The vastness of Western Ghats has something for every nature enthusiast. I won’t be wrong if I mentioned that Kerala comprises the best of Ghats, and Munnar exhibits the best of Kerala. Nature’s vividness can be seen in almost all the shades when you are looking for pretty as well as exciting places to visit in Munnar.
This popular tourist attraction in the south has nature’s bounty for every traveler. A popular destination among discerning travelers, there are magical places to visit near Munnar that induce a mad wanderlust. This write-up takes you through some of the never heard of destinations near Munnar!
Exciting places to visit near Munnar for a momentous trip down south!
Here is the best of tourist places that can be easily covered from Munnar if you have a day or two to spare!
1. Kumily, Idukki – Enter the gateway to Thekkady
Distance & time taken from Munnar to Kumily: 90 km and 3 h
Popularly known as the gateway to Thekkady, Kumily is the tucked in the heart of dense forests of the Ghats. Also, the largest gram panchayat near Thekkady, the place based on the outskirts of Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is an ideal place in the list of lesser traversed places near Munnar.
Mainly popular for tea and spice plantation, Kumily is a strategic location for people trading in tea and spices. It has the main bus stand and plenty of stay options around.
Popular tourist attractions in Kumily: Abraham’s Spice Garden, Thekkady Lake, nature walk and trekking activities
Reaching Kumily from other parts of Kerala: Rajapalayam is the nearest railway station located 47 km from Kumily. Cochin International Airport is 103 km from where you can easily take a private vehicle to reach Kumily.
2. Peermade, Idukki – Myriad of colors, straight from nature!
Distance & time taken from Munnar to Peermade: 100 km and 3.5 h
Welcome to the world painted blue-grey-green! Peermade has all the nature’s allure to make the place a tempting prospect for nature lovers. The lush green cover of coffee, tea, pepper, cardamom and rubber plantations along the neat contours of the hills makes for a lovely sight.
At 950 m above sea level, Peermade is a reward to the seeking eyes and yearning hearts looking for ultimate tourist places in and around Munnar. Enjoy the perfect bird’s eye view around.
Popular tourist attractions in Peermade: Thrissanku Hills, Amritha Medu, activities like trekking, lake sighting, and getting to know about growing tea, coffee, spices, and rubber
Reaching Peermade from other parts of Kerala: Kochi International Airport at a distance of 130 km is the nearest airport to Peermade while Kottayam is the nearest railhead to Peermede at a distance of 51 km.
Suggested Read: 6 Gorgeous Trails For Trekking In Munnar
3. Parunthumpara, Idukki – Panoramic view from Eagle Rock
Distance & time taken from Munnar to Parunthumpara: 107 km and 2 h
Located between Peermade and Thekkady, Parunthumpara is a picturesque village in the Idukki district that remains one of the popular tourist places to visit near Munnar Kerala. The name Parunthumpara in the local language translates to ‘Eagle Rock’.
Once you visit this place, the exciting views of the endless stretch of greenery around accompanied by nature’s magnificence would leave you spellbound. Go for a nature walk and embrace the nature’s beauty around, mountains in the Ghats await you.
Reaching Parunthumpara from other parts of Kerala: Kottayam at a distance of 114 km is the nearest you can reach Idukki by train while Cochin International Airport is 133 km. Take a cab to cover the rest of the distance in 3 odd hours.
4. Periyar, Thekkady – Best of Kerala’s biodiversity
Distance & time taken from Munnar to Periyar: 97 km and 3 h
Into the mountainous terrains of the Western Ghats lies Periyar National Park – the protected wildlife reserve known for its tiger population. The national park that spans over 350 sq km and is surrounded by Pandalam Hills and Cardamom Hills.
With a lot of popular attractions and activities lined up for tourists and exceptional nature views around, a trip to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is a must for every traveler around Munnar.
Popular tourist attractions in Periyar: Mangala Devi Temple, Boat safari in Periyar lake, guided nature walks, border hike, bamboo rafting (INR 1000/3 hours)
Park entry fees: INR 25 (for adults), INR 5 (for children and students)
Timings: 6 am – 5 pm
Reaching Periyar from other parts of Kerala: Madurai is the nearest airport located 140 km from Periyar while Kottayam is the nearest railhead. Private vehicles from the airport and railway station are easily available to reach the park.
Suggested Read: Top 10 Summer Festivals In India You Shouldn’t Miss In 2019
5. Chalakudy, Thrissur – A hidden gem near Munnar
Distance & time taken from Munnar to Chalakudy: 125 km and 3.5 h
Theme parks, temples, and quaint villages define the fervent charm of Chalakudy, another of the popular places to visit near Munnar. The place located on the banks of Chalakudy river in Thrissur district has exceptional nature views around to keep you amazed. Gape at the enchanting beauty and architecture of the Holy Land Replica in St. Mary’s Church.
Walk the famous suspension bridge at Thumboormuzhy dam, it opens up the spectacular views around. Chalakudy is a place that would leave you amazed in a number of ways.
