Munroe Island is a hidden gem in the Backwaters of Kerala. Those looking for authentic spots in India should definitely visit this beautiful region. It is located just north of the city of Kollam and is easily accessible by train. Through the waters and canals of this archipelago, you can take a wonderful boat trip or a walk along with temples, churches, and the water. Make your stay in this region complete by spending the night in a homestay. Let’s go to Munroe Island!
What would you like to know about Munroe Island in Kerala, India?
- History of Munroe Island – Here’s what you need to know
- Sightseeing – What to see and do?
- Accommodation – Where to stay on this beautiful archipelago?
- Transportation – How to get there?
History of Munroe Island – This is what you need to know….
Munroe Island consists of a total of 8 islands. It is named after John Munro (1778-1858), a Scottish soldier and official who lived in the Kingdom of Travancore (1729-1949) from 1810 to 1819. That kingdom had been under British rule since 1795, and Munro provided land reclamation in the delta. In gratitude for his efforts, this group of islands was named after him.
But climate change is causing more and more major problems in recent years. For example, in 2018 there was a major flood in the state of Kerala, and people were forced to leave their homes. And Munroe Island is also sinking further and further, resulting in flooded houses and poor harvests. While Munroe Island is truly a gem and an oasis of peace in the state of Kerala. Below is a video and the consequences of climate change …
Munroe Island sightseeing – What to see and do?
The best time to visit Kerala and Munroe Island is between October and April. Then it is high season and you will not be bothered by the rain or less. In recent years, heavy rainfall between June and early October has led to flooding and evacuations, with people having to leave their homes en masse in Kerala. Wondering what you can see and do on the beautiful Munroe Island? Here are a few ideas and tips.
Take a boat trip through the canals
There are several possibilities to take a boat trip across the water and discover the surroundings of this island group. I myself stayed at Munroe Days Homestay, where the owner, for a certain amount of money, arranges a boat trip, using a long stick (without engine) to steer the boat and sail along with the houses of fellow residents. A wonderful experience. In addition, he occasionally told a story and we ended on the lake with a view of a few playing beavers. This trip lasted from 06:00 to 08:00, so you do have to get up early. But it is well worth the effort!
Walk around the island and meet the locals
In the afternoon you can take a beautiful walk around the island. This brings you along with a number of temples, churches, and coconut farms. The latter is one of the main sources of income for the local residents. During the walk, do not forget to take a look at the administrative residence where Colonel Munroe was regularly present. And pay a visit to the Dutch Church from 1878. You’ll find it 1 kilometer south of the Munroturuttu train station. Finally, during the walk, you will be approached a number of times by super friendly locals. Nice to have a chat.
Boat watching at the Kallada Boat Race
Throughout the year, there are boat races throughout Kerala, but one of the most important is the Kallada Boat Race. It usually takes place at the end of August/beginning of September. The winners get a nice trophy and a cash prize of up to 100,000 Indian Rupees. Kallada Boat Race is a true spectacle where all the residents come to take a look at the colorful longboats that compete.
Finally, after taking a nice boat ride and a walk, you can enjoy a well-deserved rest at your homestay or hotel. Below I go into my tips on accommodation on this beautiful island in Kerala.
Accommodation – Where to stay at Munroe Island?
Munroe Island is a fantastic destination to spend a few days exploring the area at your leisure. For example, I stayed here at Munroe Days Homestay. This is run by a fantastically nice family and they have two rooms, rather cottages where you can stay for about € 10 per night including breakfast. In addition, they cook dinner for you at a good price and you can take a 2-hour boat trip in the area with the owner in the morning. Also, they gave me tips with more information about my further journey through Kerala.
Transportation – How to get there?
The best way to reach the archipelago is by train. From Kollam, a number of trains depart daily for Alappuzha via Munroturuttu. And of course the other way around as well. Check the website of India Rail Info for more information about departure times.
Next destination in India?
After exploring Munroe Island for a few days you won’t want to do anything else, right? Heading north you’ll explore deeper into the Kerala Backwaters and for that Alappuzha is a suitable destination. Or you can go in search of beautiful beaches and with a stopover in Kollam take the train towards Varkala.
Do you have more tips, ideas, or comments about Munroe Island in Kerala, India? If so, feel free to leave a comment below.