Hike to Nadumalai River through the Tea Gardens of Stanmore Tea Bungalow - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Hike to Nadumalai River through the Tea Gardens of Stanmore Tea Bungalow

Nadumalai river and Tea Estates, Valparai

You are standing at the Stanmore Garden Bungalows near Valparai, one of the properties managed by Briar Tea Bungalows overlooking a panoramic view of tea estates and mountains. As you stand mesmerized by the beauty of the sprawling tea estates, you can hear the sound of water in the yonder. This sound of water is coming from the Nadumalai river, Valparai’s main river that begins its journey in the nearby mountains. This is the starting point of your hike to the beautiful Nadumalai river. This hike is possible only if you happen to be staying at any of the properties belonging to Briar Tea Bungalows as the entire trail passes through private tea gardens and estate roads.

The hike through tea gardens to reach Nadumalai river
This hike to Nadumalai river from the Stanmore garden bungalows is a steep down hill trail through tea gardens and finally through dense undergrowth to the Nadumalai river. The hike is fairly easy downhill, though you might huff and puff a bit on your way back up. The only things to watch out are for leeches and slippery terrain if you happen to be walking during the wet season. On your hike, you might come across the whistling sound of the Malabar whistling thrush, the dance of a peacock or the sight of other pretty birds. And if you happen to be lucky, you might even get to see wild dogs or a herd of wild elephants. So this trek is not just a simple walk through tea gardens, but it is also a wildlife walk, if you keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut.

The hike which begins at Stanmore Garden Bungalow ends at the rocks by the Nadumalai river. These rocks can double up as your picnic spot. You can sun bathe here after a dip in the river, you can indulge in some reading here or you can simply enjoy a bite from your picnic basket with your family and friends. This location is absolutely pristine and quiet. The only sounds you can hear here are the gurgle of the river and the sounds of nature surrounding it. Do ensure that you leave this place exactly as how you found it.

Gorgeous leaves near Nadumalai river, Valparai
The rocks of Nadumalai river are also a great location to indulge in some wildlife and nature photography and even to record some authentic sounds of nature. This is my favourite activity to do as the sounds of nature drown away all your thoughts and you end up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. A dip in the river, a small bite to eat and a short nap on these rocks will charge your batteries in record time.

The best time to go on this hike is straight after your morning tea or coffee as this is when the weather will be pleasant, the rays of the sun will be golden (for all those photographers), there is a higher chance of spotting birds and wildlife and you can work up a great appetite after to indulge in all the food items cooked for breakfast.

The rolling hills of tea as seen from the cottages of Stanmore Garden Bungalows, Valparai
Don’t miss this hike to Nadumalai river if you happen to be staying at any of the Briar Tea Bungalows as this pristine and peaceful location has everything from rolling hills, sprawling tea gardens, rich birds and wildlife, a gurgling river, a lovely hike and a fabulous picnic spot. I highly recommend this private trek.

Key things to remember on this hike:

1) A good pair of walking shoes or slippers will help you keep your feet firmly on the ground

2) There is a good chance that you will get leeches on this hike. Do carry some salt with you, if required. Else, just be alert to the leeches climbing onto your shoes and remove them before they start to suck your blood

3) Swim wear, sunglasses and a towel will be required if you wish to take a dip in the water and sun bathe on the rocks near the river

4) The river can have a strong current during the wet season. Do seek local advice and take good care if you don’t happen to be an excellent swimmer

5) Don’t forget to carry along your phone or camera so that you can create excellent memories

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