Rising to a towering height of 8,842 feet, Anamudi is the highest peak in Southern India. It is a photographer’s delight and a trekker’s paradise. Situated in the Western Ghats in the district of Idukki, Kerala, the mountain offers a breathtaking experience to entice tourists from India as well as international travellers. Since it is located in the subtropical region, the peak does not experience any snowfall in spite of being the tallest in the Western Ghats.
Covered with dense evergreen forests and meandering rivers, it is home for innumerable species of animals and birds. It is phenomenal in hosting the endangered Asian elephants, Nilgiri Tahr and Gaur. You can also find the rare Neelakurinji flowers in the forests.
Anamudi in colloquial language is known as “elephant’s forehead”, the shape of the mountain resembling the head of an elephant. Being the tallest peak in the Western Ghats, it is also named as the “Everest of South India”. Within India, the peak is said to possess the largest topographic isolation.
Anamudi peak is a place for adventurous activities like trekking and hiking. It is one of the most exciting trekking trails in Southern India. The captivating beauty of the peak with wild life attracts many photographers. It serves as a perfect picnic spot for the locals and the people staying in the adjacent cities. Many tourists prefer it as an ideal place for a weekend getaway. There are camping sites near the peak to stay in tents and enjoy the beauty of the peak in its vicinity.
How to Reach Anamudi
From Munnar City Center-
The road connectivity is excellent between Anamudi and Munnar city center. There are two options which you can avail for the trip. The first option is to reach the Eravikulam national park from Munnar in a private cab or a local bus. It takes approximately only 26 minutes to reach the park from Munnar bus station, covering a distance of 10.6 km via the Munnar – Udumalpet Road.
From the entrance of Eravikulam national park, you can easily trek to reach the Anamudi peak.
If you want a relaxed trip to the peak, then you can also take the guided minibus tour of the park which will take you to the nearest viewpoint of the peak. You can experience the panoramic landscape of Anamudi and other adjacent peaks.
The second option is to drive directly to Anamudi Peak from Munnar. The drive will last for almost 60 minutes approximately. You need to hire a private cab to reach your designated destination.
Best Time to Visit Anamudi
The best time to visit Anamudi Peak is in the winter and spring season in the months from November to May. The temperature is pleasant and cool with a mild soothing breeze. It is neither very cold nor very hot, an ideal time to visit the place.
In the spring, the flowers bloom in abundance and the foliage around presents a stunning lush green view. The beauty of the mountains flourishes multiple times with the flora and fauna of the forests.
It takes a time of 2 to 3 hours to visit the peak. The ideal time for trekking is from November till February in the winters, since the peak does not experience any snow fall. Monsoons are to be avoided as the roads become slippery and insecure to walk across the mountain trails.
What Not to Miss at Anamudi
Attractions and Activities at Anamudi
The key attractions at Anamudi Peak are:
1. Eravikulam or Rajamalai National Park
The park is a residence for the rare species of animals. Nilgiri Tahr, the wild mountain goat, is the main attraction of the park. As per statistics, there are 26 species of mammals, 132 species of birds, 101 species of butterflies and 19 species of amphibians in the park. The flora of the park is amazing, being dominated by the marshy grasslands and shrublands.
2. Neelakurinji Flowers
As you traverse along the mountain trail if you are lucky enough then you can witness the rare Neelakurinji flowers. They bloom once in 12 years and when they do so, the mountain slopes are transformed into purple land.
3. Tea Gardens
Along the route from Munnar to Anamudi Peak, you will witness the stunning green tea garden spread like a wide carpet. Many tea plantations are adorning the hills with colours varying from dark green to light green.
The peak offers a wide range of entertaining activities:
1. Hiking and Trekking expeditions
Anamudi peak has one of the challenging and captivating trails for trekkers and adventure enthusiasts. It is 2 hours ascend from Eravikulam National Park to the peak. The trek is sure to offer a memorable experience for the adventure seekers.
There are ample opportunities for photographers to capture the scenic beauty of the peak with its exotic flora and fauna. The dense evergreen forests and the lush green mountain slopes are captivating and a photographer’s delight.
3. Picnic Spot
The region serves as the perfect spot for picnic or weekend getaway with family and friends, at the foothill of the mountains.
Other Essential Information About Anamudi
Anamudi is located about 13 km from Munnar. It is situated in the southern part of Eravikulam National Park where the three hills Cardamom, Anaimalai, and Palani intersect.
The peak is open for visitors all days from 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM
Entry Fee -
No entry fees for visiting the Anamudi Peak, but you need to pay to enter into Eravikulam National Park. The fee is INR 65 for Indian citizens and INR 245 for foreign citizens.
