Top Station Munnar
Top Station, Kerala 625582, India
Stay above the clouds, admire the beauty of the hills and the majestic sun emerging from the clouds in the morning.
Location of Top Station Munnar
More about Top Station Munnar
Top Station, located 35 km from the popular tourist town Munnar is the highest point in Munnar region. It situates on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu state border at a height of 1880 meters above the sea level. Top Station is a popular spot offering a panoramic view of the Western Ghat mountains and the valleys of Theni District of Tamil Nadu.
The history and reason behind it being called 'Top Station'
Top Station received its name from the railway station that was located in the area in uppermost region of Kundala Valley. A monorail goods carriage railway system was constructed in 1902 between Munnar, Kundala, and Top Station and it was upgraded to a 24 inch gauge railway in 1908. Top Station was a historic transhipment location for Kannan Devan Tea. The tea was transported from Munnar and Mattupetty in Kerala State through railways to Top Station and then delivered to Kottagudi in Tamil Nadu through ropeways.
From Kottagudi, the tea was then shipped to Bodinayakkanur some 15 km away in cart, and from Bodinayakkanur to other parts of India through railways and then to England by ships. Remains of the ropeway at Top Station are still visible.
Exploring Top Station
The drive from Munnar to Top Station snakes through forests and valleys blanketed in tea plantation. Along the way there are many roadside shacks offering corns, locally made chocolates and packaged snacks. Once at the top station, a small hike is required to reach the viewpoint from where all the scenic views can be witnessed.
The viewpoint offers the sights of verdant forests, rolling hills, and tea, coffee and spice plantations- appearing as a green carpet in the valleys below. In the mornings, the entire valley will be covered in clouds at a height below that of Top Station, its an incredible view as the visitors stands above the cloud level. The place is very popular for its sunrise, the sky immerses in orange and red colour, with the sun slowly coming up above the clouds that lay in the valley.
Where the beauty of Neelakurinji flowers can be viewed
During its blooming season, the hills near the Top Station will be covered in Neelakurinji flowers. Neelakurinji, a shrub that grows in the region blossoms every 12 years covering the hills in blueish purple colour. The blooming season is a treat for the visitors and in every season millions of travellers, from inside and outside the country visit the area just to witness the phenomena. Nilgiri Hills in the region got its name from Neelakurinji Flowers. The name Nilgiri translates to ‘blue mountains’.
In the past, the bloom occured in 2006. The next blooms are expected in 2018 and then in 2030. Kurinjimala Sanctuary near to Top Station is fully dedicated to the protection of Neelakurinji. During 2006 bloom, visitors damaged many areas covered in Neelakurinji and as a result the sanctuary was formed to protect the plants.
Getting to Top Station
Top Station is located in the hills belonging to Theni District of Tamil Nadu in Southern India. Though it is located in Tamil Nadu, it is accessible only through Idukki District in Kerala. It is located 35 km from Munnar Town. From Munnar, there are buses to the Top Station. The nearest major railway station is in Aluva/ Ernakulam from where there are direct buses to Munnar. Aluva and Ernakulam are connected with most of the other parts of the country.