Bird Watching at Meghamalai
Situated 85 kms from Thekkady and 140 kms from Madurai on a height (4500 ft asl). Meghamalai is totally cut off being surrounded by Meghamalai Wildlife Sanctuary and Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and excellent for trekking, bird watching or just a totally cut off / off-beat stay.
The area is full of tea, coffee and cardamom plantations with a bit of pepper and cinnamon as well. Woodbriar Tea Estate has over 6000 acres of tea plantations and is home to one of the largest tea factories in Asia.
A View of the Plantations spread all around the area
At Meghamalai forest area Resident and migratory elephants are common. Other animal population comprise tiger (rarely sighted), leopard, Nilgiri tahr, gaur, spotted deer, barking deer, sambar, wild boar, porcupine, Nilgiri langur, lion-tailed macaque, common langur, bonnet macaque, sloth bear, Grey Junglefowl, Smooth-coated Otter and flying squirrel. The sanctuary is also home to the endangered, arboreal Grizzled Giant Squirrel Ratufa macrora.
Over 100 species of birds have been identified. The rare Great Indian Hornbills are found here. One of the rarest fruit bats of the world, Salim Ali's Fruit Bat is only found in this mountain range.
The area has a limited access and one must have an accommodation reservation or be working in the estate. Cloud Mountain Bungalow is one two bedroom option within Woodbriar Estate.
A stay here is an old plantation bungalow stay experience. From here one can even even explore the other end of the Periyar Wildlife Reserve and spot Gaur (Indian Bisons), variety of birds, wildlife, reptiles and butterflies.