Megamalai which is known as the “High Wavy Mountains”, Meghamalai is a petit yet beautiful place located in the Western Ghats in the state of Tamil Nadu. The name ‘Meghamalai’ literally means ‘Mountain shrouded in Clouds’ – but is fondly extended to mean a ‘Kingdom where the clouds meet the mountains’. Meghamalai is one of the picturesque hill stations in South India, also known as ‘Paccha Kundru’ meaning ‘green peaks’.
Megamalai is an unexplored paradise, which is very little known even to the people of Tamilnadu. It is a very good alternative to the other crowded hill stations like Kodaikanal, Munnar, and Ooty. The difference between Megamalai and other hill stations is that you will experience the best season here during the monsoon season whereas in other hill stations you have to go during the summer season. The clouds literally graze over the tea gardens during monsoon. And another difference is that this is a rural hill station. Megamalai has located about 30 km from Chinnamanur town, at about 85 km from Thekkadi in Kerala, right on the Thekkadi – Madurai Interstate Highways. Meghamalai is situated at a height of 1500 meters above sea level. It has sedate weather all year with day time temperatures of about 25 degrees C.
Megamalai trip from Madurai is a perfect getaway to beat the heat and enjoy some peaceful time relaxing amidst nature. There are about 18 Hairpin bends and many more corners to on the way to the top.
If you ever want to cut yourself off from the hustle-bustle and want a laid back vacation, Megamalai is the correct place for this. The beautiful climate that it was almost freezing. No traffic, pollution, not many people around, friendly locals, amazing food and beautiful scenery!
If you have a plan to explore this hills then, YGO Tours and Travels will provide better guidance for the people to make the trip in an effective way.
Best Places to visit in Megamalai :
- Tea estates in Megamalai
- Megamalai Dams
- Megamalai wildlife Sanctuary
- Falls in Megamalai
- Cumbum Valley
Tea estates in Megamalai :
Large tea estates, coffee plantations, and spice gardens are the main attractions in this region. Most of these are privately owned properties. Highwavys is a viewpoint that will afford a wonderful view of the entire mountain range of Varusanadu Hills. There few large private tea, spices and coffee plantations all around the Megamalai.
A 6000-acre tea plantation the largest plantation, the Highwavys Group, is a tea plantation owned previously by Hindustan Lever and today run successfully by the Woodbriar group. Ananda Plantations, Ponsiva Plantations, and Feildmede Estate have the largest holdings of plantations in Meghamalai, an artificial lake and plenty of scope for taking leisurely walks. Kandana Coffee Estate is located at the top of the High Wavy Mountains.
Megamalai Dams :
Eight dams are important tourist attractions that originate from the Megamalai Mountains. These are Eravalangaru dams, Thoovanam dam, Venniyaru dam, Manalar dam, Highways dam, Pilavakkal dam, Pampadumparai dam, Karuppanathi dam.
The traveler can view the Cumbum Valley and the far-flung villages situated in Theni district from Manalar Dam. Highway Point Dam is another important landmark in this region. The Department of Tourism has plans to implement ferry service at these locations to give a better experience to the tourist.
Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuary :
Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuary has a forest cover of around 63,000 hectares. Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuary is a haven for wildlife and nature lovers. Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuary, sharing its boundaries with Srivilliputhur Grizzled Squirrel Sanctuary and Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala, is rich in flora and fauna. The flora in the sanctuary ranges from shrub forest to evergreen forest. The sanctuary hosts a variety of birds, mammals, reptiles, and butterflies.
Around 10 to 15 tigers were estimated to occupy in the key habitats of the sanctuary. Since tigers prefer to stay in recluse, it could be spotted mostly in undisturbed areas. Apart from tigers, the sanctuary is inhabited by elephants, bears, leopards and wild dogs. Other herbivorous animals such as samba deer and spotted deer are also found in the sanctuary.
