Winding roads, in Munnar, take you through hills covered in greenery and shrouded in mist. Sounds like paradise, no? And for all practical purposes, it is! Perfect for a weekend getaway, Munnar’s slopes provide a cool escape from the city life. And when you are done wandering about the never-ending tea estates and spice plantations, you can explore Munnar’s rare wildlife ecosystem, add a spot of adventure to your trip, and stop to stare at the many waterfalls in the hill station. LBB lists the must-dos in scenic Munnar.

Spot The Nilgiri Tahr

nilgiri tahr at munnar

Photo by: D Momaya

The rambling shola forests of the Western Ghats make up the vast Eravikulam National Park, that is home to the biggest population of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr. A bumpy ride through the national park will take you to the foothills of the Nilgiri Tahr’s habitat. From there, you’ll have to hike it up to spot the Tahr, a mountain goat with a chocolate-brown coat, sauntering about without a care in the world. While the climb to the top can knock the air out of you, the sight of the Tahr and the other denizens of the jungle {the national park is home to gaurs, deer, jungle cats, wild dogs, and over 132 species of birds that are considered endemic} will more than make up for it.

View From The Top

All those picturesque mountains, that reach for the sky and are surrounded by swirls of mist. Someone’s got to scale them, right? Well, that someone can be you! You can sign-up for guided trekking and camping trips that last for days and take you through the high altitudes of the Western Ghats, through thick forests, plantations and villages. Don’t have too much time on hand? Then, get on a day-long natural trail where you can negotiate steep climbs, wade through grasslands and also catch a panoramic view from the top. Our recommendation: Head over to Top Station, Munnar’s highest point. Located on the Munnar-Kodaikanal Road, Top Station offers great views of the surrounding Western Ghats, and offers enough hiking opportunities.

Tea Time Tales

tea museum at munnar

Photo by: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

In Munnar, everywhere you go a tea estate will follow you. So, if this gets you curious about the origins of the hot beverage then head to the quaint Tea Museum for a peek into the history and the making of tea. In the front rooms of the museum, you’ll encounter various antiquities from the Munnar of yore. You’ll see an original tea roller from the early 20th century, the Pelton Wheel that was used for power generation and a rail engine that brought people and material back and forth. In the back rooms, you can witness tea being made. Fresh tea leaves going through various processes before being packed up into boxes for supermarket shelves.

Watch Them Bloom

Life’s a bed of roses, at least when you are in Munnar. The Floriculture Centre {popularly known as The Rose Gardens} is where you can stop and smell the flowers along the cobble-stoned pathways. Roses, orchids, hibiscuses, anthuriums, lilies and a whole lot of other blooms make for a dazzling display in colour that’ll surely brighten up your day.

Hi Hi Birdie

malabar grey hornbill at thattekad birds sanctuary in munnar

Photo by: Lip Kee Yap

Love birds? Then, your trip to Munnar is pointless without dropping by the Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary {also known as the Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary}. It was the first bird sanctuary {it’s a 2-hour drive from Munnar} to be established in Kerala and India’s favourite ornithologist, Salim Ali, described it as “richest bird habitat in peninsular India”. Need we say more? On treks guided by forest authorities, you can spot Orange Headed Thrushes, Whiskered Terns, Oriental Darters, Jerdon’s Nightjars, and a variety of cuckoo birds.

Go Back In Time

Marayur, a small town that’s close to Munnar {around 42 kilometers away}, has long fascinated archaeologists and anthropologists. At the centre of their fascination are the Muniyara dolmens, that are said to be from the Megalithic Age. These circular, short stone structures are made from four stones that are topped with a slab of stone and many of them have been used as burial chambers. The dolmens give you an invaluable glimpse into the earliest of civilizations and cannot be missed. Apart from this, Marayur is also famous for its sandalwood forests, wildlife reserves, and pre-historic rock paintings that are all worth gaping at.

 Featured image by: Bimal K C