Monsoons and post-monsoons are synonymous with trekking in the Western Ghats. This is when the Western Ghats spring into life. The forest section comes alive. The view of rolling green hills takes your breath away.
Enter Wayanad, a popular district in Kerala that offers you a terrific blend of forests and green hills. The undulating hills, dense forests, and valleys make Wayanad an excellent destination for those seeking a quick escape into nature without compromising the entire weekend.
For people who love trekking, Wayanad district has many great trails and wildlife sanctuaries. The area is home to a variety of plants and animals, including rare and endangered species. If you're lucky, you might see elephants in the valley, and there are also different types of birds like the Grey Hornbill, Malabar Trogon, and Orange-Headed Thrush. Keep an eye out for snakes too, like shieldtails, Malabar Pit Vipers, and king cobras. It's a fantastic place to enjoy nature!
Wayanad also has several tea and coffee plantations, offering trekkers a wonderful experience to walk through.
This list comprises treks near Wayanad that can be comfortably completed in a single day, ensuring a rejuvenating experience without sacrificing too much time for travel.
1. Chembra Peak
Highest altitude : 6890ft
Trek Starting Point: Meppadi
Distance from Kalpetta : 11.5km
The heart shaped lake enroute chembra peak. Picture by Bhajish
Chembra Peak in Wayanad stands at an elevation of 6,890 feet above sea level, making it one of the highest peaks in the Western Ghats. It is visible from various locations across Wayanad.
One of the main highlights of Chembra Peak is the heart-shaped lake at the top. There are only a very few lakes that you find on shola grasslands, and this is one such lake. The lake is perfectly heart-shaped, and the view is mind-blowing. During monsoons, the clouds striking the lake create the perfect canvas for the trekker.
It takes about two and a half hours to trek to the heart-shaped lake. The trail starts in the tea plantations, goes through thick forests, and then crosses overgrown grasslands.
Trekking to the peak of Chembra is banned, and you have to return from the heart-shaped lake.
2. Banasura Hills Trek
Highest altitude : 6801ft
Trek Starting Point: Banasura dam
Distance from Kalpetta city : 20.4km
The view of Banasurasagar reservoir from the trail.
Banasura Hills is a popular trekking destination located in Wayanad, Kerala, India. It is generally considered moderate in terms of difficulty.
One of the major highlights of the trek is the trail itself. It’s easy for you to fall in love with this trail. The trek takes you through rolling grasslands that blanket the valleys. The interplay between the descending fog and the rays of the sun will set the perfect tempo for you to trek. The light rays get filtered by the fog before reaching the trekking trail, giving you the perfect landscape to trek.
You can also visit the Banasura Dam nearby, which is the largest earth dam in India. The dam is located at the foothills of the Banasura Hills and adds to the setting.
3. Pakshipathalam Trek
Highest altitude : 5708
Trek Starting Point: Thirunelli Temple
Distance from Kalpetta city: 48.8km
Pakshipathalam is located in the Brahmagiri Hills of Wayanad district in Kerala, India.
The region is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. It is known for its birdlife, and Pakshipathalam literally translates to "bird's abode" in the Malayalam language. If you are lucky, you could encounter various species of birds, including some rare ones, on this trek.
One of the highlights of Pakshipathalam is the presence of caves. You may explore these caves during your journey, adding an adventurous element to your overall experience.
Access to Pakshipathalam takes you trekking through the Brahmagiri Hills. The trek takes you through steep ascents and descents, dense forests, and rocky paths. The journey to Pakshipathalam is often considered a moderately difficult trek.
Highest altitude : 4500ft
Trek Starting Point: Kappimala
Distance from kalpetta city : 133km
Pythalmala is a prominent hill station and trekking destination located in the Kannur district of Kerala, India. The trek takes you to the highest point in Kannur district, Kerala.
Trekking to Pythalmala takes you through dense forests, grasslands, and rocky terrain. There are various viewpoints along the way, which give you panoramic views of the western ghats.
If you are lucky, on clear days, you can even view the Arabian Sea from the top.
The hill is rich in biodiversity, with a variety of flora and fauna. You will be sharing the path with various plants and animals.
5. Cheengeri Hills Trek
Highest altitude : 3460ft
Trek Starting Point: Ambalavayal
Distance from Kalpetta city : 21km
A huge boulder on the cheengeri hills trek. Picture by Amoga Vigram P
Cheengeri Hill is a newly discovered trek near Ambalavayal in Wayanad. This is one of the few treks in the Western Ghats that has no tree cover. You climb on the granite rock. These rocks are older than the Himalayas and as old as the earth itself.
Its a good 2 hour climb to the top, and once you reach the summit, you get excellent views of Karapuzha Dam, Muttilmala, and Chembra Peak. This trek is one of the easiest in Wayanad.
6. Tadiandamol Trek
Highest altitude : 5734ft
Trek Starting Point: Kakkabe
Distance from Kalpetta city : 127km
View from Tadiandamol Peak. Picture credit- Amoga Vigram P
A very popular trek amongst the trekking community of southern India. The Tadiandamol Trek is one of the most talked-about treks among trekkers starting on their trekking journey in the Western Ghats.
Standing at a height of 5,735 feet, the view from the peak is stunning to witness. You can see the green hills spread out as far as the eyes can see. This extends in all directions from the peak.
One can spot coffee estates and pepper plantations throughout this entire stretch of the trek. Along with these, you have the areca nut (Betel nut) trees, nutmeg trees, fishtail palms, and various other trees growing here.