Munnar

Munnar lies about 120 kilometers from Ernakulam is perhaps Kerala’s most famous and most visited hill station. Rolling hills of tea, winding roads, gurgling streams, endless plantation stretches cut by thick Shola forests, waterfalls that stream across roads and the smell of tea in the cool air, complete the beauty of Munnar. A tea plantation town, Munnar’s history is entwined with the advent of plantation crops into Kerala. Munnar was discovered on a hunting expedition up the hills by British civil servants. On one of such expeditions, the British Resident JD Munro acquired about 580 acres on concession from the Raja of Poonjar and planted coffee, cinchona and cardamom. Not much of a success, in 1880 AH Sharp planted tea at what is now known as Sevenmally Estate. The rest they say is history. There are many tourist spots around Munnar. Mattupetty Lake offers boating opportunities and is a great place for pick nickers. Top Station, 34 kilometres from Munnar provides superb views of the Tamil Nadu plains below and was once a rope way station, transporting goods up from the lower plains. Kolukkumalai, an hour and a half from the town is 7900 feet above sea level is home to the highest tea plantation in the country. The Tea Museum provides a pictorial view of the history of tea in Green Munnar apart from also acquainting the layman on the making of tea powder. The drive up to Munnar, by itself, is worth the distance and effort with many waterfalls to see enroute. All this make Munnar Tourism, one of the best hill stations in South India.