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The road trip from Cochin (Kochi), Kerala’s vibrant coastal city, to Munnar, a hill station nestled in the Western Ghats, is a journey unlike any other. It’s one of those experiences that take you through a frame in a movie, almost as if the beauty of the place feels unreal. During your Cochin to Munnar road trip, you can have multiple spots, savour authentic cuisine, delve into the rich history, and more. This 120–135-kilometre route transforms from bustling streets to lush greenery, offering breathtaking vistas, cascading waterfalls, and spice-laden plantations. So, if you want to take a break from your mundane life and breathe in some fresh air, embark on a thrilling journey today.

Best Time To Plan Cochin To Munnar Road Trip

Fishing net at Fort Cochin, a place to explore during the Cochin to Munnar road trip

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  • Both Cochin and Munnar come to life after the first drizzle of the monsoon. However, due to the hilly terrains and the unexpected road conditions, monsoons are usually not people’s favoured choice for road trips.
  • The period from September to November is usually considered the best time for planning your road trip from Cochin to Munnar. The views are stunning, the weather is pleasant and the roads are clear for a smooth and uninterrupted driving experience.
  • Even the pre-summer season from February to April is an ideal time to embark on this road trip. The clear skies and tropical weather make it ideal for enjoying the scenic drive and outdoor activities. June to August experiences heavy rainfall and the roads turn slippery, making driving a lot riskier than you’d anticipate.


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Route For Cochin To Munnar Road Trip

Route For Cochin To Munnar Road Trip

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The route from Cochin to Munnar covers approximately 130 kilometres and offers a scenic drive through the Western Ghats. The most popular route is via NH 85 and NH 183, which takes approximately 4-5 hours to cover, depending on traffic and road conditions.

  • Since the distance from Cochin to Munnar by road isn’t a lot, you can consider stopping in sightseeing spots in between, making small detours and unveiling hidden gems along the way. That said, here’s a breakdown of the route that most of the road rippers follow:
  • Begin your journey from Cochin and head towards Angamaly via NH 85. This stretch of the national highway has wide and smooth roads that ensure a comfortable driving experience.
  • From Angamaly, you have to continue on NH 85 towards Adimali. This part of the journey takes you through quaint villages, lush greenery and local towns that add to the experience of the road trip from Kochi to Munnar. You get a glimpse into the rural life of Kerala, which adds a fresh perspective to your road trip experience.
  • The last or final stretch of the Cochin to Munnar by road takes you from Adimali to Munnar via NH 183. This part of the route is particularly scenic, with winding roads that ascend through the hills, offering panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and tea plantations.

Overall, it’s a fun experience and with the short distance, you get to make multiple stops, recharge and refuel in the local eateries and have a productive road trip experience.

Must Visit Places Enroute Cochin To Munnar Road Trip

With such a short road trip from Kochi to Munnar, you want to include as many sightseeing spots to enhance the journey. But, with so many known and hidden gems along the way, shortlisting a few spots to add to your itinerary can be a challenge. Let’s fix that for you. Following are a few popular spots to explore on the way from Kochi to Munnar:

1. Cheeyappara and Valara Waterfalls

The surreal view of Cheeyappara Waterfalls during Cochin to Munnar road trip.

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A 30-minute detour from NH85 leads to a refreshing escape at Cheeyappara and Valara waterfalls. Cheeyappara, cascading down three tiers from 800 feet, is the highest waterfall in Kerala. The view from the top offers a panoramic vista of the lush green valleys below. Valara, shrouded in mist amidst dense rainforests, is a photographer’s paradise. You’d have to make a short trek to reach the base of these waterfalls, which adds to the experience.

Suggested Read: Budget Hotels In Munnar

2. Idukki Arch Dam

Idukki Arch dam, a must visit spot enroute Cochin to Munnar road trip

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A marvel of engineering, the Idukki Arch Dam is a must-visit stop 8 km from Cheeyappara. This massive concrete arch dam, standing 555 feet tall, is the highest in Asia. Enjoy the serene backwaters formed by the dam, teeming with diverse flora and fauna. There are occasional boat ride options available that let you have a closer look at the dam’s structure.

