Meesapulimala was a secluded and unexplored place in the tourism map of Kerala until 2015. Most of the people were not even aware about Meesapulimala Trekking which is nothing less than paradise on earth and one of the most popular trekking spots in Munnar.
Sudden rush of tourists to Meesapulimala was a result of a recent Malayalam movie – Charlie– where the hero says it is place to visit before you die and the descent of mist enveloping the peak is a sight worth watching. Now Meesapulimala is one of the most visited places in Kerala welcoming honeymooners, bikers, mountaineers and adventurists alike. One can always see a swarm of tourists escalading the gigantic mountain.
Meesapulimala is a fusion of three words ‘meesa’ which means moustache, ‘puli’ which means a tiger and ‘mala’ which means mountain in Malayalam. The view of Meesapulimala resembles a tiger about pounce. It is not just the peak but every nook and corner and every twist and turn in the way equally enthralling. The jeep ride from Munnar to base camp and the 8 km trek from there to the peak offer an assemblage of blissful sceneries and landscapes; passing through tea plantations, densely covered forests, lakes and the imposing 8 hills to trek.
Here are some snaps from Meesapulimala Treks of Iris Holidays (used with permission)
Located at a significant altitude of 8,661 feet in the Idukki district of Kerala, Meesapulimala is the second highest peak of the state and the range of eight hills, passes through the shared border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Details of Meesapulimala Trekking
- Trek duration: 6-8 hours, depending on the place from where you start
- Trek distance: 8 km
- Trek difficulty: Moderate to strenuous
- Best time to visit: September to May; avoid monsoon season as the place would turn slippery making it difficult to trek.
KTDC trekking package
The Kerala Tourism Development Corporation has Meesapulimala trekking packages. If you wish to scale this majestic mountain this is the only way to go as the government has announced all other trekking to be illegal.
Munnar town to base camp
The adventure starts from Munnar town. From there the trail starts in a Jeep track that goes to the base of the hill. The road meanders through tea estates and beautiful valleys and the journey is smooth for first 10 minutes after that it becomes steeper and grueling taking you towards the lap of the mountain ranges.
ALSO SEE – Eravikulam National Park
At base camp
KTDC is offering the three stay facilities the base camp, sky cottage and Rhodo mansion.
- Tents at the base camp are very warm and comfortable. Extra sleeping bags are arranged by the KTDC volunteers. By the night fall the temperature drops along with it. The warm tent is not enough to contain the chillness. The tents are for two; rest rooms, electricity recreational activities like campfire are arranged in the common building by the camp.
- Sky cottage is exclusively for couples honeymooning. The cottage is ideally located and designed to nurture love. It is a lonely and secluded cottage atop a cliff overlooking a beautiful waterfall.
- Rhodomansion is located at 7500 feet altitude and surrounded by breathtaking scenery. The mansion is at the foothill of Meesapulimala, right where the trekking starts. You are traveling as a group; the Rhodomansion is the best place stay because more than 10 people can stay together there.
Reaching and reporting for Meesapulimala Trekking
It is ideal to reach a day before the trek, so that you can relax and start fresh in the morning. The trek is strenuous and you need to be as energized and fresh as possible when you commence the trek. When you reach Munnar you need to report at the KTDC office and from there the accommodation facilities can be reached by hiring a Jeep. KTDC will arrange the Jeep but it is not included in the package and has to be paid separately. The KTDC office has a beautiful floriculture center which is a treat to any weary travelers eyes; the garden has an array of exotic and wild high altitude plants and flowers.
Stay on Meesapulimala Trekking
In all the accommodation facilities food and refreshments are provided. In the base camp, facilities for camp fire are available. If you are staying in tent you need to arrange a Jeep to reach the foothill before the trekking starts and same goes for Rhodomansion and sky cottage as they all are hidden in the secluded forests.
Ascend to Meesapulimala Trekking
Ascend begins when everyone from all accommodations reach the foothill ready to trek. The trek is in groups with two KTDC guides to help and guide the tourists. It takes 3-4 hours to reach the peak if the climate is favorable. The process of ascend is not just scaling one mountain; you have to cross a series of ups and downs to finally reach the peak. In every few meters the mountains offer streams of sparkling fresh mineral water to quench the thirst of the weary mountaineer. You have to cross seven hills to reach your destination and the seventh hill is steepest of them all. But the promise of the peak’s sublime view and the ecstasy of conquering the second tallest peak in Kerala keep the traveler going.
ALSO SEE – Anayirangal Dam in Munnar
Meesapulimala peak or Tiger Moustache Mountain
By noon or early noon the tourists will reach the top. There tourists are given time to relax and click pictures. The view at the top the mountain is worth all the trouble. The vision of clouds floating beneath gives a feeling of being in heaven and looking down on earth. Before descending the volunteers will distribute food that they have packed and brought along. From the peak you can catch a glimpse of marvelous Munnar and neighboring Suryanelli which is another place worth seeing. If the enveloping clouds drop down the tourists could see the border shared between the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
The peak and its surrounding places are abundant with Rhododendron; an evergreen woody plant which yields scarlet flowers. Unlike Neelakurinji, Rhododendron blooms every season in Meesapulimala and the Rhodo valley gets its name from these plants.
Descend from Meesapulimala
After finishing the dinner the descend starts again in groups. The way used for ascending is not used to descend. The steeper way is avoided as it would be difficult to trek down a steep way. The other way is more beautiful taking the tourists through valley of flowers and streams. This trail also offers the breathtaking view of Neelakurinji flowers that blooms once in every 12 years; only if you go in the year it blooms.
When you reach the foot of the hill, when your trekking adventure ends; you will be more happy and content than tired.