Rain forest Trek At Munnar
The tropical rainforest trail is a wonderful winter trek through the Western Ghat hills of Kerala and can be combined with Kerala Backwater cruises too as an active and a leisure travel combination. The trek takes you through one of the UNESCO natural heritage biodiversity regions of the world with some of the richest combination of rain forests, high grasslands, spice plantations, lakes, wildlife sanctuaries through elephant trails and villages. The combination of the natural beauty, sightings of wild elephants, civet and jungle cats, deer and a very wide variety of birds is a nature lover's delight.
Climbing between four to five steep peaks, this trail has its demanding moments, but all worth the while, as the views of the surrounding valleys from the top of the hills are really exhilirating. The views of the distant tea plantations around Munnar, towering jagged hills and views of how the rainforests convert the clouds into streams of flowing water is a great learning in the lap of nature. Camping inside cardamom, cinnamon and black pepper spice plantations is really unique and feeling and smelling the flavours of these precious spices that changed the history of the world, is both fun and educational.
A very enjoyable and lovely trekking trail followed by a leisurely sailing through the Kerala Backwaters with a waterways that combines rivers, lakes, canals and lagoons where there are many exciting experiences to discover with visits to ancient temples, churches, villages, traditional wooden boat building yards, Ayurvedic treatment centres, martial art centres which gave birth to karate, traditional school for teaching traditional temple dances, elephant stables, brass makers village, bird sanctuary while sailing in canals above paddy fields held together by dykes and next to the sea separated by narrow beaches.
The visit to the city of Kochi which was the capital of the kingdom of the powerful dynasty of the Varmas who ruled uninterrupted from the end of the eighteenth century till the time of the state's accession into the Union of India, is truly enjoyable. With wonderful marketplaces, beach fronts with towering Chinese fishing nets, beautifully decorated palaces and a living jewish synagogue, makes it a great discovery. The place where the explorer Vasco DaGama landed in his search for spices leading to the Dutch and the English following the Portuguese, Kochi was a cosmopolitan township even then. The early arrival of Muslims, missionaries and Chinese all happened on this Southernmost coast of India..
Highlights of the Trip
- Trek through tropical rain forest, spice plantation, semi alpine grasslands
- Trek through the beautiful lakes and climb 4 peaks on the trail
- Experience animal siting of elephants, deer’s and civet cats on the trail
- Visit the tree plantation of Munnar along with the visit to the Periyar National Park to see the Nilgiri Tahr
Kochi (formerly Cochin) is a cosmopolitan city in the state of Kerala with a bustling commercial port. Kochi is the financial capital of Kerala and, with a population of more than 2 million, the biggest urban agglomeration in the state. It is one of the major tourist destinations in India.
Meesappulimala - a destination for the highly adventurous is the second highest peak in the Western Ghats and a trekking trail via Rhodo Valley.
Meesapulimala Peak trek is a trek through lush green valleys, hundreds of blooming Rhododendrons, charming tea estates, gurgling brooks – peace is easy to find in the idyllic surroundings of Meesapulimala. Located at a significant altitude of 8,661 feet in the Idukki district of Kerala, Meesapulimala is a trek through eight hills, passing through the shared border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Mathikettan Shola is a National Park in Poopara village of Udumbanchola taluk in Idukki district of Kerala state, South India.The name of the park has been derived from a Tamil term which literally refers to ‘mind confuser’. It has been so named as the paths inside the forest are quite confusing according to the local folks. The local people attribute its name to the fact that one who enters the dense forests in the Park can easily get lost.
Chaturangapara is located between Munnar and Periyar, within a thickly forested cardamom plantation. The famed Chaturangapara peak is just a stone’s throw away & has magnificent views of the Tamilnadu plains. It is an ideal place for tent camping.
Colonial City of Fort Kochi
You will be picked from Cochin airport and transferred to Fort Kochi, one of the main attractions which holds a lot of fascinating history. This town was considered as one of the most important trading centre. Fort Kochi was shaped by Portuguese, Dutch as well as British. These influences on Fort Kochi make it a place of valued historical impact. After you check in, you can relax and enjoy the colonial town. It is a warm, peaceful and quiet place, a perfect site to spend over night before trekking.
You can walk through the streets of Fort Kochi, to get the feel of the place, while passing through the structures that represent the Colonial period. For sea food lovers, Fort Kochi is the place to visit with its little restaurants facing the beach and the backwaters you try the great variety of Indian food for lunch.
Overnight at Hotel (B)
Munnar- The Hill Country
After break fast, you will commence your journey to Munnar. Playing host to one of the best scenic regions in south India with the view of the lush carpeted green hills, Munnar is the largest Tea growing regions in south India with tea plantations stretched across the hills. The cool pleasant climate, picturesque views, winding roads, calm ambience and sprawling flora and fauna make Munnar an exclusive tourist destination. Munnar can be the destination for leisure and adventure at the same time. Check into hotel, refresh and hand relax for the day, walk around the plantations that surrounds the property. You can also visit the tea factory to know about the history of tea cultivation and culture. In afternoon, go for bazaar walk and where you can stock tea or spices.
Your rain forest trek begins early at Munnar, as you to have to ascend to a height of 2640 metres, where the peak of Meesapulimala is located. Meesapulimala is the second highest peak in the Western Ghats and your rain forest trek at Munnar involves navigating through the high altitude cloud forests and grasslands to get to this peak. After a brief stop to feast your eyes on a brilliant view of forests and tea estates down in the valleys below, you will trek down to the tiny hamlet of Silent Valley from where we get transferred back to Munnar.
Overnight at Hotel (B, L, D)
Butterfly Forest Trek
You will awaken to the melodious strains of the Malabar Whistling Thrush singing in the cloud forest next to your hotel early in the morning. We will start the day with a nearly morning transfer to Suryanelli. The trek starts with an ever-remembered walk atop the tallest feature near by called the Phantom’s Head where you can take in the spectacular view of Papathy Shola (Butterfly Forest – so named for the mass migration of butterflies in October & November).
Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)
Mathikettan Shola National Park
Today's trek is through the Mathikettan Shola National Park. A treasure trove of biodiversity, this national park is home to endemic flora and fauna and to wildlife like the Asiatic Elephants and Nilgiri Langurs. Your destination is Santhanpara, set amidst luxuriant vegetation and cardamom spice plantations that give the surrounding area the name 'CardamomHills'. This is the capital of the spice cultivating areas that have made Kerala famous through the ages and attracted multitudes of traders from across the world.
Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)
Chaturangapara Peak Trek
You will be trekking from Santhanpara to Chaturangapara, the final part of your Rain forest Trek at Munnar. This route is a challenging one and goes through the ridge of the Western Ghats. There is a tough climb involved to the view – point from where the plains of the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu are visible. Your camp will be setup with in the confines of the forest, allowing you to spend the night amidst the wilderness and experience a sense of peace that comes with the sounds of the wild.
Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)
- Day 7 Depart