3. Abraamkutty Falls

The scenic view of Munnar during the Cochin to Munnar road trip.

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A short detour from NH85 leads to Abraamkutty, a series of seven cascading waterfalls nestled amidst dense forests. Offering a cascading spectacle, surrounded by lush greenery, Abraamkutty is a haven for nature lovers. Pack your swimsuits for a refreshing dip in the natural pools. If you don’t want to wet yourself, you always have the option to sit by the rocks, relax and soak in the views of the surrounding vistas.

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4. Echo Point

The panoramic view of Echo Point.

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Located near Kundala Lake, Echo Point offers a stunning panorama of the valley and the surrounding hills. Named for the unique rock formations that create a natural echo chamber, this spot is a popular stop for capturing breathtaking photographs. As the name suggests, shouting out names and messages echo back to you, letting you have a unique experience amid nature.

5. Kundala Lake

The scenic vista of Kundala Lake, Munnar

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This picturesque lake, nestled amidst rolling hills, is a popular spot for boating and enjoying scenic beauty. Take a Shikara boat ride, a traditional Kashmiri boat, for a unique perspective of the lake’s crystal-clear waters. It is surrounded by lush greenery on all sides, which offers a serene escape. You can plan and have a picnic by the lake as well.

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Tips To Keep In Mind During Cochin To Munnar Road Trip

With all the details about your Cochin to Munnar road trip out of the way, all that’s left for you to know are some practical tips. These are the ones that ensure an efficient and streamlined experience without any risks to your safety.

Get the vehicle checked

Irrespective of the distance from Cochin to Munnar by road, checking the car’s condition is something you can’t forget before a road trip. Be it the condition of the tyres or the engine’s efficiency, you have to cross-check every part of the vehicle before finalising the road trip experience.

Start early

Mornings offer clearer skies and less traffic, allowing you to appreciate the scenery fully. Sometimes, it is better to finish the road trip when there’s daylight out instead of dragging it into the night.

Carry essentials

Pack snacks, water bottles, and medication for the journey. Don’t forget comfortable walking shoes to explore the stopovers. Besides these, you must also have basic identification proof and car documents with you in case of verification.

Follow the traffic rules

Be cautious on mountain roads, maintain safe speeds, and respect fellow drivers. One thing that you don’t want to do is break these rules and try to overtake other cars when there’s no need for it. Sometimes, reaching your destination late isn’t too bad.

Check weather

For the tourists travelling post-monsoon or during the monsoon season, you need to kickstart your journey after checking the weather conditions. Unexpected downpours can end up raining all over your plans, making it impossible for you to have fun experiencing the beauty of the place. So, plan, research about the weather and take necessary precautions.

Further Read: Parks In Munnar

The Cochin to Munnar road trip is an alluring experience that takes you through breathtaking landscapes, charming stopovers, and the promise of Munnar’s cool embrace. If you like the convenience of a road trip, this is one of those routes you need to explore during your next trip to Kerala without fail.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Cochin To Munnar Road Trip

How are the roads from Cochin to Munnar?

The roads from Cochin to Munnar are pretty decent with certain paths having uneven and rocky roads. However, for the most part, the routes are smooth and pleasant for driving.

Are there tolls on the route?

There are a few toll booths along the way. If you have FASTag installed, you shouldn’t have to worry about the payments but if not, ensure to carry cash for smoother transactions.

What is the local cuisine like?

Kerala has one of the most unique cuisines with predominant flavours of coconut, spices and seafood. Don’t skip out on trying an authentic lunch spread in a local food joint.

Are there any accommodation options along the route?

There are multiple accommodation options between Cochin and Munnar. However, if you don’t want to stop in any of them, it's better to pre book your stay at a reliable place in Munnar itself.

Are there any entry fees for visiting attractions en route to Munnar?

This depends on the attraction you are visiting. Most of the ones along the way are free to explore and the few that do charge an entry fee have very nominal fees.

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