Snuggled in between the Western Ghats mountain range and the Arabian Sea, Kerala has the best of both the worlds. The lush green mountains of Kerala are home to exquisite rainforests, green tea plantations, pristine tribal settlements and wildlife unique to the biosphere. It is perfect to explore embarking on trekking and other wildlife adventures. There are numerous trekking and adventure places in Kerala blessed with natural beauty and peace away from chaos of cities. Kerala is not just the place to get away for relaxation, adventures abound the entire state.
Here are the top 7 Trekking and Adventure Places in Kerala:
1. Agasthyakoodam Peak
Agasthyakoodam Peak stands at a height of 1868 m above sea level, accessible only on foot. It is the second highest peak in the state. Legend states that the mountain was the abode of great saint Agasthya. Till date, women are not allowed to undertake this trek, as the tribals and worshippers of the legendary Saint believe that he wouldn’t approve.
The trek to Agasthyakoodam is through pristine hills and forests. The mountain is said to be a storehouse of medicinal plants needed in Ayurveda. The air you breathe in the mountain is also therapeutic, curing diseases and ailments. At the end of the trail at the high top, there is a full-size statue of Agasthya on the peak. Pay your respects. Marvel at the breathtaking scenery, photograph the beautiful landscape and learn about the Ayurvedic herbs growing in abundance.
A forest pass has to be obtained the wildlife office in Thiruvananthapuram.
Best Time to Visit: December to April.
2. Chembra Peak
Chembra peak is not just beautiful but thrilling to explore. Trekking through Chembra Peak goes through large tea plantations, trails shrouded in misty clouds and lush forests. It rises to a height of 2100 meters above sea level.
The trek to Chembra Peak is of 14 km and takes 4-5 hours. It is worth the hard work to trek to the high peak when you make a stop at the heart shaped lake. It is an alluring attraction of this peak. This lake is known as ‘hridhayathadakam’. Marvel at the gorgeous scenery and enjoy the sight of rare flora. Trekking to Chembra Peak is not for the novice but for those with some previous experience. The local tribal folks offer their valuable advice as they know most trails and the region.
Prior permission is required from the forest office in Meppady to the trek. Camping is allowed at top of the peak.
Best Time to Visit: November to February.
3. Rajamalai / Eravikulam National Park
Rajamalai is a small hill station situated inside the Eravikulam National Park. The park was founded to protect the endangered Nilgiri Tahr. Trip to Rajamalai is for nature lovers and to enjoy trekking.
The Eravikulam l national park is spread across an area of 97sq km and is a protected area. The park is divided into 3 regions of core area, buffer area and tourism area. Apart from the Nilgiri Tahr, other species inhabiting the park are elephant Gaur, Leopard, Lion-Tailed Macaque, Tiger, Giant Squirrel, and Sambar. Birds, flora and rare herbs are also seen.
Visitors are allowed to trek in the tourism area, which is in the Rajamalai region. Tourists can take safari and trekking tours inside the park. One can walk along the trail or board the safari bus. Entry fee is to be paid at the entry point adjacent to Munnar – Udumalpet main Road.
Best time to Visit: March to June and October to December.
[ Also read: Top 10 Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks in Kerala ]
4. Anamudi Peak
Anamudi, the 2,695-m high mountain sited in the Eravikulam National Park is the highest in Kerala. It is also the highest point in India outside the Himalayan Mountain Ranges. Trekking to the dizzy inducing peak is one of the must do things in Kerala.
The trek to Anamudi Peak passes through lush hills, valley, tea estates, spices plantations, and wildlife etc. You can also enjoy the view of Vaigai and Thamirabarani and the Periyar River flowing into the Arabian Sea. While your journey to the peak you can be greeted by Asian elephants, Gaurs and the Nilgiri Tahrs. One of the most beautiful sights is the total covering of the hillside with the blue Neelakurinji blooms. You look up and see nothing else but the carpet of blue flowers and this happens only once in twelve years.
Those who wish to trek should take permission from the Eravikulam National Park authorities.
Best time to visit: November to May.
5. Dhoni Hills
Dhoni Hills is a healthy thriving forest blessed with several natural riches. The Hills neighbor the beautiful Malampuzha Reservoir. Dhoni Hills is a wonderful destination for trekking. About 3 from Dhoni Hills, Azhakampara waterfall is a delightful attraction to see amidst scenic beauty. The falls are a 4 km trek from bottom of the hills through steep mountain trail.
The Dhoni hills trail takes you on a memorable trek in the soul of the Western Ghats. It is extremely rich in wildlife, and trekkers have the chance to sight some rare species. Leopard, sloth bear, Nilgiri langur, hanuman langur, bonnet macaque and other rare mammals are spotted. Among birds, Malabar whistling thrush, Asian fairy blue bird and a number of bee eaters are sighted. En-route make a stop at the British Kavarakunnu bungalow constructed in 1857 and now an abandoned site.
Permission is to be taken from Forest Range Officer at Olavakkode.
Best time to visit: May to November
6. Silent Valley National Park
The Silent Valley National Park spread across 89 sq. km is a part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It is the catchment area of the Kunthi River. The entire valley was declared a national park in 1985 but is closed to tourists, and there is no habitation within the park. So it was a rare privilege to be allowed to trek through the Silent Valley.
The trails of the Valley take you through remarkable scenery, from tropical evergreen forest with gigantic trees and Shola grasslands. Leopards, deer, elephants, Tiger, the Nilgiri tahr, Nilgiri langur, Malabar giant squirrel and a large bird population that includes Malabar whistling thrush, hornbills all live in Silent Valley National Park.
Permission for entering the national park can be obtained from the Wildlife Warden’s office at Mannarkad or from the Assistant Wildlife Warden’s office at Mukkali.
Best time to Visit: October to May
Explore some great trekking places in Kerala with below tour packages:
Ponmudi is a hill station in the Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala in India. It lies at an altitude of around 1000 m and is a popular destination for trekking in Kerala. In the local language it means Golden Crown. It is part of the Western Ghats mountain range that runs parallel to the Arabian Sea.
Ponmudi is blessed with natural beauty. A variety of wildlife inhabits the hills. Sightseeing includes Ponmudi Waterfalls, Deer Park, River Kallar, Meenmutty Falls and Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary. It is also famous for Ayurvedic medical treatments. It also the breeding grounds of the broad-tailed grass bird, a threatened species.
Ponmudi serves as a base for several trekking and hiking trails. The famous trekking trail starts from Kallar River Bridge just before Ponmudi and proceeds along the banks of Kallar River upstream till Meenmutty Waterfalls.
Entry fee needs to be paid at the entry point. There are also government accommodations available for tourist.
The best time to visit: October to March.