6 Best Mountains in Kerala to HikeLying on the ways of Western Ghats, Kerala is blessed with some outstanding mountains and exclusive hill stations. These attract many tourists while adding adventure thrills to a planned tour. Kerala can be easily taken to be an adventure hub for any nature enthusiast and energetic hikers and trekkers. These hill stations and mountains are interesting adventure spots as they offer ample scopes for hiking and trekking through the rocky terrains.
1. Top StationTop Station View-point lies towards the direction of Vattavada, some 41kms away from Munnar town. But it is more easily accessible from Kerala, so making it one of the most visited mountains in Kerala. This point is 1,880 m (6,170 ft.) above sea level, the highest point of Munnar. The visitors experience a picturesque view of Munnar from this point. Munnar lays like a green spread, while the view of rolling mountains, grassland, water bodies, spice plantation and the Shola forest is eye catching from this high point.
It is the home for a largescale of flora and fauna. The rare Nilakurinji plants (strobilanthus) also grow in this area. You need to be very lucky to experience the sight of a blooming Nilakurinji plant as it blooms only in twelve years. This area is usually covered with mist but on occasions of a clear sky the cities are visible from the top point, and that’s a sight to behold. The Kottagudi valley and Kolukkumalai and Meesapulimala peaks are clearly visible from this point. The trek tail connects the various villages with valleys, while starting from Kurangani village and passing through Mathuvagudi village at 3,855ft.
2. Chembra PeakChembra peak is the highest peak in Wayand district of Kerala and it is 2,100 m above sea level. This is one of the famous spot for its scenic beauty and the nearby exceptional heart shaped lake. This is one of the most beautiful mountains in Kerala and the climb to the peak requires permission. This place has successfully saved its natural abundance and the forest authority is quite protective about the same.
The adventurous route to the top consists of some dreamy waterfalls and greenery. The trekking trail through tree plantation is planned by the forest department and a guide accompanies the trekkers. The best time period to plan a visit is the months from May-August.
3. Illikkal KalluIllakkal Kalu consists of three unique shaped rocks, lying just above the Illikkal Mala. Due to its higher altitude, this place receives some lightning strikes and therefore is locally known as the Kolliyan Para (Lightening Rock) and Sathan Kallu (Devil Stone). This developing tourist spot lies 50km from Kottayam and 6km from Teekoy. It is easily sighted from any part of Kottayam.
The three boulder rocks of Illikkal Mala portrays three different shapes. One of them resembling a mushroom is called the Kuda kallu, the second one owning a hunch on the sides is known as Koonu Kallu. Naraka Palam or the hell bridge is the dangerous, narrow, slippery bridge that connects the rocks to the top. This climb to the top is a very complex and risky but is extremely adventurous for any trekker or hiker. The walk to the top of course showcases the natural beauty at its best.
4. Kolukkumalai PeakThe journey to this peak is one of the most blissful hikes in Idukki district of Kerala. The planned tract promises a picturesque journey through the green Grassland, patches of the Shola forest and through the organic tea garden at 2,036m (6,680 ft.) AMSL. This is one of the most popular mountains in Kerala for hike which commences from Kurangani village and ends at the peak perched at 2170m (7120 ft.) AMSL.
The mountain slopes face the east and thus an early morning start is advisable to avoid the heated sun, as the trail through open grasslands devoid of trees. The huge abundance of flora and fauna of the Western Ghats welcome the hikers. A hiker can fix the duration of the walk with his/her guide, according to one’s own convenience.
5. Meesapulimala PeakMeesapulimala with an altitude of 2,640m (8,661 ft.) AMSL is the second highest peak in the Western Ghats mountain range and one of the visit-worthy mountains in Kerala. This mountain range is present in the Idduki district of Kerala. ‘Meesa’ means moustache, ‘puli’ signifies tiger and ‘mala’ means hills. The peak is named Meesapulimala as it resembles the face of a tiger. This spot is also a promising hiking spot, while a prior permission is also required from the Kerala forest department.
The trek to the peak is a trek through lush green valleys, excellent tea estates, among splendid Rhododendrons and meandering brooks. This is generally a peaceful hiking journey but the last 2km journey to the peak is adventurous and strenuous. The trek to Meesapulimala Peak covers eight hills while the overall journey is pleasant with overwhelming scenic beauty. It is a day’s trek therefore is preferable and easy.
6. Agasthyarkoodam PeakAgasthyarkoodam is known for its remarkable flora and fauna and it’s a delight for bird watchers. It is often believed to be a bird’s watcher’s paradise and this attracts tourists who gather for such bird watching. Besides being an exotic bird watching spot, Agasthyarkodam is also known for its rare medicinal herbs. It also exhibits over 2,000 species of ferns, orchids and lichens.
The peak is a 90-minute drive with Bonacaud as the last reach. This peak is named after sage Agasthya and shrine dedicated to him welcomes many devotees to this pilgrim site. The alluring site is highly protected and trekking is permitted only on special permission from wildlife and forest department. The preferable month for planning this trek is from January- mid March.