Forming the craggy hills of the Western Ghats, Munnar is a magical Indian tourist destination with a perfect amalgam of gorgeous greenery, lovely lakes, pristine valleys, dense forests and tea estates. ‘Munnar’ literally means three rivers, and true to its name it is located at the confluence of three mountain streams — the Muthirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala rivers.

To the south-west of the Deccan Plateau, separated from the state of Kerala by the blue Nilgiri mountain

range, lies the Coimbatore plateau. It has the misty Palani Hills, and is home to beautiful plantations. The foggy skies and the moist earth are perfect for growing coffee, tea and various spices. Munnar, the region’s most popular hill station, is located just 150 kilometres away from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.

On a drive from Coimbatore to Munnar, the roads wind through rolling hills fringed by paddy fields, lovely lakes, dense forests and tea estates, all forming a part of the scenic landscape. Having one of the largest clusters of engineering units in India, Coimbatore supplies most of the machinery for use in tea factories at Munnar. Just 148 kilometres away, Munnar can also be reached from Cochin, a bustling port town in Kerala.

Set at an altitude of 6,000 feet MSL (Mean Sea Level), Munnar was the favoured summer resort of the erstwhile British rulers in the colonial days. Munnar is better known as the ‘spice garden of India’. The Malabar pepper or black gold and cardamom brought the foreign traders to this tiny land crossing vast stretches of blue water in ancient times.

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