I realized , “Love was an universal emotion”after I witnessed the pure romance between the beautiful clouds and majestic mountains ,playfully kissing each other.They were not hesitant to show the world how deeply they were in love by casting the entire sky with rainbows. I stood mesmerized in the hills of Meghamalai-Cloud kissed mountains, feeling that the “Poetry of earth was still alive!”
Being born and raised in different hillstations,I was immune to the beauty of nature.But this time, I felt that there was something magical about this untouched beauty!Sudden beautiful floating blankets of mist can cover something as magnificent as a mountain within seconds giving chills in my spine signifying a shared soul connection.
Tamilnadu is often known for two of its popular hill stations, The Nilgiris and Kodaikanal .But not many people know about the hidden underrated virgin beauty of Megamalai that lies in the folds of western hats in the district of Theni.About 1500 metres above sea level with about 18 hairpin bends the scenery here is breath-taking and is unpolluted by civilisations .
Megamalai wild life sanctuary
As a home to many endangered species, Megamalai wild life sanctuary is a forest cover of 63,000 hectares. It serves as a buffer to Periyar tiger reserve and grizzled squirrel wild life sanctuary. Tigers bears, leopards, sambhadeers and spotted deers are found in this zone. A recent bird survey registered presence of 172 resident and 26 migratory birds along with the world’s rarest bat Salim Ali.It is a great place for bird watchers and animal lovers
Nature lovers would realise the significance of this biodiversity hotspot endowed with different vegetation types ranging from thorn to evergreen forests.The diverse species of flora and fauna had even mesmerised the British who were keen in surveying diverse flora and fauna.It is place where still many colonial houses and the greenery of tea plantations stay intact screaming out the history of the mountains.
Water resources(Megamalai damsand Suruli falls)
In the era where we live by quenching our thirst with bottled water, Meghamalai is home to six dams like Eravangalaru, Thoovanam, venniyaru, Manalaru, highways, pampadumparai, karuppanathi and pilavakkal dams . This purity brings essence to the life of localites. It is also the originating place of “Surulitheertha” known for its medicinal properties.The beauty of this falls has also found its mention in the Tamil ancient epic Silapathikaram. Meghamalali falls found in suruli river is a special type of twin falls that falls at a height of 190 feet.It is frequented by many animals and the forest department is of great help in assisting the tourists to have a view of animal visits
Estates in Megamalai
There are large number of private tea ,coffee and spice plantations in Megamalai. Tea factories are also one of the tourist spots where tourists enjoy exploring the architecture of factories having a artistic and historical touch along with the aroma of natural tea.There exists a artificial lake waiting to be explored .It is a great place for a evening leisurely family walk.
Vellimalai-Silver mountains got its name from clouds settling on mountains.It is at an elevation of 5400kms above sea level and is the heart of Megamalai. It is great spot for nature lovers. Tea plantation which are managed aesthetically and scientifically, are also a tourist attraction.
It is most fertile valley in Tamilnadu producing about 90000 tonnes of muscat grapes and 10000 tonnes of Thomson seedless grapes every year. Upper Manalaru,Iravangalaru and Maharaja Mettu are some important places. Maharaja Mettu offers a entire view of the Varusanaduhills. It also gives a view of makara Jyothi of Sabarimala.
Upper Manalar to Maharajamettu, known as the Elephant Corridor, is a popular trekking site for the nature enthusiasts. Animal sighting is also anadded benefit.
Megamalai is one of the emerging rural tourist spotand is one of very few hillstations that has managed to stay out of commercialisations. It is a developing tourist site in terms of facilities.But still just like a famous saying”The best view comes after the hardest climb”, it is worth taking risk.
We are the victims of modernization and are busy building our own concrete jungle. We have forgotten the feel of fresh air, the chirps of birds and the taste of purity.It is said that the essence of life relies on where you feel most alive. If so then what is better than the unexploited scenic beauty of THE HIDDEN PARADISE-MEGAMALAI?
It is said that” A mind that had a new experience can never be stretched back to old dimensions”. I have had my experience. When are you going to?
Author: Anusha S, Theni,Tamilnadu