Kerala is God's Own Country Munnar is the Eden.
Situated in the misty hills of the Sahyadri it was
once a Hill station for the British and now a
bustling tourist destination. Known for
green canopy of tea gardens and spice plantations
Munnar is perfect holiday destination for both
domestic and international tourists.
Munnar is at the confluence of three rivers. In
Tamil, the word 'munnu' means "three" and 'aar'
means "river". Hence "Munnar" is a shortened version
of 'Munnu Aar'. The 3 mountain streams joining
together here are Madurapuzha, Nallathanni and
Munnar is a commercial centre with one of the
world's best tea estates. There are about 30 tea
plantations in and around Munnar. Among these,
majority of the plantations are owned by Tata
Group's Kannan Devan Tea Estate. A visit to Munnar
can witness the nurturing of tea in plantation to
the process of manufacturing and packing
Until the early 1990s, Munnar, despite itsenchanting
and salubrious climate, was a sleepy plantation
town. Its tourism potential had been realised only
by the Sterling Group and Mahindra Holidays who had
set up Time Share Resorts there. However, the
promotion of Kerala globally as God's Own Country
and the increasing spending capacity of middle class
Indians resulted in a virtual explosion of tourism
activities in Munnar.
At around the same time, the District Tourism
Promotion Council persuaded the Kerala State
Electricity Board to permit boating in the
reservoirs of the Mattupatty and Gundala dams.
Mountain trekking was also promoted.
All these activities soon led to Munnar becoming the
choice destination for foreign as well as domestic
tourists. The Indo-Swiss Project, the cattlefarm run
by the Kerala Livestock Development Board at
Mattupatty, 15 kms from Munnar, placed restrictions
on vehicles entering their campus due to the
persistent vandalism from the tourists. Tata Tea Ltd
closed down the private road from Gundala to Top
Station through the beautiful Gundala club.
Top Station : Top station, 41 km (1hr) from
Munnar is aptly named, as it is home to some of the
highest tea plantations in India. It lies on the
state border between Kerala and Tamilnadu and
commands a panoramic view of rolling green hills.
Echo Point :
On the way to top station, at a spot on the lake
embankment, amid some hills, every loud sound is
echoed manifold by the surrounding hills- the spot
is called Echo point which also offers panoramic
views. It is just 15 km from Munnar. An excellent
place, especially for young travelers to disembark
for a while, yell out - and listen to your voice
coming back to you!