Highest Peaks in South India

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The highest peaks in South India are renowned for their lush greenery, diverse landscapes, and breathtaking summit views. Some of the peaks are trekkable and offer a thrilling experience. For nature lovers, these peaks are an exhilarating getaway that can be done over a weekend. 

Let’s explore the highest peak in South India and learn more about how to plan a trip to these peaks. 

The Highest Peaks in South India 

Peak Name Altitude Location Best Time to Visit 
Anamudi 2,695 metersKeralaOctober to May
Meesapulimala2,640 metersKerala September to May
Dodabetta 2,637 metersTamil NaduOctober to May
Mukurthi 2,554 metersTamil NaduOctober to June 
Vellarimala2,240 metersKerala November to May

1. Anamudi Peak

Anamudi is the highest peak of the Western Ghats located in Kerala.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
  • The highest peak in South India, Anamudi is located in Eravikulam National Park in Kerala. 
  • Anamudi Peak is home to different wildlife species such as Asian Elephants, Gaur, and Nilgiri Tahrs, the national park is close to the famous hill station, Munnar. 
  • The trail traverses lush green forests, scenic tea and spice plantations and breathtaking landscapes. The view from the Anamudi Peak is mesmerising. You will be mesmerized to witness the panoramic views of the Western Ghats, mountain rivers, and sprawling tea gardens. 

2. Meesapulimala

  • Located in Kerala, Meesapulimala is the second-highest peak in South India rising to a staggering height of 2,640 mt. 
  • The name comes from three Malayalam words – Messa means moustache, puli means tiger, mala means hills, and also called Tigers’s Whiskers. 
  • The 8 km trek to the second-highest peak in Kerala and the Western Ghats begins from Rhodo Valley near Munnar. 
  • Trek to Messapulimala Peak offers idyllic surroundings. Gushing streams, vibrant blooms and tranquil environs add to the charm of the trek. 
  • Kerala Forest Development Corporation Ltd (KFDC) organizes a trek to Meesapulimala.  If you plan to trek to the Western Ghats’ second-highest peak, head to the government website to learn more about the trek. 

3. Doddabetta Peak

  • The peak is the highest in Nilgiri hills and the third highest in South India. 
  • Dodabetta is famous for panoramic views of Nilgiri Range from the summit, and magical sunrise and sunset. 
  • The peak is accessible with a motorable road up to the summit. 
  • The trail passes through grassy slopes and dense shola forest – an ecosystem unique to the Western Ghats. 
  • Dodabetta charms you with its beautiful and refreshing sceneries, the bird’s eye view of the misty green hills. 
  • Offers a rewarding trail to the summit with a Telescope house offering panoramic views of the sprawling green Nilgiri hills in its entirety. 

4. Mukurthi Peak

  • Located inside Mukuthi National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and home to Nilgiri Tahr, is one of the highest peaks in South India. 
  • The trail to the peak is renowned for its dense shola forests and grasslands. 
  • Known for the lush greenery and misty trail, the summit of the peak offers a breathtaking view of the Western Ghats. 
  • The peak is home to diverse flora and fauna and a paradise for nature lovers and bird watchers. 
  • Trekkers need to obtain permits from the Forest Department of Tamil Nadu. 

5. Vellarimala Hills

  • Vellarimala is a mountain range in Kerala, known for its scenic beauty. 
  • The peak is known as the Camel’s hump mountain and offers one of the most picturesque trails in South India. 
  • It is known for its rugged terrain, lush green forest and challenging trail leading to breathtaking sceneries. 
  • The majority of the mountain range falls in the Meppadi Forest Range of the South Wayanad Division. Its peaks also sprawl to the Thamarassery Range of Kozhikode Division. 
  • Encounter gushing waterfalls and streams while trekking to the highest peak of the range, Vavul Mala at 2,339mt. 

How to plan your trek to the highest peaks in South India

Select the right peak – Most of these peaks are located near Bangalore and take you to the maximum altitude of 2,400 mt. Select the peak you want to trek depending on the altitude and fitness level required. If you are a beginner, opt for Dodabetta and Meesapulimala. For those with adequate fitness select Anamudi and Vellarimala. Beginners can also attempt these treks, however, the trails are challenging for complete beginners. 

Book your stay – Trekking to some of the picturesque peaks is convenient as they are located in renowned tourist destinations like Munnar, Ooty, and Wayanad. Plan your stay well in advance and avoid last-minute hustle. As these towns are popular hill stations attracting hundreds of travellers, it is recommended to book your stay at the base beforehand. 

Permits, guides and entry fees – Though you can explore these peaks without guides, it is important to know about the requirements of permits and entry fees. 

Similarly, you may have to pay a certain amount as an entry fee at some of the forest department checkpoints. So remember to carry sufficient cash with you. 

Reaching to the base – Munnar, Ooty and Wayanad are all well-connected to major cities. You can choose to travel by public transport or drive your vehicle to the base. 

Important tips to remember 

  • Carry a first aid kit in case of any emergencies 
  • Start early from the base to start your hike before the sun becomes harsh
  • Bring a healthy packed lunch and trail snacks for the hike
  • Carry enough water as there are no water sources on the trail
  • Leave no trace and avoid littering on the trail or at the summit 
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing, and avoid wearing jeans
  • Bring a Sun hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from scorching sun
  • Do your weather research before heading to the trail
  • Carry insect repellent 

From the towering heights of Anamudi to the tranquil landscapes of Dodabetta, the highest peaks in South India offer an exhilarating trekking experience. If you are looking for an adventurous weekend getaway plan the trek to the highest peaks of South India and witness the beauty of these majestic peaks. 

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