cochin to Munnar is itself very scenic. Although Munnar is also very picturesque. As, it is covered in layers of green velvet formed by the numerous coffee estates. It stretches across the long and wide range of mountains. And these mountains are marked with majestic waterfalls gushing through them, river, lake, flora, fauna and wildlife.
We visited Munnar in 2010. And ever since, it as been closed to my heart. For me, it is one of the most beautiful hill stations of south India. We spent close to three days during our trip to Munnar. And all these three days filled us with lifetime of memory. During our stay in Munnar, we visited several sites and found each one of these to be so beautiful. So, here’s a list of places you can see while in Munnar and things you can do when in this beautiful small town.

Coffee Plantation

Munnar, Kerala
Coffee gardens in Munnar, Kerala

Munnar is covered with coffee farms. So, a visit to Munnar won’t be complete without soaking into the rich aroma of one and snapping some beautiful pictures amidst the coffee plantations en route to the various sites in the town. My finest memories just after entering into Munnar comprise of a drive through lush green coffee estates. So much so that I can still get the fresh aroma of the coffee plants. Some of these coffee estates are owned by renowned brands of India like Tata.

Mattupetty Dam

The Mattupetty dam is built to conserve water for producing hydroelectricity. However, it is also a place to spot the most breathtaking scenery in Munnar. There is a bridge across the reservoir. Standing on this bridge you can see a breathtaking view of the lake formed across the dam and the mountain ranges surrounding it. Spend some time soaking in the breathtaking beauty. There are numerous photographers present at this dam who will give you a memorable instant snap at this beautiful site. You can simply stand on the bridge and spend some moments falling in love with nature once again.
Munnar, Kerala
A scene across Mattupatti dam

It was an effort for me to take my eyes across this natural beauty as I stood watching across the bridge. I could also spot some boats speed boating on the water. On inquiry, I got to know that a little further there is a boating house. From here you can hire either peddle or speed boats to boat across the lake. Although, we very much wanted to boat ourselves, we couldn’t. Still, I can imagine how beautiful an experience it will be to boat on this lake.

Eravikulam National Park

Another must see in Munnar, Eravikulam National park is located on the high hills of Munnar. Actually, the highest peak of India after Himalayas is located inside this park. (Can you believe that!!) You can buy a ticket for entrance to the park. And then you can take a bus ride on a track to the high altitudes up to a certain point. The ascend is steep and adventurous with breathtaking scenery of adjoining mountains and valleys.
Munnar, Kerala
Eravikulam National Park
After reaching a certain point, the buses drop the tourists. From here, the tourists have to walk the rest of the journey till the point admissible. Although we didn’t spot many wildlife forms when we went there, the ascent and the natural beauty was totally worth it. For instance, a beautiful shaded resting point midway through the trek. Although, you will definitely spot some wild goats like the one in the picture below, which we spotted perching on the steep slope of the mountain. It seemed to be quiet comfortable and used to human presence around it, and actually posed for a snap 🙂
Munnar, Kerala
A wild goat spotted in Eravikulam National Park

Elephant Point

The elephant point is just another scenic point near the lake where elephants often venture in for water. Elephant rides are also offered in this spot. If you are interested in taking elephant ride, you can head to this spot, otherwise, you can give it a skip. As, it doesn’t have anything very interesting to offer. We did skip this point. Because, we were lucky to encounter wild elephants in the wild. As we were driving through the winding roads, we saw a lot of people gathered on the side of the road. Curious, we stopped our vehicle and went to see what was going on . And there it was, a wild elephant across the slopes of the adjoining mountain that had gone really wild. It was causing quiet some havoc in the jungles. Nevertheless, it was a scene to behold.

Plant Nurseries

There are many plant nurseries in and around Munnar. And, we happened to visit one after a day long site seeing. Surely, it was as refreshing as ever. Made in the form of terrace farms, the nursery was huge, had a glasshouse and was home to numerous different colorful plants and trees of both aesthetic and ayurvedic value. Given the kind of climate and freshness that Munnar boasts of, its not very surprising that it is home to many beautiful plants and trees of different varieties. You can buy some from these nurseries, don’t forget to check with the owner which species are likely to thrive in the weather that is mostly prevalent to your home town and do your shopping accordingly.
Munnar, Kerala
A nursery in Munnar

Natural Scenic Spots

We need not state the obvious, but we must emphasize. Munnar is abundant in natural beauty. As my journey began from Cochin to Munnar , it became more and more evident why Kerala is called “God’s own country”. Be it the side of the river or the winding mountain paths, the lush green carpets of tea plantations or the small beautiful houses – the journey itself is the destination here. You don’t require any special places to visit as such. En route to any of the above mentioned places, you will spot numerous sites with such breathtaking views that you would want to stop there and soak in the nature beauty forever.
 Munnar, Kerala
For instance, there was a village that we spotted while driving in Munnar. It was exactly what at some point we all have seen earlier in pictures and books!! It consisted of a farmhouse on the banks of a clear stream of water, widespread green fields, pastures on the fields and with the perfect backdrop of evergreen mountains beyond!! Perfect!!
Apart from seeing these places in Munnar, its totally worth to take a trip to a spice garden in and around Munnar. Kerala is world famous for the quality of its spices and the spice gardens give a very informative and nice experience of the same. Another thing worth experiencing would be an ayurvedic spa or massage. Since the area is rich in cultivating plants of ayurvedic significance, it also abounds in aesthetic and medicinal oils, soaps and other such products made out of these plants , and has renowned and famouse spa and massage centers all across where you can have a very relax

