With summer looming our head, we are safe to start looking for a cool retreat and what better than the luscious lap of Western Ghats. Munnar is the hill station that gives you everything from man-made locations to naturally beautiful sights. Plan a 3-4 days of unwinding trip and relax all your senses. From any city you can get a flight to Kochi and take a road trip to Munnar. Roads are in fantastic condition and have some dangerous curves so it is advised to be careful. There are suitably located hotels to everyone’s delight and also homestays are a rage here so you can check all of this online and plan ahead. We travelled to Munnar by road from Bangalore three times and took the below route. Total distance will around 500km and will took around 10-11 hrs. depending upon from where you start from Bangalore
Bangalore -> Hosur -> Krishangiri -> Dharmapuri -> Salem-> Erode -> Perundurai -> Kangeyam - > Dharapuram -> Udumalaipettai -> Marayoor -> Munnar
You can visit Lakkam waterfall once you reach Marayoor just 20 kms before Munnar. Attukad waterfalls is another spectacular fall near Munnar town. You can get a good view of water gushing down but to get a better soul-filling view from the top you will have to trek a little. There is enough room for you to sit with your friends and chill out for some time.
Tea plantation of Munnar is one to look out for because of its vastness. Most of the plantations are privately owned so you might have to enquire before you plan on visiting. Most recommended is Kolukkumalai Tea Estate/Viewpoint. Kolukkumalai view point is also known as Sunrise view point and you need hire jeep early morning probably around 4am from Suryanelli to reach Kolukkumalai to catch sunrise. The green canvas painted by the tea estate is captivating. They also allow tourists to walk in the peaceful tea garden and click as many pictures as they can.
After a hearty meal, head towards Ripple waterfalls and Kallimili view point. If you are visiting Munnar during Monsoon then waterfalls will surround you and amongst all those is another good one called Ripple waterfalls. Here water doesn’t really fall from a mountain but it casually cascades from big rocks and streamlines delightfully. You can also carefully jump from one rock to another and cross to the other side if you seek more adventures.
The road to Kallimali is smooth. Roll your windows down and let the cool breeze intrigue you for what’s going to come. Kallimali view point is an ideal family place. An island with majestic water reservoir around makes a great panoramic view of Ponmudi dam even from a distance and click some amazing sunset pictures.
Start your next day with Anamudi hills, if you are an early riser you might get to see the hills covered with fog. It is the highest peak of the Western Ghats. It almost looks like it is a part of the white clouds. This stunning view is the most photographed sight in Munnar. You can continue your sightseeing with Eravikulam National Park. Very rare birds and animals are also found here. So you can plan an entire day at the foothills.
It’s hard to miss the gigantic Mattupetty dam built to conserve water to generate hydroelectricity. Keeping aside the man-made dam, it also gives a scenic beauty with greenery on both sides. You can also enjoy speedboat ride and span a large part of it. It is usually crowded with tourists however if you go at odd hours you can enjoy the calmness of water and surrounding.
There’s another enchanting dam Kundala Dam. It is 20km from Munnar on the way to Top Station . It is in fact Asia’s first arch shaped dam. Boating experience here is extremely special because it’s usually quiet with fewer tourists. With clear skies for almost all round the year it promises breathtaking photos. Look out for the cherry blossom season and make the most of it. Mattupetty and Kundala dam are the also the two most crowded tourist destination in Munnar so be prepared to stuck in traffic. Top station is another popular tourist destination located around 32 km away from Munnar,is the highest point (1700m) in Munnar, on the Munnar-Kodaikkanal road. Here you can enjoy the panoramic view of Western Ghats and the valley of Theni district of Tamil Nadu.
Munnar is not to be missed for people who like hill stations and its cold weather. It has everything for everyone and most definitely a photographer’s paradise. Even if you don’t do the touristy things you can still end up having a great time walking around in the villages, sipping their home made filter coffee and buying their homegrown spices.