Did someone say “road trip”? Ah, what a joy that would be to break free from the hustle and bustle of daily life, pack your bags, have your friends or family join you, start the ignition in your car, tune into your favorite playlist, and drive away to an adventure on a long weekend! As the old saying goes, “The journey is more important than the destination”, and the saying becomes doubly true when it comes to traveling to one of Kerala's most beautiful places, the quaint town of Munnar.
Misty hillocks dotted with lush tea plantations surround this town. During the colonial era, Munnar was a summer retreat for the British elite. Today, hundreds of tourists travel across the world to visit Munnar and it is also a famous honeymoon destination for newlyweds. A meditative place, where you can feel one with nature, visiting Munnar ought to be on your bucket list. And if you stay in Kochi or a little further south such as Bengaluru or Chennai, a road trip to Munnar, as you soak in the gorgeous sights en route, is the ideal choice. The breathtaking views on your journey to Munnar will be something you will remember for the rest of your lives. Munnar is also well-connected to state and national highways, so you have a smooth ride ahead of you. We have curated a guide for you to reach Munnar using the most popular route.
Neryamangalam-Munnar route: 59 kilometres
This is the most chosen route by travelers. Neryamangalam receives the highest amount of rainfall in the state and is often called the ‘Cherapunji of Kerala’. You will know your journey has begun when you encounter the historic Neryamangalam bridge, the gateway to Munnar. As you cross the bridge, you will witness plenty of beautiful sceneries and gorgeous landscapes on either side of the road for you to feast your eyes upon. You can stop your car at any time and take a moment to soak in all the natural beauty, before resuming your journey.
I. Cheeyapara waterfall
The Cheeyapara waterfall is the first stop in your route. You can park your vehicle, walk for a minute or two and enjoy the exquisite waterfall before you. The Valapara waterfall is just a few kilometers ahead, as well. The nearby Adimali town has some of the best authentic local food that will satiate your appetite and get you rejuvenated for the journey that lies ahead.
Located about 3 kilometers from Chithirapuram in Munnar is Pallivasal, the venue of the first hydroelectric project in Kerala. You can spot gigantic penstock pipes here. It is a wonderful picnic spot and is engulfed in breathtaking scenic beauty.
III. Attukadu waterfall
If you take a short right from Pallivasal, you will find this beautiful cascade. The short path through the leafy terrain and rich tea plantations on both looks straight out of an Impressionist painting. Tourists love this place for it is also an ideal picnic spot.
You must be overwhelmed with all the visual treats and also a tad bit tired from the journey by now but you’ve already reached your destination. You’ll know you’ve reached when you will be greeted by the picturesque Muthirapuzha River. As the name Munnar suggests, it is a place where three lakes converge — Kanniyar Lake which flows from the Munnar side, Nallathanniyar Lake joins the Kanniyar Lake, and the Kuttiyar Lake that flows from Muttupetti. They all converge to form the glorious Muthirapuzha River. Upon entering the town, you will see a grand orchard, where you can take a peaceful stroll. You will also find the KSRTC bus stop there. Not all of us are fortunate enough to have our own cars. If you’re traveling by bus, remember to sit on the right-hand side of the bus to get a better view of the panoramic valley and hills. Only the Cheeyapara waterfall will be to your left.
Now that you’ve reached your destination, the places in and around this gorgeous town await to be explored. Some of the most popular locations in Munnar include Eravikulam National Park, famous for its endangered Nilgiri Tahr, Mattupetty, renowned for its storage masonry dam and the breath-taking lake, Top Station, the highest point on the Munnar-Kodaikanal road from where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu and also the Tea Museum, which houses artifacts, photographs, and machinery and preserves the cultural legacy of tea plantations in the town.
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