Kochi to Munnar is one of the most scenic and thrilling routes in Southern India. It’s an absolute delight for people who love to take road trips.
With great weather, ever-changing topography, delightful scenes of rural Kerala, never-ending greenery, and winding roads through tea estates, the route from Kochi to Munnar is a package of sheer joy and adventure!
Taking you from the gorgeous sunny beaches of Cochin all the way up to the lovely, misty hill station of Munnar, this journey is nothing short of breathtaking!
Find out all there is to know about this amazing journey right here before you start browsing Kerala tour packages for your trip.
Kochi to Munnar – Basic Travel Info
Munnar weather is pleasant year-round. One can visit it whenever they want. However, the most ideal time to take a road trip from Kochi to Munnar would be between the months of September and March. During this time, the overall weather in Kerala is cool and windy with the least amount of humidity. It would be a great time to drive all the way from the warmth of Kerala’s shores to the coolness of its hills.
Though a little hot and humid, the Summer season in Kerala from April to June too is considered a great time for this road trip. It is the off-season in Kerala and traveling around the state during this time has its own perks. The Kochi to Munnar routes are clear, there is hardly any traffic, the accommodations are cheap, and cities and towns are least crowded.
The monsoon season, however, would be the least pleasant time to take a trip to Munnar from Cochin. There would be heavy rainfall and it would be quite a hassle to drive as many sections of the roads leading up to Munnar are narrow, uneven, and unpaved.
Weather of Cochin: Hot, humid, with warm sea breeze (most time of the year)
Average temperature of Cochin: 27°C
Weather of Munnar: Cool, dry, windy, chilly in the night (year-round)
Average temperature of Munnar: 16°C
Best Way To Travel From Kochi to Munnar
While there are multiple ways you can travel to Munnar from Cochin, there is only one that will give you the most memorable and enjoyable experience – a road trip!
Traveling from Kochi to Munnar by road isn’t just easy and comfortable, it also rewards people with stunning views of the misty mountains of Western Ghat and absolutely wonderful weather.
The experience involves riding over smooth, winding roads overlooking hazy hills, meandering through lovely tea plantations, breathing in the sweet scent of tea leaves while the cool, gentle winds of Kerala’s hills ruffle your hair and tickle your face. It’ll be like flying on Aladdin’s magic carpet!=
The distance between Cochin and Munnar is about 126 kilometers and it takes a little less than 4 hours to cover it in a cab or a self-driven vehicle. The Kochi to Munnar route down south is among the smoothest and most frequented owing to the excellent condition and proper maintenance of road networks here.
Kochi to Munnar By Road – Route Options
There are primarily two routes that take you to Munnar from Cochin. Let us have a look at both.
Route 1: Kochi to Munnar Via NH85
The route via NH85 happens to be the shortest route to reach Kochi to Munnar by road. The road’s limited traffic and absence of road closures also makes it the fastest route to reach Munnar from the city of Cochin.
The Kochi to Munnar road condition via NH85 is quite good thanks to the efforts of KSRTC to maintain major road networks in Kerala. The road has a standard number of highway toll stops so you’re in for a smooth ride!
