A misty, lush green hill station 1600m ASL in the Annamalai range of Kerala, Munnar is fast making a transition from a tea, coffee and spice plantation centre to a prime holiday resort and wildlife reserve.
The town retains its colonial British character with neat bungalows, cottage gardens filled with flowers and the smell of fresh spices, tea and roasting coffee beans that hangs heavy in the air. The surrounding hill slopes are covered with orderly rows of tea bushes, the plantations amongst the highest in the world stretch for miles only interrupted by pockets of forests teeming with local fauna and flora. Amongst the unusual flowers that grow here is the Neelakurinji that blooms once every twelve years and bathes the entire area in a beautiful blue colour. The Neelakurinji is next due to flower in 2006. The economy of the Munnar region is heavily dependent on the cultivation of tea, coffee and over twelve varieties of absolutely fragrant spices like sweet cinnamon, spicy cloves and peppercorns and delicate nutmeg. The climate in Munnar is basically cool partly because of the altitude and green ambience and partly due to the very heavy monsoons from June to September.