Area Size : 557 Sq. Km.Population : 0.068 Millions.
Popular Languages : Malayalam, English, Tamil, Hindi
Munnar - a beautiful hill tourist destination in God's own country, Kerala South India. Gorgeous green surroundings, lovely lakes, ravishing reservoirs, breathtaking valleys, marvelous tea plantations, misty mountains, wild life sanctuaries, fabulous forests, fresh cool air, flora and fauna spices gardens all these and more describe Munnar.
History Munnar is a town located in Kerala state in the southern Western Ghats in South India. The name is often used to refer to the whole tourist area of Idukki District and Kerala state of which the town forms a part. Munnar panchayat of Devikulam block is the largest in the district with an area of 557 Sq.km. The name of Munnar is believed to be derived from the words Munu (three) and aaru (river), referring to the town's strategic location at the confluence of the Muthirappuzha, Chandavurai and Kundaly rivers. The area is surrounded by vast jungles and remains wet and cold during most of the year. The people of Munnar share the culture and traditions of Kerala and their Tamil neighbours.
The entire area of Munnar, nearly about 556.44 square kilometer of land really belonged, and still belongs to the royal family of Poonjar and was given on lease for 99 years by the then poonjar King Kerala Varma in 1887.During the British rule of India, Munnar was developed to cultivate tea plants. At that time, most of the people around the area were employed as laborers for plantations throughout the area. In the early stages of development, only Tamilians and a small number of Malayalis inhabited Munnar. From the late 1890s till 1921, tea was transported down from Top Station by 24 inch railway and ropeway to Munnar for transhipment throughout the World.
Most of the top positions in the estates were occupied by the British "Managers". A few bungalows were built for them and these are still in use. Munnar was a Hill Station for some British who sought a cooler climate.
The history of plantation in Munnar started in the 1870s. J.D. Munro, a European, identified the agriculture potential of the land on a hunting expedition. In 1877 he leased 580 Sq Kilometres of land from the Poonjar Raja who was in control of the land. Munro formed a co-operative called ‘North Travancore Land Planting and Agricultural Society’ and members of the society started farming in different parts of Munnar. The crops included coffee, sisal and cardamom. Tea plantation was started by A.H. Sharp, another European at the A.H. Sharp Parvathy estate (Present Silent Valley Estate). In 1895 Finlay, a European company entered the scene and acquired about 33 tea estates in Munnar. In 1897 the Kannan Devan Hills Produce Company was formed to manage Finlay’s estates. In 1964 the Tata Group, an Indian corporate giant entered into a collaborative venture with the Finlay leading to the formation of the Tata-Finlay group. In April 2005 tea plantations under the Tata group were transferred to a new company called Kannan Devan Hills Produce Co, Pvt Ltd. Today the company manages 16 estates spread over in about 8600 hectares of land
The hill resort of Munnar, experiences cool weather all through the year. In the summer months you will need to carry some light woolens for protection against the chill. Whereas in winters, you should be, completely covered in woolens. The temperature drops down to as low as five degree Celsius. Thus you may visit Munnar anytime of the year besides the monsoons that last from June to September.
Climate The region in and around Munnar varies in height from 1,600 meters (5,249 ft) to 1,800 meters (5,906 ft) above mean sea level. Munnar enjoys a salubrious climate. The weather ranges between -5 C (23 F) and 10 C (50 F) in winter and 15 C (59 F) and 25 C (77 F) in summer. The tourist season is from August to May. However, even the monsoons are lovely with many streams and rivulets in the area.
Nearest major airport is Cochin International airport which is about 125 km away. Taxi services are available from airport to Munnar which cost about Rs 3000. Cochin airport is well connected with all major cities in India and many cities abroad.
Munnar By Train
Nearest rail head is Angamaly or Alwaye, both are nearly 120 km away from Munnar. Angamaly is an important rail junction in Ernakulam – Trissur route and is well connected to all cities in India. Taxi from Angamali to Munnar costs about a minimum charge of Rs 2500.
Munnar By Bus
Munnar is connected to other cities in Kerala and Tamil Nadu by state government public transport buses, but are less frequent. Many tour providers arrange packaged bus tours to Munnar from Cochin. The charges will be about Rs 1000 per head.