The state of Kerala promises a captivating and revitalizing break for explorers looking to shed off the tensions of their lives by trekking. The beautiful land invited people from around the world. One of the most magnificent places in Kerala is its hill stations which are situated in the upper areas of Western Ghats. The enticing hill towns of the state are the perfect retreat for voyagers who wish to be surrounded by greenery that is abundant in the hilly areas.

Lush green hills and tea gardens of MunnarImage Source

These are the least explored area of all the scenic places in Kerala and are perfect breaks from the hustle-bustle of your life. While heading to the hill towns like Palakkad or Munnar, you will come across beautiful rivers and wonderful waterfalls on the way to the hills. After reaching the hill stations, the lush greenery makes the undulating landscape a revitalizing retreat for the voyagers. These hill stations were tribal villages, but now are famous travel destinations, where one gets spellbound in the enchanting views of the beautiful green hills between the floating layers of mist. The beautiful hotels and resorts in these hill stations provide great views and incredible experiences of the astonishing environment.

Trekking

Taking single or multi-day hiking trips through rustic, rugged mountain trails is simply a delight for the adventurous souls in you. Numerous individuals who love trekking take part in longer excursions through the hilly districts of Kerala, utilizing trekking as a method for getting from one place to another. It can be combined with various other adventure sports like rock climbing, camping, etc. As you proceed on foot through the green grass and rural areas, you will get to experience stunning views around you. Trekking through secluded regions will give you an experience vastly different than travelling to more popular destinations. It frequently enables you to connect with nature, by rock climbing, exploring a mountain or the whole mountain range.

Guided helping a trekker on a difficult trekImage Source

If you are a beginner who is trekking in Kerala, go with somebody who has some experience or with professional guides. This can help you get to know any special skills required to effectively make an overland expedition of considerable length. Various associations offer classes and plan trips that can help give an idea of the physical capacity and gear required for trekking.

Trekking in Kerala

Strolling on great trails with moderate slopes, trekking in Kerala will allow you time for wildlife spotting, touring and exploring the magnificence of the mountains and valleys. Trekking in Kerala is one of the most popular experiences for trekking lovers. There are boundless opportunities for exceptional spots at various destinations of Kerala. The voyagers can likewise explore the stunning magnificence of the mountains romancing the sparkling falls.

Here is a selection of some of the most trekking spots in Kerala that will be soul food for the hiker in you.

1. Top Station Trek – Munnar, Altitude: 1880m

The hills leading to Top StationImage Source

Difficulty Level: Easy
Trail Distance: 9km
Trail Time: 4 hours

About 40km from Munnar town lies the most visited place in Munnar– the Top Station Viewpoint. It rewards you with probably the most entrancing views of Kottagudi valley and the fog cloaked Meesapulimala and Kolukkumalai peaks. The trek starts from behind the top station view-point and descends to Kurangani village, going through Muthuvagudi town, perched at 1175m above sea level. The trail is an old path created by the tribal people and it connects the villages in the mountains with those in the valley. Bring water along; you can refill the bottle at the Muthuvagudi village.

2.Kolukkumalai Peak Trek – Munnar, Altitude: 2170m

Trekking towards a mountainImage Source

Difficulty Level: Moderate
Trail Distance: 11 km
Trail Time: 7 hours

Going across the Tamil Nadu and Kerala borders, the trail to Kolukkumalai peak is one of the most pleasant and popular climbs in the Idukki region. The trail begins from Kurangani town and finishes at the peak at 2170m above sea level. The track goes through the fields, Shola forest and, apparently, the highest tea garden on the planet at 2036m above sea level. Start early morning as the mountain hill faces east and the sun will be harsh through the 3km stretch of field, without many trees. Bring water and some snacks along; you can refill the bottle at the Kolukkumalai tea estate.

