Day 1: A Tough Day Indeed; To Kolukkumalai Tea PlantationI blissfully woke up to views of mountains on my right. Tells me we have arrived. We have arrived at Kurangani, the base camp of the trek. We went to a nearby river to refresh ourselves and for the daily chores. Once done we had breakfast of Poori, idli and vada.We dumped our backpacks in a jeep which will ferry them to the tea estate. We need to carry a day pack with the essentials. Packed lunch of lemon rice was given to all.
10. Kurangani (Theni)It is one of the most rejuvenatinga tourist places in Tamil Nadu and is located atop the Western Ghats. It has estates growing coconut, mangoes, spices, and coffee. There is a mountain rivulet that passes between Kurangani mountains in the east and Kolukkumalai in the west.
Top station was a historic shipment point for the transportation of tea leaves via a rope way carriage constructed in 1924. This rope way spread over 3 stations: Top Station; Central Station and Bottom Station (Kurangani); from where on tea chests were transported to Bodi, to the nearest railway station. Top Station derived its name from its being the upper terminus of the Kottagudi Aerial Ropeway built in 1902. Tea chests arriving at Top Station from the Kundalai Valley were transported by a ropeway from Top Station 5 km downhill to the south to Kottagudi, Tamil Nadu. The tea was then shipped 15 km by cart to Bodinayakkanur, then by rail to other places in India and ship to England. Remains of the ropeway station at Top Station are still visible. Elevation at top of Bodi ropeway was 1,911 meters (6,270 ft.).