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Those who love to trek, go angling, or want to simply enjoy a refreshing afternoon beside a gorgeous waterfall should definitely head to Nyayamakad. The waterfall is at a height of 1,600 m and one can spend hours playing in its frothy pool. Trek to the nearby hills for scenic views. If you are interested in angling, head to Gravel Banks in the Nyayamakad Estate to catch some trout. Nyayamakad is 10 km away from Munnar, and is located between Munnar and Rajamala. The best time to visit is during the monsoon, or just after – the waterfall is at its zenith at this time, and the weather is perfect for long hikes.
The highest peak in South India, the Anamudi Peak, lying at an altitude of about 2,695 m, is one of the most se scenic stopovers in Munnar. The peak looks like a flat block of rock at the top. Located inside the Eravikulam National Park, it can be reached via trekking. One can also come across the indigenous wildlife of Munnar, including the Nilgiri tahr, Asian elephant and gaur, as well as the rare resplendent shrub frog.
About 9 km away from Munnar and before the town of Pallivasal lies Attukad. Here, the landscape is covered with rocky hills and small waterfalls. Refresh yourself with cool and blue waters of the falls and leave your worries behind as you stroll along the sprawling greens. The best time to visit the waterfalls is in the monsoon season, when rainwater replenishes the falls, with water gushing into the pool below with great speed and force. It makes for a mesmerising site and is a favourite among photographers. The rock face contrasting with the trees that seem to grow out of the rock itself, makes for a very dramatic landscape.
Lockhart Gap lies 13 km away from Munnar and is often spelt as “lock heart” because of the gap in the two hills that looks like a locked heart! The site has plenty of trekking options and the trails are quite serene. From here, one can view lush green valleys, foggy slopes and well-maintained plantations. This is an ideal location to spend an entire day and go for a picnic with loved ones. The gap is a secluded location and will help you get away from the chaos of city life. Take a long, invigorating walk, try out different varieties of coffee and tea, or just watch a splendid sunset paint the sky red and gold – you’ll be transported to another world in Lockhart Gap.
Locally known as erumadam, tree houses in Kerala are one of the best sites to enjoy the emerald and pristine beauty of the landscape. There are a number of resorts in and around Munnar that provide a comfortable stay in luxurious tree houses. These houses are constructed over tall trees overlooking the surrounding lush green forests. The interesting part about raising a tree house is that not one nail is used in perching the house on the tree. In fact, it is nicely tied to the tree using bamboo poles and ropes. Munnar is home to a number of imposing tree houses and staying in one is definitely a memorable and one-of-its-kind experience. These tree houses are constructed with the help of eco-friendly materials like coir mats, hay straws and bamboo poles. It is said that tree houses were first used by the tribal hunters of Munnar to get protection from wild animals but today, they are an exotic experience for tourists.
A treasure trove of tea, Munnar boasts patches of emerald plantations that offer ripe opportunities to experience tea tourism at its best. You can stroll through the picturesque vast stretches that are permeated with a spicy aroma or try an array of varieties that are locally grown. Let your senses be doused with the calming fragrance of brewing tea leaves as you sit through one of the most surreal experiences of your life- tea tasting.
You can also visit the Tea Museum and attend an interactive tea tasting demonstration. The visit will introduce you to the nuances of the brewing process and you can get tips on how to become a qualified tea taster. You can also taste as many as 15 different varieties with the help of a local tea tasting guide. Don't forget to buy your favourite varieties to take back home as souvenirs.
The hilly landscape of Munnar offers the perfect terrain for adventurous activities like rock climbing and mountain rappelling. Climbing the mist-shrouded steep peaks of Munnar makes for an extremely thrilling experience for adventure enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies. It's always advisable to choose aided climbing over free climbing since the latter can be quite strenuous. Local guides will help you get the right equipment and fitness gear to ensure safety. Mountain rappelling is a blend of mountaineering and rock climbing. First, you need to hike up to a steep cliff with the help of equipment, after which, you are dropped down a vertical rock while being attached to a safety harness. You can try different techniques like backward, forward, side and stomach rappelling and get one of the most exciting experiences of your life.
Munnar's Mattupetty Dam and its reservoir lake offer the perfect setting for enjoying a boat ride and admiring the scenic beauty of the gorgeous hill station. The boating facility at the dam is provided by the District Tourist Promotion Council and tourists can hire speed launch boats, slow speed boats and motorboats for an amazing experience amidst nature. Another great spot for boating in Munnar is the popular Anayirankal Dam, which is blessed with a rich variety of flora and fauna. Sighting elephants during the boat ride in the Anayirankal Lake is very common and makes the experience even better. If you are an adventure enthusiast, a thrilling speed boat ride will make your day and if you are a nature lover, you can take slow boats and admire the splendid beauty of the surroundings, as you serenely cruise along.