3. The Periyar Tiger Trail – Thekkady, Altitude: 900m to 2000m

A group of trekkers beginning their Periyar trekPic Courtesy: Thrillophilia

Difficulty Level: Difficult
Trail Distance: 35 km
Trail Time: 24 to 36 hours

Since this is a reserve forest, this region stays in its actual condition and the surroundings are really green. The Forest Officers arrange a team to go with you. The team includes people who were poachers earlier but are not protectors. They are strong, reliable men. It is essential; in the event that you get lost in this unfamiliar region, a tiger may abruptly show up as this spot is famous for their presence.

The trek itself takes 2 to 3 days, so night stay will be there. Camping is arranged by the team beforehand. It would be an extraordinary experience if you happen to spot elephants. These animals do not like to be bothered; so simply stay calm and wonder at God’s beautiful creation! The reserve is in Thekkady and is a natural habitat of elephants. A guided day-trek is also available. Periyar Lake is serene and is a great place to unwind. Thekkady is connected to all major towns of Kerala by road.

4. Meesapulimala Peak Trek – Munnar,  Altitude: 2,640m

A group of trekkers resting after a long trekImage Source

Difficulty Level: Difficult, Permission required from KFDC
Trail Distance: 8km
Trail Time: 6.5 hours

Located at 2640m above sea level, Meesapulimala is the second highest peak in the Western Ghats range. You need prior permission from Kerala Forest Development Corporation to trek here. The climb begins from Kolukkumalai Tea Estate; you can reach here via jeeps rented from Suryanelli. The last 2 km to the top is one of the most adventurous and hardest as compared to the other treks on this rundown. Bring water (4 litres/per person) some snacks, and lunch along.

5. Agasthyakoodam Peak Trek – Thiruvanthapuram,  Altitude: 1868m

Trekking slowly moving ahead on a mountain pathImage Source

Difficulty Level: Difficult, KFWD Pass required
Trail Distance: 40km
Trail Time: 2 days and 1 night: Circuit

Located at a height of 1868 m above sea level, Agasthya Mala is the highest summit in the south of Kerala. It offers a magnificent trekking experience that is outside of the Idukki region and is one of the most desired trekking routes. The journey to the top is permitted based on stringent rules and is open during January to mid-March. Permission for this trek that begins from Bonaccord Picket Station 1 is issued on the first-come-first-serve basis online by Kerala Forest and Wildlife Department. The dates are declared by KFWD, usually seven days prior to the season. Bring water(6 litres/per person) and meals.

6. Illikkal Kallu – Kottayam, Altitude: 1,830m

An unusually shaped mountainImage Source

Difficulty Level: Easy
Trail Distance: 6km
Trail Time: 4.5 hours – Circuit

Illikkal Kallu is a set of three uniquely shaped rocks projecting dangerously above Illikkal Mala. Being situated at a much higher height than adjacent territories i.e., 1,220m above sea level, this spot is notorious for lightning strikes, and thus called the Kolliyan Para locally which means Lightening Rock and Sathan Kallu meaning Devil Stone. Naraka Palam otherwise known as Devil’s Bridge is a thin, dangerous ridge connecting the stones to the ridge. It also has a little cave. Bring 2 litres water/ per person and some light snacks.

7. Chembra Peak Trek – Waynad, Altitude: 2100m

The heart-shaped lake near the pinnacle of the peakPic Courtesy: Twitter

Difficulty Level: Moderate, Guided- KFWD Pass required
Trail Distance: 10km
Trail Time: 6 hours – Circuit

The gem of Wayanad, Chembra, situated at 2,100m above sea level, has the well-known heart-shaped lake at around 180m underneath the pinnacle. Of late, climbs to the pinnacle have been denied by forest authorities, citing some reasons. Anyhow, it is quite an experience to climb to the lake. You can get the permission for trekking at Chembra forest office at the base. A guide comes along with you during the trek. Bring water(4 litres/per person), snacks, and lunch along.

