Munnar is one of the popular hill stations in the Indian state of Kerala. The hill station is situated at an altitude of 5,600 ft in the Idukki district of Kerala. Munnar literally means "three rivers" and its name is taken from the fact that it lies at the confluence of three mountain streams. Munnar was a British favored summer destination in the colonial days. Centuries later it is still horded by tourists who are mesmerized by the endless span of tea plantations, exotic species of flora and fauna and the cool breeze of the beautiful hills and valleys.
Echo Point is situated around 13 km from the town of Munnar. Apart from an Echo point, the place is also a picnic spot where visitors love to take nature walks along the hill slopes. Tourists can also trek in the nearby tea, coffee and spice plantations. The cool breeze and serene surroundings makes this place favorite among wayfarers.
The Elephant Lake or Anayirangal is a scenic location surrounded by tea plantations and is around 22 km from Munnar. The Lake is named after the herds of wild elephants which come here from the forests to drink water. It's very common to spot a herd of elephants by the waters. Tourists can enjoy the panoramic view of the serene waters along with the backdrop of dense tea estates.
TATA TEA MUSEUM
The Tata Tea Museum is located at the Nallathanni Estate of Tata Tea just about 1.5 km from the Munnar town. Over a century, Munnar has been linked with tea plantations and is home to some of the best tea estates in the world. The museum is homage to the pioneers who transformed Munnar into a great tea plantation estate. The museum exhibits various pieces of antiquity and describes the origin and evolution of tea plantations in Munnar.
The CSI Church is a popular destination and an important landmark in Munnar. Built in 1910, it is a Protestant Church which is mostly built in stone by the Scottish tea estate workers and managers. The highlights of this Church are in its charming interiors. Just adjacent to the church is a cemetery with tombs which date back to 1894.
RAJAMALAI NATIONAL PARK (ERAVIKULAM NATIONAL PARK)
Situated at a distance of around 15 km from Munnar, the park is divided into three sections- the core area, the buffer area and the tourism area. Visitors to the Park only have access to the tourism area. The National Park is the habitat of the highly endangered species of mountain goats called Nilgiri Tahr or Nilgiri Ibex. The park is quite rich in flora and fauna.
The Mattupetty Dam is located at a distance of around 13 km from Munnar. It's a perfect spot for a lazy picnic. The dam is surrounded by beautiful hills and tea plantations. Boating is a very popular here. The DTPC (District Tourism Promotion Council) provides boating facility and has a fleet of row boats, speed boats and pedal boats. Rose Garden is also a popular destination near Mattuppetty Dam, an excellent place for bird watching and trekking.
Top Station is the highest point in Munnar and is easily accessible by tourists. It is around 32 km from Munnar and 1700 metres above sea level. The Top Station offers a panoramic and picturesque view of Munnar and its surrounding areas. The rare Neelakurunji (strobilanthus) plants belong to this region. These plants bloom only once in twelve years. The next bloom will take place in the year 2018. Top Station is located at border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
This garden was laid out in 1874 Mr.J.D. Sim, the then Secretary to Government and Major Murray, acting Superintendent of the Nilgiris forest and the park was named after the former. Though this was started as a pleasure resort for the residents and visitors, the park has now developed into Garden. This garden is spread over 12 heactares of undulating land and possesses a number of natural advantages at an elevation of 1768 - 1798 metres above M.S.L.
The park cum botanical garden contains many species of trees and shrubs not found in Ooty. Annual Fruit and Vegetables show is held every year in May here attracts tourists in large numbers.
Ideally visited in the morning, this view point is located about 12 kms from Coonoor near Tiger Hill. Amidst dense Sholas Criss-Crossed by winding road, you can get a beautiful view of the Catherine falls from here.
This view point is within a reserve forest about 8 kms from the Coonoor Bus Stand. Overlooked a sheer precipice of several hundred metres with a phenomenal view of vast stretches of forests all the way to the Coimbatore plains. Between January and March, the trees become extremely colourful.