South India’s Munnar is a well-liked vacation spot with some of the best bike paths. Cycling in Munnar is a wonderful way to discover the area’s stunning scenery, tea plantations, and animals. There are numerous cycling excursions offered for people of all skill levels and interests.
Youth Hostels Association of India (YHAI) offers one of the best bicycle tours of Munnar. Cycling enthusiasts of all levels enjoyed a week-long excursion that took them through rice fields, tea farms, along streams, as well as in and out of communities. Both novice and expert cyclists will enjoy the meandering roads of Munnar that pass through shola woods, cardamom fields, and tea gardens. There will be plenty of opportunities to see some unusual animals while hiking or cycling through the Marayoor Sandalwood Reserve, Thoovanam waterfalls, and Kannan Devan Hills.
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Day 1 – Cycling in Munnar from Devikulam to Top Station
In Munnar, cycling begins at the Devikulam Adventure Club. I rode the Firefox mountain bike as part of our Winter Cycling adventure program. This day, we rode through Munnar, covering the whole Mattupatty Reservoir bank before reaching the Top Station.
We received an introduction and information on the route we would travel the day before. We examined our mountain bikes and test-rode them on the road next to our campground. The hostel accommodations at this adventure camp were relatively modest; there were no tents. The price included the mountain bike rental, lodging, meals, and insurance.
We cycled in between the tea gardens after having our breakfast and being waved off by YHAI officials; there was a climb followed by a gradual descent. Drone photography is perfect for the area. The roads are in good condition. To enter Munnar town, turn right at the end of the road. The area is congested, therefore follow the road that leads to Mattupatty Dam as indicated on the map above. When you cross the dam, you will arrive at the well-known tourist spot. There are too many shops and crowds are common throughout the winter. You may go boating, use speed boats, and participate in adventure programs.
We rode our bikes through other villages as we carried on, passing lovely tea gardens. On this particular day, we cycled around 43 kilometers on a gradually ascending path. There are multiple shops along the route, so finding food and cool drinks is never a problem. Carry a raincoat and attempt to complete the journey early in the day in case it starts to rain later. Up until we arrived at the Top Station, another well-known tourist destination, the final few kilometers were all downhill.
We slept at an accommodation close by. The next day, we tried to get to the Top Station viewpoint, a short walk away that required a ₹20 admission ticket from the forest department. However, due to the fog and low visibility, we only stayed nearby while enjoying our early-morning tea.
Meanwhile, you may want to check the YHAI – Leh – Lamayuru Cycling Expedition
Day 2 – Cycling in Munnar from Top Station to Kundali Tea Estate
Similar to the previous day, the first few kilometers of our ride were uphill, followed by a few kilometers downhill. The visibility was terrible and everything was hazy. We deviated from the main road and entered the exclusive tea gardens, which are only accessible to residents. We arrived at this location after passing through a few villages, and we finally came to a stop at the gated tea packing facility. Getting the go-ahead and clearance to continue required some time and a few phone calls. We kept on and passed through a few more villages before arriving at the Kundalu Golf Course.
Because of how beautiful the area was and how well-kept the green meadows were, we took some time to stop and take pictures. When we reached a road going to the reservoir, we turned around and proceeded on. We stopped in a quiet area to observe the Kundala Dam reservoir while enjoying our packed lunch. After lunch, because the golf course was a private place we continued cycling uphill for the next few kilometers before going downhill till we reached another tea packaging facility. There were no shops nearby, the road was in poor shape, and the region seemed to be a forest. Elephant dung and electric fencing were everywhere.
From here, it is a moderate ascent uphill with views of Kundala Lake along the way. We spent the night at the Kundali tea estate, which is located further down in the center of the tea gardens. The location is close to Kundala Dam, another well-known tourist destination. We had chosen the off-road path, and it had been a great decision. Keep an eye out because there are wild elephants in this area. Once you have arrived at the campsite, take a hike up the surrounding hill through the tea gardens to enjoy the sunset, lake, cloud-covered mountains, and of course the lovely tea gardens.
