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Munroe Island Kerala is an island located in the Kollam district of Kerala at the confluence of the Ashtamudi Lake and the Kallada River. Surrounded by the lake on 2 sides and the river on the other 2, the island was actually a part of a landmass earlier. Because that landmass used to experience regular flooding, a canal was dug that opened up to the Ashtamudi lake, forming Munroe island. Munroe Island was named after Colonel John Munroe, the 1800 Dewan of the Kingdom of Travancore. This island is located in close proximity to the Alleppey backwaters.
Travel Guide to Munroe Island Kerala
Most people who visit Kerala explore the Kerala backwaters in either Alleppey or Kumarakom. However, the Munroe Island backwaters are a much less crowded and a lot more peaceful alternative. This travel guide to Munroe Island Kerala contains information on how to reach Munroe Island, the best time to go, the activities and how to enjoy the perfect Munroe island canoe tours. Moreover, I’ve also included a list of the Munroe island accommodation options. Just in case you are touring multiple places within Kerala, read my guide on backpacking Kerala & suggested Kerala itinerary to get info on the places to visit in Kerala, where to stay and what to do there.
How to Reach Munroe Island
Nearest Airport to Munroe Island
The Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is the closest airport to Munroe, Kollam. The distance from Thiruvananthapuram airport to Munroe island is roughly 64.4 km. If you’re coming from the airport, you can take a taxi from the airport to the island.
Nearest Railway Station to Munroe Island
Munroe Island has its own railway station called Mundrothuruthu railway station. Some of the local trains that run within Kerala stop at this station for a short while. There are direct trains available from places like Kochi and Alleppey to Munroe island Kerala.
Alleppey to Munroe Island
Alleppey to Munroe island is a distance of approximately 86.7 km which can be covered by rail within 1.5 hours. Taking a train is the easiest way to reach Munroe island from Alleppey. There are trains to Munroe at different times of the day depending on the day of the week. Visit the IRCTC website to check train schedules. Once you get down at the Mundrothuruthu station, since it’s a small island, you can take an auto-rickshaw (tuk-tuk) ride to your hotel or homestay.
Kochi to Munroe Island
Once again, the best way to reach Munroe island from Kochi is to take a direct local train from the Ernakulam junction railway station. There are multiple trains from Kochi to Munroe island depending on the day of the week. The distance of 140 km from Kochi to Munroe island can be covered in 2.5 - 3.5 hours by local trains.
Kollam to Munroe Island
Kollam is the nearest major city to Munroe. Reach Kollam from any major city then take a rickshaw to Munroe island which will cost roughly INR 500. Alternatively, there are even trains from Kollam to Munroe island 4 times a day.
Best Time to Visit Munroe Island Kerala
The best time to visit Munroe is in the dry season, which is anytime except for monsoon season. Kerala experiences the monsoon showers from June to mid-October. The best time to visit Munroe island is from November to February when the weather is dry and cool. Moreover, there’s less humidity compared to the other months. The summer months from April to May can get very hot and humid in Munroe. Try to avoid visiting Munroe island during that season.
Where to Stay in Munroe Island
Munroe Island Homestays
Munroe island has an abundance of homestays. Since the island is a small, non-commercialized place, people have turned their homes into Munroe island homestays to welcome travellers. The best part about staying in homestays is that you can eat local Kerala dishes, learn about the island from a local and enjoy an authentic experience.
Green Chromide Homestay
While I was exploring the Munroe island backwaters, I stayed at a beautiful homestay called the GreenChromide homestay. This homestay is located by the Kallada river and run by the loveliest host family. They have nice spacious rooms as well as riverside cottages. The spacious seating area contains hammocks and is a nice spot for meals by the river. The delicious home-cooked food served here is the icing on the cake. If you do decide to stay here, say hi to the lovely Sunaina for me.
Munroe Island Resorts
There are very few Munroe island resorts present on the island. Don’t expect the resorts to be as fancy as a regular resort but it’s definitely an upgrade from the humble homestays.
Things to do in Munroe Island Kerala
Munroe Island Boating/ Munroe Island Canoe Tours
A Munroe island canoe ride is the highlight of the islands. Going on a boat ride in Munroe island is a much more intimate experience compared to doing a canoe ride in busy places such as Alleppey or Kumarakom. Ask your Munroe island homestay host to arrange a canoe ride for you. Preferably book a sunrise or a sunset ride to get the most out of the experience. What’s more? Sit back, relax, snap a few pictures for the gram and explore the Munroe island Kerala backwaters.
One of the best ways to explore Munroe island Kerala is by going on a bicycle tour early in the morning. Often, most of the Munroe island homestays have bicycles for their guests to grab and ride around. Make sure you book them well in advance at your stay. Venture out early in the morning to watch the fisherman at work, cycle through fields next to the water and catch the sunrise from the bicycle. I myself took a bicycle in the evening, cycled around the small island, grabbed drinks with the locals and enjoyed the slow pace of the islands.
Watch the Sunrise from the Ashtamudi lake
While there might be a very small list of things to do in Munroe island, watching the sunrise from the Ashtamudi lake sits right on top of that list. Grab a canoe early morning at 6.30 am at the Ashtamudi lake and watch the sun go up from behind the greenery. Bliss! Just watching this sunrise will be worth making a trip to Munroe island Kollam. Not gonna lie - this was one of the most surreal experiences of my life.
Grab Drinks at Munroe Mocktail
One of my favorite things to do in Munroe island was to walk or cycle to Munroe Mocktail - a tiny shop run by a local that serves the most unbelievable mocktails. I happened upon this shop because my homestay owner suggested I grab drinks there to cool off while riding a bicycle and boy am I glad she suggested this place to me. Over the course of my 2-night stay at Munroe island, I came here multiple times to chat with the nice owner and grab his speciality mocktail.
Where to Eat in Munroe Island
If you’re staying at a Munroe island homestay, request your host to make local Kerala specialities. It’s common for the homestays on Munroe island to serve dishes such as idli, appam etc for breakfast and to prepare local curries for meals. Most Munroe island homestays include breakfast during the stay and prepare lunch and dinner at an additional cost. My homestay, which is GreenChromide homestay served the most delicious local dishes, and I dined by the riverside. Don't miss out on this experience in Munroe Island.
The Future of Munroe Island
Due to the shift in tectonic plates during the earthquake of 2004 as well as daily tidal effects, Munroe island has started to sink, little by little. In fact, Munroe island will be the first island in Kerala to completely go underwater - which is expected to happen by the year 2050.
A paper regarding these problems was presented to the United Nations. The local government, alongside a local university, has created a sewer system that can survive any floods. Additionally, people have been trying to bring floating houses to Munroe island.
We will only have to wait and see what the future holds for the residents of the island.
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