The idyllic hill station Munnar – famous for its tea estates, exotic lush greenery and craggy peaks, is located in the Western Ghats, in the state of Kerala. It serves as the commercial centre for some of the world’s largest tea estates. In addition, Munnar has many protected areas which are home to endemic and highly endangered species like the Nilgiri Thar and the Neelakurinji.
One of the biggest tea-plantation area of South India, Munnar is one of the most beautiful and popular hill-stations of Kerala. Situated on the banks of three rivers- Madupetti, Nallathanni and Periavaru, Munnar is also blessed with natural view-points apart from the tea-plantations. Munnar is divided into Old Munnar, where the tourist information office is, and Munnar, where the bus station and most guest houses are located. The Eravikulam National Park, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and tea plantations are its major attractions.
Tea Gardens in Munnar
Step into the boundaries of Munnar, and you will have all the reasons to call Kerala “A god’s own country”. Brace yourself up for one of the most romantic places in India, for the delightful weather, the endless lush green fields of tea-gardens and the hilly terrains of Western Ghats. Over the past few years, Munnar has become one of the most sought- after honeymoon destination leaving behind Srinagar, Manali, and Shimla. For those want to see much more than ice-draped peaks, Munnar is truly a paradise. An escape into the lap of nature, away from the hustle-bustle, into the world of tranquillity. That’s Munnar for you!
Restaurants and Local Food in Munnar
Munnar’s cuisine is where you’ll find all popular items off a conventional Keralan cuisine. From essentials like Idli, Vada, Sambhar to the widespread Banana chips, all is almost staple here. Other than that a number of places will have menus of various cuisines and a huge number of options.
One might also want to visit the early morning food stalls in the bazaar which might offer you an enjoyable breakfast. While here, you might not want to miss the popular Cardamom tea
Day 1: Arrive at Cochin International airport, and enjoy a scenic ride via the hills to Munnar. Explore one of Munnar’s popular hotels for dinner like EastEnd or SN Restaurant.
Day 2: Leave for the city tour in the nearby areas. Tour the famous lush green tea gardens of Munnar, and enjoy the freshly brewed tea prepared from the freshly picked tea leaves. Visit Echo point, the most famous place of Munnar. End your day with a trip to the Tea Museum.
Day 3: Leave for Eravikulam National Park in the morning. The national park is famous for it rich flora and fauna and is home to a number of endangered species. Spend the day at the National park. Catch some local performances of kathakali and kalaripayattu in the evening at the Punarjani Traditional Village.
Day 4: Visit the Top Station which is famous for its beautiful view of the hills. Further, explore some of Munnar’s popular restaurants like Taste the Brew cafe for breakfast or the Rapsy Restaurant for lunch. Later, pay a visit to the various waterfalls located on the outskirts of Munnar such as Lakkom waterfall, Attukad waterfall and Thoovanam waterfall.
What is the best time to visit Munnar?
September to May is the best time to visit Munnar, being the ultimate destination for leisure seekers, travel enthusiasts, adventurists and honeymooners. Summers (March – June) are a little warm, but one can still visit Munnar during this season. Monsoon season (July and August) experiences heavy rainfall which could hamper your travel plans and hence this period should be avoided. With that being said, it is essential to be aware of the ideal time to visit Munnar if you want to savour the full grandeur of this destination. Even though the pleasant climate of Munnar invites visitors all throughout the year, there are certain peak seasons when the number of visitors increases exponentially.
Weather in Munnar
Upcoming Munnar Weather
Monthly Weather in Munnar
|Month||Avg. Minimum (°C)||Avg. Maximum (°C)|
Munnar in Summers (March – June)
Munnar specialises in its tantalising charm, and that is the reason people tend to escape the hot summer months and flock to this hill station. During this season, many locals are seen with their children as well. The early mornings and the late evenings can get a little chilly, so wearing a light sweater can be comforting. March to June mark the advent of the rainy season, so the sparkling streams and sloshing waterfalls become even more enticing. The full-bloomed flower gardens are in their glory, so do not hesitate from getting some memorable photographs in this captivating setting.