Kochi to Munnar Route Map via NH85:
Cochin – Kolenchery – Muvattupuzha – Kothamangalam – Neriamangalam – Anachal – Munnar
Kochi to Munnar Distance via NH85: 126.6 km
Kochi to Munnar Travel Time via NH85: 3 hours 40 minutes
Tourist Attractions on Kochi to Munnar Route via NH85:
- Hill Palace Museum, Kochi – Explore a 19th century palace and heritage museum
- Mattancherry Palace, Kochi – Wander around an ancient Dutch palace and museum
- Kerala Folklore Museum, Kochi – Check out traditional crafts, folk art and antiques of Kerala
- Martha Mariyam Cathedral Valiyapally, Kothamangalam – Visit a beautiful church established in the 4th century
- Cheeyappara & Valara Waterfalls, Chillithodu – Trek to the three-storey waterfalls cascading in a steamy pool
- Attukad Waterfalls, Pallivasal – Hike to multiple waterfalls amid rolling hills, surrounded by nature trails and panoramic views
- Pothamedu Viewpoint – Gaze at panoramas of lofty hills and tea plantations
Restaurants on Kochi to Munnar Route via NH85:
- Swad Family Restaurant, Kolenchery – Mouth-watering Kerala cuisine and breakfast in a small, family-run local restaurant
- Malabar Village Restaurant, Muvattupuzha – Excellent vegetarian and non-vegetarian food, especially biryani
- Manthoppu Family Restaurant, Kothamanagalam – A taste of traditional Kerala cuisine
- Hotel Savitha, Neriamangalam – A must-stop for tea, snacks, and the famous Kappa Biriyani
- Prakrithi Multi Cuisine Restaurant, Anachal: A vast regional and global menu to appease your palette
Route 2: Kochi to Munnar Via NH544
This route is longer than NH85, but way more scenic and beautiful! While the traffic isn’t much on this route as well, the road quality is just average and not at all smooth in many parts. The distance between Kochi and Munnar via NH544 is about 135 km and takes a little over 4 hours to cover.
The Kochi to Munnar road condition via NH544 is tad uneven. Courtesy efforts being made to improve the NH544 route, you may come across some closures and delay in movement on this route.
Kochi to Munnar Route Map via NH544:
Cochin – Ernakulam – Pukkattupady – Perumbavoor – Kothamangalam – Adimali – Munnar
Kochi to Munnar Distance via NH544: 135 km
Kochi to Munnar Travel Time via NH544: 4 hours 30 minutes
Tourist Attractions on Kochi to Munnar Route via NH544:
- Edapally Church, Ernakulam – Pay your respects to Asia’s biggest shrine dedicated to Saint George founded in 593 AD
- Kerala Kathakali Center, Kochi – Watch dazzling Kathakali performances
- Cheeyappara & Valara Waterfalls, Chillithodu – Trek to the top of a three-storey waterfalls hidden in a lush jungle
- Attukad Waterfalls, Pallivasal – Take a dip in a refreshing waterfall surrounded by rolling hills and panoramic views
- Kaladi, Ernakulam district – Visit the birthplace of the 9th century Indian philosopher Adi Shankara by taking a short detour from Perumbavoor
- Kodanad Elephant Training Centre, Kaprikad – Indulge in endearing sights of rescued elephants bathing and playing at the only center in Kerala that both rescues and trains elephants. This too lies near Perumbavoor and would be easy to get to if you have already taken a detour for Kaladi before resuming your journey to Munnar from Aluva
- Neriamangalam Bridge – Ride over the picture-perfect ‘Gateway to the Highranges’ that marks your ascent into Kerala’s mountains
- Kallar Vattiyar – Take a teeny tiny detour from Iruttukanam after Adimali to see one of the most famous spice plantations in Kerala that is worth the scenic drive!
Restaurants on Kochi to Munnar Route via NH544:
- Malabar Cafe, Ernakulam – Everything from vegetarian food, Malayali delicacies, and seafood in affordable rates
- Thapovan Restaurant, Pukkattupady – A variety of traditional South Indian food in a relaxing ambience
- Apsara Hotel, Perumbavoor – A favourite among locals and travelers alike, especially for their famous biryani!
- Manthoppu Family Restaurant, Kothamanagalam – A taste of traditional Kerala cuisine
- Hotel Saravana Bhavan, Adimali – Delicious vegetarian thalis of local Malayali food
Best Route From Kochi to Munnar
We have told you about the two different Kochi to Munnar routes you can take if you are traveling by road. Now let us tell you which of these two is most preferred by travelers and locals alike.
The Kochi to Munnar route via NH85 is considered to be the best way to get from the shores of Kochi to the hills of Munnar. It’s shorter than the route via NH544, the road is smoother and comfortable for an easy-going ride, the tolls are infrequent, and there are no unpleasant road blockages or closures.
While the route via NH544 is far more scenic and beautiful, NH85 does offer breathtaking vistas of Kerala’s charming rural setup and hilly landscapes at regular intervals!
