Located in the Western Ghats of the state of Kerala, about a 2½ hour drive from Kochi/Cochin, Munnar is a hill station surrounded by tea plantations and mountain scenery. At an altitude of 1,500m with South India’s highest peak, Anamudi (altitude 2,695m) nearby, Munnar has a refreshingly cool climate which can make a pleasant break from the heat and humidity of the coast.
The town of Munnar has several bungalows spread across the valley sides dating from the colonial era, and there is a small church that served the plantation staff. There are also Islamic mosques and Hindu temples, reflecting the many religions of Kerala. Sunday is the local market day, when the town is filled with tea-pickers enjoying their day off.
The nearby Eravikulam / Rajamalai National Park is the last stronghold of the Nilgiri tahr, a kind of mountain goat. The Nilgiri Tahr’s innate friendliness meant that they had been hunted almost to extinction, but they are now making something of a comeback. Another popular excursion from the town is to Top Station, India’s highest tea estate, which sits on the border between Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Time: GMT +5½ hours
Flight time from London to Delhi is 8 hours 30 minutes and to Mumbai is about 8 hours.
Language: The official language is Hindi, which about 30% of the population speaks. English is very widely spoken and is used for official and commercial purposes.
Required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from their embassy.
There are no compulsory vaccinations.