Megamalai, a hidden paradise :

Posted by-Kalki Team

With its large tea estates, spice gardens, pleasant weather and breathtaking views, Meghamalai offers a magical experience

Midway through a remote region of the Western Ghats, we stood on a sturdy mountain kerb watching the clouds playfully swirl around as if nothing else in the world mattered. We have seen clouds, big and dense, at various instances. But this was different. The constantly changing clouds forging across the boundless space in front struck a dialogue with us. That was the first instance when the spirit of Megamalai touched us.

The name might not sound familiar to many. Hard and impossible roads, not many tourist spots, no proper food up there and you are going to regret it, were the usual responses we got when we enquired about Megamalai. The rumours did stand true about the impossible roads when we started travelling towards it. We must admit that we almost regretted, but only until we got that first glimpse of the moving clouds.

Megamalai is a cool and dewy mountain range situated in the Western Ghats, at an elevation of 1,500 metres above sea level. It took us four hours to reach Megamalai from Theni. Filled with the smell of the rich tea plantations, we were welcomed by a fresh gush of breeze that eased our exhaustion. At the dawn of the dusk, the clouds were heavily descending on the slopes. The sharp chillness cut through the night as we stayed at the Highwavys guest bungalow.

In the morning, we witnessed the mist surfacing over the postcard village of Megamalai, women in traditional dresses carrying empty baskets filled with hopes, the lake by the side rippling to the fishing needles thrown by the people sitting in row, the music of the chirping birds, the lush sight of the flourishing flora, and the sun beaming its way through the moving clouds to shine upon all the life below. This isnt the Hobbiton path in New Zealand, but the nearest you can get to experience such a spectacle in our state.

Like ants in a row, the tea estate workers were climbing up the hill sharp at 8 am. It was amazing to hear their stories, most of who have been there for generations and didnt think beyond the kilos of leaves they plucked everyday. With prior permission, one can take a tour into the plush green estates.

Megamalai does not have the places to visit agenda, but an abundance of untouched evergreen forests makes it a magical experience. The climate is the pick. The roads are still under construction but a four-wheel drive can make it up there with less pain. Private resorts/government guesthouses can be booked in prior and excellent home food is available (Pechiamma Mess, and the Highwavys bungalow mess are the best). With rainfall round the year, October to March is the best time to plan a trip. A perfect place for temporary hermits who love to be with nature, Megamalai will certainly cast a mist on your minds that will linger for a long time. It truly is a hidden paradise.

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