Munnar Kerala is one of my most favorite places! In fact, if ‘favouritest’ was a word, I would have used it for all the stunning places to visit in Munnar!
No trip to Kerala is complete without a Munnar trip for me.
No matter how many hill stations I visit, nothing has matched up to the pristine beauty of Munnar! It’s beauty is to be experienced, it can’t be described in words.
Blessed with a plethora of lush green mountains, valleys, waterfalls and breathtaking views of nature, Munnar Kerala is a must visit in your Kerala trip. The views of the low-flowing clouds and mist clad environs give the place a heavenly look and feel. Layers of tea gardens, rolling mountain ranges and hazy peaks bring striking beauty and splendour to Munnar Kerala.
I have visited Munnar several times, the first visit was in 2004 & it’s been a part of my Kerala trips ever since, right up to my last Munnar trip in 2019. Even though its popularity has grown in all these years & crowds flock to see Munnar tourist places, it has maintained its raw pristine beauty through these years & is not yet commercialised like Ooty or Darjeeling, for instance.
Majorly, because the tea companies did not sell out tea estates in lieu of building hotels. So you will find tea gardens starting right in the middle of the town & munnar resorts are spread out farther from the main places to visit in Munnar.
Munnar Kerala is synonymous with tea plantations, there are around 50 tea estates here. A Munnar trip is just incomplete without a visit to these Munnar tea plantations. One of the things I always enjoy most is stopping on the way & walking through Munnar tea gardens & if you are lucky, you’ll get to see some tea pickers in action!
Places to visit in Munnar are some of the most sought after tourist spots in Kerala, owing to their scenic beauty. During winter, the whole Munnar Kerala landscape gets covered in mist.
The unending stretches of Munnar tea plantations amidst the mist and wonderful scenic backgrounds, is an experience not to be missed. Refreshing breeze and acres of tea plantations, beautiful valleys and mud roads between tea gardens along with an adventurous ride through the hairpin curves would definitely be enthralling to anyone! And that is exactly why Munnar Kerala is one among the most loved hill stations in India. 😀
The list of top Munnar tourist places also includes wildlife sanctuaries, museums and historical sites. Places to visit in Munnar have plenty to do for the thrill seekers amongst you with lots of adventure trekking and adventure activity centres dotted around the place. Munnar Kerala has always been the cherry on the cake for Kerala tourism.
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How to plan Munnar Itinerary
There are many tea estates in Munnar & it is best if you visit one or two of the high & far flung tea gardens eg. Kolukkumalai or Lockheart, rather than trying to visit them all. You will see many tea gardens along the way; to get a taste of it, simply park your car & get down for the views and pics! There are also guided tea garden tours, where you go quite inside the tea plantations.
Similarly, you can choose between Top Station & Eravikulam National Park. Both are at a height, far from town, views on the way to both are superb; I would suggest not to run around trying to tick off all places to visit in Munnar. Munnar tourist places are far from each other & at altitudes that require the right timing to enjoy views. You need at least 3 full days to appreciate Munnar. 🙂
Plus, Munnar resorts are clustered in particular areas & could be far from your itinerary of the day. So you need to plan ahead about which places to visit in Munnar are to be done on that particular day. To really feel Munnar Kerala, have a relaxing holiday and enjoy the views at every turn…this place has to be experienced, not seen!
While reaching Munnar Kerala from Kochi, ask your driver to stop at the rubber plantations on the way. There is a stretch where you will pass quite a few.You can get down to see one & click some pics!
Most waterfalls will come just before Munnar town on the way from Kochi. Also, Christ Church is a little off the main road. These places to visit in Munnar can be covered while arriving into Munnar Kerala itself.
Let’s now take a tour through the places to include in your Munnar trip that will allow you to witness the grandeur and breathtaking sites of Munnar Kerala in all its essence.
Places to visit in Munnar that can't be missed!
1. Eravikulam National Park, Munnar Kerala
Eravikulam National park situated in the Western Ghats region is a UNESCO world heritage site ranking high amongst the places to visit in Munnar Kerala.
Also known as Rajmalai wildlife sanctuary, this park shelters over 300 species of flora and fauna, some of which are very rare, including the Nilgiri Tahr.
When we went here during our Munnar trip, we did not get to see any of the famous Nilgiri Tahr inside the park. However, as we were getting into our car on the way out, we saw 2 of them. Makes the visit a success? 😉
The drive to this place is awesome, it offers a magnificent view of the Munnar tea plantations and the surrounding hills caressed by a blanket of mist as you reach higher.
