Ranipuram is a peak and a major tourist attraction in the Kasaragod district of the Indian state of Kerala. The trek takes you to the highest peak of the Kasaragod district.
Ranipuram is located in the Western Ghats, a mountain range along the western coast of India. It is approximately 85 kilometers away from the district headquarters, Kasaragod, and around 320 kilometers from Bangalore.
The trek to Ranipuram is a 5-kilometer trail that goes through a blend of dense shola forests and stunning grassy expanses. The excitement of reaching the summit, where you trek amidst the clouds, is an unforgettable experience that should not be missed.
➤Table of Contents:
- What to watch out for
- Trail Information
- Best Time to visit Ranipuram trek
- How to reach Ranipuram
- Permission on the Ranipuram Trek.
- Stay option near Ranipuram trek
- Timings on the Ranipuram Trek
- Food and Water sources on the Ranipuram Trek
- Places to visit after Ranipuram Trek.
➤What to watch out for
View of Rolling Green hills when climbing to the peak of Ranipuram
Perched at an elevation of 3,438 feet, the vista from the summit is truly breathtaking. You'll be treated to a magnificent sight of lush valleys adorned with unending evergreen shola forests.
Trekking in the beautiful evergreen forests of Shola
The forests are stunted tropical montane forest found in valleys amid rolling grassland in the higher mountain regions
The trek is a thriving habitat for diverse flora and fauna. Lucky trekkers may have the chance to glimpse a herd of elephants in the valley, while various bird species such as the Grey Hornbill, Malabar Trogon, and Orange Headed Thrush and various snake species such as shieldtails , Malabar Pit vipers and king cobras can be spotted here.
Evergreen Forest of Shola. Picture by Amoga Vigram P
Ranipuram Trek can be divided into 3 sections. Only private vehicles, jeeps and autos go till the Trek entrance. Nearest bus stop is 9kms away.
- A gentle ascent from the Forest check post to First view point.
- Trek from the First viewpoint to the Forest watch house.
- A gentle ascent from the Forest watch house to Ranipuram Peak
Section 1: Forest Check post to First View Point
Trek Distance: 430 m
Trek Duration: 15 minutes
The journey commences at the forest checkpoint, where visitors are required to purchase tickets priced at Rs 50 per person. The trek begins with a gentle incline through a lush, tropical evergreen forest.
After approximately 10 minutes of trekking, you will arrive at an open expanse of shola grassland. Continue walking for another 150 meters to reach the initial vantage point. Here, you'll find a temporary structure that offers refreshments, including buttermilk and snacks, especially on holidays.
The First Forest Section . Picture by Amoga Vigram P
The mountain range to your left belongs to the Talacauvery National Park in Coorg. To proceed to the Ranipuram peak, you should take a right turn from this point.
The first view point . Picture by Amoga Vigram P
Section 2:First View Point to the Forest Watch House
Trek Distance: 1.7 km
Trek Duration: 45 min
Upon reaching the viewpoint, make a right turn and descend approximately 200 meters to enter the forested area. Here, you'll encounter a metallic bench where you can take a break and relax. Proceed through the forested section until you come to a slight ascent along the ridge, leading you into the second forested portion. Traverse this section, and you'll eventually arrive at an open area adorned with shola grasslands. Continue walking for another 10 minutes, and you'll reach the forest watchhouse.
At the forest watchhouse, you'll find yourself atop a ridge with breathtaking vistas on both sides. On rainy days, the forested section takes on a magical ambiance, shrouded in thick fog. Adjacent to the forest watchtower, there's a stall where you can indulge in refreshments, including buttermilk and snacks.
The second view point . Picture by Amoga Vigram P
Section 3:Forest Watch House to Ranipuram Peak
Trek Distance: 330m
Trek Duration: 10min
From this point, ascend a further 100 meters to reach Maduthamala Peak. Once you've reached the peak, you'll be rewarded with a panoramic 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains, with Ranipuram Peak directly in front of you.
You can also avoid maduthamala and walk on the trail towards the left to reach Ranipuram peak directly
View of Ranipuram from Maduthamala. Picture by Amoga Vigram P
From this point, descend steeply for a distance of 50 meters, positioning yourself between Ranipuram and Maduthamala. Continue to ascend for another 10 minutes, navigating through challenging rocky terrain to reach the summit of Ranipuram Peak. Exercise caution in the rocky sections, especially during the rainy season, as the rocks may become slippery.
Take the same route which you used to go up to get down. You can view the expanse of Talacauvery national park while getting down. You will take approximately 45 minutes to descend the whole way, since its downhill.
