OT Itinerary: How To Spend The Perfect 3 Days In Munnar

From its unique tea and spice history as well as the natural surroundings, explore Munnar thoroughly with our comprehensive 3-day Munnar itinerary
A view of the rolling hills of Munnar
A view of the rolling hills of MunnarShutterstock

Nestled in the Western Ghats of Kerala, Munnar is a beautiful hill station known for its lush tea plantations, misty mountains, and peaceful atmosphere. The name "Munnar" is derived from the Malayalam words "moonu" and "aru", which mean "three" and "river", respectively. The region is named after the confluence of the Muthirapuzha, Nallathanni, and Kundala rivers. At about 1,600 metres, Munnar boasts breathtaking landscapes with rolling hills covered in green tea gardens.

During the colonial era, Munnar was a summer resort for the British government, and British colonists established the first plantations in the 19th century. The area is known as the Cardamom Hills and is home to many cardamom plantations. The region came to the attention of the outside world in the 1870s when John Daniel Munro, the British Resident of the Travancore kingdom, visited. Munnar is also referred to as the "Scotland of India". The High Range Club was one of the first planter clubs to have electricity and a residential facility. Visitors are attracted to its cool climate, ideal for leisurely walks amidst the scenic beauty. The area is also rich in biodiversity, featuring protected areas such as Eravikulam National Park, home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr. Though travellers are never satiated to the fullest no matter how long they stay at the hill station, here is a 4-day itinerary that will let you thoroughly explore the area.

Day 1

Morning: Eravikulam National Park

Nilgiri Tahr looking through the blooming bushes of Eravikulam National Park
Nilgiri Tahr looking through the blooming bushes of Eravikulam National ParkShutterstock

Begin your day early by visiting Eravikulam National Park, home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr. It was established in 1978 and is the first national park in Kerala. Take a picturesque drive up the hills to admire stunning landscapes and diverse flora. The park provides a unique opportunity to explore the Shola grasslands and encounter native wildlife.

Address: Munnar - Udumalpet Road, Kannan Devan Hills, Kerala, 685612, India

Timings: 7 am to 4 pm

Entry Fees: INR 125 per person for Indian nationals and INR 420 for foreigners

Afternoon: Lunch at Tea Gardens

Inside the Kolukkumalai Tea Estate
Inside the Kolukkumalai Tea EstateShutterstock

Enjoy a lovely lunch amidst picturesque tea gardens at a local tea estate, where you can also learn about tea cultivation and enjoy fresh brews while soaking in serene surroundings. One of the most popular tea estates is the renowned Kolukkumalai Tea Estate, which sits about 2,170 metres above sea level and just a 14-minute drive away from the national park. At the estate, the tea leaves are handpicked, processed, and manually packed for distribution using the age-old tea processing methods used for generations. Along with the tea-tasting experience (book your tour here: https://www.kolukkumalai.com/tours.html), tourists visit the estate for its mesmerising views. You can take a safari across the tea estate, trek down the hills, and get a guided factory tour to learn more about the tea-making process.

Address: Engineering College Road,Near Murugan Temple, Nullatanni, Kochi, Kerala, 685612, India

Timings: 7 am to 6 pm

Entry Fees: INR 100 per person

Evening: Exploring Mattupetty Dam

A view of the Mattupetty Dam under golden sunlight
A view of the Mattupetty Dam under golden sunlightShutterstock

Towards the end of the day, proceed to Mattupetty Dam, which is a 25-minute drive away, to enjoy a serene evening by the reservoir, surrounded by lush greenery. Mattupetty Dam is a gravity dam in the Munnar hills of Kerala, India, which is used for hydroelectricity and water conservation. It's 1,700 metres high and opened in 1953. The dam is a vital revenue source for Idukki District and a sanctuary for birds and animals. Visitors can enjoy water sports like boating and witness cattle grazing.