Munnar is blessed with one of the best cycling trails in South India and is nothing less than a paradise for adrenaline junkies and mountain biking enthusiasts. Cycling through narrow winding roads surrounded by forest-clad hill slopes is an absolutely thrilling experience. Cycling through the awe-inspiring landscape of Munnar also gives an opportunity to explore the many tea plantations located here as you come across local men and women plucking the tender tea leaves. Pedal up to Top Station and witness captivating views of the hills of Kerala and the plains of Tamil Nadu. The biking tour not only gives tourists a chance to interact with local tribals and tea plantation workers but also offers great views of the countryside.
Munnar is a great place for adventure lovers and bamboo rafting is one of the most thrilling experiences one can have here. What makes it much more interesting than usual rafting is the fact that tourists get to build their own bamboo rafts with the help of bamboo poles, coir ropes and inflated rubber tyres. One of the best places to experience bamboo rafting near Munnar is the Periyar lake in Thekkady. To reach the boarding point for bamboo rafting, tourists first need to trek through dense forests for 4 km. Rafting through the serene Periyar river, surrounded by verdant hills makes for a truly memorable and refreshing experience. Bamboo rafting can get physically demanding since it requires much more strength than usual rafting.
Munnar turns into a fairyland every time the blooming season comes around and the beautiful Neelakurinji flower covers the landscape in blue and purple. This rare beauty can be seen flowering in this locale once every 12 years. Thousands of travellers crowd Munnar during blooming season when the hills are all draped and look even prettier. Neelakurinji is a shrub mostly found in the Western Ghats of South India. Its habitat is specifically confined to the shola grasslands in the ghats—the Nilgiri hills, Palani hills and the Eravikulam hills of Munnar.
The Government of Kerala established this park for the conservation and preservation of this unique sample of biodiversity. The initiative’s primary objective is to protect Neelakurinji. The park sprawls across 7,907 acre of land, across the villages of Kottakamboor and Vattavada. The blooming season is so widely awaited that people make bookings to visit and stay months, even years in advance. If you are planning to visit at this time, do check the hotel availability well in time.
One of the most thrilling activities in Munnar is joining a team of armed forest guards for a late night jungle patrol in the eco-development zones of the Periyar Tiger Reserve. The patrols are organised between 4 am and 7 am and are aimed at keeping poachers at bay in order to keep a check on forest degradation. Tourists from all corners of India and the world can play an instrumental part in conserving Thekkady's wildlife by participating in jungle patrolling. The constant fear and excitement of encountering a tiger as you hear unusual sounds from different corners of the jungle a one-of-its-kind experience that will leave you both nervous and excited. Tourists are divided into different teams and each team has four tourists accompanied by forest guards and protection watchers.
Kerala is home to a number of tribal communities and the Mannans and the Palians are among the most prominent tribes of Munnar. The Tribal Heritage programme of the state government is aimed at providing a glimpse of tribal life to tourists. About a couple of hours long, it involves trekking through dense forests and visiting a tribal hamlet nestled at the periphery of the Periyar Tiger Reserve. Tourists can take the tour every day from 8 am to 12 noon and from 2 pm to 4 pm.
You will be accompanied by a tribal guide on the nature trail. Allow the guide to take you to the houses of the tribals as you walk amidst lush green surroundings, with chirping birds adding to the background music. The tribals have been living in grey-thatched houses for centuries and visiting one such house makes for a fascinating experience as one gets to interact with tribals and get an insight into their lifestyle. A visit to the Tribal Heritage Museum, set up in the tribal hamlet of the Mannan community, is also a part of the tour. The museum displays a great collection of tribal artefacts, which are used by the members for special ceremonies, rituals, cultural events and agricultural practices. Visitors also get a chance to see the dresses worn by tribals, along with other objects like traditional fishing gear, weapons used for hunting, cooking utensils and tribal paintings.
Set amidst picturesque tea estates and dense vegetation, the magnificent Power House Waterfalls is one of the most visited spots around Munnar. Falling from a height of 2,000 m, the waterfalls originates from the pristine Sita Devi Kulam Lake at Devikulam, and comes to life during the monsoon season. The milky white water of the falls, gushing down rocky terrain, leaves one enchanted and smitten by the natural and undisturbed beauty of verdant surroundings. Add to this, the cool breeze sweeping the land, and you have an idyllic and rejuvenating experience. The falls is also known as the Chinnakanal Waterfalls. It lies en route the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady, which is another must-see site near Munnar.