Day 3 – Cycling in Munnar from Kundali Tea Estate to Devikulam
On this day, we continued our detour through a tea estate and a few villages until arriving at the main road. There will be traffic here. So, after crossing the Mattupatty Dam, we diverted from our original course and followed a different one. The trail is surrounded by tea estates but lacks any shops or villages. The highway is parallel to this path. We continued on this track, asking the locals for assistance in determining the precise path. Eventually arrived in Munnar town, then climbed steeply to the Devikulam camp.
Other places that you can visit cycling in Munnar
In addition to the three days mentioned above, you could spend some time cycling to Suryanelli while in Munnar. Suryanelli is a vacation destination in Kerala, India’s Idukki district, in the Chinnakanal hamlet. It is around 50 kilometers from Munnar. It offers breathtaking views of mountains, waterfalls, and sunrises in addition to being noted for its tea and cardamom plantations. Numerous species of rare birds and other endangered creatures can be found in the forest in Suryanelli. The town is also surrounded by numerous resorts and tea plantations, making it a well-liked tourist destination.
Additionally, the prominent hospitality residential college Munnar Catering College is located in Suryanelli. Additionally, Suryanelli is not far from Tea Town Munnar, which is situated in the Upper Surianalle Estate, Devikulam, and spans 638 hectares of tea plantation. The proximity to Annaimudi, the highest peak in South India, and the Eravikulam National Park, famous for the Nilgiri Thar, adds to the pure aspect of these hills. It is the highest tea-growing region in the world. The other place to cycle and enjoy the landscape would be Pumbarai.
Where to stay in Munnar?
There are several options for accommodation in Munnar ranging from budget-friendly hotels to luxurious resorts. They will take care of your stay if you chose to go cycling in Munnar with YHAI, but keep in mind that their accommodations are modest. You can choose from hostels in the heart of a tea estate to luxury resorts in remote locations. I advise staying at a hostel if you are traveling alone, whereas resorts are an option for individuals who do not like adventure or are traveling with families.
How to take part in Winter Cycling in Munnar adventure program
The Munnar Winter Cycling adventure lasts for five days. Since this is a youth hostel program, do not expect luxury. Keep in mind that to participate in YAHI activities, you must be a member of YHAI and be an Indian citizen. The cycling event will cost about ₹9,000 as usual, which includes everything. The facilities could have been better. The mountain bike rental fees are covered. On the day of reporting, you must also turn in your medical certificate and admit card. With the membership card, you can take part in events like – 10-day YHAI Goa Trekking – An Extraordinary inspiring hike to the unknown.
How to reach Munnar
By air: Cochin International Airport, located around 110 kilometers from Munnar, is the closest airport. An additional choice is 140 km away from Madurai International Airport. You may easily take a taxi or cab from either airport to travel to Munnar.
By train: Aluva, which is situated about 110 kilometers from Munnar, is the closest railway station. From large cities like Mumbai and Bangalore, you can take a train to Aluva and then take a cab, a public bus, or a state-run vehicle to get to Munnar.
By road: State government public transportation buses connect Munnar to other cities in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Numerous tour operators also plan pre-packaged bus excursions from Cochin to Munnar. To go to Munnar, you can also take a bus from cities like Kochi, Thrissur, Madurai, and Thiruvananthapuram. There are also plenty of private taxis and cabs available. Also, self-drive cars are available in cities like Bangalore or you can get your own vehicle, which is exactly what I did and went around. You may even mount your cycles on top or back if you are interested in cycling in Munnar.
Before you go on a hike or cycling make sure to check this out – some of the Absolutely mandatory Hiking Accessories to carry. So, that was my experience of cycling to this place. Hope you enjoyed reading this blog post. Buy me a coffee to support my work or you can go to my store to buy some of my images. Also, do not forget to join my FriendZone by signing up for my newsletter. Consider subscribing to my YouTube channel.