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Tired of chaos? Need an escape from the maddening rush? . . Take a break & plan a trip to any of these incredible destinations.
The Western Ghats in India are known for their stunning natural beauty and diverse ecosystems. While popular destinations like Munnar and Ooty draw a large number of tourists, there are lesser-known gems in the Western Ghats waiting to be explored.
These mesmerizingly beautiful places in western ghats are the least commercialized, hence they’re adorned with scenic meadows, shola forest patches and montane grasslands. If you’re lucky enough to visit the right place in the right season, you might even witness the rare blooming of the “Neelakurinji” flower. Here are 5 least explored places of the Western Ghats that offer a unique experience for nature lovers:
Meghamalai – The Cloud Mountains (Theni, Tamil Nadu)
Meghamalai, also known as the Cloud Mountains, is a picturesque hill station located in the district of Theni in Tamil Nadu, India. This serene destination is nestled amidst the Western Ghats, offering breathtaking views and a truly tranquil atmosphere.
With its lush green mountains, rolling hills, and dense forests, Meghamalai is a nature lover’s paradise. The name “Meghamalai” translates to “mountain of clouds,” and it aptly describes the ethereal beauty of this place, as it often gets enveloped in mist and fog.
One of the highlights of Meghamalai is its tea plantations. The region is known for its high-quality tea cultivation, and visitors have the opportunity to tour the tea estates and witness the tea-making process firsthand. The refreshing aroma of the tea leaves and the stunning vistas of the plantations create a memorable experience.
Apart from tea plantations, Meghamalai is endowed with diverse flora and fauna. The Meghamalai Wildlife Sanctuary, situated within the hill station, is a haven for nature enthusiasts. It is home to various species of birds, animals, and plants, making it an ideal spot for birdwatching and wildlife photography.
Staying true to its name, the landscapes of Meghamalai are often covered in white clouds. The well-trimmed tea plantations, elephant trails, small dams and colonial tea estate bungalows of Upper Manalar will remind you of another era.
For those seeking adventure, Meghamalai offers exciting trekking trails that take you through dense forests and pristine valleys. The trails are marked with captivating viewpoints that offer panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and waterfalls.
The weather in Meghamalai is pleasant throughout the year, with cool temperatures and occasional rainfall. It serves as a perfect escape from the sweltering heat of the plains and provides a soothing respite.
With misty mornings, quiet afternoons and star-lit sky, Meghamalai is the best place for those who love privacy and seek solitude.
Agumbe (Shivamogga, Karnataka)
Agumbe is a charming village located in the Shivamogga district of Karnataka, India. Known as the “Cherrapunji of the South,” it is famous for its breathtaking natural beauty and abundant rainfall.
It’s a drizzling destination to fall in love with nature. Receiving the highest rainfall in south India, Augmbe has an array of wild streams and waterfalls gushing through its dense forests. Here are a few highlights of this picturesque destination:
Agumbe is nestled amidst the majestic Western Ghats, one of the world’s hottest biodiversity hotspots. The region is covered in lush green rainforests, home to a wide array of flora and fauna. Trekking through the dense jungle trails is an enchanting experience that offers a chance to spot rare species of plants and animals.
The village is blessed with a captivating sunset point that offers panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and the Arabian Sea. As the sun sets over the horizon, the sky bursts into vibrant hues of orange and pink, creating a mesmerizing spectacle that will stay etched in your memory.
Agumbe Rainforest Research Station
For nature enthusiasts and researchers, the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station is a must-visit. This renowned facility conducts various studies and conservation initiatives to protect the fragile ecosystem. Visitors can learn about the unique biodiversity of the region and participate in educational programs conducted by the station.
Situated near Agumbe, Barkana Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in India. Cascading from a height of about 850 feet, this magnificent waterfall is a sight to behold. Surrounded by verdant hills and dense forests, it presents a splendid backdrop for nature lovers and photographers.
Agumbe is home to many wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, such as the Kudremukh National Park and the Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary. Embark on a thrilling wildlife safari to encounter diverse species like the Malabar giant squirrel, king cobra, Indian leopard, and many more.
Malgudi Days Connection
Agumbe rose to fame as the setting for the popular Indian television series “Malgudi Days,” based on the works of renowned writer R.K. Narayan. Fans of the show can explore the village and its surroundings to catch a glimpse of the places featured in the series.
Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a nature lover, or simply seeking solace amidst serene surroundings, Agumbe offers a perfect blend of tranquillity and natural beauty. Plan your visit to this hidden gem and immerse yourself in the enchanting charm of Agumbe.
Agumbe has some of the most amazing trails in the western ghats. These wild trails filled with songs of endemic birds & ruffling of trees embracing the winds, never cease to amaze anyone who sets out to explore them.
Vagamon (Idukki, Kerala)
Vagamon is a picturesque hill station located in Idukki, Kerala. Known for its breathtaking natural beauty, Vagamon attracts tourists with its lush green meadows, cascading waterfalls, and mist-covered valleys.
Sitting at an altitude of around 1,100 meters above sea level, Vagamon offers a cool and pleasant climate throughout the year, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.
