One of the popular honeymoon destinations in India, Munnar is a fascinating hill station perched at an altitude ranging from 5000 to 8000 feet on the Kannan Devan Hills in Kerala. Also known as ‘Kashmir of South’, Munnar is blessed with pleasant weather, lush green vegetation, picturesque waterfalls, stunning lakes, and mist-clad mountains that draw millions of tourists throughout the year as part of Munnar Tour Packages. Munnar is home to some of the world’s best tea estates where the majority of plantations are owned by the Tata Group. Besides, this quaint hill station is also blessed with some hidden and beautiful places that one should visit at least once.
Below is the list of some hidden and beautiful places to visit in Munnar.
Located 24 km away from Munnar, Anayirankal Dam is a hydroelectric dam that lies very close to the Chinnakanal waterfalls. It is one of the largest earthen dams built in the 1960s, and among the top hidden places to visit in Munnar. The name ‘Anayirangal’ is the amalgamation of two Malayalam words- ‘Aana’ meaning ‘elephants’ and ‘irankal’ meaning ‘coming down’. As the name suggests, elephant herds come down to drink water from the Dam. Located amid a verdant carpet of tea plantations, Anayirankal Dam is an ideal picnic spot for travellers and locals alike. A boat ride on the splendid reservoir is an unforgettable experience that no visitor should miss.
Must Visit : Hill Stations in Kerala
Mathikettan Shola National Park
Mathikettan Shola National Park is a national park at Poopara village of Udumbanchola taluk in Kerala. About 34 km from Munnar, it is one of the protected wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala and among the must-visit places in Munnar for wildlife buffs. The Mathikettan tract was notified as a Reserve Forest by the Travancore Government in 1897 and later declared as a national park in 2003 to protect the wildlife and rich biodiversity of the area. Mathikettan in Tamil means ‘Mind Confuser’ and the park gets the name owing to the dense rainforest and winding ways that used to leave the locals confused and lost. The park is a biodiversity hotspot and plays a vital role in safeguarding wildlife in the region and also being a very important elephant corridor in South India. The park is home to rare animals like Tigers, Panthers, Elephants, Giant grizzled squirrels, Flying squirrels, Spotted deer, and Nilgiri Tahr. The forest department organizes trekking trips for visitors up to 9 km into the dense forest.
Also Read : Wildlife Sanctuaries near Kochi
Kallippara Sunset Point
Another hidden gem in Munnar is Kallipara Sunset Point, a splendid viewpoint situated at Vithikudy close to Munnar. A pure off-road drive to Kallipara offers panoramic views of orange-red sunset skies, Anayirangal Dam, and the soaking mist. One can reach Kallippara on a 4WD jeep through the lush cardamom forests. The ride takes about 20 minutes and this is followed by a 30-minute trek uphill to the sunset point, which is one of the most adventurous things to do in Munnar. Also, the uphill trek with the view of greenery interrupted with gushing streams in the valleys below, and a culmination at the Shola sunset point is an ecstatic activity that one must experience in Munnar as part of Kerala tour packages.
Must Visit : Tourist Places near Kochi
Kolukkumalai Tea Estate
About 35 km from Munnar, Kolukkumalai Tea Estate is a sprawling tea plantation situated at Kottagudi village in the Theni district of Tamil Nadu. Situated at an altitude of 7900 feet, Kolukkumalai is the world’s highest elevation tea plantation and among the most stunning offbeat places in Munnar. Sprawling over an area of 81 hectares, the Kolukkumalai Tea Estate produces tea using the orthodox method in the time-tested tea factory. Kolukkumalai tea is one of the premium teas in South India as it possesses a special flavor and freshness because of the high altitude. Visitors can sip different flavors of tea and buy fresh tea from the factory outlet near the old factory. In addition to tea production, the estate is famed for panoramic views of the rolling hills and fresh air. Visiting these lush green acres of land is an experience in itself and nothing can be more exciting than taking a lovely stroll on the pathways in the plantation. This place is at its best during the sunset and offers spectacular views of Kodaikanal town, which looks extremely beautiful during the evening. Besides, the hills of the Kolukkumalai range are home to the Neelakurinji flowers that bloom once every 12 years.
Must Read : Best Places for Tea Plantation Trails in India
The Dolmens of Marayoor
About 55 km from Munnar, Dolmens, or Muniyaras are the prehistoric burial chambers situated at Kovikadavu village near Marayoor, Kerala. This site is one of the popular heritage sites near Kochi, and among the must include places in Marayoor tour packages. The magnificent Muniyaras or Dolmens belong to the Stone Age and are older than 10, 000 BC. Apart from the dolmens of the Stone Age, several dolmens of the Iron Age exist in this region especially on the left side of River Pambar. More than 2,500 Muniyaras can now be seen in the entire region comprising Kanthaloor, Marayoor, and Chinnar. This archaeological site is blessed with nature and rich history that makes it one of the prominent Marayoor tourist places.
Book Here : Kochi Cab Packages
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
Another must-visit offbeat place near Munnar is Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, a protected reserve situated in the Marayoor and Kanthalloor panchayats of Devikulam Taluk in the Idukki district of Kerala, India. One of 12 wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is the only rehabilitation center for Indian star tortoise in India. Along with the Western Ghats and the Anamalai sub-cluster, the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is under consideration by UNESCO for selection as a World Heritage Site. An ideal home to a diverse range of wildlife, the Chinnar sanctuary boasts more than 1,000 varieties of flowering plants, 225 avifauna species, 34 species of mammals, 36 different types of reptiles, 22 species of amphibians, and 42 species of fishes. There are 11 tribal settlements, delimited by temporary stone walls inside the sanctuary. It is also home to the Thoovanam Waterfall, which lies on the Pambar River.
Must Visit : Heritage Sites near Kochi