Munnar is one of the most visited cities in Kerala. It is a hill station which is famous for its tea plantation, lush green scenery and the long fields along the roads. Located on the Western Ghats of Kerala it is also called the Kashmir of South India because of its green mountains and the constant cold weather making it very pleasant for the people visiting this place. There is a lot of confusion about reaching Munnar as it is a hill station and kind of not very well connected to all public transportation. Today’s article is about How to plan a trip to Munnar.
I will mention all the ways which are available to you for reaching Munnar. These are the ways which are totally reliable and you can get to Munnar without any hassle. Also, I will mention the accommodation options and also the places you can visit around Munnar.
Let’s start with the article
There is no direct train connectivity till Munnar.
The nearest station to Munnar from the western side is Aluva. There are other small stations also but Aluva is the only one with major transport options.
If you are coming by train from any of the major cities in India then your safe bet is to come to Aluva.
Aluva is connected to almost all the cities via the railways. You can get a train directly from cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, etc.
This is a very reliable option to reach Munnar. There are tons of buses going to Munnar from different cities in Kerala. The cities which are connected to Munnar via bus are mentioned below.
These cities are directly connected via the KSRTC (Kerala State Road Transportation Corporation). Now, when you visit South India there are two KSRTC one is Karnataka State Road Transportation Corporation and another one is Kerala State Road Transportation Corporation. Don’t get confused between them and always choose the correct type of bus for your journey. This confusion happens usually when you are around the borders of Kerala and Karnataka.
There is a mobile application called AANAVANDI which is very useful if you are going to travel by bus in Kerala. This app contains the schedule of all the buses connecting two cities in Kerala. They also mention the amount which you are going to need to travel between the two cities.
For e.g. let’s say you are traveling from Ernakulam to Munnar by bus, you can check the app and it will tell you the exact timings and rate of the buses which are available on this route.
Another important thing about this app is that it only shows government buses that are available and not any private buses. This feature is very handy for budget travelers. The private buses charge 30% extra as compared to the government buses so it makes no sense to opt for private buses.
It also has another option of choosing from the type of buses like an ordinary, luxury, semi-luxury, A/C and so on. If your bus is not on time and there are any changes in the schedule then you can contact the authority of the particular city. There are helpline numbers available of almost every major city in Kerala. Trust me for a budget traveler this app is very helpful and it would save you a lot of time and money.
And don’t worry there is no charge for using this app. This app is completely free and can be downloaded from the play store.
The nearest airport to Munnar is Cochin International Airport.
There are bus facilities available to reach many regions from the airport. Here is the list of those places
You can get to any of the places and catch a bus till Munnar.
This is the last option I would ever opt for while going to Munnar. The price is as usual very high. Yes, this would be the fastest option for not an ideal option to choose from.
I will let you know the prices though if you want to choose this option for some reason. A taxi fare from Kochi to Munnar which is around 130 km would cost you around Rs.4000 to Rs.5000 depending on the type of taxi you choose.
There are usually three ways of booking a hotel.
- Directly visiting the hotel
- Asking an agent. (Never choose this)
Munnar is a town where the accommodation is a little expensive as compared to the other cities of Kerala. The more major place you choose the more price you are about to pay. Out of the three options in Munnar, you can choose the first two. I have experimented this and I certainly got a lower price in some areas than the price listed online
First, check the hotels which are under your budget and then make a list of these hotels and sort them accordingly as you wish. After this choose the one which you want to stay in but don’t yet make the booking.
Book hotels in Munnar according to your arrival time. If you are arriving in the morning around the check-in time then you can book the hotel online. But if you are arriving in the evening then it would be a good idea to directly go to the hotel and check the prices there. This is not 100% certain but it worked for me that’s why I am mentioning this.
I checked into a hotel which was around Rs.900 per night for a double room. As I arrived in the evening and I forgot to book the hotel in Munnar. Yes, I could have booked the hotel after arriving but there was no internet connectivity. I had their address so I went and asked them for a room and they charged me around Rs.2100 for 3 nights. The price was Rs.600 less than the one mentioned online.
First, I thought that the prices mentioned online are not correct and they might have increased the fare on the online sites. But later the receptionist told me that the price is Rs.900 per night but it was because I arrived late in the evening, they only charged Rs.300 for the first day.
I’m not sure if this happens in all the hotels, you can confirm it yourself while you are in Munnar.
Below down are hotels in the main area of Munnar. Do check them out.
Places to visit in Munnar.
This article is not about the best places in Munnar, it is about planning a trip to Munnar. I am going to show you how you can plan to visit the best places to visit in Munnar. I will write a different article on the Best places to visit in Munnar soon.
Let me tell you how you can choose the best places to visit in Munnar. There are many ways and the first one is obvious that you google about the places you can visit in Munnar. While this is an ideal option make sure you only check the places based on the season you are visiting. There are many places to be in Munnar but they are more beautiful in certain seasons so do check that information first.
Another better way to plan a trip to Munnar would be when you visit Munnar. There is a tourist information center right in the center of Munnar. About 5 mins walking distance from Munnar Bus Stand there is a tourist information center which will give you updated information about Munnar and the places you can visit here according to the season.
They will also tell you the modes of transportation available there and which could be cheap and better to use. They also provide a map of Munnar which I am going to put down below so you can download it yourself. Also, they don’t charge anything if that is what you are thinking.
That’s it for today.
See you in the next one.