Adventure / Trekking
#35 of 44 Places to Visit in Munnar
Distance (From Munnar): 24 Kms
Trip Duration (Including Travel): Full Day
Place Location: Near Arivikad Tea Estate
Transportation Options: + Walk/Trek
Travel Tips: Treks to the peak via Rhodo Valley can be organized through the Kerala Forest Development Corporation in Munnar. A total of 40 to 60 visitors will be allowed access to the hills per day.
At a distance of 25 km from Munnar Bus Station, Meesapulimala is a mountain peak in the Western Ghats near Munnar, Kerala. Situated near Kolukkumalai Tea Estate, it is one of the highest peaks in the Western Ghats and among the popular places of trekking in Munnar.
At an altitude of 8,661 feet, Meesapulimalai is the second highest peak in the Western Ghats after Anamudi Peak. It is one of the most popular trekking places near Munnar, especially for ardent trekkers. Meesapulimala gets its name as the peak resembles a tiger's face. The mountain range is sandwiched between Annamalai Hills and the Palani Hills, which are located near Suryanelli. Considered as a hotspot of diversity, Meesapulimala has been recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Meesapulimala is a must-go place for ardent trekkers. Meesapulimala is a trek through eight hills, passing through the shared border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. This is one of the mesmerizing treks which will start at an altitude of 1500 m and gradually ascend to over 2600m that takes you through rivulets, shola and pine forests, expansive mountain ranges and rugged terrains. The sight from the top of the Meesapulimala hills is worth the visit. Besides, Meesapulimala is home to the Neelakurinji flowers that bloom once in every 12 years.
There are two popular trails to reach Meesapulimala. The shorter 8 kilometer-trek is through Rhodo Valley and the trek starts from the KFDC base camp whereas a longer 15 km trek is from Kurangani through the Kolukkumalai tea estate. Treks to the peak via Rhodo Valley can be organized through the Kerala Forest Development Corporation in Munnar. Meesapulimala trekking booking is limited and the trekking path from Kolukkumalai to Meesapulimala is highly restricted.
The most popular 8 km trek route starts from KFDC base camp, about 24 km from Munnar. One can reach the base camp of Meesapulimala from Munnar via Mattupetty through Arivikad estate and the journey to the base camp is difficult, yet exciting. The Kerala Forest Development Corporation (KFDC) will arrange all the facilities for trekking and camping. Trekkers will be accompanied by an expert guide provided by the KFDC. From the base camp, one can reach Rhodo Valley by a 4 km bumpy jeep ride and is the last point accessible by any four-wheelers. En route, you can see the Pandava Cave, believed to be the place where the Pandavas, the heroes of the Indian epic Mahabharata, stayed during their exile. Tents are available at Rhodo Valley for those who want to enjoy a stay at this beautiful place.
From Rhodo Valley, one has to walk, through the misty hills, over rocks and brushes. The trek takes you through some scenic places and vantage points. If you are lucky, you will even get a chance to come across elephants, gaur and Nilgiri tahrs in their natural habitat. The crisscrossing streams make the trip all the more alluring. If you start early in the morning, you will reach the top of the peak by noon. From the top one will get a panoramic view of Anamudi Peak, the Mattupetty Dam, Anayirangal reservoir, Kodaikanal hills, and Yellapatti village far below. One can also relish the spectacular view of the surrounding waterfalls including the gorgeous Kurinji waterfall. It will take about 6-8 hours to complete the full route.
The best time to plan your trek to Meesapulimala is in the months of October and February. During these months, the weather is pleasant enough and comfortable, so that you can soak in the beauty of the trail in peace. Kerala Forest Development Corporation (KFDC) organizes several trekking programs to Meesapulimala. A total of 40 to 60 visitors will be allowed access to the hills per day. All visitors are required to obtain entry passes issued by KFDC through the official website. An entry pass authorizes the holder to spend one day and one night at Meesapulimala. KFDC provides three types of accommodations for those who prefer an overnight stay, Base camp (Tent), Sky cottage and Rhodo valley accommodation. The bookings can be done online well in advance. Besides, there are also private operators like Kalypso Adventures and Munnar holidays who provide day treks. It is mandatory to carry valid ID proof.
Timings: 6 AM - 6 PM
Entry (2 People): Rs. 3500 for Base Camp Tent, Rs. 7000 for Sky Cottage & Rs. 7000 for Rhodo Valley Stay (Cost includes Stay, Trekking, Guide Service, Breakfast, Lunch, Tea & Dinner, Pick up & Drop)