Where should you be going for a great trek in Munnar
Munnar has been recognized and acknowledged as one of the most beautiful hill stations in South India, and the number of tourists that flow in every year has been thousands. This tea county has always been for its picturesque location like the mountain ranges, rivers, reservoirs, tea plantations, grandis forests and much more. It has not been too long that a lot of people visit Munnar to experience a slice of adventure. I mean there was a niche crowd who came in for treks and hikes but that number has gone really high. The number of visitors passes the entry gate to Meeshapulimalai, Kolukkumalai and Chokramudi has gone soaring high. A mention about Meesapulimali in a local Malayalam movie drew some thousand visitors, after which a batch of nature lovers had to head the track to collect all of the plastic left over on the trek route. Next time make sure that you don’t just throw away that biscuit cover, instead keep back to your bag, you will find a bin somewhere on return. Real trekkers have to be real nature lovers.
Meeshapulimalai (8600 ft high)
Meesapulimalai is the second highest peak in South India, the first one is the Annamudi (8850 ft high) located inside the Eravikulam national park (entry is restricted and requires a prior forest department permission) This is accessed either from Kolukkumalai or through the Echo point on the way to Top Station from Munnar town. Meesapulimalai has got some of the most stunning views and there are options for camping here. The mountain ranges mostly involve grasslands and small tracks of forest en route. This is a full day trek and there are options to camp on top of Meesapulimalai.
Kolukkumalai (7000 ft high)
The mist clad ranges of Kolukkumalai is a great place to trek, the trek starts from the Korangani village at the valley and can extend up to Meesapulimala. There are Jeep drivers taking tourist from the Suryanelli to Kolukkumalai, being the case there is an option to drive up the hill till Kolukkumalai in a Jeep and from there head to Meesapulimala. The jeep drivers take guests to the Kolukkumalai tea factory, the world’s highest organic tea factory that still follows an orthodox method of tea processing. Unlike Meesapulimala, Kolukkumalai is greener mostly because of the tea plantations around. Korangani to Kolukkumalai is a full day trek and camping is possible with prior permissions.
Chokramudi (7200 ft high)
Chokramudi is the third highest peak in Munnar and offers a great trekking experience. The Sunrise trek that starts at 5 AM in the morning will take you above the clouds, the sunrise is just amazing here and a great experience for the photographer in you. The trek starts from the gap road and one could return by afternoon after the early morning trek.
Some twenty Kilometers away from Munnar much towards a lower elevation from Munnar is the Viripara waterfall. From here, the forest department offers the Kanadipara trek, a trek through forest trek. This is a short trek that will take you an average of 3 to 3.5 hours, the sighting of animals is purely subject to luck. leeches are a challenge here however ample measure would be taken to keep them away. The Kannadipara is very much merged with Letchmi estate of KDHP (Kannan Devan Hill Produce Company). The initial track would be through the borders of Letchmi tea estate (steep steps) and slowly merges into a forest track which is relatively a smoother track. The view is that of the forests of the valley.