Munnar in Winters (December – February)
The winter season begins to crawl in towards December and lasts until the end of January. These are the coldest months of the year, and the temperature in Munnar tends to dip down below zero. Carrying heavy woollen clothes, mittens and scarves is an absolute necessity that helps in protecting you from the cold. Munnar gets colder as you go higher up the terrain and thus, it is better if you prepare yourself for the bone-chilling cold.
The good thing about the biting cold is that it encourages the tourists and visitors to engage themselves in adrenaline rushing activities, which in turn helps in increasing the body heat. Trekking, rock climbing and rappelling are some of the activities that you must indulge yourself in. Although do make sure to have all the necessary accessories to check out the full-fledged nature’s bounty.
After all, it does not matter which season you choose to visit Munnar in, given its mesmerising waterfalls, highest tea plantations and fascinating terrain play the role of a perfect host every time you visit this mystical hill station. Nevertheless, if you exclusively want a quiet vacation, visiting Munnar during an off-season would serve you the best.
To conclude, it will be fair to say the Munnar gets a unique avatar with each season. The summer charm, the adventurous winter and aesthetic monsoon – you need to experience all of these. So plan a trip to Kerala and do not forget to include Munnar in your list of places to visit!
Munnar in Monsoons (July – November)
July – August
A lot of people avoid visiting Munnar in Monsoon as rains may hamper the local sightseeing around the town. However, the monsoon is still a good time to visit Munnar. The rains clean off the dirt from the environment and give a whole new look to the endless green pastures of tea. A great time to visit for the nature lovers and shutterbugs.
To cherish the smell of freshness and want to nurture your eternal love for rain, heading to this hilly abode is the best thing you can think of doing. The shimmering shower of the season lures you, even more, to explore this nature’s spectacle and unveil its true beauty from within.
During the rainy season, Munnar greets you into a haven of vibrant colours and beautiful greenery and exceptional photographic opportunities amidst the hills. Right after the showers, the rain leaves its mark on the leaves and plants and amplifies the charm of this hill station.
With the long list of pros, the rainy season in Munnar has some cons as well, one of them being leeches. Residing in the bushy ground and grassy areas, they emerge out as soon as monsoon begins. They will latch onto your skin and start sucking the blood. After having sucked enough blood, they fall off, but it is highly recommended that you carry salt along with you. Splashing your feet and footwear with saltwater before venturing out keeps the leeches away!
The reason behind the large-scale football in Munnar during the summer and winter season is because of the increased possibility of being indulged in sightseeing expeditions and undertaking adventurous activities. This becomes less suitable during rainy seasons the probability of heavy showers is very high, and you will have to be extra cautious and be prepared with raincoats and umbrellas.
September – November
Furthermore, the time from September to November is the best blooming season of Neelakurinji flowers. The eternal bond of Munnar and Neelakurinji stands out because of its exclusivity. Munnar is the only dominant place where Neelakurinji flowers bloom profusely. What makes Neelakurinji so special is that it blooms in every 12 years, the last bloom was in 2006 making 2018 it’s next blooming season. The blooming season begins in August, transforming Munnar into an ethereal setting covered with these proliferating azure flowers.
Therefore, it will serve you best if you plan your travel during this time to witness this surreal phenomenon of nature. Since this flowering season is a much-anticipated event, you should start planning your visit months before the blooming season starts. It will be best if you visit Munnar during the dawn. The mist blankets covering the valley in the early morning along with the Neelakurinji flowers is nothing less than a piece of paradise.
Take necessary precautions before visiting if you have allergic issues with flower pollens or bees. Vaccination shots before the trip and carrying anti-allergens and antihistamines are essential. Also, it is expected from you to be a responsible tourist while visiting Munnar during the Neelakurinji flowering season. Make sure you do not pick the flowers and ruin the scenery for other visitors; it is for everyone to enjoy. The Government is taking strict measures to ensure the sanctity of the landscape by deploying volunteers to make sure plants are not damaged. There can be harsh consequences if someone is found disturbing the biodiversity by destroying the plants.