➤Best time to visit Ranipuram Trek
The optimal time for embarking on the Ranipuram trek is typically from late June to January. During the monsoon period, the area flourishes with vibrant greenery, offering a stunning sight. You can also extend your trek into the pre-summer season when the landscape transitions to a blend of brown and green, providing clearer vistas compared to the monsoon. Post-monsoon and winter are considered the prime seasons for the Ranipuram Trek.
Trekking is not permitted during the height of summer (April to June) due to the increased risk of wildfires in the region.
The monsoon season brings heavy rainfall to the area, so if you choose to undertake the trek during this time, it's crucial to be well-prepared with the appropriate gear. Keep in mind that the trek becomes more challenging during the peak of the monsoon season.
➤How to reach Ranipuram Trek
The Ranipuram trek starts from a check post near Panathady .
This is about 58km km from Kasaragod, one of the main cities of Kerala.
Reaching Ranipuram by your own vehicle
To reach Ranipuram from Bangalore, follow the route through Bagamandala and continue towards Panathady without turning left towards Ranipuram at Panathur, as the road in that direction is in poor condition. Instead, proceed towards Panathady which is 8km, and then make a left turn. The journey by car from Panathady junction roadhead to the forest check post is 9km takes approximately 20 minutes. A vehicle can comfortably reach the forest check post, and there is ample paid parking available in close proximity to the check post.
Parking at Ranipuram . Picture by Amoga Vigram P
Along this route, you'll come across several cottages, resorts, and homestays. If you intend to stay overnight, it's advisable to make reservations in advance before embarking on your trek.
Reaching Ranipuram by Public Transport System
It is currently not feasible to reach Ranipuram using public transportation as there are no bus services available to Ranipuram following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mangalore International Airport – 118km
➤Permission on the Ranipuram trek
To embark on the Ranipuram trek, it's essential to obtain an entry ticket. This trek falls within the jurisdiction of the Kerala Forest and Wildlife Department, and these tickets are available at a cost of Rs 50 per person at the initial checkpost. Please note that ticket issuance is limited to the period between 8 am and 3 pm.
Camping during the Ranipuram trek is strictly prohibited, and visitors must descend back to the forest checkpost by 5:30 pm.
➤Stay Options near Ranipuram Trek
If you want to stay overnight, there are quite a few options before the start point of the trek. You have a few homestays and even a few resorts as options.
➤Timings on the Ranipuram Trek
Trekking is permitted from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM every day. However, after 3:00 PM, trekking beyond the forest checkpost is not allowed.
The optimal time to commence your trek is either early in the morning or before noon. This will ensure that you return to the Ranipuram base before evening sets in.
➤Food and Water source on the Ranipuram Trek
At the checkpost, you'll find delicious and home-cooked food options. Additionally, along the trek, you can also enjoy snacks and refreshments such as lime juice and buttermilk. These refreshments are available near the initial viewpoint and at the forest watch house, which is situated 330 meters before reaching the peak.
For water sources, There are no readily available clean water sources along the path to Ranipuram. However, you can fill your water bottles either at the forest check post or at the restaurant located near the check post.
➤Emergency contacts for Ranipuram Trek
Hospital: Govt District Hospital Kanhangad, situated 45km from Ranipuram
Police Station: Rajapuram Police Station (0467 222 4029) is the nearest police station
ATMs and Network on the trek
ATMs: Panathur and Panathady are the towns having the nearest ATMs. It is better to carry cash with you than rely on any ATMs on the way. Carry cash either from Bangalore or at a reliable town enroute if you are driving till the base.
Mobile Networks: You get good coverage of BSNL and Jio through various patches on the trek. The signal connections are intermittent however. Do not depend on them during the monsoon season.
Airtel does not get a good connectivity throughout the trek.
➤Places to visit after the Ranipuram Trek
1. Bhagamandala: Bhagamandala is situated on the river Kaveri in its upstream stretches. A pilgrimage place considered sacred for a river confluence in the Kodagu district. At this place, the Kaveri is joined by two tributaries, the Kannike and the mythical Sujyothi river.
2.Madikeri/Coorg: Located in the eastern side of the Western Ghats, Madikeri or formerly known as Coorg is a hill town. The district of Madikeri gets many tourists for its coffee plantations and pleasant weather throughout the year. It is home to Talakaveri, where the River Kaveri (Cauvery) originates from the Brahmagiri Hills, which can be a trek done along with the Tandiandamol.
3.Tadiyandamol trek:Tadiandamol trek is a popular hiking adventure in Karnataka, India, leading to the highest peak in the Coorg district. The trek offers stunning views of lush forests, coffee plantations, and distant hills, making it a favorite among nature enthusiasts. It's best enjoyed during the post-monsoon season from September to February for pleasant weather and clear vistas.
Trek Documented by: Amoga Vigram P