Monday, May 17, 2010

Munnar to Kodaikkanal Trek

This had been one of our dream treks and got lucky that one of our Bangalore based trekking club got permission for the route. Obtaining permission is quite difficult owing to the fact that the trek ranges along restriced areas of both Kerala and Tamilnadu and most the trek route would be along the border of the states.
Trek Reference: http://trekwiki.wetpaint.com/page/Kodai+to+Munnar







Misty morning at peak



Village where we ended the trek




The plan was to cover the trek with in 2 days which would be difficult to squeeze since the ideal time to cover the trek would be 3 days. So we had to cover a distance of 35 (15Km on first day and 20Km on the next) within two days. We had started towards Munnar Friday night and got to reach Chinnar at 7 am the next day, where we first encountered the Kerala border check post. The guide joined us there and we went along the picturesque road towards Munnar. We had a great breakfast (Appam and Puttu-kadala curry) at a place called Marayur inside the Kerala border on way towards Munnar. The highway route was amazing with beautiful tea estates and gorgeous valleys. Much to our dismay we reached the starting place of our trek, the ‘Top Station’ only at 2 pm on the day. However on the way were wide stretches of tea estates, beautiful lakes, two amazing dams, Mattupatty dam and Kundala dam that offered amazing landscapes for some of our wannabe photographers.

The Hut where we camped




Indian Gaur (Wild Indian Bison)

After some formalities with forest officials we started towards our camp site, a forest ranger hut located at about 5 hours trek from the Top Station. We were quite lucky to spot a Tusker along the route. We also got to see a giant squirrel and a Black monkey along the trek route. The camp site would be at 2400 m, along one of the ranges of Anaimalai hills. Along the route we went across to cover the second highest peak (2600 m) after Anaimudi peak (2695 m) which is Indias’ highest peak apart from the Himalayan ranges. The sunset atop the peak provided scintillating views, with the ranges of hills stacked across a misty backdrop. This had been by far my highest point in trek and perhaps the best.

The lonely forest hut perched atop one of those ranges where we were to stay was completely remote, without power and any sort of communication and with an indimidating forest outside teeming with wildlife. It was very cold and the camp fire that we set outside our hut saved us from shivers. Our generous guide cooked us some puliogare and we had our camp fire there.

The morning was very misty and sunrise atop was amazing. After attending natures’ call at a nearby stream and having a hot soup, we started the arduous trek. The trek would be along the border of the states for most of the route.

The route offered us plenty of view points looking upon the misty peaks and ranges and at some spots the guide informed us that the view down, would show speckles of buses and villages near the town Kambam/Theni/Boady. There were quite many streams down the route and a few check dams where we could replenish our water bottles. We prepared our lunch of MTR ready to eat at one of those spots.

We got a glimpse of an Indian bison (Gaur) upclose at one of those check dams looking stark down at us. After taking some quick snaps before it would start charging at us, we moved on along. Owing to great heights of the peak, most of the vegetation was pine trees and offered us beautiful glimpses of pine forests all across the valleys. Our trek veered into Tamil Nadu and our destination was a small beautiful serene village adorned with picture perfect landscape of step farming down the mountains.The village was called Kilavarai where our cab would wait for us and was about 45 Km by road from Kodaikkanal. We headed to Kodaikkanal for dinner and some bit of shopping.

This had been my most fulfilling trek till now not that it showed the serenity, and the abundance of freshness and untarnished life at these uninhabited forests but it showcased how man can completely erode the simplicity, and the orderliness of the place where he goes and muddle it up to ravish the place to an irreversible extent. More of my thoughts and treksperience at
http://disentangled.blogspot.com

14 comments:

  1. This indeed is a dream trek! I must say that you have some very beautiful pictures. Which camera do you use? Also, I have been wanting to write a travelogue...guess you have covered all the places I wanted to recommend to junta :)

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  2. Thanks to the places, pictures were just their reflections. My friend and i shared a nikon 5000d. There are so much more amazing places to cover. dunno when i can start travelling again...

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  3. check post at munnar and tamilnadu they allowing alcohol

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  4. Thank You Ismail for the amazings pics and travelogue !! Was just browsing the net while at my resort MISTY MOUNTAIN in Munnar, when I chanced upon ur blog...yes , the misty sunrise & fabulous sky colours in the mornings in Munnar are the best ever..

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  5. THANK YOU FOR THE PIC THATS VERY NICE. GOOD WORK

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  6. Hai Izmail,

    We have updated our home page with Photo and description of your trek from Munnar to Kodaikanal.

    The photo and contents are taken from your blog and a link to the blog have been provided .

    Thanks a lot of visiting Bangalore Trips

    By,
    " Stop littering and save environment "
    Bangalore Trips team.

    ReplyDelete
  7. lovely pics..

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
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  12. Thanks for writing such a beautiful and detailed post on Munnar. This hill station is marked by vast expanses of tea plantations, colonial bungalows, rivulets, waterfalls and cool weather. For tourist and travellers accommodation, check out these Munnar Hotels offering great services.

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