One of the must-visit attractions in Vagamon is the Vagamon Pine Forest. The tall pine trees create a mesmerizing ambience, and walking through the forest feels like stepping into a fairytale. The pine-scented air and the whispering of the leaves make it a perfect spot for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Another highlight of Vagamon is the Vagamon Meadows, also known as the rolling green hills. With its vast stretches of lush grassland and panoramic views of the surrounding hills, the meadows provide a tranquil setting for a leisurely walk or a picnic with loved ones.
For adventure seekers, Vagamon offers various activities such as paragliding, trekking, and rock climbing. The hilly terrains and scenic landscapes provide an exhilarating experience for those seeking an adrenaline rush.
Apart from trekking, hiking, and camping, Vagamon has quite a few activities like the glass bridge, river rafting and paragliding, that are guaranteed to give you the adrenaline rush you need to reboot yourself.
Vagamon is also renowned for its religious and cultural significance. The Thangal Para, a mosque atop a hill, is a pilgrimage site for Muslims, while the Kurisumala Ashram, a Christian pilgrimage centre, attracts devotees and seekers of spiritual solace.
With its serene landscapes and serene atmosphere, Vagamon offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether you are seeking solitude, adventure, or spiritual enlightenment, Vagamon has something to offer to every traveller.
Incredible landscapes and amazing weather make Vagamon one of the most distinctive places for adventure travel. It is also a great destination to put your feet up, relax and rejuvenate.
Chorla Ghat (Goa)
Chorla Ghat is a picturesque mountain pass located in the Indian state of Goa. It is situated on the border of Goa, Karnataka, and Maharashtra, making it a notable tri-junction point. Surrounded by lush greenery and beautiful landscapes, Chorla Ghat offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city life.
Nestled in the tristate intersection of Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra, Chorla Ghat is a perfect destination for a small weekend getaway. The abundance of rare wildlife and birds in Chorla Ghat makes it one of the biodiversity hotspots.
The ghat is famous for its scenic views, especially during the monsoon season when the hills come alive with cascading waterfalls and vibrant flora. The mist-covered valleys, dense forests, and winding roads make it a popular destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.
During monsoon seasons these enthralling woods are transformed into enchanting forests, the manifesting bio-luminescent mushrooms of western ghats illuminate these landscapes, making them a visual spectacle. This place is a treat for nature lovers, bird watchers & wildlife photographers.
Apart from its natural beauty, Chorla Ghat is also home to a rich biodiversity. Wildlife enthusiasts can spot a variety of animals and birds, including rare species like the Malabar grey hornbill and the Indian giant squirrel.
For those seeking an adrenaline rush, Chorla Ghat offers opportunities for trekking, exploring the forest trails, and even camping under the starry night sky. There are several viewpoints along the way that provide breathtaking panoramic views of the Western Ghats.
Visiting Chorla Ghat is an immersive experience that allows you to reconnect with nature and rejuvenate your senses. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful getaway, an adventurous trekking expedition, or simply to admire the awe-inspiring beauty of the Western Ghats, Chorla Ghat is a destination that won’t disappoint.
Avalanche (Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu)
Located in the picturesque Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu, Avalanche is a nature lover’s paradise. Blessed with breathtaking landscapes, pristine lakes, and lush greenery, this enchanting destination captivates visitors with its natural beauty.
Hiding quietly from most visited destinations like Ooty, Coonoor and Kothagiri, Avalanche Village is an absolute contrast to its neighbours. It’s a charming landscape and crystal-clear lake would make a great picnic spot for a wonderful time with your family & friends.
The main attraction of Avalanche is the Avalanche Lake, a shimmering body of water surrounded by dense forests and towering mountains. The crystal-clear waters of the lake reflect the majestic peaks and create a serene ambience that calms the soul. Visitors can indulge in various activities such as boating, fishing, or simply relaxing by the lakeshore, taking in the tranquil surroundings.
This quaint destination in Nilgiris is a blessed rain catchment zone. Hence the pristine Avalanche Lake is surrounded by green carpets of nature almost throughout the year, except for the deep winters when the frost-covered grounds make it look even more magical!
The surrounding forests of Avalanche are a haven for flora and fauna. Trekkers and nature enthusiasts can explore the unspoiled wilderness, witnessing a rich diversity of plant and animal species. The region is home to several rare and exotic orchids, making it a paradise for botany lovers. Birdwatchers can spot a variety of avian species, including colourful parakeets, vibrant flycatchers, and majestic eagles.
For adventurous souls, Avalanche offers thrilling opportunities for trekking and camping. The undulating hills and valleys provide a perfect setting for adrenaline-pumping activities. Whether it’s conquering challenging terrains or setting up a campfire under the starlit sky, Avalanche promises an unforgettable experience for adventure seekers.
Visitors can also explore nearby attractions like Emerald Lake, which is known for its emerald-coloured waters and tranquil ambience. The Mukurthi National Park, located close by, is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, with its diverse range of animals including elephants, tigers, and Nilgiri langurs.
To complete the experience, Avalanche offers a pleasant climate all year round, making it an ideal getaway from the scorching summer heat. The monsoon season adds to the charm, as the rain transforms the landscapes into a verdant paradise.
With its unspoiled beauty and tranquil atmosphere, Avalanche in Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, is a destination that will leave you spellbound. Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or a rendezvous with nature, this enchanting place has something to offer for everyone. So pack your bags and immerse yourself in the captivating allure of Avalanche!