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Meghamalai
The High wavys, (Meghamalai) is so called because it describes the high undulating range of steep and precipitious hills and mountains as seen from the plains. They form part of the Varushanad range of hills in Western Ghats and were least known hills around Madurai.Sharing a common boundary with Periyar Tiger Reserve, the land for long teemed with elephants ,tigers and other wildlife.

The High wavys were the last planting district to be opened up. That explains why the tea estates are the heighest yelding in the worlds.Napier Ford, was the pioneer who planted tea on Cloud Land estate.

One of the exclusive preserve of a group of plantations, Meghamalai today has become the exclusive destination for the natural lover and visitors who look out for privacy in personally cared plantation stays.

MEGAMALAI - Highwavys estate and Manjalar dam catchment MEGAMALAI - WATERFALL

MEGAMALAI - ELEPHANTS AT NEARBY FOREST MEGAMALAI - ELEPANT WITH BABY

MEGAMALAI - ELEPHANT NEAR ESTATE MEGAMALAI - BARKING DEER

MEGAMALAI - ELEPANT WITH BABY MEGAMALAI - ELEPHANTS GOING
WITH A BABY



The estates

The largest plantation, the Highwavys Group, is a tea plantation owned previously by Hindustan Lever under the name Tea Estates India Ltd and today run successfully by the Woodbriar group. Flanked on one side by the Periyar Tiger Reserve and on the other by the proposed Meghamalai Wildlife Sanctuary.

The estate is a 6000-acre tea plantation of Highwavys group of Estates which lie ensconced in a geographic depression shaped like a bowl, bordered by rising mountain ranges on all sides with a 7 Squarekilometer lake winding across itself Meghamalai is also home to rare species of birds, flora and mammal life. Wild Gaurs and Elephants are commonly sighted across the few plantations but more so within the Highwavys Group of Estates.

Experience of the Hills
Rolling tea hills, broken by still waters; rising mountains painted with forests, are the fewt hingsthateave you spell bound. To wake up to the call of a distant elephant trumpet, to walk beside the lake for miles across undulating hills, to walk past an elephant skull to a private waterfall or to simply sit atop a grassy cliff and be in communion with mountain peaks all around, are some other things that will become forever locked within your memory for a long, long time.

Meghamalai is located in Tamil Nadu about 85 kilometers from Thekkadi in Kerala, 43 kms off Chinnamanoor, on the Thekkadi – Madurai Interstate Highway.

ACCESS
Nearest Airport – Madurai , Tamil Nadu / Distance 185 kilometers Nearest Rail Head – Dindigul / Distance 165 kilometers

Chinnamanoor – Megamalai 3 hours 45 kms (Uphill minimally maintained road.)

ROUTES
Bangalore – Salem – Dindigul – Theni – Chinnamanoor – Meghmalai (Travel time – 8 hours)
Chennai – Salem – Dindigul – Theni – Chinnamanoor – Meghmalai (Travel time – 16 hours) Coimbatore – Pollachi - Periyakulam – Theni – Chinnamanoor -Megamalai (Travel time – 7 hours)


Anamallais –Elepahant Hills

History
What now see as acres and acres of tea , a green carpet covering a plateau 3000-5000 feet high and spread over some 400square miles was in 1890 s a solid Evergreen tropical rain forest .The trees were tall , some 120 feet high ,and there was little undergrowth.Above the forest plateau are rolling –grass covered hills climbing to heights of 8000feet were once Nilgiri Thar’s Mountain Goats abounded and there were plenty of elephants and Black Panthers …….

Two early pioneers Craver Marsh and C R T Congreve came to the district in 1897 and put up a clearing to plant coffee.There were only jungle tracks and game paths then; the original opening to the jungle was around Attakathi and Waterfall estates were some small patches of coffee had been planted before any one penetrated the dense plataue above.J Lowery opened Waterfall Estate and Waverly estates in 1864.

The land spanning an area of 389 square Kilometes of magnificient hills ranging from 900 -1600 Meters ,The Anamallias is wedged between Tamil Nadu and Kerala and just across the hills from the High Ranges (Munnar)With almost 12,000 hectares of tea, it occuoies an important place in the planting map of South India. The centre of the planting country is Valparai.

Tourist Attraction

Indira Gandhi Wildlife Santuary ,formerly and still known as the Anamallias Wildlife Santuary covers an area of 100 sq Kms

Athirapally Falls ,Kerala’s largest waterfalls,85 Kms on the Anamallias –Angamaly Road.

Experience
its’ laid back and serene. For once, you feel transported to a different era in time, a feeling of being an English Sahib in India Alive each moment for that elusive mammal or bird, you play planter and visit perhaps the best-maintained tea factory in Southern India located above a catchment lake.

VALPARAI - HORNBILL VALPARAI - GAUR

VALPARAI - LONE TUSKER VALPARAI - LION TAILED MACAQUE



On many afternoons, news arrives from nowhere about a herd of elephants across a bio diversity zone a few 100 meters away and then you understand the uniqueness of the holiday, being within in the comfort of a tea plantation yet surprised by the sight of a grazing herd of elephants just along the tea boundary.

Nearest Rail head –Pollachi -80 kms

Nearest Airport – Coimbatore – 120 kms

Port – Kochi – 160 kms

Distance from Kochi – 175 kms

Moving on to the nearest Plantation destination Munnar 70 kms (Tea)




 
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