Munnar, one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in South India during this time of the year is teeming with visitors.
The hill station located in the Idukki District of Kerala has been gripped by a cold blanket as the temperature hit zero degrees Celcius for the first time this season on Friday.
Devikulam, Lakkad, and Gundumala near Munnar registered zero degrees Celsius on Friday morning.
The temperatures at Sevenmalai near Munnar were recorded at 4°C and mercury went down to 2°C at Chenduvarai and Silent Valley estates, says the data with the United Planters Association of South India (UPASI).
Chenduvarai estate and Silent Valley had recorded 2° Celsius on Friday while it was 1° Celsius at the Letchmi estate.
Munnar and adjoining areas are likely to experience even colder mornings in the days ahead.
In February this year, the temperature in some parts of Munnar had dropped up to -5 for a brief period.
The temperatures at Munnar usually start dropping in November and continue to remain near-freezing till February.
But in the past few years, the intensity of the snowfall has come down, due to climate change.
This year, on December 9 the temperature had dipped to 4° Celsius at Kundala, but due to the depression along the coast in the Arabian Sea, the temperature had risen up to around 10° Celsius till recently.
The delayed arrival of zero degrees in Munnar, however, has delighted tourists as the Christmas and New Year weekends see the highest footfall in the hill station.
In 2021, as per the data from Idukki District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) Munnar saw the arrival of 21,575 tourists on December 25 and 28,815 on December 26.
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This year the number is likely to be much higher as the COVID-19 restrictions that were in place in the previous years are no longer there.
The numbers are predicted to be at an all-time high on Saturday and Sunday on the occasion of New Year.
Located in Kerala’s Idukki district, bordering Tamil Nadu, at an altitude of 1,600 metres above sea level, the hill station is a favoured destination of honeymooners.
Discovered by the British as their summer resort in south India Munnar literally means ‘Three Rivers’, and is known for its greenery, tea gardens and waterfalls.
In 2017, Munnar was adjudged the ‘Best Destination for Romance’ by the magazine Lonely Planet Travel Awards.
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