Meghamalai, Tamil Nadu
It is perhaps the last 30 km of no roads that still keeps Meghamalai a virgin mountain and to some, a heaven on earth.
Megamalai means a cloud-clad mountain. The name itself is descriptive of the awe-inspiring Varushanad mountain ranges in the Western Ghats. The British planters named them the Highwavys because of the wave-like patterns these mountains create. Early mornings provide magical moments as snow white ribbons of cloud wrap around these majestic mountains with just their peaks towering above those clouds. There are also 7 sq. km of a scenic lake system winding through the valley of the verdant hills adorning the plantation. In spite of the rather long drive through desolate forestry to reach Megamalai, the journey gives marvelous moments of joy to the ones that love raw nature. As you get closer to Megamalai, the waves, like the formation of the “Highwavys,” will start creating a visual splendor that can evoke poetry in anyone who is sensitive to the beauty of nature. From the plains afar, they appear as tall, handsome, and rippling ranges of prodigiously steep mountains. As the light changes, they form picturesque wavy shapes of blues and greys to add mystique to their awesome presence. Megamalai now has become a unique destination for ardent nature lovers, who cherish a blend of privacy with un-imposed wildlife adventure during personalized plantation stays.
It is a rugged terrain and perhaps one of the most uninhabited and desolate areas you could travel through in South India. You won’t see human settlements on either side of the road. It is reserve forest on both sides till you see the Woodbriar tea estates as you get near the Megamalai area. There is very less human interference in this entire area, and the Periyar Tiger Reserve boarders the tea estates. This is precisely why there is an abundance of flora and animal life in this area.