Munnar is a place that hypnotises visitors with its green and picturesque locales. Its pristine environs attract honeymooners in droves and is dubbed the “Kashmir of the South”. There are various gems in and around Munnar that hold the promise of incredible experiences. Two of the gems that are bound to be of interest to travellers to those parts are the Subramanya Temple and Anamudi Peak.
The Anamudi Peak is one of the tallest peaks in South India and is situated in the picturesque Idukki district. It stands tall with a height of 8,842 feet. The shape of the peak looks like an elephant’s head from certain angles and hence the name Anamudi which in the local language translates to, “Elephant’s head”.
The Anamudi Peak is situated about 13 kilometres from Munnar and is the tallest peak in the Western Ghats. It is also the tallest peak south of the Himalayas and is often also called, “The Everest of South India”. Barring the majestic Himalayas, the Anamudi Peak is the highest point in India.
Enchanting trekking trails dot the vicinity of the Anamudi Peak offering some spectacular views of the valleys and towns below.
The Anamudi Peak lies within the Eravikulam National Park, which itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The region is rich in biodiversity and has a fantastic array of flora and fauna. There are about 132 species of birds that bring the region alive. These include Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, White Bellied Shortwing, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Kerala Laughingthrush, and others. Animals in the region include Bengal Tigers, Elephants, Nilgiri Tahr, etc. One of the most unique inhabitants of the region is a newly discovered species of frogs. These frogs have a bright reddish-orange colour, and their limbs are extremely short. The species is critically endangered and is restricted to just an area of about three square kilometres in the Anamudi Peak region.
The Anamudi Peak is a nature lover’s paradise, and hiking on the trails of this area is a blissfully sublime experience. Trekking here, however, needs the permission of the authorities of the Eravikulam National Park.
Subramanya Temple, Munnar
There is nothing more appealing than the sight of a temple set amidst nature’s bounty. The Subramanya temple is one such temple, which will inspire a feeling of deep peace and contentment by its mere sight. The Subramanya temple lies on a small hill near Munnar in the enchanting Idukki district of Kerala. The temple is dedicated to one of the most popular of the Hindu deities in South India, Subramanya or Kartik who is the son of Shiva and Parvathi. The temple itself has a fascinating history. It was originally in the care of the Muthuvan tribe who maintained and worshipped the deity. The Muthuvan tribe is a close-knit tribal community who are even today reluctant to interact with the outer world and are concentrated in a small region of the Idukki district where they cultivate bananas and tapioca. Over a period of time, the temple was abandoned and fell derelict. The members of the royal Travancore family saw the dilapidated and abandoned temple and had it renovated, and the temple resumed operations. Today the temple resonates with the mystical chants of prayers to the deity as formal worship is conducted thrice in a day. Worship takes place in the morning, afternoon and finally in the evening.
A visit to the Subramanya Temple in Munnar is an experience in the harmony of natural beauty tinged with an air of spirituality.
Munnar is indeed a gateway to unique experiences that are sure to touch a chord within your hearts – there’s so much to do! The beauty of the region is something that can only be experienced, and no words can do justice to it. If you are looking to be touched by Magical Munnar, then Sterling Munnar beckons.