Popular tourist attractions in Chalakudy: Thumboormuzhy Dam, Rosary Village
Reaching Chalakudy from other parts of Kerala: Cochin International Airport is the nearest airstrip to Chalakudy while Chalakudy Railway Station is 34 km from the town. Thrissur to Chalakudy can be easily reached by a private vehicle in 30 to 45 office.
6. Athirapally, Thrissur – India’s Niagara Falls
Distance & time taken from Munnar to Athirapally: 129 km and 3.5 h
There is a Niagra Falls in Canada and then we have its look-alike in India! Athirapally Falls in Thrissur district is a prominent attraction and one of the must-visit places near Munnar for travelers. Cascading from a height of 80 feet and spanning 330 feet wide, the Athirapally falls is a nature’s marvel overlooking the Sholayar ranges.
The dampened environs soaked in mist along with great biodiversity around would leave you enchanted for sure. Located on the Chalakudy river the waterfalls originates from the Anamudi mountains in the Western Ghats.
Go for the jungle safari at Athirapally spanning over 90 km from Chalakudy to Malakkappara. The tour organized by the tourism department gives a closer look into the great natural diversity of the region.
Popular tourist attractions in Athirapally: Silver Storm and Dream World are the theme park close to Athirapally, Heritage Garden
Reaching Athirapally from other parts of Kerala: Cochin International Airport is around 40 km away from Athirapally while Chalakudy Railway Station is 35 km away.
7. Guruvayur, Thrissur – A popular pilgrimage in the south
Distance & time taken from Munnar to Guruvayur: 182 km and 5 h
Home to the third largest temple of Lord Krishna in India, Guruvayoor Temple is an ideal spiritual abode where devotees visit in large numbers. Certainly, one of the best places to visit near Munnar, Guruvayoor located in Thrissur district is considered as an equivalent to Tirupati and Sabarimala.
During February-March, the annual Guruvayur festival is organized on a large scale and that’s the perfect time to visit the temple.
Popular tourist attractions in Guruvayur: Chavakkad Beach (5 km), Guruvayur Devaswom elephant sanctuary – one of the largest in the world
Reaching Guruvayur from other parts of Kerala: Kochi international airport is 80 km from Guruvayoor while Guruvayoor Railway Station is the nearest railhead to the temple easily accessible from private vehicles. Also, KSRTC buses operate from major South Indian cities to the temple.
8. Cherai, Ernakulam – The best of backwaters and Arabian sea
Distance & time taken from Munnar to Cherai: 131 km and 4 h
The 15 km long beach destination towards the Arabian sea in the Ernakulam district of Kerala is certainly one of the highly recommended places near Munnar to visit. With a wide range of beach activities and exciting nature around there can’t be a more exciting destination to chill out and rejuvenate.
Vypeen Island is a popular attraction nearby which acts as a separator between the Kerala backwaters with the Lakshadweep Sea. Go around, there is a lot for you to explore. Munambam Breakwater Point & Beach towards the northern end of the beach offers exceptional views of the meeting of Periyar river and Arabian sea
Popular tourist activities in Cherai: Surfing, water scooters, speed boats, snorkeling, and canoe ride
Reaching Cherai from other parts of Kerala: Ernakulam railway station and Cochin International Airport are located 25 km from Cherai beach and can be easily accessed from the beach by a private vehicle.
9. Nelliyampathy, Palakkad – Hills, hill-station, and biodiversity!
Distance & time taken from Munnar to Nelliyampathy: 183 km and 5 h
Nelliyampathy covered in greenery and bedecked with floating clouds is one of the perfect tourist places around Munnar. Nature’s myriad of colors would leave you spellbound as you meander through the lush green paddy fields and sprawling tea estates. Even better, the panoramic views at the Palakkad Gap would leave you mesmerized.
Privately managed bio-farms, orange plantation, and awesomeness around act as the perfect spectacle for every nature lover.
Popular tourist attractions in Nelliyampathy: Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Pothundy Dam, valley view and waterfall view in Seetharkundu
Reaching Nelliyampathy from other parts of Kerala: Palakkad is the nearest railhead at a distance of 56 km while Coimbatore International Airport, at a distance of 55 km, is the nearest airstrip to Palakkad.
10. Sabarimala, Pathanamthitta – To Lord Ayyappa’s abode
Distance & time taken from Munnar to Sabarimala: 197 km and 5 h
Sabarimala – the popular hill temple of Lord Ayyappa in the heart of Pathanamthitta, is one of the most popular tourist places near Munnar where devotees from all over the country come to seek blessings. Stationed at 914 m above sea level, the temple is located in the vast hills of the Western Ghats.
November – Mid-January is considered as the perfect time to visit the temple. Everybody is permitted inside the temple except for women who are 10 to 50 year old.
Reaching Sabarimala from other parts of Kerala: Chengannur Railway Station is the nearest railhead at 53 km from Sabarimala. Take a private vehicle to reach Pamba which is 5 km from the temple. From there on the temple is a 5 km trek.
Further Read: 15 Things To Do In Munnar For A Delightful Vacation
Concealed in nature’s vastness, these exciting and enchanting places to visit near Munnar cut the real picture of the famed beauty of Kerala. When are you booking your trip to Kerala?