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Munnar

Munnar, situated at the confluence of Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala mountain streams, is one of the most popular hill stations in South India. Blessed with well manicured tea estates, exotic scenery, abundance of flora and fauna and craggy peaks, Munnar has everything that makes it a perfect holiday destination. The town, which was once the summer retreat of the British, today is known as place of haven and serenity.

Lush green tea estates and salubrious climate attracts holiday makers and honeymooners alike. Besides being home of the enchanting Ernavikulam National Park, Munnar also serves as the perfect gateway to explore the nearby attractions.

Getting There

Air: Kochi (130 km) has the nearest airport. Regular flights are available from Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. The prices of tickets are very economical (Rs 2,500-4,000).
Train: Nearest railhead is at Angamaly (120 km), but the connectivity is not so good. The next nearest railway station is at Kochi (130 km) and direct trains are available from Delhi (Trivandrum Rajdhani), Mumbai (Netravati Express), Kolkata (Gurudev Express), Bangalore (Trivandrum Express) and Chennai (Alleppey Express).
Bus: Regular buses are available from Kochi (130 km, 5 hours, Rs 100 for semi deluxe), Trivandrum (360 km, 9 hours, Rs 400 for semi-deluxe), Bangalore (330 km, 14 hours, Rs 700 for deluxe) and Coimbatore (250 km, 6 hours, Rs 300 for semi deluxe).
Car: Taxis are a very common means of transport between Bangalore and Munnar. Tourists can follow the route - Bangalore-Hosur-Krishnagiri-Dharmapuri-Salem-Perundurai-Avanashi-Madattukkulam-Udumalaippettai-Maraiyoor-Munnar. Another route is - Bangalore-Hosur-Krishnagiri-Dharmapuri-Thoppur-Mettur-Bhavani-Perundurai-Dharapuram-Udumalpet-Chinnar-Munnar, which is less crowded and offers scenic views. Taxis take around 8-9 hours to cover the distance and can charge approximately Rs 8,000 to Rs 12,000 for a round trip.
For tourists coming from North India (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad), the best option is to fly to Kochi or take a direct train and continue their onward journey by bus or taxi.

When To Go

The climate of Munnar remains moderate throughout the year. Summers (March to May) are the best time to visit as the temperature does not exceed 35°C, making it ideal for enjoying a visit to the tea gardens. Winters (October to February) are also good times to visit Munnar as the temperature drops to as low as 10°C, making it ideal for honeymooning. Monsoons (June to September) should preferably be avoided as the area receives heavy rainfall, bringing an abrupt halt to normal life.

Eat & Drink

Just like its unending scenic beauty, there are great options of savoring lip smacking delicacies in Munnar as well. Munnar does not have many fancy restaurants but the small eateries and food stalls serve finger licking food. The famous Kerala style fish curry and variety of sea food along with mesmerizing river view can be best enjoyed at Silver Spoon, next to the bus stand in Main Bazaar. Hotel Srinivas on GH Road and Sravana Bhavan on M.G. Road are vegetarian restaurants where tourists can enjoy top-value banana-leaf meals.

Mezbaan Hotel in Munnar Town Centre and Tree Top Restaurant just opp the Forest Range Office on NH 49, are the best places for those wanting to savour non-vegetarian multi-cuisine options. To enjoy yummy fast food, head to Bamboo Hut on GH road that serves soups, salads, snacks and entree. Tourists should visit the Rapsy Restaurant at the Bazaar to savour the paranthas, Spanish omelets and Israeli Shakshuka. Munnar is also popular for its local street food, so do not miss indulging in some tasty Gobi Noodles and other quick snacks in the area around the local bus stand in Munnar.

Shopping

Munnar is famous for its spices, tea, coffee and homemade chocolates and these make the best buys in Munnar. Shopping in Munnar can be enjoyed while on a leisure stroll, as there are only a few shops scattered in the bazaar area. Tourists should not miss to buy tea that is sold by the Kannimallay Estate on the way to Eravikulam National Park, 5 km from Munnar town. For tea, green tea, coffee, cashew - nuts, homemade chocolates and spices at decent prices, go to Abbas & Co. Tea Merchants at 25, Bazaar and Green Land Spice Supermarket on the Main Road in Munnar.

History

Munnar, the beautiful hill station of Kerala, has been a favourite place of summer retreat of the British. The history of this place can be traced back to pre historic ages, although not much written records are available about the city, before the 10th century.

The town was established by Mr. John Daniel Manro with the assistance of Kannan Thevar (who belonged to the tribe that is said to have been the first inhabitants of South India). It was only after the permission of the then ruling king, Maharaja of poonjar, that the British adventurer was allowed to possess 588 sq. kms of the land in the town.