Address: Mattupetty, Idukki, Munnar, Kerala, 685612, India

Timings: 9:30 am to 5 pm

Entry Fees: INR 10 per person

Day 2

Morning: A Visit to the Tea Museum

The Tea Museum of Munnar
The Tea Museum of MunnarShutterstock

Visit the Tea Museum to delve into Munnar's rich tea heritage. The Tea Museum in Munnar, established by Tata Tea in 2005, showcases the history and growth of tea estates in the area. It has photographs, machineries, and various stages of tea processing, including the making of black tea. The museum also features a demonstration room for tea tasting, where visitors can taste exotic tea varieties from around the world. Other attractions include a sundial, 'Pelton Wheel', tea roller, and a rail engine wheel of the Kundale Valley Light Railway. The museum is a must-visit spot for those who want to delve into the soul of Munnar. Discover the evolution of tea production in the region and sample different varieties.

Address: KDHP House, NH 49, Nullatanni, Munnar, Kerala 685612

Timings: 9 am to 4 pm

Entry Fees: INR 75 per person

Afternoon: Visit Top Station

A view from the Top Station of Munnar
A view from the Top Station of MunnarShutterstock

After visiting the museum, you can drive to Top Station, a high-altitude viewpoint offering stunning vistas of the surrounding hills and valleys. You can capture the beauty of the landscape and enjoy a leisurely lunch amidst nature. A trip to Top Station also allows you to visit Palani Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and explore its wildlife. On the way, you can also explore Kurinjimala Sanctuary, known for its rare Neelakurinji flowers. Additionally, you can witness amazing tea plantations and gorgeous waterfalls and enjoy a winding trip among the mountains.

Address: Top Station, Munnar, Kerala, 625582, India

Timings: 6 am to 6 pm

Evening: Echo Point and Kundala Lake

The serene Kundala Lake of Munnar
The serene Kundala Lake of Munnar

Spend your evening at Echo Point, where you can shout into the valley and hear your voice reverberate. It is known for echoing your voices from the nearby mountains. You can check for echo yourself if you are lucky enough to have a silent and misty atmosphere. Later, take a relaxing boat ride on Kundala Lake, surrounded by lush green hills, and unwind amidst nature's tranquillity.

Address: Mattupetty Dam to Top Station Rd, Kannan Devan Hills, Kerala, 685616, India

Timings: 6 am to 7:30 pm

Day 3

Morning: Anamudi Peak

A view of the Anamudi Peak
A view of the Anamudi PeakShutterstock

On your third day, embark on an early morning trek to Anamudi Peak, the highest point in South India, for stunning views of the Western Ghats and tea estates below. The two-hour moderately challenging trek begins from the Eravikulam National Park and rewards you with unparalleled vistas of Munnar's pristine landscapes. You can spot animals like Asian elephants, Gaurs, and Nilgiri Tahrs there. The peak offers breathtaking views of the valley and hills, including tea and spice plantations. The region is covered with evergreen bamboo and teak forests, and rivers flow through the valley. Locals go for picnics, and photographers love to capture the scenic beauty.

Address: Kannan Devan Hills, Kerala, 685561, India

Afternoon: Tea Tasting and Spice Gardens

Inside the spice gardens of Munnar
Inside the spice gardens of MunnarShutterstock

If you still have energy left, use your afternoon to visit a spice garden in Munnar to learn about the different spices grown in the region and enjoy a tea-tasting session. Kerala has been a vital link between the East and West, facilitating the movement of valuable commodities and spices. The Spice Route connected Kerala with other civilizations, creating a melting pot of cultural influences. Kerala's fertile terrain and tropical environment make it ideal for growing spices. The state is home to several spice-growing locations, ranging from the misty highlands of Munnar to the lush plantations of Wayanad. Explore Kerala's spice plantations for a unique sensory experience, and learn about the various spices that have fascinated the world for centuries.

Evening: Relaxation and Shopping

Wrap up your Munnar trip with a relaxed evening stroll through the local markets. Take some time to pick up souvenirs such as aromatic spices, tea varieties, and handicrafts. Afterwards, wind down with a traditional Kerala meal while reflecting on the natural wonders you've experienced throughout your three-day adventure.

Getting There

Air: The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport, which is around 125 km away from Munnar.

Rail: The nearest railway station is located in Kochi or Ernakulam. It is a major junction of the trains coming from various parts of India including Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata, Mangalore etc.

Road: To reach Munnar from Kochi, Aluva or Ernakulam, hire a cab or take a bus. You can book your tickets through the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) website or purchase them from the counter at the bus terminal next to Aluva railway station.

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