This is the most sought-after tourist destination amongst places to visit in Munnar. It is here that Neelakurinji, a flower that blooms once every 12 years, takes over the rolling hills and creates a sight that is absolutely breathtaking. The last blooming of Neelakurinji in Munnar took place in 2018.
Important: Do note that the Eravikulam national park in Munnar Kerala remains shut between January and March, due to the rearing season for the Nilgiri Tahr. Plan your visit accordingly.
2. Kolukkumalai Tea Estate
Kolukkumalai Tea Estate in Munnar Kerala is one of the highest tea plantations in the world! At an elevation of 7900 ft, it makes it a must amongst places to visit in Munnar. The drive up to the plantation will leave you in awe with spectacular lush landscapes all around that are accessible only by jeep (as the roads are uneven). The journey to the hilltop takes one and a half hours from the main town.
The tea factory in the plantation is more than 100 years old and makes some of the best tea using traditional methods. Amongst Munnar tourist places, this is a great place to understand the processes that go into tea cultivation and production.
The ‘Make Your Tea’ programme gives the visitors an opportunity to choose and process their own cup of tea. Sampling various teas at the factory is possible and you can purchase them at the retail shops during your Munnar trip. The factory remains closed on Sundays and counts as one of the unique places to visit in Munnar.
3. Mattupetty Dam
It is located in the Munnar hills near the Anamudi peak, approximately 13 km away from the main town of Munnar Kerala. The green valleys and pleasant ambience surrounding make for a beautiful sight and wonderful places to visit in Munnar.
Amongst major Munnar tourist places, here you have a lot of tourist activities like boating, zorbing, speed boating and paddle boarding. This whole stretch is scenic- one can walk around, boat or even shop at the stalls selling food, hats and souvenirs.
The Mattupetty dam visit can be clubbed with visiting Top station as both of these are just a few kilometres apart !
4. Tata Tea Museum
Munnar is home to the World’s Best Tea Estates and Tata Tea is amongst one of them. Tata Tea is also amongst the world’s largest manufacturers of tea!
Places to visit in Munnar must include a visit to the tea museum; it will take you on an unforgettable journey where you can view the tea making process in detail…right from how the tea is plucked, differentiated and processed at different steps. A guide takes you through these processes showing the machinery involved & the time taken.
While there is a charge to enter the museum, you will undoubtedly enjoy the visit & the ‘Make Your Tea’ programme during your Munnar trip. Add it to your places to visit in Munnar list!
5. Echo point, Munnar Kerala
Yet another amazing tourist place amongst the places to visit in Munnar! Echo Point brings out the child in all of us. One of the best Munnar tourist places to experience the Echo phenomenon, one will always find a bunch of tourists screaming something and hearing with awe as their voice reverberates. I was a little hesitant with the number of people around, but couldnt resist trying it haha..I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too 😉
It is situated by the Kundala Lake at the confluence of three mountain ranges of Munnar Kerala.
Echo Point offers an amazing experience of mist-clad hills and a placid lake too.
6. Lockhart Gap
I’m sure by now you would’ve realized that there is no dearth of amazing viewpoints in the places to visit in Munnar right? Adding to that list, Lockhart Gap, situated 12 kms away from Munnar Kerala, is another marvellous tourist destination.
‘Lock heart’ derives its name from the gap between the hills resembling two locked hearts. Considered to be a very romantic place, Lockhart Gap should definitely be a part of your Munnar trip itinerary if you are looking for a romantic getaway in Munnar trip.
This area is also good for trekking and hiking. The panoramic views of misty hills, valleys and tea plantations make it an absolute must in the places to visit in Munnar.
Also, visit Lockhart Tea Plantation which is amongst the oldest in Munnar tourist places.
7. Top Station Munnar
A popular destination amongst Munnar tourist places, Top station is situated in the outskirts of the town; about 32kms away. It lies at the confluence of 3 mountain ranges of Munnar Kerala. This viewpoint gives a jaw-dropping view of the Western Ghats and the township that is spread across at the bottom of the valley.
Top Station is one of the highest viewpoints in Munnar Kerala and you may be surprised to know it’s actually on the border of Tamil Nadu, an entirely different state!
