Munnar is a beautiful hill station, and was the summer resort of the British. Tourists come here to see the vast tea plantations of the area. The town itself is typically Indian with the usual shops, guest houses and is really beautiful and traditional. It is a good place to stay to see the surrounding countryside. It is also a popular place for Indian honeymooners.The town is divided into two parts, Old Munnar, where the tourist information office is, and Munnar, where the bus station and most guest houses are located.
The region in and around Munnar varies in height from 1,500 m (4,921 ft) to 2,695 m (8,842 ft) above mean sea level. It is pronounced "Moon-aar" short for "moonu aar" meaning 3 rivers. Three rivers - Madupetti, Nallathanni and Periavaru which flow through this town, but join some distance away from Munnar. Munnar is famous for its tea plantations, many of them started by the British. The "Kannan Devan" brand of Tea from the Tata is cultivated and processed here.
The strobilanthus ("neelakurinji" in Malayalam, the local language), a blue flower which blooms only every 12 years, is found in this region. It bloomed last in December 2006. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India, Anamudi, at 2,695 m. Eravikulam national park is one of the main tourist attraction, where you can find the endagered species of Nilgiri Tahr (mountain goat called "varayadu" in Malayalam). A treck to Rajamala ("King of hills" in Malayalam), in the morning is sure to spot a few friendly mountain goats. You can also find Gaur, Langur, Lion-tailed macaque, and Elephants depending on the season and time of travel. The altitude is 1,600-1.800 m above sea level. Temperature ranges from a minimum of 0⁰C to a maximum of 28⁰C. Warm clothes and rain gear is recommended. The tourist season is from Aug-Mar.You can arrange a cab/taxi from Ernakulam Railway station, they willcharge (round trip) from Rs 2500 to Rs 3000.
Reach Orchid Highlands
By AirCochin International airport (IATA: COK, ICAO: VOCI), also known as Nedumbassery Airport and CIAL is the nearest airport. It is 98 km away from Orchid Highlands by road. Madurai International Airport which is 168 Km from Orchid Highlands by (National Highway 49).
By TrainThe nearest railway station is Aluva, 101 km. Ernakulam is 117 km and Madurai is 158km You can get the direct regular buses to Chithirapuram CheythanMukku bus stop just 100 meters from Orchid Highlands First Bus starts at 6AM.
- From Kochi: Munnar is 117 km (3 hr) from Kochi. The road is blind in some places and there are a lot of trucks and buses that seem to drive as if they own the road. Although the road is smooth (NH 49), it is narrow, twisty and curvy. Kothamangalam is on the way and is 70 km away from Orchid Highlands. Between Kothamangalam and next town "Adimali", you can experience a beautiful cool drive through a natural forest. Alongside, you can see many refreshing waterfalls. Once you reach Adimali, Orchid Highlands is just 20 kilometers away - but it will take almost an hour to reach. This is the last place where you can spot a decent restaurant before Munnar. Around 22 km from Adimali, you can start seeing the tea plantations on both sides of the road and a panoramic view of the western ghats. The view is extremely beautiful during the early mornings.
- From Aluva: Aluva is nearly 101 km from Orchid Highlands. Just outside Aluva railway station you can hire a taxi for Munnar for Rs 2000. There is a bus stand nearby as well which operates frequent buses to Munnar; ticket prices start from Rs 70 per person.
- From Madurai: Orchid Highlands is about 158 km from Madurai and 87 km from Theni. Madurai- Theni - Bodi - BodiMettu-Devikulam - Munnar route is the most scenic route by National Highway 49(Via Madurai-Cochin HighWay).
- From Coimbatore: Orchid Highlands is about 168 km from Coimbatore and 124 km from Pollachi. Coimbatore- Pollachi - Udumalpet - Chinnar - Marayoor - Munnar route is the most scenic route and though it will take bit longer, it is generally considered worth the extra time spent.
- From Kodaikanal: Kodaikanal is nearly 166 km from Orchid Highlands. Kodaikanal - Perumal Malai - Mayiladum Parai - Mooliyaru - Oothu - Falls View - Ganguvarpetty - Ghat Road - Periya Kulam - Theni - Bodi - Bodimettu - Devikulam - Munnar - Chithirapuram-Orchid Highlands. This route is also scenic.
- From Tirunelveli: Tirunelveli is nearly 282 km from Orchid Highlands. Tirunelveli - Sankarankovil - Rajapalayam - Srivilliputhur - Aandipatti - Theni - Bodi - Bodimettu - Devikulam - Munnar-chithirapuram-Orchid Highlands. This route is also scenic.