The first plantations on the land of Munnar were that of Cardamom, Coffee and Zinchona. It was A.H. Sharp, who planted the first tea sapling at Munnar in the early 19th century. He planted the sapling at Parvathi, which now form a part of the Sevenmullay estate.

The city of Munnar was declared as the summer capital of the British and Duke of Wellington is said to have visited the city. In the year 1895, Munro’s land was bought by the Messrs Finlay Muir and Company. In1976, Tata Finlay purchased the tea estate and a little later James Finlay Group sold all their shares to Tata, thus paving way for the birth of Tata Tea Ltd, the largest integrated tea company in the world.

Travel within city

Munnar is hill station located in Kerala and is very popular tourist destination among Indians and foreigners. The modes of travel within the city are not numerous; however it is easy to find a method of transportation. Some of the modes of transportation are taxis, government buses, auto rickshaws and package tours. Cochin is around 150 km from Munnar and Cochin also has the nearest airport.

Bus


Government buses are an easy way to get around the town and they are easy to find. They usually stop if the traveler uses a signal. They are inexpensive with tickets costing around Rs 5 to 25. They are not usually crowded. However, the buses are usually old and the hilly roads make for a bumpy ride.

Auto Rickshaw


Auto rickshaws are another way of getting around the city. Most of them have meters and are relatively cheaper than taxis. They are fast and easy to find. Some autos may not have meters and the prices have to be negotiated in advance.

Local Tour Operators


There are many tour operators that offer packaged tours to the places around Munnar. They are a good option as they cover all the interesting places with an approximate cost of around Rs 500 per person per day.
Attractions

Anamudi Peak

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Located inside the Eravikulam National Park, Anamudi Peak is the highest peak in the area. Towering at a height of 2695 m, the hill is opulent in various kinds of flora and fauna. Tourists need to trek in order to reach the peak and the view of the national park from atop is breath taking.

Blossom International Park

    mustsee
3 km from Munnar, on the way to Kochi is the famous Blossom International Park. Sprawling on an area of 18 acres, the main attraction of the park are varieties of flora, provision of water cycling, boating & skating for children. Tree house, rope ways and different types of swings also form an important attraction in the park. Blossom International Park is the perfect place for anyone looking to spend leisure time in the lap of serene natural beauty.
Timings: 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM daily  Charges: Entry fee - Rs 10 for Adult and Rs 2 for Children  

Eravikulam National Park (Rajamalai National Park)

    mustsee
The most famous wildlife park in Kerala, Eravikulum National Park is located approximately 14 km from Munnar. The most commonly sighted animals here are Elephant, Nilgiri langur, Nilgiri marten, small-clawed otter and a rare tiger or leopard. It is also known as Rajamalai National Park.
Contact: 04865-530487  Timings: 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM. The park remains closed for 45-60 days from February 1st onwards during the calving season.  Charges: Entry fee - Indians: Rs 65, Foreigners: Rs 200, Heavy vehicles: Rs 200, Light vehicles: Rs 50, Other vehicles: Rs 25, Camera: Rs 25, Video Camera : Rs 200  

Marayoor

    mustsee
A quaint rain-shadowed hamlet around 40 km from Munnar, Marayoor is thronged by nature lovers. The enchanting landscapes and varied species of wildlife are the main attractions here. The history of the region dates back to the Stone age civilization as there are many caves, engravings and evidences that speak of its rich past. A sandalwood factory and Rajiv Gandhi Children's Park are among the attractions tourists can visit around Marayoor.

Mattupetty Dam

    mustsee
Located 13 km from Munnar, Mattupetti dam with a height of about 1700m above the sea level is highly famous for the Indo-Swiss live stock projects. Close to the dam is a cattle farm and a lake, making it a charming picnic spot. The Kundala tea plantations nearby is also an exotic attraction tourists can explore.
Timings: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM daily  Charges: Entry Fee - Rs 10 per person daily, Boating : 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM. Speedboat fee - Rs 300 (15 mins/5 people), Big boat - Rs 700 (30 mins/20 people)  

Pothamedu View Point

    mustsee
Situated at a distance of about 6 km from Munnar, this view point offers the spectacular views of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in the region. With stretching hills, lush green mountains and pleasing scenic environs, it serves an ideal place for trekkers and hikers. It is a perfect place for adventure lovers and those who have an eye for photography.