8. Lion Tailed Macaque Trail -Kollam,  Altitude: 100m to 1,850m

Spotting deer during the trekImage Source

Difficulty Level: Moderate, Guided
Trail Distance: 18km
Trail Time: 8 hours – Circuit

A trail going through evergreen and semi-evergreen forests of Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary in Kollam is a trekker’s dream. The beaten track is protection and preservation-related trek arranged by the Wildlife Sanctuary to educate people about the flora and fauna. Spotting Lion-tailed Macaques is quite common on the way. Elephants and Gaurs are regularly seen along the path. Additionally plentiful are birds, butterflies, and other insect species. You will be accompanied by forest officials and guides.

9. Anamudi Peak -Munnar, Altitude: 2,695m

The majestic Annamudi PeakPic Courtesy: Pinterest

Difficulty Level: Moderate, KFWD Pass required
Trail Distance: 600m ascension and 2km walk
Trail Time: 4-5 hours

It is the highest mountain in South India and furthermore the highest summit point in India outside the Himalaya. Anamudi along with the Eravikulam Park houses Asian Elephants, Nilgiri Tahrs and Gaurs. You can get permission from Kerala Forest and Wildlife Department prior to starting the trek to the top of Anamudi. If you simply wish to see the Anamudi top from a distance, you can take the guided minibus journey of Eravikulam National Park which will take you to the point that offers a stunning panoramic view of the Anamudi peak and other neighbouring summits.

10. Paithalmala -Kannur,  Altitude: 1,372m

Lush greenery, clouds and hillsPic Courtesy: Twitter

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
Trail distance: 5 km
Trek Time: 09.00 AM to 05.30 PM

Paithalmala is one of the most stunning trekking trails in Kannur district. Situated in the Western Ghats, this place looks over the fields of Kannur on one side and the Coorg valleys on the other. From the peak, if the mist is not fully covering the surroundings, you would see small houses in towns down the valley below.

The trail isn’t difficult for an experienced trekker. Where the forest ends, the vast meadows start. You need to trek around 5 km through the semi-evergreen shola woods to reach the peak. First, you need to pick between two trekking trails. The one that starts from Pottenplave, close to Kudianmala, is the more popular one, simpler and goes alongside human civilization. The other is strenuous – it begins at Kappimala close to Alakkodu, and it definitely isn’t for the faint-hearted.

11. Vattavada Trekking, Munnar- Altitude: 1,450m to 2,695m

The houses and hills at VattavadaPic Courtesy: YouTube

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
Trail Distance 4 km
Trek Time: 6 hours

Pambadum Shola forest, in Idukki region, is so thick that a trek inside would give you that adrenaline surge that the adventurous soul in you craves. So as to secure its biological richness and the fragile condition, Pambadum Shola was declared as a National Park in 2003. April to September have wonderful weather and is the perfect time to visit this place.

If you want the best of Pambadum Shola views, a trek to Vattavada from this park will take you through the most beautiful and scenic areas of the forest. This trek through the shola meadows will mesmerize you with views of the green hills and the bluish mountains and the tall trees of a shola woods.

12. Dhoni Hills -Palakkad,  Altitude: 1200m

A sparkling water stream near the rocksImage Source

Difficulty Level: Easy
Trail Distance 4 km
Trek Time: 3 hours

Situated in Palakkad, Dhoni hills is a prominent trekking spot. It takes 3 hours to get to the top of Dhoni hills from the base. This trek is a short, simple and suitable for first-time trekkers. The Dhoni falls is a major attraction here. Water gushing through the hill is a charming sight for the sore eyes. You can also take a bath underneath the fall. Also, you can enjoy a great picnic if you carry food and beverages along with you.

Trekking in Kerala will promise you exciting experiences. To trek through the thick timberlands to the highest point of the hills is invigorating. You get a chance to get close to the nature surrounded by greenery all around.

Have a look at more Trekking Options in Kerala!

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