Apart from this, both routes have numerous sightseeing options for people to indulge in and ample number of rest stops and restaurants offering delectable Kerala cuisine. From waterfalls, ancient architecture, scenic villages, spice plantations, elephant camps, churches, palaces, to museums, there is no dearth of places to visit from Kochi to Munnar regardless of which route you pick.
If you want a hassle-free ride and a short journey, pick route 1 – Kochi to Munnar via NH85
And if you want a scenic route and got enough time to visit popular tourist attractions on the way, pick route 2 – Kochi to Munnar via NH544
NOTE: Always check the map and real-time traffic conditions on the web before setting out on either Kochi to Munnar routes.
Other Ways To Travel From Kochi to Munnar
Know about them all so that we can create for you the most enjoyable trip experience from our range of customized and affordable Kerala tour packages .
1. Kochi to Munnar By Train
Angamaly Railway Station located in Kaladi is the nearest train station to Munnar located 108 km (3 hours) away followed by the Aluva Railway Station located 109 km (3 hours) away from Munnar.
One can hire a car or hail a prepaid taxi from these train stations to get to Munnar at fixed rates. Munnar doesn’t have its own train station and there are no direct trains from Kochi’s Ernakulam Junction Railway Station to Munnar.
While the train ride from either of these stations to Munnar will surely be scenic, it is not considered a feasible option to cover the Kochi to Munnar route. The whole journey (train plus car) will be time-consuming, expensive (train fare plus cab/bus fare) and rather inconvenient as one will need to constantly switch modes of transport on a journey that otherwise takes only about 4 hours by road.
2. Kochi to Munnar By Flight
Cochin International Airport located inside Cochin is itself the nearest airport to Munnar. One can find regular buses, both private and government-run, as well as airport taxis and rented vehicles at the airport to travel to Munnar.
So, if one is looking for trouble-free Kochi to Munnar routes in terms of air travel, the only option they have is to fly to Cochin Airport and cover the rest of the route by road.
3. Kochi to Munnar By Bus
Traveling from Kochi to Munnar by road is the most ideal way to get between these two cities. And if you wish to do in the most economical way where all you do the entire way is rest and gaze at the scenic views, then getting taking a KSRTC public bus or booking a seat in a private volvo is your best bet!
KSRTC runs frequent, comfortable and clean AC buses to and fro Kochi and Munnar and other cities. All you have to do is get a ticket online or buy one from Ernakulam KSRTC Bus Stand before you board and head on.
It is recommended you reserve seats and keep tabs on the bus schedule online as not every Kochi to Munnar bus provides the option of reserving seats on the spot, and the timings of buses tend to change as per availability. It is also advised to always opt for Express or Fast Passenger buses that give riders certain privileges like confirmed reservations, less number of stops, and maximum comfort.
KSRTC and private buses going from Kochi to Munnar ideally charge between INR 80/- to INR 250/- per passenger depending on the type of bus and services provided.
All things considered, traveling by bus is, without a doubt, the best way to travel from Kochi to Munnar for a quick, hassle-free, and inexpensive getaway!
Tips For Traveling From Kochi to Munnar
- Cochin Munnar routes have plenty of sharp winding roads and hairpin bends, so be careful while driving.
- Getting to Munnar via NH544 can be a little uncomfortable and bumpy, so drive slow and take regular breaks.
- Carry medication for nausea and motion sickness.
- Carry a light jacket as the temperature tends to be low in Munnar year-round, and drops further in the night.
- Always carry an umbrella as the weather can be unpredictable here.
- Keep tabs on real-time weather updates and traffic conditions on Google Maps and travel accordingly.
- Check out all rest stops and restaurants on the way on your map before leaving.
- Do not litter.
Exploring Munnar: A Mini Guide
We’ve told you how to get to Munnar from Kochi. Now let us tell you what all to do once you’re in Munnar, the “Kashmir of South India”!
Munnar is that welcome respite in the otherwise hot and humid weather of Kerala. With year-round cool weather, tea-scented winds, rolling pastures of tea estates disappearing into the hazy horizon, and cloud-kissed hills dipped in all hues of green, Munnar is a paradise in every sense!
