Munnar Valley - Kerala
The history of Munnar dates back to the ancient times.
Relics obtained point out to a stone age civilization in the area.
However, as far as the written history is concerned, it is available
only after the 10th century.
Duke of Wellington holds the distinction of being the first European who set his feet in Munnar. Soon after, the Tamilians, also known as Muthuvans, too came in large numebrs and settled down in the area. This was followed by the headman of the villages of Anchanad and Kannan Thevar acquiring lands to the north of the high ranges which actually belonged to native Rajah of Poonjar.
The Poonjar chief, a subordinate of the Maharaja of Travancore, lent around 588 sq km of land around Munnar to a British lawyer who was also a tea planter. The tea planter, J D Munro, worked hard and converted the entire area covered by forest into a plantation. The efforts of Munro got further boost when Messrs Finlay Muir & Company bought the land from him. Around a century later, in 1976, Tata Finlay Ltd became the owners of the plantation. Still later, in 1983, Finlay sold out its share to Tata and moved out. Since then, the company became Tata Tea.
The best things you can purchase in Munnar are tea,
spices and strawberries. With so many plantations around, the quality
of tea is undoubetedly high. Also, there are many shops offering tea
on sale, however, again, the best place to buy tea is unquestionalbly
Tata Tea Sales Outlet. Strawberries and spices, though seasonal items
make for a good buy.
You can also pick up aromatic oils like eucalyptus oil, lemon grass and citridora. Purchase of handmade paper greeting cards can help a disabled child of a plantation worker at Tata Tea's Shristhi Welfare Centre.
The closest Airport from Munnar is at Cochin which is around 121 km away. A prepaid taxi will take you to Munnar.
The nearest railway station from Munnar is Ernakulam junction at a distance of 127 km. Taxis are available for Munnar.
Munnar, 130 km east of Kochi, is best reached by direct bus from Kochi (4½ hours, eight daily), Kottayam (five hours, seven daily), Kumily (4½ hours, four daily), Thiruvananthapuram (nine hours, five daily), Coimbatore (six hours, two daily) or Madurai (six hours, one daily).
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