In what is being said as the first bird survey in India, the authorities have recorded the presence of 172 resident birds and 26 migratory birds. The survey was conducted in Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuary abuts Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala and Srivilliputhur Grizzled Squirrel Sanctuary. The world rarest species of Bat known as the Salim Ali’s Fruit Bat named after the Indian ornithologist Salim Ali is found in this mountain range.
Falls in Megamalai :
Meghamalai Falls occurs on the Suruli River and is a popular place to visit in Meghamalai. Megamalai falls is also called as Cloudlands fall and there is a specialty for this falls. The waterfalls in two separate places to form a twin falls for about 190 feet making a sweet sound that echoes throughout the place right through the year is a truly awesome sight for the tourists. The place is perfect to sit around and spend some quiet moments listening to the music of nature and witnessing its beauty.
Being perennial the falls are frequented by wild animals like spotted deer, elephants, gaur and other denizens of the forests at sunrise and sunsets to slake their thirst. The forest department personnel assist the tourist to have a view of the animal’s visits.
Velli malai :
Vellimalai (Silver Mountain) got this name from its appearance of clouds resting at the top of the mountain. Silver-lined clouds seem to rest gently on green hilltops and nestled somewhere in this region.
The elevation of this place is about 5,400 feet above the mean sea level and it is situated in the heart of Megamalai and it is here that the river Vaigai originates. At an altitude of 1650 m, Vellimalai forms the heart of Meghamalai. The hill range also provides a wonderful view of the entire range of Varusanadu Hills. This location is ideal for sighting wild animals and exploring the nature that abounds here. With tea and coffee estates, houses of plantation workers and an artificial lake, there is plenty of scope for enjoying the natural beauty.
Cumbum Valley :
Cumbum Valley, also called Kambam Valley, is a valley in the Theni district of Tamil Nadu state in India near the Kerala state border. This is the most fertile valley in South India, The valley includes lands between Thekkadi Hills, Varusanadu Hills, and Kodaikanal Hills.
It is one of the few places in Tamil Nadu producing grapes. Cumbum valley produces about 90,000 tonnes of muscat grapes and 10,000 tonnes of Thomson seedless grapes every year. There are three main places in Cumbum Valley; they are Maharaja Mettu, Iravangalaru, and Upper Manalaru. One can view the imposing high density of forests cover here peopled by rich flora and fauna.
How to Reach :
Nearest Airport – Madurai is 130 kilometers, from there need to get a private cab else to get a bus to Theni. Buses to Meghamalai run twice a day, but it’s not advisable as it takes a lot of time to reach. It’s about from Cochin (Ernakulam) (220 km), Trichy (223 km) airport.
Many trains pass through Kodai Road (106 km), Madurai (125 km), Dindigul (150 km) to Megamalai, from there need to get a private cab else to get a bus to Theni. Buses to Meghamalai run twice a day, but it’s not advisable as it takes a lot of time to reach.
Meghamalai is well connected with major cities and towns in Tamil Nadu. The nearest being Theni which is at a distance of 49 Km. Buses at regular intervals are run from all the major cities in Tamil Nadu by the Tamil Nadu State Road Transport Corporation (TNSRTC) and also some of the private travel services.
- Madurai – Theni – Chinnamanoor – Megamalai/ Distance 130 Kms (Travel time – 4 hours)
- Coimbatore – Pollachi – Periyakulam – Theni – Chinnamanur – Megamalai Distance: 294 Kms Travel Duration: 8 Hrs
- Bangalore – Salem – Dindigul – Theni – Chinnamanoor – Megmalai / Distance (Travel time – 10 hours)
- Chennai – Trichy – Dindigul – Theni – Chinnamanoor – Megamalai / Distance (Travel time – 12 hours)
( Tips: You will end up on another side of Meghamalai and will get lost if you use google maps, so use Highwavy dam in the google map to get you to the mountain)
If you are a globetrotter then set up a gear to include this place in the bucket list. YGO is one of the best tours & travels in Madurai who helps to make people explore more. Check out the travel package to Megamalai in the website http://www.ygotravels.com/ Or contact 8111002088, 8111002099 for details.