If you make your way to Top Station on a clear day during your Munnar trip, you will be greeted with one of the best views of your life. But you have to walk through rows of food stalls & crowds to get to the view and then finally the view can be shrouded in clouds! Plan your visit on a clear day, else the time & effort may not be worthwhile.
Quite a few people have returned disappointed from here.
If spending some time surrounded by aromatic spice plantations is what you are looking forward to, then Devikulam is best amongst places to visit in Munnar. This is the area with the best tea gardens in Munnar Kerala; with chilly air, green slopes, and low hanging clouds over the hills.
If your resort is in Chinnakanal , like Club Mahindra , Sterling & many others, you will be passing by Devikulam while visiting most Munnar tourist places. It also has a large collection of waterfalls and lakes to stop by. Take in the mesmerising views & pics of a lifetime. Ouhhh writing this almost makes me feel as though I’m in Munnar Kerala, inhaling the fresh cool air!
During your Munnar trip, do amble down to Sita Devi Lake, which is said to have medicinal benefits. Angling and boating in Munnar can also be enjoyed in one of the many lakes present in Devikulam.
9. Christ Church
Over 100 years old, CSI Christ church is not only one of the top places to visit in Munnar, it is also a revered sacred place in Munnar Kerala.
It has become a must-visit of all the Munnar tourist places; owing to it’s a blissful aura, beautiful stained glass work and historical significance. It is literally on the way while coming from Kochi to Munnar.
Fun Fact: CSI church in Munnar Kerala was one of the shooting locations in the Oscar-winning movie “Life of Pi”.
10. Elephant Park Munnar
While we often see elephants in many places, there are very few where you can actually go on an elephant. And Kerala gives us the chance to do so. 🙂
Places to visit in Munnar should include a trip here….you can feed the elephant, bathe them & ride them. What more do you want? It’s so much fun! My daughter loooved the elephant ride in Munnar.
11. Blossom Park
This is one of the perfect places to visit in Munnar for families with kids. A famous picnic spot; Blossom Park has something for everyone in the family. Kids can enjoy the swings and play around and the adults can relax on a hammock by artificial waterfalls or take up activities like boating, cycling, trekking and photography.
Things to do in Munnar
1. Visit a spice plantation
Okay, I do agree that spice farms come in the more typical Munnar tourist places, but if you are interested in watching our daily spices in their natural habitat it’s worth a visit.
If you haven’t been to a spice plantation earlier, it should definitely be in your places to visit in Munnar.
Most of the spice gardens are the same where you head around on a tour of a spice farm with a guide who shows you the various plants that grow spices. You can buy some of the spices on your way out to remember this Munnar trip.
2. Watch a Kalaripayattu performance
Kalaripayattu is an ancient form of Kerala martial Arts. It’s exciting to see this performance during your Munnar trip if you haven’t seen it before in Kochi or Thekkady..You can see it at Punarjani Traditional Village in Munnar as well as there is another place near Sterling Resorts, where this performance was seen by us. (You can ask your resort and they’ll tell you the nearest places to visit in Munnar to watch a show).
It almost feels like a colosseum in which gladiators fight! Men fight with sticks, swords, kick and even jump through burning hoops of fire! Don’t forget to take lots of photos!
It’s an evening well spent in Munnar & should be a part of your Munnar trip.
3. Try out the Ayurvedic Spa Therapy
Kerala is popular for its Ayurvedic treatments & Munnar with its greenery and freshness makes it the best place for a refreshing spa and health treatments, especially if the Munnar tourist places tire you out!
The chilly weather makes it an ideal location for health and wellness therapies. The traditional deep tissue massage works wonders! These places to visit in Munnar are also great to buy some essential oils to take back with you.
4. Tea tasting in Munnar Kerala
One of the unique places to visit in Munnar, you can go tea tasting at Tea Tales Munnar which allows you to sample some of the amazing teas grown here.
It’s interesting to learn about how each tea is made and how the type of tea depends on how it’s produced and oxidised. You can sample teas like Munnar Green Tea, Pekoe Tea & Rose Tea individually to get their taste or choose a platter.
Shopping in Munnar
Munnar Kerala is a place known for its beautiful tea estates and tea cultivation. No one can (or should) return home without tasting and buying tea in Munnar. It is the perfect place to shop for local & exotic varieties of tea.
Places to visit in Munnar should include shops selling spices & homemade chocolates. Other popular local products in Munnar also include aromatic oils, eucalyptus & coffee.
