The Altaghat Quest – A Rainforest Expedition

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Image - Pravin Shanmughanandam

The waves of sprawling tea and coffee plantations are sweeping away wildlife habitats and biodiversity at the Western Ghats. A group of conservationists have bought 175 acres of coffee plantation, set amidst tropical rainforests in the Anamalais range of the Western Ghats, named Altaghat.

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Image – Pravin Shanmughanandam

In order to step up their conservation efforts and to make an enduring difference, the estate management have taken a conscious decision to let in like minded travellers to experience and explore by foot, these pristine rainforests of Anamalais.

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Paths to trek | Image – Pravin Shanmughanandam

This will not only provide one with a unique opportunity to get a feel of the jungle but also allow guests to tread the paths of wilderness to understand the lesser known wildlife and forest landscapes better.

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Image – Keerthana Balaji

Bought with a mind for conservation, Altaghat employs indigenous people belonging to the Kadar community to control and manage these areas. Kadars, an indigenous tribe native to southern part of Western Ghats, have made significant contributions towards scientific research on hornbills and protecting tigers.

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The Kadar family at Altaghat | Image – Keerthana Balaji

On your visit to  Alta, you will be warmly welcomed by the Kadars, the native community residing there, who will be later showing you around by foot through the forest and share the wonders of the rainforest.

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Image – Pravin Shanmughanandam

At Altaghat, you’ll be part of an unforgettable travel experience where the conservation efforts of the landowners, local communities and tourists come together effectively towards making a real difference to the quality of life for local people, the native wildlife and bio-diversity at large.

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Trekking at Altaghat | Image – Keerthana Balaji

Visiting Altaghat, you will get to know the beauty of Western Ghats rainforest (sholas) and its high altitude grasslands through the experience of its inhabitants, their traditions and their history. The rainforest changes with the seasons, but at Altaghat it is always captivating and full of life.

Image - Pravin Shanmughanandam
Trap Camera Setting | Image – Pravin Shanmughanandam

Your eco-tourism activities at Altaghat include bird-watching, hiking, trekking, photography, a night-time walk for herping , tree walks, setting up of camera-traps and taking part in the plantation of native tree saplings to help rainforest restoration. Altaghat is also a bird watchers’ paradise and offers a rich habitat for birds like the hornbills, trogons, endemic bulbuls, thrushes, flycatchers, nuthatches, shortwings, goshawks, eagles (black, serpent and crested), woodpeckers and imperial pigeons.

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Grey headed Canary Flycatcher | Image – Ramki Sreenivasan

Mammal life is very rich too with elephants, gaurs , leopards, sloth bears, Nilgiri martens, Nilgiri langurs, and the occasional straying tiger. A naturalist from Thadam Experiences will accompany you, imparting knowledge on various aspects about the forest, it’s wildlife and their behaviours that will provide a wholesome experience even for a beginner.

AMENITIES IN THE PROPERTY:

The negative impact on the forest comes from stresses on the environment in accommodating the physical needs and comforts of the tourists. Trash, fuel wood, living etc. all put a large stress on the ecology.

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That’s why, your stay at Altaghat will include minimal luxuries but have all the necessary comforts to experience best, the precious time amidst the protected rainforest.

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The house has two bed-rooms  in the first floor with camp cots and sleeping bags. A dining-cum-reading room is at the base floor.

altaghat, rainforest expedition, pollachi papyrus, eco tourism, valparai, thalanar, anamalais, anamalai tiger reserve, eco tourism, trekking, monsoon, herping, wildlife, birding, birdwatching
Image – Pravin Shanmughanandam

So, come experience the true meaning of bio-diversity as you explore the remote idyllic valleys and tropical rainforests of Altaghat.

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Written By

An enthusiast at heart, Pravin considers himself a Nature lover, dreamer and God's child. Through The Pollachi Papyrus, he aspires to offer a platform where like-minded travel enthusiasts can come together, collaborate and contribute towards efficiently documenting and creatively publishing the richness of the bio-cultural diversity, the land of Pollachi and the Anamalais hosts!

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