Munnar, a hill station in Kerala, is situated in the Western Ghats in Idukki district. This spectacularly picturesque destination located 1,600 meters above sea level was a popular summer destination for the British rulers of India who deserve the credit for developing it.
The surreal locations around Munnar are the real attraction of the region. There are beautiful views of tea plantations, meadows and forests. Among these are picturesque picnic destinations such as Nyayamakad and Sita Devi Lake. There are trekking destinations too. Devikulam is another beautiful destination close by.
Protected wildlife reserves around Munnar
There are plenty of wildlife sanctuaries near Munnar which can be entered with a guide, with prior permission from the required authorities (and if such a provision is offered). These parks such as the Eravikulam National Park, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, Anamudi Shola National Park and Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary contain endemic species of wildlife such as the Sambar, Nilgiri langur, Nigiri Thar, etc.
The Kurinjimala Sanctuary is home to the Neelakurinji flowering plant which blooms every twelve years. Kurinjimala Sanctuary is also where visitors can get a glimpse of the Anamudi peak, the tallest peak in the Western Ghats and the tallest peak in India outside the Himalayas.
Thekkady is home to the famous Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and the Periyar National Park both of which are situated on the banks of the Periyar Lake which was formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam constructed on the Periyar River.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of India’s Tiger Reserves and is also home to many other exotic species including the lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Sambar and elephant. In fact, herds of elephants coming to the lake to drink are one of the major attractions for tourists on boats. The 777 square-kilometre sanctuary is made up of moist deciduous, semi-evergreen and dense evergreen forests as well as savanna grasslands. While boating along the lake is a great way to watch the wildlife on the banks, visitors can experience the sanctuary itself through a jeep safari or nature walk.
Destinations around Thekkady
Attractions around Thekkady include the Anakkara spice plantations (Thekkady is known for its cardamom, black pepper, clove and cinnamon), Murikkady coffee and spice plantations, the beautiful cascades and waterfalls of Chellar Kovil and the Mangala Devi Temple, which at a spectacular height of 1337 metres above sea level, is known for its panoramic vistas of the surrounding region as well as the mountains of the Eastern Ghats in the distance.