Kolukkumalai Sunrise Trek

Kolukkumalai Sunrise Trek

The Kolukkumalai Sunrise Trek leads you through the Kottagudi Tea Plantations located in Tamil Nadu’s Theni district, which is home to the highest tea plantations in the world and offers a breathtaking sunrise experience. Kolukkumalai is the gateway to Meesapulimala, the second-highest peak in the Western Ghats. Unfortunately, the route from Kolukkumalai to Meesapulimala Peak Trek has been closed and is now government-reserved property. However, you can still enjoy the stunning views from the top of Kolukkumalai, which is situated on the border between Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Previously, the only way to reach Kolukkumalai was from the town of Munnar in Kerala, which is approximately 32 kilometers away. 

Due to the challenging terrain, jeeps are the only means of transportation allowed to access Kolukkumalai, and walking along this route is prohibited. You can hire jeeps from Suryanelli, and it takes around 2 hours to reach the drop-off point before beginning the trek. The trek is relatively easy, spanning about 1.5 km, although it can become difficult during the monsoon season due to slippery conditions and strong winds. Nonetheless, beginners can still complete the trek with ease.

Best Time for Kolukkumalai Sunrise Trek

The Kolukkumalai Sunrise Trek offers breathtaking views throughout the year, but it’s incredibly stunning during the post-monsoon season. After the rains, the fields are lush and vibrant, making the trek a truly unforgettable experience. While the monsoon season brings mist and slippery roads, it’s still a great time to embark on this adventure. However, if you prefer clearer skies and more stable conditions, consider planning your trek after the monsoon season has passed.

Highlights of Kolukkumalai Sunrise Trek

  • Embarking on a trek before the break of dawn, during the wee hours of the morning while the world is still enveloped in darkness, presents a formidable challenge. However, the arduous journey becomes entirely worthwhile once you reach the summit and are embraced by the awe-inspiring spectacle of a sunrise that leaves you breathless.
  • Located just below the Kolukkumalai sunrise viewpoint, the Tiger-faced rock is truly a sight. This scenic spot provides a stunning vantage point with unobstructed views of Meesapulimala.
  • Kolukkumalai boasts the distinction of hosting the globe’s most elevated tea plantation, which yields organic tea leaves distinguished by their distinct flavor and aroma, thanks to the tea plants growing at such a high altitude.

Kolukkumalai Sunrise Trek Detailed Trail Information

Upon arriving at the Upper Suryanelli Estate, which serves as the base camp, you must arrange for a jeep to transport you to the drop-off point. Aim to reach Suryanelli by 4 am, and the jeep will take you to the drop-off point just in time for sunrise.

Following a brief 1.5 km trek in the dark, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking view from the summit. You’ll witness a truly unforgettable sight as the sun rises through a dense blanket of clouds.

For your convenience, camping services are available in Kolukkumalai, allowing you to relax and enjoy a peaceful night, complete with a bonfire and an early sunrise.

After walking along the descending path for approximately 280 meters, you will arrive at the Tiger-Faced Rock. Carved by nature, the rock resembles a tiger’s head and is truly captivating.

From this point, you will have an incredible view of the sunrise and the Meesapulimala Peak right before you. As you descend, you will be greeted by the enchanting contours of the hills adorned with the serene morning mist.

Kolukkumalai is located on the border between Tamil Nadu and Kerala, with Tamil Nadu on your left and Kerala on your right during the uphill trek. The return journey follows the same path you took to reach the summit.

Retrace your steps, return to your jeep, and enjoy the lush tea gardens surrounding your route, a sight hidden in darkness before sunrise.

How to Reach For Kolukkumalai Sunrise Trek

To experience the breathtaking sunrise at Kolukkumalai, visitors must first make their way to the town of Suryanelli in Kerala, as it is the only accessible route to the hill despite its location in Tamil Nadu. From Suryanelli, the only means of transportation available to ascend the mountain are jeeps, readily available throughout the day.

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