Take a look at this compact guide to find out what all you can do and where you can stay once you’re there and plan your trip from Kochi to Munnar accordingly.
What To Do In Munnar
- Wildlife sighting and birdwatching – Go to Thattekad Wildlife Sanctuary, Eravikulam National Park, or Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary to spot a variety of birds and animals, including the Nilgiri Tahr and Indian Star Tortoise
- Tea-tasting and plantation tours – Visit the Kolukkumalai Tea Estate to enjoy Munnar’s refreshing golden beverage, take walking and jeep tours of the estates, and lose yourself in the resplendent landscapes of Munnar
- Trout fishing – Sit by the banks of the Sita Devi Lake (or take a boat ride in it) and try your hand at trout fishing. Have a picnic by the banks with your family or partner and dine on barbecued trout while watching the sunset!
- Swim in the waterfalls – You can visit the famous Lakkom Waterfall located in the territory of the Rajamalai National Park or drive to the nearby Attukal Waterfall. Other waterfalls in Munnar are Nyayamakad Waterfall, Chinnakanal Waterfall, Kuthumkal Waterfall, Thoovanam Waterfall and the nearby Valara and Cheeyappara Waterfalls.
- Family picnic at the dam – Ride to the Mattupetty Dam situated amidst tea estates, spice plantations, misty hills, and a quit lake for a fun family picnic
- Trek to Echo Point – A must for adventure enthusiasts is to trek to the top of Echo Point for a 360 degree view of the lovely landscapes of Munnar and a beautiful sunset! If not Echo Point, one can also go to Top Station for the same.
- Mountain biking – Most people don’t know that Munnar happens to be a great place for this sport! You can head to places like Suryanelli, Kundala, Anamudi Shola, Vandanmedu, or Marayoor to enjoy the thrill of riding your bike down the terrain.
- Shikara ride – Kundala Lake is the best place to witness the gorgeous sunsets of Munnar. And what better way to watch those dreamy sunsets than in a colorful shikara rowing over the mirror-like waters of the vast lake!
- Spice Garden tour – It’s a must to visit any of the spice gardens in Munnar to know what kind of exotic spices and herbs grow in Munnar other than tea. You can go to the Cinnamon Gardens Spices Plantation or the Munnar Farm Spices and Ayurvedic Garden and learn all about the varieties and benefits of spices grown in the South.
- Ayurvedic therapies – Munnar has plenty of wellness centers and resorts that offer world-class Ayurvedic Spas, relaxation therapies, and healing massages like hot potli, shirodhara and full body massages. Chandy’s Windy Woods Spa, Punarjani Traditional Village, Angels’ Ayurspa and Aura Ayurveda & Spa are some of Munnar’s best places for it.
- Traditional Kathakali & Kalaripayattu performances – Watch dynamic Kathakali dance performances and witness the Indian martial art techniques of Kalaripayattu. Places like Thirumeni Cultural Centre and Punarjani Traditional Village host shows on a regular basis.
- Prehistoric excursions – Explore remnants of an ancient civilization at the Anakottapara Park (Muniyara) near the village of Marayoor in Munnar. It is among those very few places in the world with perfectly preserved ruins of Megalithic dolmens (prehistoric domed burial chambers made with stone slabs), many of which look a lot like the Stonehenge in England.
NOTE: Don’t forget to try street food on your Kochi to Munnar trip to discover the real taste of Kerala
Where To Stay In Munnar
- Elixir Hills – A perfect blend of nature and luxury set in the hills with stunning views of tea estates, spacious suites, an infinity pool, and private jacuzzi.
- Mountain Club Resort – Dreamy stone cottages overlooking the valley set in the quaint village of Chinnakanal.
- Kaivalyam Wellness Retreat – A peaceful abode of stone and wood that blends in with nature and offers everything from yoga, ayurvedic programmes, satvik organic dining, and tea-tasting sessions.
- Mistletoe Munnar – A boutique homestay with undisturbed views of the serene Kanan Devan hills, bakery, cafe, wood-fired clay oven, art gallery, library, and Ayurvedic Spa.
