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MUNNAR TOURISM

Munnar, which is the confluence of three rivers, is also the point where the three most popular modern trends in tourism meet. The rocky crags, steep slopes and deep ravines make the terrain of the misty mountains around Munnar most suitable for all sorts of adventure tourism like rock climbing, river crossing, long trekking, and para-gliding. Tourists, who are interested in water sports and other hydel tourism activities, frequent the rivers, dams and lakes in the vicinity. Eco- tourism which aims at sustainable tourism atmosphere that gives due importance to the local inhabitants while preserving the delicate eco-system is the most popular trend today, and Munnar has a lot to offer to the eco-tourist.

Munnar most suitable for all sorts of adventure tourism like rock climbing, river crossing, long trekking, and para-gliding. Tourists, who are interested in water sports and other hydel tourism activities, frequent the rivers, dams and lakes in the vicinity. Eco- tourism which aims at sustainable tourism atmosphere that gives due importance to the local inhabitants while preserving the delicate eco-system is the most popular trend today, and Munnar has a lot to offer to the eco-tourist.

places of interest

Pothamedu (6 kms from Munnar) : Manicured tea gardens, lush coffee plantations and wood-shaded cardamom estates, with stretches of 'potha grass' (from which the name is derived) covered hills all combine to make this place unforgettably.

Devikulam (7 kms from Munnar) : The curative properties of the pure mineral waters of the 'Sita Devi lake' (in which Sita, wife of Rama, is believed to have bathed) is the main attraction here. Rare varieties of flora and fauna in and around Devikulam draw a lot of tourists to this place. The road to Munnar, a part of Kochi - Madurai highway, is itself a feast to the eyes.

Pallivasal (8 kms from Munnar) : The site of the first hydro-electric project of Kerala and the bewitching beauty of nature all around make this place a must - see spot near Munnar. Here human achievements mate with scenic beauty of the high ranges to give the visitor an unforgettable sight.

Chithirapuram (10 kms from Munnar) : The antique charm of old cottages, bungalows and courts with captivating greenery all around make this place an enchanting tourist spot. The sight of the Pallivasal hydroelectric power station on one side and undulating hills on the other side will cast a spell on the beholder.

Lock Heart Gap (13 kms from Munnar) : Kochi - Madurai National Highway clings precariously on a rocky slope for over 2 kms, with mist-wrapped villages 2000 ft. below on one side and vertical rocky formations on the other side. Rare wild flowers including Kurinji are abundant on either side of the gap. The cave believed to have been used by Malaikkallan, a legendary Robin-Hood - like highway robber was an interesting tourist spot till recently. This has now been broken away to widen the road.

Rajamala (15 kms from Munnar) : Half the world population of the Nilgiri Tahr, a rare variety of mountain goat on the verge of extinction, live in Rajamala. The abundance of tourists and the proximity of the staff employed by the forest department have made them almost tame. Kurinji flowers, which bloom all over the hills once in 12 years, draping the grassy hills, as far as the eye can see, with blue flowers, attract thousands of tourists. The proximity of Eravikulam wildlife sanctuary is also an added attraction.

Echo Point (15 kms from Munnar) : On a lake embankment, with rolling hills all around, you will find hundreds of young people, mostly students, making loved friendship calls, which are returned manifold by the surrounding hills. The lake is placid and the hills around are blanketed in green woods.

Vagavurai (24 kms from Munnar) : When Vaga trees (Abhizzia Lebbek) wear red flowers all over the 'varais' (hill slopes) blush with beauty. Hundreds of Vaga trees bloom simultaneously and offer an unforgettable sight. The first pepper and orange plantations in Kerala and the first mini hydel project of the state were in Vagavurai. There is also a waterfall and a meandering stream here to complete the picture.

Meesapulimala (25 kms from Munnar) : Going through 'Silent Valley', a picture-perfect tea plantation area, we reach the second highest peak in Kerala, rising to a height of 2650 mtrs. From this vantagepoint we will get a panoramic view of Tamilnadu spread out below. Every season offers us a different view of our neighbouring state.

Top Station (32 kms from Munnar) : Standing at this point you will catch a glimpse of the Arabian sea on the west and Tamilnadu on the east this is the highest point on the Munnar-Kodaikanal road and hence the name Top Station. These sights will never fade away from your memory.

Marayoor (42 kms from Munnar) : The largest concentration of natural sandal wood trees and the tribal people make this place of a special interest to the serious-minded tourist. The relics of the new stone-age culture, consisting of caves, paintings and the underground tunnels, together with places connected with the legendary wanderings of Rama and Sita of Ramayana and the Pandavas of the Mahabharatha make this place archeologically prominent. A sandal wood factory is also situated here. The sandalwood obtained from this place is of the highest quality.

Lakes

Mattupetty (13 kms from Munnar) : One of the largest cattle breeding projects of India, raising over hundred varieties of high yielding, the Indo-Swiss Project is the star attraction here. Though the visitors are not allowed into all the cattle sheds, there is a lot to see and learn. Besides, the Mattupetty lake and dam near by with boating facilities provided by the District Promotion Council of Idukki await the fun loving tourists. Herds of elephants can be occasionally sighted on the banks of the lake. The garden maintained by the project sports over 250 varieties of roses, 71 varieties of dianthus, several varieties of dahlias, etc.

Anayirankal (27 kms from Munnar) : Anayirankal lake and dam are very popular picnic spots. Herds of elephants visit the lake to quench their thirst and allow the visitors to feast upon the sight of them. The scenic beauty of the lake, the surrounding tea gardens and forests has made the place the favourite of resort owners. Several five star quality resorts have sprung up in the hill slopes over looking the lake.

Kundalai (28 kms from Munnar) : Cherry blossoms appearing twice a year and kurinji flowers blooming once in twelve years colour the hills and valleys around Kundalai lake. The Sethuparvati dam built in 1946 as a part of Pallivasal hydroelectric project is a sight to be hold. The serene atmosphere of the lake and its surroundings will be etched in the memory of the visitor. Pedal boats and kashmeri shikaras make the trip more enjoyable to tourist.

Waterfalls

Attukat (9 kms from Munnar) : To experience an ideal long trek amidst misty mountains, cascading waterfalls, and wooded valleys, this is the most suitable place in the high ranges. Nestling amidst rolling hills, Attukat is sure to raise your spirits.

Nyamakad (10 kms from Munnar) : Perennial waterfalls and graceful greenery make this place a popular picnic spot. It is on the way to Rajamala, the abode of the rare Nilgiri Tahrs.

Powerhouse Waterfalls (17 kms from Munnar) : The water from 'Sita Devi Kulam', believed to be a panacea for all ills, gushes down from the rocky heights to the vicinity of the Kochi - Madurai highway, just after the Lock Heart Gap. The waterfalls is visited by believers and non-believers in its curative properties, as the sight of the falls itself is mind-blowing. The powerhouse will not be seen as it had long ago been abandoned.

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