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Kerala Trekking Challenge
Highest Trekking trail in the Western Ghats
Kerala Trekking Challenge (KT - 03)
Region : South India
10
Days

Activity

Comfort

Cost per Person

US$ 930

Minimum 4 persons travelling (Backpacking Tour)

Tour Overview

Trek through the highest trails in the Western Ghats near Munnar passing through two National Parks and the Second highest peak in South India.The Kerala Trekking Challenge also known as the Top Station Trek, so named for the erstwhile ropeway Station that once stood here to transport tea to the plains, is a challenging trek through the highest trekking trail in South India. For centuries this area was known the world over as the Cardamom Hills, where the most sought after spices were dispatched to all corners of the world. Here is your chance to walk the trail through the wilderness, with every chance of sighting wildlife and meeting up with the indigenous people who live in these parts.



Kerala Trekking Challenge

Day1: Pushpakandam
We start our trek from Kumbummedu on the first day of Kerala Trekking Challenge. We will follow the jeep trail to Ramakelmedu, where we have spectacular views of the vast plains of neighbouring Tamil Nadu. Massive statues of Kuruvan & Kurathy – two legendary tribal figures - make up the backdrop to the magnificent views below. The route is interspersed with tiny spice growing hamlets where the majority of spices of Kerala are grown. We will continue our walk through these small villages and farmlands until we reach our camp. 
Day2: Chaturangapara
After breakfast we start our trek through cardamom and pepper plantations. This would make an excellent opportunity as you can see firsthand to learn about how these spices are grown from the local trackers who will be accompanying you. 
Day3: Shantanpara
We will start today’s Kerala Trekking Challenge through sholas and cardamom forests that abound here. This is the capital of the world’s spice trade, known for centuries as the Cardamom Hills. We will walk from Chaturangapara through thick cardamom forests and isolated spice growing villages. En route we will also be walking though great swathes of grasslands through the ridge of the mountains with spectacular views of the plains of Tamil Nadu thousands of feet below. 
Day4: Suryanelli
The day's trek is mainly around the Mathikettan Shola National Park, home to a wide variety of flora and fauna including the Malabar Giant Squirrel, gaur, sambar and elephants. We will start our descend through tea plantations until we reach the picturesque Anaerangal lake, meaning “The lake Where the Elephants Come Down” - a vast expanse of water is amidst a forest 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. We will arrive at the lakeside camp by late afternoon. 
Day5: Kurangini
We will transfer to arrive at the world’s highest tea estate – Kolukumalai – and visit the tea factory. After the visit, we will start the trek to Kornagini camp for a well earned rest and to prepare for the great challenges in the coming days. 
Day6: Top Station
An early start to tackle this very challenging day as we ascend from 1000m to over 2200m at Top Station. Top Station, so named after the erstwhile ropeway station for transporting tea to the factories in the plains of Tamil Nadu, has a spectacular view of the plains below and of Kodaikanal, the hill station atop the Palani ranges across the hills. 
Day7: Top Station - Pampadumshola
We will head to the Pampadum Shola National park, walking through canopied dense shola forests in the park. The National park is known for its rich biodiversity of flora & fauna. Look out for Malabar Giant Squirrels, Nilgiri Martens and gaurs besides endemic birds like Nilgiri Wood Pigeon and Whitebellied Shortwing. 
Day8: Rhodo Valley
We start early on this day of your Kerala Trekking Challenge and walk through some of the more pristine areas of the Western Ghats. This is also one of the highest regions of these mountains. The rugged mountain trails form the backdrop to an exciting trek till we reach our camp at 2200m. 
Day9: Meesapulimala Trek
The final day of the trek takes us to Meesapulimala, at 2640m - the second highest peak in the Western Ghats. The trek passes through sholas and mountain streams which criss-cross the area. The area is also known for its wildlife – notably elephants, sambar, sloth bear and the Nilgiri tahr. When we reach the top, we stop for a rest and enjoy the panoramic views. At the end of the day’s trekking we trek back to Rodo Valley to take a well reserved rest at the camp and also celebrate the long trek through the Cardamom Hills. 
Day10: Depart
After an early breakfast, we will walk down to Silent valley to end our Kerala Trekking Challenge. 

Inclusions

Trekking, camping, guide, accommodation in dome tents, refreshments, bottled water while trekking, all meals
 

Route Maps


Gallery

FAQs

Q. What is the type of terrain we trek through?

The terrain can be mountainous in Munnar to deep forests at places like Periyar.

Q. Do we need to get our sleeping bags, tents etc..?

We provide all camping materials like sleeping bags, tents, liners, air pillows.

Q. What about our main luggage?

For Munnar: We will take of your luggage & will reach you at your day’s camp. Carry only a day bag with your papers and valuables.

For Periyar: In case you are doing the Periyar Tiger Trail programme, you would have to leave your luggage in the hotel. You would have to take a small rucksack with your requirements for 1 (or) 2 day’s camping in the wild.

Q. What kind of food do you serve?

Ethnic food, both vegetarian and non vegetarian

Q. What about guides?

Qualified outdoor guides and trackers will accompany you on the trek.

Q. Is First Aid available?

Yes, the guide carries a comprehensive First Aid bag. For those suffering from allergies or require any special medication will need to bring those along. All our guides have undergone St John’s Ambulance First Aid Training course and are qualified. In case of serious injuries or emergencies, we have identified hospitals nearest to the trek routes to evacuate you.

Q. What about Wildlife encounters.

They are likely to be wild animal encounters but our guides and trackers are trained and experienced enough to keep you out of harm’s way.

Q. Do you have a suggested kit list?

We do have a suggested kit list which we will send you when you have booked the trip. Suffice it to say that this is a highly mountainous area where nights are cold. Hence you will require woolens as well as good walking shoes.

Q. Do we need a VISA to travel to India?

Yes

 

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