The Mathikettan Shola Rain Forest Trek is an exciting and challenging trekking route that begins in Munnar. It traces a path through Meesapulimala, the second highest peak in the Western Ghats, through the Cardamom forests of Santhanpara and Chaturangapara, where you get to stay within the forest. If you want to be surrounded by the beauty of nature and venture on a challenging trek, this rainforest trek at Munnar is just what you are looking for.
Day 1: Suryanelli
Your rainforest trek at Munnar begins early, as you to have to ascend to a height of 2640 metres, where the peak of Meesapulimala is located. Meesapulimala is the second highest peak in the Western Ghats and your rainforest trek at Munnar involves navigating through the high altitude cloud forests and grasslands to get to this peak. After a brief stop to feast your eyes on a brilliant view of forests and tea estates down in the valleys below, you will trek down to the tiny hamlet of Suryanelli.
Day 2: BL Ram
You will awaken to the melodious strains of the Malabar Whistling Thrush singing in the cloud forest next to your camp early in the morning. If you are adventurous enough, an early morning climb to the Phantom’s Head will be an ever remembered walk atop the tallest feature nearby from where you can take in the spectacular sunrise over the Papathy Shola (Butterfly Forest – so named for the mass migration of butterflies in October & November). The hills come alive to the morning sun. Today you also have a chance to visit the tribal village of the muduvans – a tribe who have for centuries colonized the upper reaches of the Western Ghats. Their peculiar habit of carrying their children on their backs have earned them their name as muduvans or the ‘back people’. The tribal village located near the Anaerangal lake (“The lake Where the Elephants Come Down”) where elephants have come down for millennium for grazing and water. Snaking across a large area, this lake is placid and beautiful and a source of water for farmers downstream. Many tribal colonies have sprung up around it to farm for spices and cardamom which grow abundantly in the salubrious climate here.
Day 3: Santanpara
Today's trek is through the Mathikettan Shola National Park. A treasure trove of biodiversity, this national park is home to endemic flora and fauna and to wildlife like the Asiatic Elephants and Nilgiri Langurs. Your destination is Santhanpara, set amidst luxuriant vegetation and cardamom spice plantations that give the surrounding area the name 'Cardamom Hills'. This is the capital of the spice cultivating areas that have made Kerala famous through the ages and attracted multitudes of traders from all parts of the world.
You will be trekking from Santhanpara to Chaturangapara, the final part of your rainforest trek at Munnar. This route is a challenging one and goes through the ridge of the Western Ghats. There is a tough climb involved to the view-point from where the plains of the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu are visible. Your camp will be set up within the confines of the forest, allowing you to spend the night amidst the wilderness and experience a sense of peace that comes with the sounds of the wild.
Day 5: Depart
This day marks the end of the Mathikettan Shola Rain Forest Trek. You will depart after breakfast, taking with you the memories of the challenge and the sheer natural beauty of your rainforest trek at Munnar.
Trekking, camping, guide, accommodation in dome tents & cottage tents, refreshments, bottled water while trekking, all meals
Visitors to India must obtain a Visa before departure. All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related issues with the nearest Indian Embassy/ High Commission/ Consular Office for the same.
Airport or departure taxes are not applicable if you depart from Kochi.
It’s advisable to take personal travel insurance policy to cover against sickness, accident, loss of baggage, unexpected alterations to travel arrangements and travel disruption, cancellations, etc.
Internet Access: There is no possibility of accessing internet on this itinerary.
Telephone: There is mobile telephony coverage from the second day of the trek.
The South Indian subcontinent is tropical - warm, humid and often wet. During the main monsoon, (July to September) there is heavy rain. Best time to visit Kerala is from October-March. At the Rodo valley camp, temperatures can go down below freezing during winters.
Food is a very important part of these journeys and we have ensured that the Kerala Cuisine is a part of this adventure besides both North Indian & South Indian food - vegetarian and non vegetarian. All meals and bottled mineral water are provided on all days. Any special food requirements could be met if sufficient notice is given.
Our guides have been adequately trained & qualified in first aid and always carry a comprehensive first-aid kit. In case of any medical emergency we have facilities to transfer you to the nearest hospital immediately, followed by evacuation to the tertiary-care hospital at Kochi (if required).
What to bring
• Warm sets of clothes (Fleece, Jacket, hat and gloves) are required for trips going through Munnar and other high altitude areas.
• Hiking shorts
• Hiking pants/track pants
• Waterproof jacket.
• Casual Shirts/T-shirts
• Binocs & Camera (optional)
• Water proof bags for docs & Electronics
• Personal First Aid Kit
• Insect repellent
• Sunglasses, cap
• Sun screen
• Day pack