Munnar, Kerala’s most beautiful hill stations, is a land of verdant greenery and natural scenery. It is blessed with rolling landscapes, forest streams, meandering mountain paths, cascading waterfalls, and stunning wildlife. There are so many attractions and so many activities that you can do in Munnar. Mountain trekking, bird watching, leisurely strolls in the deep valleys, tasting exotic teas in the tea estates – the excitement never stops once you are in Munnar. To make your trip to Munnar most thrilling, we have chosen the most exciting things to do in Munnar.
16 Wonderful Things to Do in Munnar
1. Tour the Tea Estate of Kolukkumalai
When in Munnar, at least ensure that your next cup of tea is in this huge tea estate of Kolukkumalai. Being at an altitude of approx. 8000 ft above sea level, this is among the world’s highest tea estates. Here, you are surrounded by rolling green tea gardens all around you, with the refreshing aroma of tea leaves enveloping you in its fragrant embrace.
The tea factory here is almost a century old and you can sip on some flavorful varieties of tea. You can get to know about various methods of tea production in this factory.
2. Camping and Trekking
Munnar is a delightful hiking and camping destination. Avid trekkers can go to the ever-popular Echo point to hear their voice echo among the vast landscape, hike up the highest point in Munnar, Top Station to view the deep valleys and the surrounding hills, test their fitness by climbing the highest peak in South India, Anamudi Peak.
You can pass several mountain streams, wander in the deep valleys, hear the chirping of birds, spot wildlife, and take photographs. Ensure you are at your peak fitness and take proper trekking gear along with you.
3. Stay in a Tree House
Staying in a Tree House is the most eco-friendly thing you can do in Munnar. Made of bamboo, coir, straw and hay, these tree houses are built at a height of 20 to 60 ft from the ground and have many facilities inside. Many places like Munnar, Thekkady, and Wayanad have tree house accommodation. These tree houses are located in large tea and coffee estates
4. Spot Animals & Birds at Sanctuaries
Munnar abounds in spectacular wildlife, which can be found in the many biosphere reserves, wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. Shola forests found here among the green grasslands are home to various animals and birds, particularly the rare Nilgiri Tahr, gaurs, and several local and migratory birds.
Eravikulam National Park, Chinar wildlife sanctuary and Thekkady Bird Sanctuary are the famous places to go to explore the wildlife. You can take jungle safari or even walk on foot to go deep into the jungles to spot and take wildlife photographs.
5. Go for Picnic at Mattupetty Lake
Mattupetty Dam is a most scenic place in Munnar. The dam, built on Mattupetty Lake, is a delight for nature lovers and shutterbugs. Take idyllic nature walks along the shores of the lake, capture picturesque landscapes of the lake in your camera, go bird watching, have a boat ride – there are numerous activities you can do here.
6. Shikara Ride at Kundala Lake
Kundala Lake is a spellbinding place to go in Munnar. The scenic lake and the dam offer innumerable activities to visitors. It comes on the way to Top Station, so you can just stop here for a while and do boating in the lake. You can take rowboats, pedal boats or shikara rides. While boating can be fun, you can just stroll around and spot for the rare Neela Kurinji flowers that bloom only once in 12 years.
7. Go for a Waterfall Tour
There are several spectacular waterfalls all across Munnar. They are perfect picnic spots to go with family and kids. Situated amidst lush green forests, you can soak in the peaceful atmosphere and if you are interested in spotting birds and wildlife, take your binoculars along and go birding! Lakkam, Attikul, Thoovanam Falls are the famous ones you should visit.
8. Feel the Charm of Marayoor Forests
Marayoor forests, another charming place in Munnar, is a region of fragrant sandalwood trees, gurgling streams, serene valleys and lush greenery. You can take many hours of tranquil walks on the forested paths. Within the forest, you will find huge rock formations, which are pre-historic tombs and burial sites of Neolithic man.
Even more interesting is Ezhuthu Guha, a pre-historic rock shelter containing numerous paintings and rock art. You can also stay in the tribal hamlet of Kanthaloor, close to Munnar.
