Literally translating to cloudy hill, this magnificent mountain range is part of the Western Ghats and is situated near Theni. The range that is popularly called High Wavy Mountains is 1500m above sea level.
The climate is cool and mist covered during the early mornings and nights. Even noon is on the cooler edge than being on the warmer side. This place is a wonderful area covered in flora and fauna and is a treat to the eyes. Scattered with cardamom and tea plantations Megamalai is a mystical beauty in its own way dotted with a number of waterfalls and treks all over the place.
How to get there?
There are a number of ways to get to Megamalai. The nearest and shortest route being from Theni via Chinnamannur. The road going up hill is not what we could call well maintained roadways. There are various buses and jeeps/cars that offer to take you up till Megamalai estates.
Other than that this place could be reached from Anaipatti via Kandamanayakkanur as well.
Now one could get to Theni from places like Chennai, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Madurai via bus or even train.
The nearest Airport would be the one in Madurai. So from there we can reach Theni via road or by train.
Where to stay?
Megamalai as it is does not have much of hotels or anything. One could opt for home stay (http://www.rajaandhuvanestate.com/homestay.php) arrangements. There are cottages available at Manalaar. (http://teabungalows.com/meghamalai/)
Other than that one could camp out in the midst of wilderness.
What to do there?
As said above this place is filled with a lot of waterfalls and trekking spots. A good place for any nature lover to spend their weekend. Some of the places being
Manalar Water falls
Megamalai rain forest
Deep Cumbum valley
Thekkadi view point
The Highwavys mountain is a nice view point of the Varasanadu Hills as well. There are six dams on the hill and the originating place of the Suruli falls near Cumbum town make it for a very good luscious place to visit.
Also Megamalai is home for a number of animals and some of the commonly seen wildlife include Tiger, Leopard, Nilgiri Tahr, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Sambar, Wild Boar, Porcupine, Nilgiri Langur, Lion-Tailed Macaque, Common Langur, Pea fowls, Barking deer, Indian Gaurs, Jungle fowl, Malabar Giant Squirrel. Bonnet Macaque, Sloth Bear, Grey Jungle Fowl, Smooth-Coated Otter and Flying Squirrel.
Among this we cannot forget the Elephants that make its rounds through the hills.
Given that this place has a round the year falls (Megamalai Water falls) it becomes a gathering point and a watering hole for a lot of animals. Also the fact that this place is not littered with a lot of tourists helps keep it clean and green.
It is also a very good place for Bird Watching. Birds like red-whiskered bulbul, common iora, white-browed wagtail, grey wagtail, pied bush chat, Blyth’s reed warbler, barn swallow, spotted dove, Asian paradise flycatcher, brahminy kite, long-tailed shrike and over 100 species of birds have been spotted and identified.