Munnar General Info:
Munnar is a small town located in the north-western part of the southern state of Kerala. It is a beautiful hill station of the Nilgiris. The rolling uplands covered by the tea plantations provide one of the most romantic backdrops in the country. As a result, it has become a popular honeymoon destination in India. The serene town and its beautiful natural setting are ideal for those tourists who love to explore nature.
Location and general information
The town of Munnar is located in the Kannan Devan hills village in the Idukki district of Kerala. It is situated about 1600 mts above the sea level and was originally developed by the British as a summer resort. The area was selected because of its spectacular setting with rolling savannah lands, splashing waterfalls and numerous streams.
The name Munnar means Three Rivers. The name is derived from the location of the town. The town lies at the confluence of the Madhurapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly rivers. It covers an approximate area of 557 sq kms.
The town of Munnar is nestled in the evergreen forests of the Western Ghats ranges in Kerala. It seems to stretch unendingly along the foothills of the highest peak of South India called Annaimudi. The area is characterised by vast rolling verdant grasslands, small hills covered by vegetation and their own flora and fauna. The several winding streams and scenic waterfalls provide the geographical backdrop of this beautiful town.
The region has several flora and fauna and many species are endemic to the region. A number of protected areas have been set up around Munnar to preserve the natural flora and fauna. These include the famed Neelakurinji flower that flowers once in twelve years, the Nilgiri Thar, the grizzled giant squirrel, elephant, gour and the Nilgiri Langur.
The region was mostly a wild and unexplored land inhabited by the Muthuvan tribes. In the 19th century, the British established the first tea plantations here. In 1870s, John Daniel Munro – the British resident of the state of Travancore visited this area for the first time and found it highly suitable for the development of plantation. At that time, this area was controlled by the Poonjar Royal family. Munro visited the royal family and in 1877 he managed to lease 136600 acres of land around Munnar from them.
In 1879, the North Travancore Land Planting & Agricultural Society was founded by Munroe. However, tea was introduced for the first time by A.H. Sharp in 1880. Since then, tea plantation flourished in the region. In 1964, the Tata group formed the Tata-Finlay group and the Tata tea ltd. was established in 1883. Since the second half of the twentieth century, tourism became an important economic activity in Munnar.
A Flourishing Tourist Spot
Today, tourism is a growing industry in Munnar. The Mattupedi dam and reservoir, the Kundala lake, the Eravikulam National park, tea museum, the Attukal waterfalls, the sandalwood forest, the Chinnar National park etc are the major tourist attractions in Munnar. It is a hot spot for movie shootings as well. The popular films such as ‘Chennai Express’, ‘Life of Pi’ and ‘Nishabd’ are shot in the beautiful backdrop of Munnar.