Trekking in Munnar, Kerala

Munnar is a very famous hill station which is located in Idukki district of Kerala. It lies at the confluence of three mountain rivulets namely Mudrapuzha, Nallathani and Kundala. The word meaning of Munnar is “Moonnu” meaning three and “Aaru” meaning river. Since it is at a confluence of three rivers, it is called so. The mountains have a height of around 5000 to 8000 ft above sea level. Munnar is popularly called as Nature lovers Paradise and is also called as the “Kashmir of South India”. This hill station was the resort of the British Government during their rule in India. The highest peak of South India is located here namely the Anamudi hills which has a height of 2695 m. Anamudi is ideal for trekking. Tea and coffee cultivation is done largely from this place. The hill ranges of Munnar are known as Kannan Devan hills.

In the forests of Munnar, a flower called as Neelakurinji is found. A specialty of this flower is that it blooms once in twelve years. The hills will be fully covered with blue colored flowers and it is a very beautiful scene. Many tourists are attracted to this place and it is an important hill resort of Kerala. One can enjoy the tea gardens here and can also watch the whole process of tea production. You can also take some tea leaves from the tea factories. A landmark of this hill resort is the Christ Church which was here even before independence. It was built of stone and has stain glass windows. You can enjoy the beauty of the hills by taking a walk or a bicycle ride.

One of the main activities here is trekking. The mountain terrain here is ideal for trekking. There are various trekking routes such as Rajamala, Eravikulam National park, Nyayamkad, Meesapulimala, Anamudi etc. In the Eravikulam national park, the trekking facilities are provided by the forest department. Inorder to trek to Anamudi you have to get permission from the forest department.

There are several packages for trekking which includes half day, full day, trekking and camping for 2 days and 3 days etc. In these trekking programmes, the trekking usually starts at a height of 4500 feet and go up to a height of 8000 feet.  In order to reach Meesapulimala which is the second highest peak in South India, one has to travel 9 hills. It lies in Kerala Tamil Nadu border. On the way one has to come across beautiful streams, rain forests etc. There may be also wildlife such as elephants, Nilgiri Tahr etc. The view of the Western Ghats from the path is breathtaking. Trekkers can stay in the Alpine tents and the food will be provided. The second day trek starts at early morning to Meesapulimala which is at a height over 8600 feet. After that the trekkers have to descent to the base camp and then depart for Munnar. It is advised to carry blankets and warm cloths during trekking as the climate on the top goes below freezing point.

State-run or private buses, plying from various towns in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, are the best way to get to Munnar by road. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation provides bus services to Munnar from all major cities in Kerala.
Munnar does not have an airport of its own. The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport, which is 110 kilometres away by road. From Cochin, you can hire a cab to get to Munnar. The Madurai International Airport is 140 kilometres away from Munnar. In case you de-board at the Madurai International Airport, you can hire a cab or board the state transport or private buses to get to Munnar.
Railway Station:
The nearest railway station from Munnar is at Aluva, which is at a distance of 110 kilometres from Munnar. The Ernakulam Railway Station is 130 kilometres away while the Madurai Railway Station is at a distance of 135 kilometres. From these points, you can either hire a cab or board the state transport or private buses wherever available.

Tourist Place to Visit in Idukki District, Kerala