- Moselberg Riverside Cottages – Picture-perfect cottages set deep in the jungle on the banks of the tranquil Muthirapuzha River offering activities like trekking, fishing, plantation tours, rock climbing, and boating.
- Talayar Valley Bungalow – A vintage four-bedroom bungalow in a vast tea estate with elegantly decorated interiors, floral upholstery, artistic walls, a cozy fireplace, and themed rooms.
- Parakkat Nature Resort – The perfect retreat for both families and couples with spacious guestrooms, private balconies, panoramic views of lush mountains, luxurious buffet breakfasts, a charming restaurant, barbeque, and spa.
- The Leaf Munnar – One of the most popular resorts for guests traveling from Kochi to Munnar complete with expansive rooms, private balconies, infinity pool, multi-cuisine restaurant, and endless views of the valley carpeted with emerald-green tea estates.
- Munnar Tea Hills Resort (MTHR) – A modest yet popular accommodation in Munnar offering Spa, a wellness centre, free WiFi, satellite TV, balcony, and great views at reasonable rates.
- The MudHouse Marayoor – An eco-friendly and pet-friendly homestay set atop the hills of Marayoor Valley with lush gardens, open-air barbecue, organic food, and traditional wooden cottages offering guests the luxury to be one with nature!
- Zostel Munnar – Set amid lush pastures in the outskirts of Munnar, Zostel Munnar is every backpacker’s and solo traveler’s go-to choice for a budget stay in these hills.
- Treehouse Resort – The best treehouse stay in Munnar that will give you utter privacy and seclusion as well as offer the best views of this town’s boundless green hills and tea estates enveloped in puffs of mist!
What are you waiting for? Now that you know the best way to travel from Kochi to Munnar, start planning your road trip already! There’s no better time than now to ride those fun, meandering roads all the way from the golden shores of Kochi to the tea-scented hills of Munnar. Get in touch with our holiday experts and help us plan you a kickass vacation to Kerala!
Frequently Asked Questions About Kochi to Munnar
How to go from Kochi to Munnar?
Traveling from Kochi to Munnar by a KSRTC bus is considered to be the most cost-effective means of getting to and fro these two cities. KSRTC runs frequent bus service between these two and other cities in Kerala at reasonable rates. All you have to do is book your seat online or at the Ernakulam KSRTC Bus Stand itself before boarding your bus from here.
Is there a direct train from Kochi to Munnar?
No, there are no direct trains from Kochi to Munnar. The nearest railway station to Munnar is the Angamaly Railway Station located in Kaladi 108 km (3 hours) away, followed by the Aluva Railway Station located 109 km (3 hours) away from Munnar. Train travel is not a viable option to travel to Munnar from Kochi.
Is 2 days enough for Munnar?
While a stay of 2 days is enough to cover most of Munnar’s famous tourist attractions and indulge in all the fun, refreshing activities it has to offer, we suggest you give this charming hill town at least 3-4 days to fully embrace its essence. In addition to various tourist spots, Munnar is home to plenty of scenic tea plantations, view points on mountaintops, dense jungles fit for trekking and hiking, waterfalls, lakes, wildlife sanctuaries, spice gardens, and Ayurvedic wellness retreats, all of which are a must for you to visit and will require ample amount of time to explore. Munnar is an absolutely lovely place with great weather and should not be explored in haste.
How far is Kochi from Munnar by road?
There are mainly two routes that one can take to get from Kochi to Munnar by road. The distance from Kochi to Munnar via NH85 is 127 km and takes about 3 hours and 40 minutes to cover, while the route via NH544 is 135 km long and takes around 4 hours 30 minutes to cover.
Which is better Alleppey or Munnar?
Munnar and Alleppey are two of Kerala’s most incredible and popular tourist destinations, each of which offer something unique to travelers. While Alleppey, or Alappuzha, is famous for its rich backwaters and houseboat cruises, Munnar is known for its breathtaking mountain scenery and picturesque tea gardens. Since both locales offer entirely different experiences, it’s rather unfair to compare them. However, since Alleppey is more famous among tourists than Munnar, it receives a larger influx of tourists, leaving Munnar to remain offbeat and serene!