Munnar is a charming hill station located in the Idukki district of Kerala. It is a popular destination for honeymoon trips, was a summer haven for the Britishers during the colonial times, and is also known as the ‘Kashmir of South India’.
It is full of lush tea plantations, winding lanes, ample grasslands, streams, waterfalls, flora and fauna, spices. It is located on the banks of three rivers, Mattupetti, Nallathanni and Periavaru. Munnar is an ideal place for adventure travellers, with many outdoor activities such as trekking and paragliding.
Best Time To Visit
Most travellers prefer visiting Munnar during summers from March to June, but usually between September to May is considered the ideal period to visit Munnar.
The winter season is also a good time to visit, as it is quiet and romantic. But travellers also enjoy visiting Munnar during monsoons, as the landscape has a charm of its own during the rainy season. A road trip to Munnar (barring the hot summer months of South India) is always a good idea any time of the year.
How To Get There
The distance between Bangalore and Munnar is 475 kilometres, which takes about 9 to 10 hours, depending on the traffic. Book one-way or round-trip cabs at affordable rates online, or hire a self-driving car. AC bus tickets start from Rs. 900 and non AC bus ticket price starts from Rs. 800. Bike trips are also worth a shot for biking enthusiasts.
Try any one of these awesome routes to reach Munnar from Bangalore.
Route 1: The Udumalpet Route
Bangalore → Hosur → Krishnagiri → Salem → Avinashi → Udumalpet → Marayoor → Munnar
This is the most preferred route for most travellers on a road trip to Munnar from Bangalore. It runs through Hosur along the NH 44 and 48. This route will take you approximately 9 to 10 hours across a distance of 485 kilometres. Check out your road trip itinerary and pick and choose which stops to make.
Popular Stopovers on a Road Trip from Bangalore to Munnar
- Chandira Choodeswarar Temple: Spend 30 extra minutes in Hosur to visit this temple atop a hill.
- Krishnagiri Dam: Located on the road between Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri, this dam makes for a good picnic break on your road trip. Ideal for those on a bike trip.
- Hogenakkal Falls: This will be a slight detour that will take you to Hogenakkal Falls, which are a treat to the eyes.
- Windmill gazing: All along the route watch out for a series of windmills that pave the route and don’t forget to take photos.
- Thirumoorthy Falls: Located close to Udumalpet, in a landscape quite pleasant, these waterfalls make for a great visit during your trip. Also, visit the Thirumoorthy Temple.
- Lakkam Falls: On the Munnar-Udumalpet road, stop to visit Lakkam Falls, a major tourist attraction but beware of monkeys here.
- Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary: Around 20 kilometres away from Marayoor, this sanctuary houses peacocks, elephants, deer and bison.
Route 2: The Theni – Salem Route
Bangalore → Hosur → Krishnagiri → Salem → Dindigul → Theni → Munnar
This route is another popular route with good road conditions and it is on NH 44 and will take you approximately 10 hours through 500 kilometres.
Popular Stopovers on the Road Trip from Bangalore to Munnar
- Yercaud, Salem: Do set aside time to bask in the natural wonders of Yercaud Hills.
- Kiliyur Falls: Three kilometres away from Salem, stop to visit these awesome falls and take gorgeous pictures.
- Kolukkumalai Tea Estate: Leave early and visit these magnificent tea plantations that are picturesque and calm. A bumpy ride, but worth a visit.
- Dindigul Fort: Take a slight detour to visit these ancient ruins of Dindigul Fort in Dindigul Village.
Route 3: The Mysore Route
Bangalore → Mysore → Masinagudi → Ooty → Udumalpet → Munnar
This is a slightly longer route but is filled with surprises along the way. It will take around 12 hours across 500 kilometres on NH 25 and 766, 948.
Popular Stopovers on the Road Trip from Bangalore to Munnar
- Ramanagara rock climbing: Indulge in some early morning rock climbing in the formations in Ramanagara on your way to Mysore.
- Mysore treats: If you want to spend a couple of hours exploring Mysore, go to Mysore Palace or climb up to Chamundi hills for a panoramic view of the city. Or just make a quick lunch stop on one of Mysore’s many highway restaurants.
- Ooty: Stop over at Ooty or make an overnight stay to enjoy Ooty’s beautiful lakes, waterfalls and the famous Nilgiri railway ride.
- Mudumalai National Park: If you want to skip the Ooty stop, another great option is to visit Mudumalai National Park and spot elephants, deers, and peacocks.
- Masinagudi Jeep Safari: This place is famous for its natural splendor, safaris and jungle stays. Stay a night if a camping experience appeals to you.
- Pykara Lake: About 30 kilometres from Ooty, you will find this mesmerising lake where you can enjoy the fresh breeze and calm waters.
Safety Measures and Tips
- The road up until Salem via Hosur is excellent to drive on where you can maintain good speeds.
- The stretch from Udumalpet is a narrow one, with fewer options for eateries or gas stations.
- Traffic is sparse and so are the locals. Consult your GPS for diversions, intersections and watch out for the signboards.
- Roads will be winding but awesome to look at, be careful of wayward monkeys that might snatch things from your dashboard. Although 2 lanes, roads are well maintained barring some potholes.
- The Theni route is in a good condition and driving will be smooth throughout. There are some rough spots but are completely manageable.
- It is advisable to hire a driver if you are not experienced to drive on narrow winding forest roads.
- Aside from the narrow paths and roads, a majority of the stretches have good eateries where you can indulge in various cuisines of the Southern peninsula, such as the delectable food choices in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala cuisines.
- Leave early in the morning as the whole drive, even if you decide not to stop along the way to enjoy the sights, will take you at least nine hours roughly.
- Driving at night is not recommended.
3 fabulous routes for a great road trip from Bangalore to Munnar. Do you have any questions about these routes? Let us know in the comments section below and we’ll help you out with your queries.