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary (Thattekkad Sanctuary)

    mustsee
One of the most popular bird sighting hubs in Kerala, Dr Salim Bird Sanctuary or Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is located around 80 km from Munnar. The main highlight of the park is the rare species of birds like the Malabar Grey Hornbill. Vehicles are not permitted inside the park hence exploring with a guide is the best option. An animal rehab centre and Taxidermic Museum are great attractions within the park.
Timings: 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM daily  Charges: Indians: Rs. 10, Foreigners: Rs. 100. Light vehicles: Rs. 25, Heavy vehicles: Rs. 150, Camera: Rs. 25, Video Camera: Rs. 150, Guide: No Fixed Charges  

Tata Tea Museum

    mustsee
Tata Tea Museum, which is just 2 km from Munnar is a popular attraction in the region. The museum showcases various antiquities and the most famous among them is the burial urn excavated from the vicinity of Periakanal Estate, dating back to 2nd century. Curious, old photographs and machinery are also displayed in the museum. A video presentation screened inside the museum is the best way to get a glimpse into the history and culture of the region.
Timings: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM (Closed on Mondays)  Charges: Entry Fee - Rs 75 (For Adults), Rs 25 (For Children), Rs 100 for Tea Tasting  

Atukkad Waterfalls

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The scenic waterfall of Atukkad lies at a distance of about 2 km from Munnar town. Amidst lush green forest and hills, this waterfall is a worth visiting spot in Munnar. With fewer crowds, it is an ideal place for romantic escapes and picnics.

Cheeyappara Waterfalls

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Located very close to Valara Falls, Cheeyappara waterfall lies between the towns of Neriamangalam and Adimali, along the national highway linking Cochin with Madurai. It is around 40 km from Munnar.

This is a seven step waterfall and watching it cascading down is a memerising sight. An ideal picnic spot, tourists can take a bus, taxi or auto rickshaw to reach this spot.

Echo Point

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A popular tourist point in Munnar, the Echo Point is located around 15 km from Munnar. Tourists can reach the point by trekking. The invigorating ambiance, view of the surrounding hills, clean mountain air and mist clad hills makes this place worth visiting.

Elephant Arrival Spot

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En-route to Top Station lies the Elephant Arrival Spot which is a 100sq m glade in the banks of Mattupetty reservoir. Aptly name, the spot is frequented by elephants, which is evident by the elephant trails. The scenic beauty of the place is also worth enjoying.

Forest Rose Garden

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Forest Rose Garden is the beautiful rose garden which displays a variety of flowers. This treasure house of flowers also has a photo point from where tourists can take pictures with a tea estate background. There is a small shop within the garden selling various horticulture products.
Timings: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM daily  Charges: Entry Fee - Rs 50 per person  

Kolukkumalai Tea Estate

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Located at a distance of 35 km fom Munnar, Kolukkumalai tea estate is popular for its lush green vista. The tea garden is reputed to produce the world's highest grown Orthodox tea. Located on a height of 8,000 feet above sea level, it offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills. Interested tourists can also buy tea at the office inside the estate.
Contact: Herbert Monickam (04546-283563)  Timings: 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM (Closed on Sunday)  Charges: Entry Fee - Rs 75 per adult, Children free  

Kundala Dam & Lake

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Located around 21 km from Munnar, this arch dam with its natural surroundings is a major attraction of Munnar. From the top of the Dam, tourists can have a panoramic view of the natural greens. Adjoining to the Dam is the beautiful lake with boating facilities.

The lake is surrounded by the picturesque mountain slopes of tea garden. Going for a ride in Kashmiri-Shikara boat on the lake would be a marvelous experience. Besides, the lake also has facilities of row boats as well as pedal boats.
Timings: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM daily  Charges: Shikara Boat - Rs 200 for 2 person, Row Boats - Rs 150 for 4 person, Pedal Boat - Rs 100 for 3 person. All the rides are of 30 mins.  

Lakkom Waterfalls

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Lakkom waterfalls, located around 25 km from Munnar towards Udumalaipettai, is visited by many tourists. This beautiful waterfall is a part of Eravikulam stream of Eravikulam National Park, which is one of the main tributaries of Pampar River. Though not really of a good height, the cascade still gives an amazing view and is ideal for swimming in its natural pool tucked away in total privacy.

