Welcome to Munnar…
Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams – Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. 1,600 m above sea level, this hill station was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture-book towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities make this a popular resort town. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neelakurinji. This flower which bathes the hills in blue once in every twelve years, will bloom next in 2018. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India, Anamudi, which towers over 2,695 m. Anamudi is an ideal spot for trekking.
Eravikulam National Park
One of the main attractions near Munnar is the Eravikulam National Park. This park is famous for its endangered inhabitant – the Nilgiri Tahr. Spread over an area of 97 sq. km., this park is also home to several species of rare butterflies, animals and birds. A great place for trekking, the park offers a magnificent view of the tea plantations and also the rolling hills caressed by blankets of mists. The park becomes a hot destination when the hill slopes here get covered in a carpet of blue, resulting from the flowering of Neelakurinji. It is a plant endemic to this part of the Western Ghats which blooms once in twelve years.
Tips for travelers to visit Munnar
The most excellent time to visit is between September to May. However, even in the rainy season, views at the streams and brooks are still as enthralling. – If you are into reflective trekking, the quiet hiking trails are conducive for contemplative, “me-time” moments. – Stock on film, rechargeable batteries, memory sticks as you go on sightseeing, you would not want to miss capturing those panoramic sights. – Wear light and comfortable clothes and hiking shoes/boots for you’ll be doing a lot of leisure walking. – Restaurants serve the best and flavorful meals, but they come far and between and are usually found in hotels, so make sure you bring with you some snacks to munch as you travel. With its celebrated hospitality and first-rate tourist-friendly conveniences, Munnar has become one of the preferred places where people go to unwind, distress or to simply explore the seeming limitless beauty of nature.
Kurinji or Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana) is a shrub that is found in the shola forests of the Western Ghats in South India. Nilgiri Hills, which literally means the blue mountains, got their name from the purplish blue flowers of Neelakurinji that blossoms only once in 12 years. The species is known as ನೀಲಕುರಂಜಿ in Kannada, குறிஞ்சி in Tamil, and നീലകുറിഞ്ഞി in Malayalam. Some Kurinji flowers bloom once every seven years, and then die. Their seeds subsequently sprout and continue the cycle of life and death.The Paliyan tribal people living in Tamil nadu used it as a reference to calculate their age. This is found abundantly in Munnar and it’s gonna bloom in 2018.