Munnar – ‘Kashmir of South India’

munnar tourism how to reach munnar kerala

Munnar a charming beauty of Nature and a crown to Gods own country

M Munnar is a town and hill station located in the idukki district of the southwestern Indian state of Kerala. Munnar is situated at around 1,600 metres (5,200 ft) above mean sea level, in the Western Ghats mountain range. Munnar is also called the “Kashmir of South India” and is a popular honeymoon destination.

History of Munnar:

Road to Munnar

Munnar is a beautiful hill station, and was a summer resort for the British during the British Raj. Tourists come here to see the vast tea plantations of the area. The town itself is typically Indian with the usual shops, guest houses and is really beautiful and traditional. It is a good place to see the surrounding countryside. It is also a popular place for Indian honeymooners.

The town is divided into two parts: Old Munnar, where the tourist information office is, and Munnar, where the bus station and most guest houses are located.

It is pronounced “Moon-aar” short for “moonu aar” meaning 3 rivers. Three rivers – Madupetti, Nallathanni and Periavaru — flow through this town, but join some distance away from Munnar.

Munnar is famous for its tea plantations, many of them started by the British. The “Kannan Devan” brand of Tea from the Tata is cultivated and processed here.

The strobilanthus (“neelakurinji” in Malayalam, the local language), a blue flower which blooms only every 12 years, is found in this region. It bloomed last in December 2006. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India.

How to reach Munnar :

Munnar Map
By Air
Munnar does not have an airport of its own. The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport, which is 110 kilometres away by road. From Cochin, you can hire a cab to get to Munnar. The Madurai International Airport is 140 kilometres away from Munnar. In case you de-board at the Madurai International Airport, you can hire a cab or board the state transport or private buses to get to Munnar.
By Bus
Travelling to Munnar by road can be a marvellous experience as the roads leading to this beautiful place are exceptionally stirring and awe-inspiring. There are regular state buses available from Coimbatore, Kozhikode, Cochin, Wayanad and Madurai. Bangalore to Munnar bus is also available which takes around 10 to 11 hours. State-run or private buses, plying from various towns in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, are the best way to get to Munnar by road. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation provides bus services to Munnar from all major cities in Kerala.
By Train
The nearest railway station from Munnar is at Aluva, which is at a distance of 110 kilometres from Munnar. The Ernakulam Railway Station is 130 kilometres away while the Madurai Railway Station is at a distance of 135 kilometres. From these points, you can either hire a cab or board the state transport or private buses wherever available.
By Self Drive
Kochi (Cochin) to Munnar distance is estimated to be 112 km via road and it takes approximately 4 hours to cover the distance by cars. Munnar does not have a train station, and the closest station is Kochi (Cochin), at a separation of 88 km from Munnar. People generally also travel by two-wheelers but that is extremely challenging and unsafe due to the deep valleys and hairpin curves.

But there are numerous lovely awe-inspiring streets in Munnar, particularly the Adimali-Neriamangalam Forest Road. The streets can be unsafe, particularly if you are driving alone for the first time. Hence try to drive during the day time to be safe and exploit the maximum sightseeing experiences. 

Kochi (124 km) via NH85, Thrissur (153.9 km) via NH544 and NH85 , Madurai (153.4km) NH85 and Thiruvananthapuram (281 km) via main central road.

Photos : Jai Ram R. Prabhu from Kochi,Kerala

Also read : Best places in india to visit all time

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