Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams – Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. Located at 1600 M above sea level, this was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns. winding lanes, trekking and holiday facilities make Munnar a unique experience.
Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neelakurinji a flower which bathes the hills in he blue colour once in every twelve years. The Neelakurinji, will bloom next in 2006 AD. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India – Anamudi – which towers over 2695 M and is an ideal spot for campers who would like to trek. Munnar is situated around 1600 m above sea level, in the Western Ghats range of mountains and is a hill station
The name Munnar is believed to mean “three rivers”, referring to the location at the confluence of the Madhurapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly rivers.
Munnar town is situated on the Kannan Devan Hills village in Devikulam taluk and is the largest panchayat in the Idukki district in Kerala having an area measuring nearly 557 km?.
The nearest major railway stations are at Ernakulam and Aluva (approximately 140 kilometres (87 mi) by road). The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport, which is 105 kilometres (65 mi) away.
Munnar lies about 120 kilometers from Ernakulam is perhaps Kerala’s most famous and most visited hill station. Rolling hills of tea, winding roads, gurgling streams, endless plantation stretches cut by thick Shola forests, waterfalls that stream across roads and the smell of tea in the cool air, complete the beauty of Munnar.
A tea plantation town, Munnar’s history is entwined with the advent of plantation crops into Kerala. Munnar was discovered on a hunting expedition up the hills by British civil servants. On one of such expeditions, the British Resident JD Munro acquired about 580 acres on concession from the Raja of Poonjar and planted coffee, cinchona and cardamom. Not much of a success, in 1880 AH Sharp planted tea at what is now known as Sevenmally Estate. The rest they say is history.
There are many tourist spots around Munnar. Mattupetty Lake offers boating opportunities and is a great place for picknickers. Top Station, 34 kilometres from Munnar provides superb views of the Tamil Nadu plains below and was once a rope way station, transporting goods up from the lower plains. Kolukkumalai, an hour and a half from the town is 7900 feet above sea level is home to the highest tea plantation in the country. Tea Museum provides a pictorial view of the history of tea in Munnar apart from also acquainting the layman on the making of tea powder.
The drive up to Munnar, by itself, is worth the distance and effort with many waterfalls to see enroute. All this make Munnar, one of the best hill stations in South India.