Masinagudi is tucked away in the middle of the Nilgiri mountain ranges which are known for verdant forest, rolling hills, frothy waterfalls and gentle rivers with crystal clear water. This picturesque destination in Tamil Nadu is just one hour’s drive from Ooty, which is one of the favourite getaways of tourists from Kerala.
Masinagudi has everything to keep the visitors engaged with activities such as wildlife safari, nature walk, jungle stay, camping, angling, boating and photography, among others. Hundreds of newlyweds from Kerala and other states flock to Masinagudi to celebrate their honeymoon.
Story behind the name
Masinagudi is the land of people belonging to the Irula tribe and the appellation is derived from Manasi Amman, which is a manifestation of Maa Sakti. It is said that men of this tribal region were night guards of the Chola dynasty. Later, these men turned to agriculture, animal rearing and snake catching for a living after the Chola dynasty lost its glory. They started to manufacture antidotes for snakebites and later migrated to towns in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. But they still follow their culture and rituals that are close to 2,000 years old.
The soothing sights of Masinagudi
One thing that strikes you as you reach Masinagudi is the sprawling tea plantations that are spread across the hills of the region.
You can take a walk through the lush green tea estates as you are allowed to do so. Moreover, you can get a first-hand experience of tea production and also buy various tea-related products.
The Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, which is the first such national park in south India, is situated near Masinagudi. The park, which is located in the ever-enchanting Nilgiri mountain ranges, is home to an impressive flora and fauna including elephants, Bengal Tigers and leopards, among others.
Another place of interest is the Maravakandy dam. The landscape of the region is incredible as on one side there are majestic tall trees and on the other a quiet-flowing river. You can also spot tigers and elephants coming to riverside to quench thirst.
If you are into boating, angling, camping and other activities, then head to the Moyar River, which is 7km away from Masinagudi. As the Moyar River connects the Bandipur National Park and the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, the chances of spotting wild animals coming to the riverside to drink water are pretty high.
The Theppakadu Elephant Camp, which was established in 1972 to train elephants, is a must-see in Masinagudi. Facilities are also in place to go on a wildlife safari while enjoying the grace of the jumbos.
The famous Bandipur National Park and Tiger Reserve is just 15km away from Masinagudi. The Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta, which is the highest peak in the Bandipur National Park, is a treat to the eyes. If you can scale the peak, the view is astounding as you can see the Nilgiri Mountains all around you. You can also find the Venugopalaswamy Temple, which was built around 700 years ago, and a bungalow.
Best time to visit Masinagudi
The best time to visit Masinagudi is from October to May. As the April is the hottest month, it is better to avoid travel to Masinagudi in April.
How to reach
You can reach Masinagudi by road from Ooty, Coimbatore and Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary. The nearest airport is in Coimbatore, which is 123km from Masinagudi. Udhagamandalam (Ooty) is the nearest railway, which is a 20km drive from Masinagudi. Jeeps are available for sightseeing in Masinagudi.