The trip started with a desire to go to a place away from crowd and close to nature. We initially thought to visit Coonoor or Kotagiri and so, booked flights to Bangalore from Hyderabad. It was then we came across this beautiful monsoon trek. Timing was perfect; August ending. The plan got changed immediately and we traveled to Wayanad instead.
Trek to Chembra peak is love at first sight for me. I never realized that greenery can be so pleasing to eyes and mind, until I did this trek. In monsoon, the entire mountain looks as if it is covered by a green carpet. This is one place where pictures fail to convey the real beauty. Unfortunately, I just started learning photography then and I could not get real good pictures.
Trek till the peak is not allowed as the region has been converted to a bird sanctuary. You can go till the beautiful heart shaped lake only. The entry fee is nominal and a guide accompanies you.
The trek can be tiring. Another group of friends who started trek along with us, gave up. It was raining, the terrain was steep and slippery, and there were leeches. But once we reached the heart shaped lake, we realized it was worth more than the effort ! We could see the entire Wayanad district from top. We saw dense dark clouds pouring upon the Wayanad district. It was a beautiful sight. And when the downpour paused, we saw clouds drifting by and casting their massive shadows on villages below.
The heart shaped lake has some colorful fish. Our guide gave us fish food and we fed it to the fish.
The trek itself is memorable. The air was fresh and crisp. There were small streams with crystal clear water. We just refilled our bottles with water from these streams. The water was sweet, energizing and very refreshing, only nature can purify water like that I guess.
There are couple of small food joints that serve homemade authentic Kerala food. It felt great to lap up steaming hot rice with Keralite accompaniments.
Best time: Monsoon if you love rain and fog, Winter if you love clear views. The trek would be very slippery during monsoon. In summer, the grass would lose its gorgeous green shades and be brown.
Chembra peak trek grade: Medium. The ascent is steep at some places.
Trek duration: 3-5 hours
Leech alert: The trek to Chembra Peak is loaded with leeches. Be mentally prepared for it. The guide who accompanies you, usually carries lemon and salt. So you need not carry any leech remedies.
Cam advice: Carry your best camera! It is highly recommended to take a high quality waterproof video recorder. We had Gopro with us but it was not charged properly.
Where we stayed: It is recommended to stay at Meppadi. This is the nearest village to Chembra peak. Also, Meppadi is very close to waterfalls. We stayed at Devayanam homestay. Wonderful hosts and super delicious food! This is the link to their Facebook page.
How to reach:
- Nearest airport in Kozhikode.
- Railway station at Kozhikode is well connected to major Indian cities.
- Kalpetta, headquarters of Wayanad district, is well connected through state transportation buses. KSRTC runs frequent buses from Mysore to Kalpetta. Shared autos and buses ply frequently between Kalpetta and Meppadi.
A note to travelers:
- Do not litter. You can carry a backpack and bring back the covers of food items.
To sum up, explorers/travelers who love being close to nature would love this trek.