Attractions of Munnar

Tea estates

Munnar is almost full of tea estates and has thick forest cover. Most of the people work in tea estates and many of them are labourers (to pluck the tea leaves). The majority of the tea estates are owned by Tata Tea. In fact, the entire area is known as the Kannan Devan Hills, from which the famous brand of the Tata’s gets its name.
Tourist spots

Unlike other tourist places in India, Munnar doesn't have many artificial parks or gardens. However, due to its status as a tourist spot, few places have more visitors:

Places on the Munnar-Udumalai route

» Kannimalai Estate - Tea factory visit (special permission needed)

» Rajamalai – A quite place near to jungle and is at the location of the Eravikulam National Park, a 97 square kms National Park located along the Western Ghats, the terrain consists of high altitude grasslands interspersed with a type of high-altitude stunted evergreen forest called Shola forest. The word 'shola' is probably derived from the Tamil word solai, meaning 'thicket' or 'bamboo clump'. Eravikulam National Park harbours the largest surviving population of Nilgiri tahr. Nilgiri Tahr is endemic to the southern Western Ghats. During breeding season of Nilgiri Tahr, tourists are not allowed.

» Chinnar - Wildlife Sanctuary - a unique thorny scrub forest consisting of xerophyte species of plants and trees. Chinnar is also the habitat for the endangered Giant Grizzled Squirrel of India which is dull gray in colour. Chinnar was declared as a Wildlife Sanctuary in the year 1984 and is spread over an area of 90,422 sq.kms. Located in the rain shadow area of the Western Ghats, unlike in most forests in Kerala, Chinnar has only 48 rainy days in a year. Dry deciduous forests, high sholas and wet grasslands are also found here. Flora found in Chinar has sandal wood, Rosewood, teakwood etc in flora and fauna consisting of Elephant, Gaur, Panther, Spotted deer, Sambar, Giant Grizzled Squirrel, Hanuman monkey, Rabbit. Proximity to Eravikulam National Park and Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu makes Chinnar very rich in wildlife.

» Marayoor – Sandal Wood Forests and Plantations: Marayoor is not only the ideal tourist destination but it also claims to be a part of Stone Age Civilization that is as old as 10000 B.C the caves (Muniyaras) with murals and relics from the new Stone Age civilization. This is the only place in Kerala that has natural growth of sandal wood trees. The sandal wood factory of the forest department and the children's park spread across a hectare of land under the canopy of a single Banyan tree are of great interest to tourists. Marayoor is still a pristine, celestial and unexplored tourist spot compared to Munnar, the most sought after hill stations in India. Places on the Munnar-Top Station route

» Madupatti Dam – A Dam which was built by the British, the Mattupatti Lake and Dam, is a very beautiful picnic spot. DTPC Idukki provides boating facilities& speed launch and motorboats are also available on hire.

» Madupatti Indo-Swiss Project - Rare hybrids, especially the Indo-Swiss hybrid of cattle, are bred here.

» Kundalai - is a picturesque town on the way to Top Stations. The Golf Course which belongs to Tata Tea Ltd. is located here. The Sethu-Parvathy artificial dam is another attraction. Aruvikkad waterfall is also located near Kundala.

» Top Station - Fantastic high mountain vistas, you can see the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu from here. 1700 m above sea level, this is the highest point on the Munnar-Kodaikanal road. The rare Nilakurinji (strobilanthus) belongs to this region. This flower that bathes the hills in blue once in twelve years will bloom this year 2006. Places on the Munnar-Theni route» Devikulam - This idyllic hill stations with its velvet lawns, exotic flora and fauna and the cool mountain air is a very rare experience. The Sita Devi Lake with its mineral waters and picturesque surroundings is a good picnic spot. The Dam, the Tea estates, the Tea factory visit (special permission needed)

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