Last week went for a days outing with my friend who wanted to introduce me to his Friend who wanted to invest in some Software Company. Since that person was in Theni we thought having a meeting in some adjoining hill station would be a nice spot and we freezed on Meega (Cloud) Malai (Mountain).
We started from Madurai by around 5 PM on thursday and we reached Theni by 6.45 PM. There we picked the investor friend and brought all snacks, food and spirits from Theni. En route to Madurai was a highly scenic with Lust Green Fields, Mountains, Lake and in-between small towns where in you can get all local stuff. I came across this Karupatti Mittai (Chocolate) which is hand made and famous in this District. Then there was this temple where every vehicle which passes by stops and offers prayers and donation.
By the time it was 8 o clock in Theni and we proceeded to MeegaMalai which was some 4 KM from there. On the plains of the Hill there was a Check post set by forest department and we were told entry is closed after 6 PM onards. Since one of my friend is an Advocate we were let in because Advocates in Tamil Nadu enjoy unrealistic benefits. We were told road to the hill was bad but after driving a certain distance we found that there was litrally no road at all. Then we were caught on another place where there is a Panchayat check post where in they collected Rs.50/- for entry. Still i cant figure why we paid that money as we found there was nothing done by Panchayat.
Then we reached the hill top by 10 o clock and we had to wake up a Hotel Owner whom we were asked to contact to get a room. Then he took us to a Panchayat Guest House and we were told that was the best guest house in the place. We paid Rs.500/- for a day and the room was mediocre. That day we slept after having Dinner.
Next day we went to Pechiammal Hotel and had our Breakfast. Then we went to a Dam and from there we went to a Tea factory. This factory and the entire hill was leased by Brooke Bond and subsequently it was sold to some Indian company. There are nearly 5000 people working in this factory and they were given facilities like houses, schools, medical aid, subsidized food etc. This entire hill belongs to the company until 2046 when the lease expires. We were told roads and facilities were of high standards when it was under the control of Brooke Bond. Today there are litrally no roads.
Also the company is not interested in developing infrastructure which will lead too much inflow of tourist. So, until this company is there this Hill will always be isolated. But in general we were happy as we were given access to explore the factory run through plantations and then we also had business discussion and there was noting for me to complain about.
The very evening we reached Madurai and it was business at night as usual.