The peak is located at an altitude of approximately 8,842 feet or 2695 m above the sea level
Average Temperature -
The temperature of the peak ranges between 18 degrees C and 25 degrees C.
Trek Duration -
The duration of the Anamudi trek is almost 2 to 3 days starting from the foothills of Eravikulam.
Network Connectivity on Anamudi -
BSNL has a feeble network coverage at Anamudi. No other service providers have connectivity at the peak.
Places to Eat near Anamudi
The restaurants near Anamudi where you can grab some tasty and delicious dishes are:
1. Saravana Bhavan
The restaurant offers many vegetarian dishes in both Indian and Asian style. It has options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with both take-out and seating facilities.
2. Rapsy restaurant
An excellent dining experience with Indian and Asian delicacies. There are special meal options for veg, vegan and halal. The restaurant offers menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can also drink fresh juices offered at the restaurant.
The restaurant hosts tastiest non veg dishes like fish and chicken. The dishes are delicious and well cooked. Both Indian and Asian cuisines are a part of their menu. The restaurant also serves one of the best authentic Kerala food.
4. Hotel Sri Nivas
The hotel has simple décor but serves tasty and delicious Indian and Asian foods. It is a vegetarian restaurant offering the best South Indian thalis and dishes.
5. Copper Castle
There are multiple cuisines in the restaurant which include Indian, Asian and International. Located at the backdrop of the mountain, it offers a wonderful ambiance. It has take-out options as well.
6. Shree Mahaveer Bhojanalaya Restaurant
The restaurant offers amazing Mahaveer special thali. It serves very tasty and delicious North Indian veg food.
7. Hotel Hillview Munnar Restaurant
The restaurant serves both Indian and Asian styles of dishes. The taste of the food is awesome and delicious. It offers a special candle light dinner too.
Places to Stay near Anamudi
Several camps and homestays are available near Anamudi where you can stay and enjoy the panoramic beauty of the peak:
1. Snowdrops Homestay
Located in the Letchmi estate, the homestay provides free private parking with accommodation. It has both deluxe rooms and cottages. Anamudi peak is 17 km away from the homestay.
2. Pranavam Homestay
The homestay provides family rooms and cottages. It arranges camping and trekking facilities too for the visitors. The rooms are neat and clean, offering a comfortable stay at moderate prices.
3. Mistletoe Homestay & Cafe
Mistletoe is a boutique homestay offering well furnished rooms with a balcony. It has its bakery, café, art gallery, and spa rooms.
4. Pavithra Homestay
The homestay is located near the Lakkam waterfalls. It offers delicious homemade food. It also arranges hiking and skiing for the guests.
5. Camp Woody Luxury
The camp offers an excellent mountain view from its tents. Spa and wellness facilities are available at the campsite. You can witness the sunrise and sunset relaxing at the camps. Bonfires are lit in the evenings for the guests to enjoy. Asian breakfasts are served at the camps. It is a wonderful experience to stay in the vicinity of nature.
Facts about Anamudi
The interesting facts about Anamudi Peak are:
1. Anamudi Peak is the highest peak in the Southern part of India and the tallest in the Western Ghats mountain range.
2. It is one of the popular and renowned trekking destinations in Munnar.
3. History says that the first person to ascend the peak was General Douglas Hamilton in the year of 1862. But locals believe that before him many people have already reached the peak which had not been recorded.
4. The shape of the mountain resembles that of the elephant’s broad forehead. Hence it earned the name of Anamudi, meaning the elephant’s forehead.
5. It hosts the rare Neelakurinji flowers which bloom once in 12 years, covering the mountain with its magical purple colour.
6. Raorchestes Resplendens, a rare species of frog, has been discovered in the forest.
Traveler’s tips for Visiting Anamudi
Few tips before planning a visit to Anamudi are :
1. Book the tickets for entering into the Eravikulam National Park 3 to 4 days before the visit to avoid long queues and waiting time.
2. Wear light cotton clothes for the trek to enjoy a comfortable journey.
3. Select proper trekking shoes or walking shoes for safety and climbing up the steep slopes.
4. Obtain a permit from the Forest Department and the Wild Life authority for trekking to the top of the mountain peak.
5. Expect crowds in the region since it is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Kerala.
Things to carry for trek to Anamudi
The essential things to carry for Anamudi trek are listed below:
1. Carry sunglasses and caps to protect your eyes and face from the heat.
2. Apply and carry a sunscreen lotion for protection against the harmful UV rays.
3. Carry light snacks and water bottles in a backpack.
4. You must always carry a first aid medical kit in your backpack since there are no medical services available along the trekking trail. You may need it in case of any medical emergency.
5. It is better to wear protective leech socks since it’s a forest area and you may come across leeches.