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Meesapulimala, Kannan Devan Hills, Tamil Nadu 685616

1 Day Treks
Mountain Peaks
Hotels near Meesapulimala

About Meesapulimala

Hike through cloud cladded peaks and rhododendron valleys, experience the most beautiful sights of the Western Ghat Mountains.

Meesapulimala is the second highest peak of India outside the Himalayan ranges after Anamudi Peak. It situates 2,640 meters above sea level. Meesapulimala means ‘Whiskers of Tiger Mountain’. The naming is due to its location among eight hills which spreads looking like a head of a tiger with its whiskers.

Not very well known until 2014, the peak since came to limelight owing to mentions in local movies and social medias. The hiking trail to Meesapulimala is one of the most difficult and scenic track in Kerala State, automatically making it a much sort after destination for many.

Exploring Meesapulimala and its hiking trails

There are two hiking trails to Meesapulimala. One from Suryanelli through Kolukkumalai and another from the opposite side near Mattupetty Dam through Rhodo Valley. Rhodo Valley gets its name from the red rhododendron trees that grows in abundant here. The trail through Rhodo Valley operated by Kerala Forest Development Corporation is the only legal means to enter Meesapulimala.

The hike to Meesapulimala is through beautiful tea estates, stunted tropical montane forest and grasslands overlooking hillocks. The hike starts at an altitude of 1,500 meters and climbs over 2,600 meters with views of vast plains of Tamil Nadu to the east and never ending Western Ghat Mountains to the west. A variety of high altitude flowering plants, especially rhododendron is very common throughout the trail. Low hanging clouds in the valleys below, chilly atmosphere and strong winds are trademarks of Meesapulimala trail.

The starting point of the hike is from campsite in Rhodo Valley and then continues on to the forests and grasslands. The hike is difficult, with long stretches of hard climbs through steep slopes of over 60 degrees. Descending down is even tougher as one wrong step will result in sprained ankles and fall to the bottom of hill side. When heavy mists blankets the area, it is even easier to make mistakes owing to poor visibility.

Throughout the journey, one will be able to see many cloud kissed mountain peaks. A total of eight peaks has to be covered in the hike, passing through shared border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. At the end of the series of peaks is Meesapulimala with its breathtaking views in every angle. One will feel as if floating in midst of clouds, the sight of mountains engulfed by the slowly moving clouds will make anyone's day.

Neelakurinji flowers carpeting the hills every 12 years

During its blooming season, the hills in the vicinity of Meesapulimala will be covered in Neelakurinji flowers. Neelakurinji, a shrub that grows in the region blossoms every 12 years covering the hills in blueish purple colour. The blooming season is a treat for the visitors and in every season millions of travellers, from inside and outside the country visit the area just to witness the phenomena. Nilgiri Hills in the region got its name from Neelakurinji Flowers. The name Nilgiri translates to ‘blue mountains’.

In the past, the bloom occured in 2006. The next blooms are expected in 2018 and then in 2030. Kurinjimala Sanctuary near to Meesapulimala is fully dedicated to the protection of Neelakurinji. During 2006 bloom, visitors damaged many areas covered in Neelakurinji and as a result the sanctuary was formed to protect the plants.

How to hike to Meesapulimala?

There is only one legal way to enter Meesapulimala and that is through packages offered by Kerala Forest Development Corporation (KFDC) that should be booked online through their website. There are other trails passing through Meesapulimala, one should hike through them at their own risk. They are from Kolukkumalai and Aruvikad Tea Factory but there is no certainty on its functioning. You will have to check with the locals to know more. 

Getting to Meesapulimala trail

Meesapulimala is located in the border of Idukki District of Kerala and Theni District of Tamil Nadu State in Southern India. It is located 33 km from the popular tourist town Munnar. The nearest major railway station is in Aluva/ Ernakulam from where there are direct buses to Munnar. Aluva and Ernakulam are connected with most other parts of the country.

The KFDC hike starts at office of Wildlife Warden at Munnar from where visitors will be taken to the base camp of the hike (do check with KFDC while booking).

Attractions near Meesapulimala

Kolukku Malai Top3.28km from Meesapulimala

The best place to view the sunrise, the beauty of tea plantations, clouds locked in valleys.

Kurangani-Top Station Trail4.94km from Meesapulimala

Kurangani hill station lies close to Bodinayakanur in Theni district of Tamil Nadu. This lesser known gem of a place amid the vastly explored Western Ghats also holds a precipitous ledge at the height point of 8782 ft.

Top Station Munnar5.33km from Meesapulimala

Stay above the clouds, admire the beauty of the hills and the majestic sun emerging from the clouds in the morning.

Echo Point6.22km from Meesapulimala

Situated at the bank of lake overlooking mountains, the place got it's name from the loud echo it makes.

Carmelagiri Elephant Park11.4km from Meesapulimala

Ride on an elephant, watch them bathe, shower and eat. The mahouts will show you how the elephant communicates and obey their commmands.

Chokramudi Peak13.54km from Meesapulimala

Three hours of a hard hike through tricky rock faces, breathtaking views, windy narrow paths. A viewpoint for an incredible sunrise.

Where is Meesapulimala

Discover more attractions in Idukki, where Meesapulimala is located

Idukki31 attractions

Into the clouds. Hill stations, waterfalls, tea plantations, high altitude peaks.

What visitors say about Meesapulimala

This is a must visit place when in Western Ghatts
Meesapulimala, untouched forest i would say.

Second time visiting and it was a completely different view from that of the previous visit.

The peak was cladded in mists and clouds which caress you throughout the trek, the amazing view like none other I have ever seen anywhere. It was cold and the trek was extremely difficult but the experience was so worth it.

This was the second time I visited the peak and while the skies were clearer in the previous visit, this time it was not. Fortunately that meant I had two totally different views of the same place. Before you visit, just know that this probably is the hardest climb in Kerala. The climb is through 70 degree incline and it takes long and lot of persistence to reach the top. It is hard, so damn hard to trek to Meesapulimala. Also beware that trekking to the peak is illegal except through the packages offered by the forest department of Kerala. We didn't knew that and the driver who took as to Kolukku Malai (from where the trekking started) did not mention about it at all. After spending around one hour at the top, we had to face an angry forest guard who was kind enough to let us go. We were so lucky he didn't beat us up, he was that furious, beating his cane in the ground so hard as if imagining the ground is us. On the positive part, they do take their responsibilities seriously which is very good.

First time at Meesapulimala and the toughest hike I ever had.

The peak is so tall, and the climb is way too steep may be slanting at 70 or 80 degrees. The view is amazing througout the trail and you will feel a sense of acomplishment after reaching top because the hike is that tough.

It was very cold in the begining of the hiking trail which soon started to change to very hot and humid. There are not much shade to the top that makes the climb very difficult. If you are planning to hike to the place, carry ample water and energy bars. It will be very useful.

And also, the only way to enter it is by purchasing the package offered by the Kerala State Forest Department. If you enter by any other means, it can result in large fines and jail time.