Neelakurunji grows in the Nilagiri Hills of the Western Ghats. This shrub has a flowers which are purple in colour and it blooms once in every 12 years. Neelakurunji literally means Blue Mountains. The flower when in bloom turns the entire ghats into blue colour hence the name blue mountains. Although it blooms only once in 12 years, you could still find it in few places during other years too.
Mattupetty located 13 km from Munnar is situated at a height of 1700 m. It is a very beautiful picnic spot. You can take a walk on the dam and admire the beauty. The lake also has boating and various kinds of peddal and motorboats are available for hire. If you are lucky then you can spot some elephants on the banks. There are lots of birds for bird watching enthusiasts.
Mattupetty is situated 13 km from Munnar at a height of 1700m, Mattupetty is known for its hightly specialised dairy farm-the Indo Swiss Livestock Project. Over a 100 varieties of high -yielding cattle are reared here. Visitiors are allowd into 3 of the 11 cattle sheds fof the farm.
Visiting time 9 am 11 am and 1400 pm to 15.30 pm.
The Mattupetty Lake and dam , jst a short distance from the farm, is a very beautiful picnic spot. The sprawling kundala tea plantations and Kundala lake are other ottractions in the vicinity. DTPC Idukki provides boating facilities on the Mattupetty Dam. Speed launch and motorboats are available on the hire.
The cheeyappara and Valara waterfalls are lovated between Nariamngalam and Adimali on the kochi madurai higway. The Cheeyappara waterfalls cascade down in sever steps. It is a real feast to the eyes. This is also a great place for trekking.
Pothen medu situated 6 km from Munnar. It offers an excellent view of tea, coffeee and cardamom plantations in Munnar. The rolling hills, the lush mountain and the breathtaking scenary here are idea for trekking and long mountain walks.
This idyllic hill station with its velvet lawns, exotic flora and fauna and the cool miuntain air is a rare experience. The Sita Devi Lake with its mineral waters and pituresque surroundings is a good picnic spot. The lake is also ideal for trout fishing.
This natural habitat of the Nigiri tahr is situated 15 km from Munnar. Half of the world population of the rare mountain goat (hemitragas bylocres) which is fast becoming extinct, is now found here. The nilgiri tahrs are today reduced to small herds found in the Eravikulam- Rajamala region.
This park stretches for about 97sq km, though there is only a 10km pathway, that visitors are requested to use. In a bid to cut down on erosion to the grasslands, taking walks off the pathways is forbidden.
Plastic water containers are also forbidden, in an attempt to discourage littering. (There is a big problem all over Kerala with abandoned plastic water bottles!)
Its a nice place to enjoy a walk and admire the stunning mountainous and hilly scenery.
The main attraction is the Nilgiri tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius). These goat like creatures are indiginous to this region, and thrive on the grass covered land, and shola forestation. It favours a rocky habitat.
The tahrs were in danger of extinction, but due to serious conservation work led by Clifford Rice, and proclaiming the area as a National Park in 1978, there are now estimated to be over 1000 tahrs in this area of parkland.
These creatures are quite tame, we were quite close to a small herd. Although some visitors did try to get a bit too close.
(see my Munnar intro page)
Open 08.00 - 17.30 daily
Small charge for video cameras.
Not sure of entrance price as this was included in our tour.
There is boating also down on this Mattupetty River. They have High Speed Boats for few people and big boats for larger groups.
On the other side of river is jungle where we spotted a kid elephant with his mother and father.
The speed boats have amazing balance and the person driving this takes you for all the adventurous turns in the water.
So, this is a definite "No Miss Activity".
Tata tea,the world's largest tea company runs a little tea museum in Munnar.Artifacts from the early part of the last century are displayed here - related to life in a tea garden. There is also a mini tea factory with scaled down machinery which clearly demonstrates the complete tea making process.An absolute must if you love the magic herb called tea !
This is the natural habitat of the Nilgiri Tahr goat, 2695 mts above sea level this offers a birds eye view of Munnar.Half the world's population of the rare mountain goat or tahr which is fast becoming extinct, is now found here.The Niligiri tahr in Rajamala are now to be found in small herds found in Eravikulam-Rajamala region. The total number of Niligiri Tahrs in Rajamala is estimated to be over 1300.
For many people, what Munnar instantly bring s are the tea gardens and the Nilgiri Tahr in Rajamalai wildlife sanctuary. Another sight which is equally or more attractive is the Kundala dam.
Kundala dam , which is about 20 Km from Munnar town, is situated on the way to Top station. Its a relatively small dam which has an arch shape.
If you are visiting the dam at any time other than summer, the water is almost filled to the brink. The narrow single lane raod above the dam will give a panoramic view of the catchment area. Also the trees surrounding the water gives a greenish tinge to the water.
Boating facility is also available in the reservoir.
Tourist Season : August to March
The visitors can see unending tea plantations on entry into Munnar. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neelakurinji a flower which bathes the hills in blue colour once 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 like to do some trekking.
MUNNAR - FACT FILE
Location Idukki District on the high ranges of the Western Ghats
Altitude 5000-8000 ft above sea level.
Area 26.2 sq. km.
Temperature 0°C - 30° C
(Summer : 15.2°C - 25.8°C
Winter : 0°C - 10° C)
Rainfall 275 cm
Best time to visit September to May Clothing Woollen and cotton Languages spoken Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi and English.
Boundaries North : Coimbatore
South : Pallivassal Panchayath
East : Vattavada Panchayath
West : Kuttampuzha Panchayath
Situated at a height of 1700 mts, this looks like a bit of sweden thats been imported here. As we drove by in our ambassador both Aj and I were wondering why we bother spending exorbitant amounts heading out of India for a vacation when there'es so much here still to see!
Echo Point has a natural echo phenomenon is situated 15 km from Munnar. You can scream as loud and you want and you can hear your echo back. I find it very interesting.
Lots of stall in this are so you can get your fresh coconut juice, food, homemade chocolate and also woodcrafts. We have a very sweet strawberry juice and got some strawberry jam too.