Planning a trip to Munnar? Try these scenic routes

The alluring hillocks of Munnar paints a perfect portrait of serene nature, often drawing hundreds of visitors to enjoy the misty mornings and lush tea plantations. The two routes to Munnar are particularly praised for its great natural beauty and has amazing sceneries and splendid views in store for the visitors. The Neryamangalam-Munnar route from Ernakulam and the route to Marayur are the best when it comes to incredible nature and fabulous tourist attractions.

Neryamangalam-Munnar route: 59 kilometres

This is one of the most chosen routes that is sure to thrill the travellers. There are plenty of sceneries and naturally beautiful places on both sides of the road until you reach Munnar. You could just stop your vehicle on the wayside and enjoy these views to your heart’s content. However, if you are travelling by bus, make sure to sit on the right side of the bus. The grand panoramic view of the hills and the valley is breath taking.

Only the Cheeyapara waterfall is on the left side. Meanwhile, the Neryamangalam bridge could be called the entrance or bridge to Munnar. The construction of the bridge began in 1924 during the reign of the regent queen of Travancore Sethulakshmi Bhai. Neryamangalam which receives the highest amount of rainfall in the state is often touted as the ‘Cherrapunji’ of Kerala.

Cheeyapara waterfall

The Cheeyapara waterfall is the first stop in this route. You could park the vehicle and enjoy the picturesque waterfall. Meanwhile, the Valapara waterfall is a few kilometres ahead. Park the vehicle on the left side of the road and walk a few metres to the right to reach the waterfall. Adimali town boasts of some amazing hotels and eateries that serve authentic local food.

Pallivasal and Attukadu waterfall

Pallivasal is a beautiful place to visit before Munnar. It is known for Kerala’s first hydro electric project. You could see the huge penstock pipes here. Turn to a small road in the right from Pallivasal to reach the Attukadu waterfall.

This small pathway through the verdant tea plantations looks straight out of an impressionist painting. There is a quaint tea shop on the side that adds to impeccable charm of the rural setting. If you are interested to enjoy the tea plantation, then you could walk to the waterfall. The waterfall looks fabulous from afar. The Headworks dam is another attraction before you reach Munnar. The water to the Pallivasal hydroelectric project is stored here.

Munnar town

As you enter the Munnar town, a spectacular river on the right side welcomes you. There is a grandis orchard too here. Meanwhile, the KSRTC bus station is just beside this area. Enjoy a stroll through the mesmerizing grandis orchard; however, you should be alert as bug bites could ruin your little trip. Moreover, the authorities warn against taking a swim in the river as it could be precarious.

The trio

As the name ‘Munnar’ suggests, it is a place of three lakes. Kanniyar Lake that flows from the Munnar side, Nallathanniyar Lake that joins the Kanniyar Lake and the Kuttiyar Lake that flows from Muttupetti are the three major lakes here. All these lakes would join together and then flow as the mighty Muthirapuzha River. This is the river that you see on the side as soon as you enter the Munnar town.

Eravikulam national park reopens for visitors after lockdown

Munnar-Marayur route

Marayur is an enchanting land where pristine rain forests and exotic sandalwood trees lure you. The road to Marayur runs through the banks of the Kanniyar Lake. The verdant meadows are beautiful, but could be filled with bugs.

Eravikulam National Park

The Eravikulam National Park is one of the major attractions in Munnar. You could purchase the ticket from the entrance and then travel to Rajamala in the bus arranged by the forest department. Rajamala is world famous for the neelakurinji (Strobilanthus kunthiana) seasons that blooms once in twelve years. When it bloomed in 1994, the beautiful hills of Rajamala got covered in a splendid wash of blue colour and the pictures became a sensation. You can spot the Nilgiri tahr that is endemic to the Nilgiri Hills here. This is the perfect place if you wish to get away from the bustle of the city and enjoy some fresh air.


Ettam mile

Ettam mile is one of the highest places in the Marayur route. This area gets covered in a blanket of mist in the dawn. Meanwhile, the twilights are magical here. You could spot the karinkurangu or the Nilgiri langurs in the nearby woods, if you are lucky. The road that descends from Ettam mile to Marayur is quite narrow and precarious. The Munnar-Marayur route is lined with flowering trees. The Jacaranda trees with its vibrant lilac-coloured flowers is an enchanting sight during the blooming season.

Lakkam waterfall

The Lakkam waterfall is beautiful and safe too. So, you can take a dip in the refreshing waters of the Lakkam waterfall. The forest department has made all the arrangements for the tourists to enjoy the waterfalls safely. Sandalwood forests on both sides of the road exude an exotic fragrance. However, these forests are separated by fences. A drive through this road is definitely a dream journey for any travel enthusiast.

The countryside

A few metres ahead of the Nachivayal forest station is a road that turns to the right. This road through the sandalwood forest leads to the marvellous countryside that is known for its sugarcane farms. You could also see how authentic Marayur jaggery is being made at the countless workshops here. Do not forget to buy the Marayur jaggery and the flavoursome garlic as they are the most iconic items here.


Aanakottapara hills is on the route from Marayur to Kanthalloor. The scene in Kamal Haasan starrer 'Anbe Sivam' where a bus turns over and slides into a gorge was shot here. Muniyara or the dolmens (single-chambered megalithic tomb) is the most amazing highlight of Aanakottapara. Meanwhile, the apple orchards in Kanthalloor are a must visit. Marayur offers you unending scenes and surprises; so, it is better to plan an overnight stay here.

Munnar-Marayaur: 49 kilometres


Finding a place to stay the night won’t be a problem as good accommodation facilities are available in Kanthalloor and Marayur. An early morning drive to the Chinnar tropical forest would be a unique experience. Even though the Chinnar forest is a bit dry, it is still incredibly beautiful. The road runs parallel to the mountain ranges. You could grab a distant view of the Pambar Lake from here.

If you are an history enthusiast, then do not forget to visit the Aalampetty forest. You could enter the forest area after purchasing tickets from the Aalampetty eco development committee office. You can see the rare pictures that were drawn by early humans on the rocks.

The Thoovanam waterfall is known for its mesmerizing beauty. Interestingly, the forest department arranges trekking and accommodation facilities here. You can purchase tickets from Aalampetty and enjoy trekking to the waterfalls with the help of a guide. The Kerala-Tamil Nadu border is a few kilometres from here. The office of the Chinnar wildlife park is close to the border. Purchase tickets and enjoy a stroll through the banks of the Chinnar River. You could even stay in the tree houses in the woods. You could also spot rare faunas like Indian giant squirrels, Hanuman monkeys and Indian star tortoise.

Munnar-Marayur Road

Visitors from the northern part of Kerala can return from Chinnar via Udumalpet without driving back to Munnar. You will reach Coimbatore and then enter Palakkad.

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