9. Try Mountain Biking
The winding roads of Munnar, going through vast tea gardens, forests, and rolling meadows make it a thrilling track for cyclists and bikers. Many areas like Marayoor, Kundala, Vandanmedu, Anamudi Shola and Suryaneli are perfect for mountain biking. Many hotels and resorts in Munnar arrange biking trips. You can also rent a bike or cycle from KDHP House in Idukki or Gokulam Bike Hire.
10. Rock Climbing and Rappelling is a Must
If you love rock climbing and rappelling in Munnar, there are many places where you can do this adventurous activity. The rocky terrain and forested hills are an ideal place for rock climbing. This spots will test your physical fitness and mountaineering skills. If you cannot climb natural rock formations, try climbing an artificial wall under expert guidance. Many resorts provide facilities for rock climbing and rappelling in Munnar.
11. Elephant Safari at Carmelagiri Elephant Park
If you are in Munnar, an elephant ride in Carmelagiri Elephant Park can be a thrilling activity. There are various tours like the 1 day, half day or 1-hour tour, during which you take on a scenic ride on an elephant’s back. During these rides, you can get to know more about the many talents of the elephant, see how they respond to commands, how they communicate with their masters, how their masters bathe them, feed them and command them to lift huge timber logs.
12. Rejuvenate the Senses with Ayurvedic Massage
Rejuvenating your body with Ayurvedic body massages and spa treatments is the best thing you can do in Munnar. There are many spa centres which offer full body massages and other therapies to revitalize your body. You can opt for various treatments like Balinese massage, deep tissue massage, or Shirodhara. These spa treatments can last up to 60-90 minutes and cost anything between Rs.1,800/- to Rs.2,500/- approx.
13. Street Shopping in Munnar
In Munnar, you can shop for flavorful tea and coffee, aromatic dry fruits, natural oils, and spices. These are produced locally and available at stores and outlets. Eucalyptus oil, lemongrass, Citriodora is very good for joint pains, cough, cold and treating other illness. You can get elaichi flavoured Green Tea, long leaf black tea, cardamom tea, and freshly ground coffee in Tata Tea Museum or Kolukkumulai Tea Estate.
14. Visit the Tea Museum
Visiting various tea museums and gaining knowledge about tea and coffee is a great learning experience you can have only in Munnar. Here, you can see various exhibits like ‘Rotorvane’, the tea roller used for processing CTC tea, Kundale Valley Light Railway Engine, vintage furniture, old typewriters, iron oven, manual calculators, telephone system of olden days, and much more. Besides, you can learn how to pluck tea leaves and taste different types of tea.
15. Delectable Cuisine of Munnar
Munnar is famous for its cuisine, and tasting its delicious food is the best thing you can do in Munnar. Saravana Bhavan is the best place in Munnar to try the authentic Malabar cuisine. Bamboo Hut, Mezbaan Hotel, Mayabazar are the other popular areas to try out these foods.
You can also learn cooking the regional dishes in cooking classes. Nimi Sunil Kumar, famous for her culinary expertise, runs her own cooking classes where you can learn cooking.
16. See the Vintage Charm of CSI Church and Chithirapuram
CSI is a Protestant Church built in 1910 by Scottish tea estate managers and workers in Munnar. The church has stained glass windows, rows of rosewood benches, brass plaques, and elegant chandeliers. Chithirapuram is an off-beat destination from Munnar.
It has a place of amazing peace and tranquillity. You are surrounded by swaying coconut palms, the refreshing fragrance of cardamom and other spices, the song of chirping birds, lovely cottages, and the trickling waters of a waterfall.
All these activities will make your Munnar trip all the more enjoyable and memorable. Apart from the scenic attractions of Munnar, participating in these activities will give you an opportunity to see the cultural side of Munnar.
If you have been to Munnar, share your memories with us. If you know of other things to do, mention them in the comments below. It will be a great help to others, who are visiting Munnar for the first time.