Spices such as cardamom, clove and cinnamon are good for carrying back as souvenirs of the Munnar trip.
When to visit Munnar Kerala
Munnar is blessed with pleasant weather through most of the year, hence has emerged as an all-season destination. The best time for a Munnar trip is considered to start from October and goes on till March.
April and May also experience lots of tourists with families who come to hill stations seeking relief from the scorching summer heat & during school summer vacations; hence Munnar tourist places can still be crowded.
June to August bring fewer crowds and lotsss of rain. 🙂
Unlike other destinations, some places to visit in Munnar are still good even during the Monsoons. All the waterfalls including Attukal waterfalls are at their full force creating a magnificent sight. Make sure you stop at Attukal waterfalls during your Munnar trip btw.
Restaurants In Munnar Kerala
Munnar isn’t just about amazing natural beauty, it’s also a great place to get a taste of Kerala’s cuisine. Appam n’ Stew, Puttu with Kadala Curry & Nadan Kozhi Varuthathu are some of the local dishes you should try on your Munnar trip.
Though South Indian rules at most of the food joints in Munnar, you can have a multi-cuisine experience as well with foods from across the country featured on the menu.
Some of the famous places to visit in Munnar for a great taste are:
Rapsy Restaurant- Main market- multicuisine.
Bamboo Hut- GH road- fast food.
Treetop Restaurant- Devikulam- Kerala food.
SN Restaurant- Main market- Indian cuisine.
Sarvana Bhavan — Main market –Pure Vegetarian and South Indian.
Hotel Sreenivas– GH road– South Indian food.
Sree Krishna Marwadi Gujarati Restaurant Pure Veg–Hotel SN Sujatha Inn-Main market – specialises in Gujarati food.
Sree Mahaveer Bhojanalaya Restaurant–Silent Valley — North Indian – Rajastani, Gujarathi and Punjabi.
How To Reach Munnar Kerala
Nestled in the lap of Western Ghats, Munnar is one of the easily accessible destinations in Kerala. Whether for a weekend getaway or for a full-fledged Kerala tour, reaching Munnar tourist places is convenient. Here’s how you can reach Munnar Kerala.
The nearest Airport to Munnar is situated 115 Km away in Cochin. From Cochin International Airport one can hire a cab and reach Munnar Kerala in about 4 hours.
If you are travelling to Munnar Kerala from Kochi, the journey is scenic but nearly 5 hours long! There are KTDC Ac buses too!
Aluva is the nearest Munnar railway station – located 110 KM away. The other Railway stations are Ernakulam Railway Station which is 130 KM away and the Madurai Railway Station is 135 KM away.
Hotels and resorts in Munnar Kerala
Munnar has some of the most beautiful resorts! Staying in the countryside is preferable to staying in town for your Munnar trip, for better views & feel of the place. The marketplace is small & most good resorts are spread out away from the main town. You have to plan the entire day well before leaving the hotel.
There is literally nothing to do after sunset in Munnar Kerala, specially as resorts are far from town. Hence, your choice of resort/hotel is an important one; it should have enough to keep you entertained in the evenings.
I have mostly stayed at Sterling resorts, Chinnakal; though most Munnar tourist places are far from here & yes, a car is an absolute must.
One reason is that it is a big beautiful resort with great views & with various types of rooms. I have been here with my daughter & my mother, they liked the open expanses & the activity center. We were never bored here!
Sterling resort, Munnar Kerala
Second reason, my company has their corporate membership, hence the good rooms also come for much less at peak times 🙂
Most good resorts are bunched together in 3-4 areas:
7kms before Munnar town, while arriving from Kochi
– Parakkat Nature resort
– Blanket Hotel
– Devonshire Greens
In Devikulam, Chinnakanal–
20 kms away from Munnar town, on the way to Thekkady.
– Spice Tree
In Chithirapuram, Anachal–
11 kms from Munnar.
– The Fog
– Green Tea View.
6 kms from town.
– Tall Trees resort
– Fragrant Nature.
In Main town-
– Hill view
– Munnar Castle
– C7 hotels.
All in all, I’d really recommend visiting Munnar on your trip down South. Places to visit in Munnar offer a whole other side to Kerala which you do not see on the coast and this is in fact where I realised why Kerala is said to be ‘God’s Own Country’. 🙂
Happy traveling! 😀