Wednesday, July 11, 2018





Megamalai is a Mountain range situated in Western ghats in theni, Tamilnadu. Being a nature lovers,
We always love exploring and visiting places that are less exploited by the tourists. This place is 
such a gem where there is too much restriction and as a result the evergreen forests remains untouched.
this is suresh's second time here. He had visited this place a year before.
We had such a lovely and peaceful time during our stay both the times.

Continue reading to know the details of our trip and the scenic beauty we captured..


When to go
Winter season starts from the month of November in Meghamalai, temperature will be pleasant between 21°C to 30°C. Winter season will last till February, this is one of the best seasons to visit Meghamalai. The temperature remains ideal to enjoy nature.
If you want to enjoy the rains, then mid-June till September are the months for you to visit Meghamalai.
It will be hot from March till June, so this months are generally avoided by the tourists.

Lovely drive while it is drizzling..

Stunning tea estates...

Getting there 
By Air: Nearest Airport – Madurai is 130 kilometers, from there need to get a private cab else get a bus to Theni. Buses to Meghamalai runs twice a day, but it’s not advisable as it takes lot of time to reach.

By Train: Many trains pass through Dindigul, kodairoad, and Madurai, which is nearly 130-140 kilometers to Megamalai, from there need to get a private cab else get a bus to Theni. Buses to Meghamalai runs twice a day, but it’s not advisable as it takes lot of time to reach.

By Road: Excellent tarmac road to Megamalai has been laid in 2018.

Routes:
Madurai - Theni - Chinnamanoor - Megamalai/ Distance 130 Kms (Travel time - 4 hours)

Coimbatore - Pollachi - Periyakulam - Theni - Chinnamanur - Megamalai Distance : 294 Kms Travel Duration : 8 Hrs

Bangalore - Salem - Dindigul - Theni - Chinnamanoor - Megmalai / Distance (Travel time - 10 hours)

Chennai - Trichy - Dindigul - Theni - Chinnamanoor - Megamalai / Distance (Travel time - 12 hours)
Tips: You will end up in other side of Meghamalai and will get lost if you use google maps, so use Highwavy dam in the google map to get you to the mountain.



What to expect on your road trip
Nothing much to expect in the road trip until you reach the top, the ghat roads are excellent and widen enough so it’s easy to drive even for drivers with less experience. Once you reach the mountain top the climate and views will blow you away.
However for sightseeing you should definitely need a bit of skill to drive as the roads are very narrow and bad. As per the current conditions, I will recommend to get SUV instead of sedans and hatchbacks for sightseeing.

Pleasant Road trip

Just stopped by to enjoy the view..



What to pack
It depends on which group you are travelling with! You don’t have much to visit in Meghamalai, only couple of viewpoints, so most people will do it only for one day, in this case one back bag will do.
If you want to enjoy the serenity of the nature, then I recommend you to have a couple of days stay. In this case, If you are going in winter season then I recommend to carry woolen clothes as the nights will be very cold.
Shoes are required in case if you want to go for trekking.

He is enjoying the view!!

Greenery everywhere..


Stay
You don’t have much of accommodation option available in Meghamalai, the entire mountain is controlled by Briar Tea groups. There are only couple of bungalows (Cloud Mountain Bungalow, Sand River Cottage and Manalar Bungalows) available for stay with limited rooms, all this bungalows are controlled by Briar group. Bookings for this bungalows can be made online through their website.
Most of the view points and falls will be permitted only if you are a staying guest in their bungalow. Normal tourist won’t be allowed in few areas as its all private property.
Apart from the bungalows, there is a government accommodation which is very basic and unhygienic, not recommended for families.

Owner of the Estates and the Bungalow we stayed..


Day by day breakdown and what we did,
This is my second trip to Megamalai in one year, this time with my family.
Pre travel check:

As it is going to be early morning start, filled the tank the day before we start. Packed all things and kept it ready. Recharged my fast tag account, so that I could save couple of minutes in toll plazas (Since the fast tag lane in most of the toll plazas are not managed properly during long weekends, I couldn’t able to convince myself that it really saves me time)

Day1

Friday:

4:30 AM - To avoid city traffic we planned to start by 4, but we had half an hour delay in start from my Home @ Pallikaranai. There was not much of city traffic and we smoothly reached city outer in an hour.
7:00 AM – Made a stop @ Ulunderpet toll to get refresh and have some tea. The ETA as per google map was 1:30 PM, so we decided to go at average speed so that we can have lunch before we start the ghat section. Maintained average speed around 100 km/hr.
8:15 AM – Reached Trichy outer by this time and my daughter got up from her sleep, and she felt hungry. Unfortunately we couldn’t able to find good hotel in by pass around Trichy. It was peak time and traffic was huge, it took us some time to cross Trichy
9:00 AM – After crossing Trichy we were into Trichy – Dindigul by pass looking for a hotel, finally after some couple of minutes’ drive we found one. We thought we had simple breakfast, but it turns out to be very heave as the quantity was more when compared to hotels in Chennai. One plate Pongal has been shared by 3 of us, same in the case of Dosa’s.
1:00 PM – I used google maps for navigation to Meghamalai, by blindly believing the maps we are driving into beautiful ghat areas. Meanwhile I realized something was not good, all of a sudden we are in a forest route and we are stopped by a forest checkpoints. We have been told that this was not the right route to Meghamalai, and the officer told us to take other route. At this point we stopped trusting google maps and starting asking for route with local maps (localities)
1:30 PM – Finally after making lot enquiries with many localities we found the correct route for the Meghamalai. Correct route is to reach Theni, then reach chinnamanur to find the megamali route, somehow we missed this. Before starting into the ghat sections you need to have an entry in the forest checkpoint along with your vehicle number. The officer will expect some money for the entry, the price is bit more if you are going as bachelors.
Meanwhile we forgot to have lunch, as we our tummies was full by having the breakfast.
2:30 PM – It took around 50 minutes for us to reach the top, slowly the climate tends to change and the tea plantations will welcome you. Once you reach the Highwavy you will feel the bliss of the breeze. We have a booked a room in cloud mountain bungalow, we continued our drive and didn’t had a stop here. Apart from BSNL, no other network works here, we both had Vodafone and there is no way for us to make calls or to use internet. Since I was been already there to the bungalow, I had no difficulty in finding the route. You should be depending on the localities to get the way for the bungalow in case If you are a first time visitor.
3:20 PM – The distance from highwavy to the bungalow is hardly 5 kms, but it took us 40 minutes to reach the destination. This Is the route that need more caution and I recommend to use SUV’s. there won’t be any tarmac, the entire stretch Is rocky with more pot holes, ups and downs. At last we are there.
3:30 PM – It was the same manager from my last visit and he recognized me after my arrival, we are greeted by a well-made lemon juice. There was 3 rooms in the bungalow and he made sure that I will get master bedroom for my stay. Again it was the same room where we stayed as bachelors a year ago.
I was super tired and took complete rest for the rest of the day.
Evening we ordered onion pakoda for snacks and had tea, believe me this combo rocks in this climate. Later in the evening got refreshed and had a walk just around the bungalow and into to the tea plants for photo shoot (main reason why my wife insist for regular trips J)



They will take dinner menu by 5 o clock itself, you don’t get much option for food. Buffet is available for 500rs, else you can opt for la carte. We had chicken 65, chapathi’s and peas masala for dinner.


Vaigai Dam

Daddy and Jiyaa
Misty evenings!!


Peaceful evening walk


A walk in to the Estates

#Followmeto



Day2
Saturday

9:00 AM – Woke up and had breakfast, breakfast is complimentary. As I said there is not much to explore, we had a relaxed morning in the bungalow itself.
11:00 AM – By this time we got ready to explore a falls which was couple of kms away from the bungalow, you won’t be allowed in those forest routes unless you have someone from the bungalow accompanying you. Reach the falls by 11:30 and by a couple of minutes’ walk into forest you will tend to find a small and beautiful falls. The entire falls was your’s we had a good time here and though the water was super cool my daughter enjoyed the water very much.
2:00 PM – Reached bungalow and completed lunch. Had a peaceful afternoon.
5:00 PM – Walk around the bungalow and had some yummy hot snacks


A very easy trekking to the private water falls

A twirl moment before i dunk in the water!!

Hot Pakodas are the best in the vacations!!

Chicken 65 is the best dinner!!


Completely rested faces!!




Day3
Sunday

9:00 AM – woke up, packed things and had breakfast.
10:30 AM – Checked out the hotel and started our journey towards Chennai with lot of memories.
12:00 PM – It took 1.5 hrs to reach the bottom of the mountain and started our drive in plain areas.
The traffic was bad and I couldn’t able to maintain a decent speed in this route from Chinnamnur till Dindigul. This route is a single road with no median, lot of 2 wheelers and barricades placed in the route.
1:30 – Decided to have lunch in Dindigul, there was a choice to make between Thalapakatti and Ponram. Since we had many times in thalapakatti we decided to have it in Ponram.
The crowd was huge, we waited 15 minutes to get the table and another 15 minutes to give the order and within another 15 minutes the order was served. The food was decent and in my opinion the food was better than thalapakaati.
3;00 PM – Started our last league of road trip towards Chennai, as usual the traffic started from Trichy city onwards, and continued in all toll plazas. This time we were lucky as most of the plazas we got benefit through the fast tag.

Instead of taking chengelpet route I choose to take Thiruporur route to avoid traffic in GST road and to skip Chengalpet toll.


Parting family Picture!!

We can be creative too!!

Little sad to leave the place but Monday is calling...



9:30 – Finally we were back home with yet another successful road trip.


That is a wrap after a long story. Hope it was entertaining and informative.

If you are planning for a trip and need any help you can DM in Instagram here .

Until our next trip/post,

Stay beautiful
inside and outside Xo Xo

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