Mattupetti Indo-Swiss Farm

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Mattupetti Indo Swiss Farm is located on the outskirts of Munnar and is known for breeding cattle. The farm 15 km from Munnar, is abundant with natural vista and is managed by Kerala Livestock Development and Milk Marketing Board.
Contact: 0486-530389  Timings: 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM daily  Charges: Entry Fee - Rs 5 per head  

Top Station

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Munnar at its best
A scenic point located 41 km from Munnar, Top Station is famous for being the historical transshipment location for the tea that was delivered up here from Munnar and Madupatty by train and then down by rope way to Kottagudi. The main attraction here are the Neelakrinji flowers which bloom once in twelve years and the panoramic views.
Timings: 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM  Charges: Entry Free. A round trip to this place by jeep would cost about Rs 400  

Trekking

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The beautiful town of Munnar offers plenty of trekking routes that can be undertaken by adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers. Some of the most popular trekking routes are from Gap Road to Bisonvalley Spices Village and from Pothamedu.

Anayirankal Dam

  
Senically located among the undulating slopes, forest and Tata tea plantations, Anayirankal dam is a beautiful place to visit on your holidays in Munnar. The reservoir is around 22 km from Munnar and boating can be enjoyed here.

Chinnakanal Waterfalls

  
The beautiful Chinnakanal Waterfalls is situated at a distance of 16 km from Munnar. Flowing from a height of 800 mts, the waterfall is a popular picnic spot. Encircled by the Western mountain ranges, the view of the crystal clean water falling down, is a sight to behold.

High Range Club

  
High Range Club in the hands of corporate planters of Munnar is a major tourist attraction in the region. Associated with other 41 clubs in the country and also with 2 overseas clubs, the club offers many activities to be explored even within its proximity.

Lockhart Gap

  
Lockhart Gap, is a scenic point, around 13 km from Munnar. Lying close to Mettupetty, it is a haven for trekkers. Besides offering eye pleasing scenic beauty, the clean and pure air creates an invogorating ambiance. Tourists can hire cars or trek to reach the point by following the widing trails. The view of the valleys and plantations below is simply, breath taking.

Rock Climbing and Rappelling

  
Rock climbing and rappelling are popular activities that one can enjoy in Munnar. Such activities give an opportunity to enjoy the scenic beauty of Munnar.

The Christ Church

  
Built nearly 110 years back by the British tea planters, the Christ Church is a spectacular place to visit in Munnar. With its unspoiled sanctity, the church is sure to admire by the visitors and its peaceful atmosphere.

Valara Falls

  
Valara Falls
Scenically bounded by Neriamangalam town in the east and Adimali in the west, the Valara Falls is a treat to watch. Fed by the Deviyar river, Valara falls is considered to be one of the most popular waterfall bodies in Kerala. Valara town is around 14 km from Adimali and around 40 km from Munnar.

Excursions

Devikulam
Devikulam is a hill station that is located in the State of Kerala in the Idukki District. The town is located around 16 km from the popular hill station of Munnar. The main attraction in the town is the lake which is known as Sita Devi Lake. There are many myths surrounding the lake and it is said that Goddess Sita bathed in the lake. Hence, many pilgrims flock to the place and it is popular among many Hindus in the State and other nearby places.

The entire place is surrounded by lush green hills, and the scenic beauty is also one of the reasons that many people visit the place. The place can get crowded during the summer months as people travel from the lowlands to escape the heat. There is a waterfall called that Palivasal Waterfall a nice spot to to visit. The many tea plantations in the area are worth a visit. Since Munnar is located nearby, visiting the town is also an option.

Sita Devi Lake

    mustsee
Sita Devi Lake, also known as Devikulum Lake is a must see tourist spot near Munnar. A thermal water spring is what attracts picnickers. The lake has some religious importance and is also revered by the locals.

Tea & Spice Plantation

  
Devikulum is extremely popular for its tea gardens and spice gardens. Tourists should come here to enjoy the scenic beauty of the surrounding and sight some of the most exotic and rare species of flowers.

Pallivasal Falls

  
Tea plantation, Munnar
Pallivasal Falls is a small waterfall near Devikulum. The waterfall serves as an ideal place for picnicking and enjoying the peace & calm amid the scenic environs.

Thoovanam Falls

  
Thoovanam Falls is a beautiful waterfall that gets its water from river Chinnar. The waterfall is not easily accessible and can be sighted easily from Chinnar wildlife sanctuary.
Idukki
One of the 14 disticts in Kerala, Idukki is a popular region located around 55 km from Munnar. Almost 97 % of the district is covered by mountains and forests. The Anamudi, which is the highest peak in South India, is located in Idukki. The city also has the largest arch dam in the country. The region in blessed with various historical, spiritual as well as natural attractions, which makes it a popular excursion from Munnar.