General tips on visiting Munnar

  1. Munnar is quiet well connected through road way to Cochin, the capital of Kerala. Cochin is well connected from rest of the world through train as well as air routes. The drive from Cochin to Munnar takes some 3 hours. But as said earlier, it is very beautiful and hence totally worth it.
  2. Munnar is also located quiet close to some other hill stations on western ghats like Kodaikanal. So, a road trip can be taken wherein you can hop from one of these hill stations to another.
  3. For most of the year, the weather is pleasant here, and a light jacket suffices. Although in the winter months of November through February, it rains once in a while and temperature dips little further in the night. So, you can carry a few more woolens.
  4. There are many hotels and homestays in Munnar, you can book one in advance.
  5. You can self drive or hire a cab from your hotel in Munnar for site seeing.

Things to do in Munnar, Kerala. Eravikulam National Park. Hill station in South India, Western Ghats

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24 Responses

  1. Wow these are all so amazing spots that you have listed here. I love visiting national parks so I would probably be exploring Eravikulam National Park when in Munnar. And I’ve never been to a coffee plantation before so that would be fun to visit too!

    • Definitely. It is one of the most beautiful hill stations in South India that we visited. With the coffee aroma and the walk up the Eravikulam National Park still afresh in our minds

  2. I must be the only person on the planet that hates coffee so I would probably give the coffee farms a miss. Mattupetty Dam looks stunning and is certainly more my style. I would love to hire one of those speed boats and zip around on the water.

    • For Sure Sydney. There is so much more beyond the coffee plantations in Munnar. And the awesome landscape is everywhere you go.

  3. Wow, all of your photos show such beautiful scenery! I’ve never heard of Kerala before, so this was a great read. 🙂 I would be happy to visit there one day!

    • The landscape in Kerala is so beautiful, I have never been to somewhere even closer.

  4. wanderingchocobo

    Oh it’s so nice to see this side of India. I know it’s a very diverse country, but I rarely see posts on the lush and beautiful nature. This is usually where I like to go when I travel and I really feel compelled to visit this part of India soon! I am a big hiker so taking some time in Eravikulam National Park looks like it would be right up my alley. Thank you for the inspiring post about Kerala, India!

    • Oh is it? India has so many places that are lush green and have wonderful landscapes. All over the country. When you plan a trip, we would be happy to suggest you some

  5. Being a coffee addict I loved the beautiful coffee plantations, after all that is where my coffee comes from! The scene from the dam is stunning! The nurseries and national park is ethereal. Loved it.

    • Thank you 🙂 Every nook and corner of Kerala really looks like created by God’s own hands.

  6. Your photo of Eravikulam National Park is breathtaking! I had no idea that the highest peak of India outside of the Himalayas is inside that park! I’d love to visit. I’d also love to see a spice garden and that waterfall! 🙂

    • Glad that you liked the place Jillian. Definitely you will love it even more when you visit in person

  7. I am a coffee drinker, I love the caffeine, I must try some of the Indian coffee as I didn’t know it existed. The pictures you took of the landscape shows why a visit to Munnar is a must. Who doesn’t like coffee and beautiful landscapes, or better still a caffeine buzz whilst photographing the landscapes. It looks fun finding goats to photograph as well and the waterfall is beautiful as well.

    • Got to agree completely with you. A warm cup of coffee in a beautiful hill station, with your gaze fixed at surreal landscape .. what else would one need

  8. Munnar looks like a scenic and peaceful part of India that I never knew about it. The coffee platitons look so pretty and any place with coffee sounds amazing to me. Thanks!

  9. I had never heard of Munnar before reading this post, so first off I need to thank you for introducing me to it with your gorgeous photos and detailed descriptions. I really want to travel to India, but want to stay away from the busy cities, so this seems perfect. I’m really curious as to how the coffee plants smell… is it anything like the bean, or different?
    I also checked out your post on the spices in Kerala which interests me as a cook. I don’t think there’s anything more divine than the colours and scents of spices 🙂

    • Yes the aroma of coffee is definitely there in the plants, but the freshness of the leaves add to it and you get that fresh aura when in a green belt. That makes it even more intoxicating. If you are a cook, then you must do at least one visit to Kerala and you will learn so much more about the spices

  10. India does not stop to amaze me! Munnar seems like an ideal place for active holidays. Which spot was your favorite? I can imagine you guys climbing up in the National Park. 🙂

    • The walk up the Eravikulam National Park was a very romantic one. And the scenery across the dam was also very stunning. Difficult to tell the “most favorite” one 🙂

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