According to the tourism department, Idukki district is seeing its highest number of visitors since the start of the pandemic.

Munnar sees record number of tourists even as temperatures fall
news Weather Wednesday, December 29, 2021 - 18:08

Kerala’s Munnar is experiencing a delayed winter this year due to changes in the seasonal pattern. The hill station witnessed its lowest temperature of the season, with Chenduvarai recording 1 degree Celsius on Tuesday morning. As per data from the United Planters Association of South India’s (UPASI) tea research foundation, "The temperature at Letchmi and Munnar UPASI was 2 degrees, and Sevenmalai and Silent Valley were 3 degree Celsius respectively."

According to climatologists, winter was delayed due to the unexpected rainfall in November and second week of December. Winter season in Munnar generally begins in November and the hill station usually experiences extreme cold in the first week of January. However, for the past four years, there has been a noticeable change in the winter pattern in the hill station. In 2019, the temperature reached sub zero at the end of February.

Climatologist Gopakumar Cholayil said that it is expected that the temperature in Munnar will dip below subzero temperatures in the coming days. "There is a chance for a long winter season into January and February. The dip in temperature has already been witnessed all over the state" he said.

The cold weather, however, has not deterred tourists who are flocking to the hilly district of Idukki for the winter season. Munnar is set to top the list for visitors during Christmas and New Year celebrations. According to the tourism department, this is the first time since the start of the pandemic that tourist destinations in Idukki are seeing such a high number of visitors.

Eravikulam National Park, the habitat of Nilgiri tahr in Munnar, also saw major crowds in the last several days. The park's assistant wildlife warden Job J Neriamparampil said that after two years, a record number of tourists visited the park recently. "On Sunday, 3900 tourists visited the park. On Saturday, 3800 tourists visited the park, and on Monday it was 3300.” While the allowed capacity of the park is 2880 tourists per day, the official noted that extra tickets were provided as a special consideration.

As per the data from Idukki District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC), Christmas weekend saw a swell in the number of tourists, with 21,575 on December 25 and 28,815 on December 26.

Thousands of people also visited the Idukki dam, one of the district’s major attractions which opened to the public for the festive season. The dam saw over 3000 tourists on Friday and over 4000 on Sunday.

Jose Abraham who runs a resort called The Treetop in Thekkady said, "After two years, we received full booking for the Christmas season. We hope the trend will continue in the coming days."