This page promotes the local community-managed Eco-tourism activities in the pristine locations of the Kottagudi Panchayat accessible from Theni and Munnar
The Kottagudi Panchayat, the very first trans-shipment route for tea chests from Munnar to Tuticorin is an undulating stretch of landmass ranging from kolukumalai- world’s highest tea plantation to kurangani. This region is famous for several endemic species of animals like the Nilgiri thar, Nilgiri marten, Nilgiri Langur, Slender lorises, Gaur, Malabar giant squirrel, dusky striped squirrel and birds like the Nilgiri wood pigeon, Blue-winged parakeet, Nilgiri Pipit, Yellow browed Bulbul and Black and orange flycatcher .
A sneak peek into a new initiative at the Kottagudi Valley
One of the most important locals at Top Station - Kaasipandi! He works diligently day in and day out trying to keep the place free of plastic bottles. Some day, Top Station will boast of a good waste-management system with Kaasipandi heading it.
Manikandan is a hard-working individual who belongs to the Kottagudi village of the Kottagudi panchayat. He juggles numerous jobs of a farmer, planter, cook and a tourist guide. Listen to him invite you to his village and the Kottagudi Valley
There is nothing like it in the world to fix a tent by yourself and set it up reading through the instructions one by one! When it is at 2400m above sea level, adorned by a steep cliff, it is but bliss. This is at the camping site at Kollukumalai Tea Estate
Just as you enter the village known as Central Station from Kurangani or exit it from Top Station, do remember to stop at "Athai"'s store. She makes the yummiest Nannari Sherbet (Sarasparilla and Lemon Juice) for miles around and stocks the round tangy orange candies that we used to love so much as children
Kottagudi Village Tour
The Kottagudi Valley is home to numerous animals and birds that is found only here and the surrounding Western Ghats and nowhere else in the world! This is a White-bellied Shortwing, a very shy bird found only at higher elevations of the valley like at Top Station and Central Station.
The meaning of blue! Every summer, between January and May, the skies here light up in perfect blue which shimmers the grasslands below. The sky is either clear or filled with clouds perfect for cloud spotting.
We are organizing a fully-paid getaway for two groups of 4 individuals each, to the Kottagudi village in the Western Ghat mountains in Theni, Tamil Nadu. This village supports a wide variety of birds, cuisines and cultivation.
During the weekend in December 2014 (13-14 & 20-21) these two groups would get a chance to walk around the landscape, join the locals in their rice-fields, eat with them and watch rare birds! If this interests you, send us a message here along with the details of your 4-member group and tell us why you would like to be a part of this!
Trek along the stone/mud roads from the villages Kurangani to Top Station that were laid in the 1890's by the British in the Kottagudi Panchayat. While the tea chests were transported via the rope way across these villages from Munnar, the locals and their mares used these.
Do trek along this route only with a local guide from these villages after informing the Forest Department. Write in to us for any further details
This single tree high up in the hills among the grassland is an important cornerstone in the Kottagudi Valley. It serves as a convenient mark to explain the path ahead between the villages of Kottagudi and Kolukkumalai. Numerous trekkers often rest under this tree to catch a quick breath and awesome sandwiches!
Farming under the mountains: The Kottagudi village is the only village in the Kottagudi Panchayat at Theni which is dependent on farming for its livelihoods. Their farms transform from lush paddy to high maize fields around the year and has been the stage for Tamil movies like Kumki and Mynaa
You can visit this village, work with the locals in their farms, eat with them and visit their village deity: Kannagi.
Kottagudi Ecotourism Circuit is a culmination of eco-tourism initiatives across all the villages in the Kottagudi Panchayat of Theni District in Tamil Nadu. Nestled in a peaceful valley, one can travel from 400 m to 2100m above sea level within this single panchayat. This photograph is from 2100m asl of the Kottagudi valley wrapped in a blanket of clouds from a village called Kolukkumalai! The best time to visit begins in December upto April!.