Hill View Park

    mustsee
Munnar Flowers
Being a popular tourist destination in Idukki, Hill View Park offers magnificent views of the Cheruthoni and Idukki Dams. The site also offers visitors to have a glimpse of wildlife in its natural habitat. Sprawling on an area of 8 acres, the park is just 1.5 km from Idukki town and around 54 km from Munnar.
Timings: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM daily  Charges: Entry Fee - Rs 10 for Adults and Rs 5 for Children  

Idukki Arch Dam

    mustsee
An architectural marvel, the Idukki Arch Dam is a famous tourist spot in Idukki. Built across the Kuravan and Kurathi hills, with a height of about 550 feet, the Idukki Arch Dam is a perfect destination to have a panoramic view of natural environs. Cameras and cell phones are not allowed inside the dam area.
Timings: During Onam Festival (held between September and November)  Charges: Entry Fee - Rs 10 for Adults, Rs 5 for Children, Boating - Rs 600 (5 people for 15 mins)  

Kulamavu

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Kulamavu is a well known hill station located in Idukki. It is an ideal place for trekking and one would sure to enjoy the ariel view of the area along with trekking.

Kalvari Mount

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Kalvarimount in Idukki is a steep slope from where tourists can enjoy a beautiful view of the surrounding.

Nadukani

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A beautiful hill station situated 25 km from Idukki, Nadukani is a popular tourist spot. It offers visitors a panoramic view of the mountains, Muvattupuzha River along with many rare species of fauna.

Painavu

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Being the headquarters of Idukki district, Painavu serves as a stopover for tourists visiting to Idukki and Cheruthoni Dam.

Thumpachi Calveri Samuchayam

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Thumpachi Calveri Samuchayam, a popular spot situated at a distance of 35 km from Thodupuzha, is an ideal place for meditation, relaxation and watching sunset.
Marayoor
Situated at a distance of 55 km from the Idukki district of Kerala is the ancient town of Marayoor or Marayur. Ancient rock paintings and dolmens of the Stone Age is found in this region. Marayor is only the place in Kerala with sandalwood forests. Covered with different types of forests, the town has several places of dense vegetation.

Close to the place are few villages including Karayur, Kottakudi, Kanthaloor and Keezhathur. Along with Marayoor, these villages with unique customs are quite interesting places to visit. The rock painting site in Manala along with a picture of a man and a deer are few interesting sites in the region. Kovilkadavu is another place of interest close to Marayoor.

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

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At a distance of 18 km from Marayoor in the Idukki district of Kerala is the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary extends an area of more than 90 sq km and in 1984 it got recognition as a world life sanctuary. Lying in the Western Ghats in the rain shadow region, the place receives only 48 days rain annually. Home to many species of wildlife, the place is also ideal for trekking and boating.
Timings: 7 am to 5 pm  Charges: Indians: Rs 10/-, Foreigners: Rs 100/- Vehicle Entry: Heavy vehicle: Rs 150/-, Light vehicle: Rs 50/-, Other vehicles: Rs 20/- Camera: Rs 25/-, Video Camera: Rs 150/- Guide: Rs 40/Day  

Muniyara Cave

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Located a kilometer from Marayoor is the Muniyara Caves, which is believed to be an ideal place for the ancient sages for meditation. Made of rocky slabs with interesting structure, Muniyara Caves is a fascinating destination of anthropologists and archeologists from all over the world.

Rajiv Gandhi Children's Park

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Rajiv Gandhi Children’s Park is located in the heart of Marayoor in the Idukki district of Kerala. This park extends across a hectare under the canopy of a single Banyan tree and is quite a wonderful sight. The Banyan tree itself is the main attraction here while one can also get a glimpse of monkeys, deer and other animals in the adjoining reserve forest.

Sandalwood Factory

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The Sandalwood Factory located in Marayoor is a part of Idukki district of Kerala. Marayoor is only the place in Kerala with sandalwood forests. The Sandalwood Factory which is run by the Kerala Forest Department is a place of tourist interest. Besides, the Kerala’s share of sandalwood trees is confined to Marayoor and few forest areas in Wayanad Hills.
Distances from Munnar
Munnar 1 km
Thekkady 100 km 3h
Kochi 150 km 4h
Coimbatore 157 km 4h, 50m
Kumarakom 200 km 5h
Alleppey 200 km 5h
Kozhikode 274 km 5h, 40m
Trivandrum 295 km 6h, 40m
Vythiri 322 km 7h
Kovalam 350 km 8h
Wayanad 357 km 8h, 20m
Mangalore 510 km 11h, 50m
Bangalore 520 km 10h, 40m
Chennai 588 km 10h, 20m
Idukki 55 km 1h, 30m
 

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