It’s an easily-accessible traveller destination, yet it is also uncorrupted by commercialisation.
The region’s delightfully soothing landscapes have only recently become popular. Yet they have quickly captured the hearts of visitors.
Here are nine things to do in Munnar that will make you fall in love with the place:
1. Watch the waterfalls
Whether you’re on your way to Munnar or right in the heart of it, you’ll come across beautiful waterfalls gushing down with fury. The famous Cheeyapara and Vallara Falls look like they belong in a wild rainforest. But Munnar’s glistening Attukal Waterfall is the favourite of the locals. These falls are seen at their most majestic during the monsoons.
2. Splash around on the lake
At Munnar’s Mattupatty Dam you can go boating across an enormous lake. Rowing boats, motor boats and even speed boats are available for hire. The Kundala Dam and Kundala Lake are also popular for more languid boating, especially among honeymooners. Here, boats styled after Kashmiri shikaras (similar to Venice’s gondolas) can be taken for a cruise.
3. Get the best view of the mountains
Munnar’s mountains can be seen at their grandest from Top Station, a dedicated viewpoint at 1,880m above sea level. From here, the hills are truly alive. And the clouds are at your feet. This area is also popular for spotting the rare blue flower, Neelakurunji, which blooms only once every twelve years. The Nilgiris (Blue Mountains) around Munnar derive their name from these flowers, which in full bloom turn the hillside into a spellbinding blanket of blue.
4. Fawn over Munnar’s fauna
15 kms from Munnar is Eravikulam National Park. The sanctuary is home to endangered species like the Nilgiri Tahr, striped squirrel, Nilgiri Marten, elephants, sambhars and even tigers and leopards. To avoid overcrowding and preserve the park’s environment, tours are organised by the park’s management in mini-buses. They also arrange treks and hikes through the park’s “tourism area.” Note that during the monsoons the park is closed.
5. Enjoy the freshest tea you’ve ever tasted
At a glance, Munnar’s landscapes look like giant emerald-green waves, cascading towards the horizon. This beautiful sight is the formed by unending spans of lush green tea estates, which produce regular flavours like masala, ginger and lemon, but also exotic creations like chocolate tea. Whatever flavour you opt for, they will all share one common trait: delightful freshness.
6. Try the finest spices
Idduki district produces the world’s finest cardamom. It’s famous for its spices and coir products, believed to be the best quality in the world. The spices are sold straight from the plantations, in shops all over Munnar. They make excellent presents for cooks and those with a discerning palate.
7. Cook what you grow
Most families in Munnar cook using the finest local ingredients, often grown in their own fields. If you are staying in one of our Munnar homestays, it’s easy to pick up great tips on cooking and maintaining a kitchen garden. Most recipes are deceptively simple and require the same principles of preparation. Culinary knowledge is one the most prestigious souvenirs you can take away from Munnar.
8. Unleash your creativity
From endangered wildlife to untouched landscapes, Munnar is a photographer’s delight. For years, Munnar has attracted artists from all over, serving as a muse to writers, photographers, poets and more. Its beauty was recently seen on the big screen in the movie Nishabd, where Munnar is home to a reclusive photographer. You’ll feel inspired too, so be prepared to create.
9. Walk the landscape
Munnar is overflowing with enchanting landscapes that are irresistible to anyone that enjoys walking. Tea estates are usually off limits for trekkers, but exceptions can be easily found – take advice from your host if you are staying in a Munnar homestay. Plantation walks are a lovely way to see the region’s flora and fauna. The Shola forest, near the Mattupatty Dam, is also a great place for a long walk.
Mahindra Homestays has a variety of stunning homestays to choose from in the Munnar region of Kerala. At the time of writing, some of them are available with a massive 50% discount if you book soon. Take a look at our Munnar homestays, choose your favourite and book now to see this beautiful part of India.
Find out about the homestay experience and don't forget to check out our ideas on things to do in India or browse our India homestays.