Munnar is a town in the Western Ghats Mountain range in the south Indian state of Kerala. It is a pretty hill station, surrounded by green hills that are dotted with tea plantations, and is famous for its tea and spices.
Munnar means "three rivers", and the town got this name due to its location at the confluence of three rivers in Kerala - Mudhirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundali.
Munnar has various attractions to see or experience – places of historical importance, shopping spots, ecological attractions (especially viewpoints and waterfalls), or religious attractions. The top places of attraction in Munnar are:
- Attukad waterfalls – One of the 4 main waterfalls in Munnar; this also has a pool at the bottom of the fall, where people can dip in, bath and have fun
- Echo Point – A high view point (600 feet above sea level) from where a mesmerizing aerial view of the greenery, hills and clouds can be enjoyed
- Eravikulam national Park – A well-maintained sanctuary where a large number of flora and fauna are preserved; it is situated atop a summit
- Pothamedu View Point
- Wonder Valley – An amusement park with lots of adventurous things such as Dashing Cars, 12D Rider, Zip Lining, Charlie Chaplin Walk, and Natural Waterfall, which are worth experiencing, especially for people who are adventure lovers
- Kundala Lake – A beautiful mirror-lake with stunning backdrops of hills and greenery
- Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
- Chinnakanal Waterfalls
- Mattupetty Indo-Swiss Dairy Farm
- Mattupetty Dam
- Rose Garden – A garden with many species of flora, most particularly roses of various kinds
- Lakkom Waterfalls
- Meesapulimala – A peak at an elevation of 8000 ft above sea level; the highest one than can be trekked in the town
- Kolukkumalai Tea Estate
- CSI Christ Church – A well maintained church built in the British era
- Rock Cave
- Kuthumkal Waterfalls
Best museum to visit in the city is:
- Tata Tea Museum – a museum showing the history of tea, its cultivation and techniques and other interesting facts, through artefacts, movies (regular shows are screened at specific times, which people can book for) and photographs.
Major festivals celebrated in Munnar include the following:
- Onam – This is one of the most important festivals in Kerala state, and is also celebrated in Kochi majestically. Street parades happen with dancers dressed like animals, and people decorate their homes with flowers in the form of Rangolis (also called Pookalam).
- Pongala – A harvest festival, celebrated in January (also known as Sankranthi).
- Aluva Shivarathri – A festival dedicated to Lord Shiva. People usually fast during daytimes and pray to Lord Shiva during this festival. In Kerala, it is celebrated during the months of February/March.
- Deepavali – Festival of Lights.
Munnar has many markets and shops where people can do some souvenir shopping and buy things like spices, tea, jams, crockery, gift items, handicrafts, and a lot more. Here are some of the best shopping spots in Munnar:
- Mattupetty Dam Market – a large flea market near Mattupetty Dam
- Kanan Devan Hills Plantations
- Munnar Market
- Aranya Naturals Market
- Marakkar Shopping Center
- Johnson’s Wood Craft
- Abbas & Co Tea Merchants
- Munnar Inn Spices shopping mall
Some popular local foods to try in Munnar include:
- Idiyappam – Also known as Noolappam, it is a noodle-like dish, made with rice flour, salt, and water, shaped and steamed together in batches; usually served with coconut milk or a spicy egg curry.
- Appam – Thin, crispy edged rice and coconut pancakes, with a mildly spicy vegetable stew.
- Kerala Prawn Curry – A local traditional prawn curry dipped in lots of coconut milk, cooked in spices and curry leaves.
- Malabar Parottas – Layered flatbreads – a local specialty in Kerala with Kerala beef curry (beef cooked in a local style).
Some of the best restaurants in Munnar to eat at are as follows:
- Copper-Castle Restaurant
- Rapsy Restaurant
- Hotel Sri Nivas
- Guru Bhavan
- Guru’s Restaurant
- KTDC Tea County Restaurant
- Al Buhari
Munnar has many good hotels for a comfortable stay. Here are some of the best places to stay at in Munnar:
- Grand Plaza Munnar
- Elysium Garden Hill Resorts
- East End Hotel
- Hotel Emerald Inn
- Tea County Munnar
- Oak Fields Resort
- The Panoramic Getaway
- Pleasant Hill Resort
Munnar city STD Code – 04865 (to be used before dialling numbers from a number that is not locally registered).
Common emergency numbers:
- Police: 100
- Fire and Rescue: 101
- Ambulance: 108
- Child helpline: 1098
- Women helpline: 1091
English, Malayalam are the official languages of Munnar.
- Welcome - Swagatam
- Hello - Namaskaram
- How are you? - Engnganuntu karyangngal?
- What's your name? - Ninte perentha?
- My name is - Ente per ... n
- Where are you from? - Angu evidennanu?