Hiking takes you to less-explored places with amazing views
Hiking takes you to less-explored places with amazing views Representative Image. Credit: Shutterstock

Top Hiking Trails In Kerala For The Nature-Lover In You

Discover the state's natural beauty and be awe-struck while trekking to Kolukkumalai Peak, Chembra Peak, Dhoni Hills, Silent Valley and Anamudi Peak

Known for its verdant views, Kerala is an ideal destination for hikers, nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. The terrain of the majestic Western Ghats and the numerous lakes and water bodies make the place an ideal hiking destination. There are plenty of scenic paths to walk or trek. Take a look at the top hiking trails here.

Kolukkumalai Peak

The Kolukkumalai Peak trek offers ethereal sunrise views amidst the Western Ghats and tea gardens. Elevated at 2160.12 metres above sea level, the trail is near the Tamil Nadu border. The trek snakes through the world's highest tea plantation, the Kottagudi Tea Plantations.

The journey to Kolukkumalai Peak begins from Munnar, around 277 kms from Kerala's capital Thiruvananthapuram, and the hike from the base camp or starting point at Upper Suryanelli Estate takes around 30 minutes. As you embark on this trek, find yourself surrounded by morning mist and admire the naturally-formed lion-faced rock called Simhapara. Catch glimpses of the Meesapulimala Peak, the second-highest peak in the Western Ghats.

When to visit: The trail is suitable for all seasons except monsoons as the path turns slippery.

The naturally-formed rock resembles a lion's face at Kolukkumalai Peak
The naturally-formed rock resembles a lion's face at Kolukkumalai PeakMohammed Faris M A / Wikimedia Commons

Chembra Peak

Surrounded by dense forests and high grasslands, Chembra Peak is a moderately challenging hike. Situated at an altitude of 2,100.07 metres, it is the highest peak in Wayanad and the third highest peak in south India. The beautiful natural landscape attracts hikers and tourists alike.

The hiking trail to Chembra Peak begins from the Forest Office in Meppadi, around 22 kms from Wayanad and 463 kms from Thiruvananthapuram. As you ascend, you will encounter tea plantations, thick forests and overgrown grasslands, traversing rocky terrains. The 40-km hike concludes at Hridaya Thadakam, a serene heart-shaped lake popular among tourists.

When to visit: September to February is the best time to hike here.

Dhoni Hills

The misty mountains and the dense greenery make Dhoni Hills a tourist destination. The popular forest reserve is 12 kms from Palakkad and 60 kms from Coimbatore. The three-hour trek starts at the foothill near the teak plantations. As you traverse the rugged terrains, enjoy the scenic views of the dense forest. There is a possibilty of encountering wildlife such as elephants, tigers, and deer. The four-kilometre trail concludes at the Malampuzha and Meenavallam waterfalls, where the soothing sound of rushing water and refreshing splashes will relax you.

When to visit: Monsoon is the ideal time to see the cascading Dhoni Falls.

Trekking through the tea plantations is a learning experience
Trekking through the tea plantations is a learning experience

Silent Valley

Silent Valley, the only rainforest in Kerala, is a national park situated in the northeast corner of the Palakkad district. It became part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in 1986 and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012. The park, around two hours drive from Coimbatore, offers hiking and trekking opportunities through the village of Bommiyampadi.

The trail spans 13 kilometres, starting from the base camp at Mukkali. Silent Valley is home to diverse flora and fauna, including numerous flowering plants, orchids, amphibians, mammals, reptiles, fish, butterflies, birds, and moths, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts.

When to visit: The ideal time to hike inside the park is between December and April.

Anamudi Peak

The popular hiking spot in the Nilgiri mountain range near Munnar, Anamudi Peak is inside the Eravikulam National Park. Elevated at 2,695 metres above sea level, Anamudi Peak is the highest mountain in south India. The trek to Anamudi Peak typically takes around two hours and starts at the entrance of Eravikulam National Park, around 7.5 kms from Munnar.

The lush expanse of the beautiful tea and spice plantations, and the pristine rivers flowing through the valley are sure to enthrall you. You will also spot endangered animals such as Asian elephants, gaurs, and Nilgiri tahrs, here. Once you reach the summit, enjoy the breathtaking views of lush green mountain slopes and evergreen forests, exclusively found in this region.

When to visit: The trail between November and May is an ideal time to spot flowers in full bloom.

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