Munnar lies at the confluence of the Nallthanni and Kundaly streams, which join the Muthirapuzha River, that cascades out of the hills into the Periyar River and, later, the Arabian Sea.
Munnar lies at the heart of Kerala’s tea production and is often to referred as High Range. Tea is truly Munnar’s claim to fame; here, over more than 13,000 hectares of lush, manicured tea fields form an irresistible canvas.
A visit to a tea factory gives one an aromatic introduction to the convolution of tea production and other processes.The Munnar Tea Museum, the first of its kind in India, offers glimpses into the history of tea production in India.
THINGS TO SEE & DO
It takes at least two days to truly experience Munnar in totality. The Eravikulam National Park, the Tea Museum attached to it, together take one whole day. A drive to Top Station for picturesque views of the plains of Tamil Nadu is complimented by a breathtaking cruise at Madupatty dam. Visits to the state-owned sandal plantation at Marayoor and Kollukkumallai, the highest tea garden in the country at 8000 ft above sea level, are a must as well.
Munnar is also well-known for tea, spices and locally-made handicrafts, all of which can be bought at the local market.
At a spectacular height, the Madupatty Dam has a vast reservoir which extends several kilometers into the hills. Boating here is a thrill experience. Five-seater speedboats and 20-seater launches are available for expeditions.
The museum is fully run by Tata Tea, and it traces the advancement of the Tea industry in Munnar from the year 1880s. The museum has an interesting array o artefacts from the past & several historical photographs and pieces of period furniture. At the tea-processing unit, one is introduced to the various stages of tea-production and the intricacies of tea-tasting. It is an insightful and educative experience for the layman.
Madupatty Tea Estate
Madupatty Estate comprises of the erstwhile Madupatty, Chokanad and Grahamsland Estates, We visited the Chokaand Divisions & the tea estate is under Kanan Devan Hills Plantations Company.
Punarnava Cultural Centre
The cultural centre is located at Chinnakanal, Munnar which is near Club Mahindra Hotel & Fort Munnar Hotel.The cultural centre specialises in hosting two greatest art forms of Kerala- Kathakali and Kalarippayattu. We attended the Kalaripayattu show. Kalaripayattu– It is a form of martial art, which originated as a style in Kerala.
Where to Stay
Munnar has good hotels for all budgets. Since tourists stream into Munnar throughout the year, it’s advisable to reserve accommodation well in advance, especially on weekends and holidays. We stayed at Fort Munnar , This is a boutique luxury hotel in the hill station of Munnar, at an altitude of 6500 ft. above sea level, amidst misty mountains and sprawling tea plantations.
Where to Eat
Munnar has many small eateries located on the highway. We had thalis during lunch time from one of those small eateries and Karimeen Fish.
We took flight from New Delhi to Cochin International Airport and then booked a prepaid taxi to Munnar which cost us Rs3500. The prepaid taxi fare depends when are you traveling in the year. Peak Season which cost more. We advise our readers to book taxi/cabs well in advance.