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Trekking and Camping

Pure adventure in Munnar and Periyar

Trekking and Camping, Kerala

If you are not the sun, sand, sea and backwaters type, Kerala has place for you in its mountains and valleys where you can indulge to your heart's content in trekking and camping. The grasslands of the Western Ghats at Munnar and the Periyar Wildlife sanctuary are among the best known destinations for trekking. The Western Ghat mountain ranges border the east of Kerala. For centuries, the thick forests and high mountains have acted as natural barriers for the narrow stretch of land that Kerala is. Naturally, the mountains provide some of the most spectacular trekking routes for those in search of pure adventure.

At Munnar, you can hike up to 7000 ft above sea level and set up your camp there. The spectacular mountain views and the gurgling streams meandering down the mountains will provide you endless hours of enjoyment. On the way, you could chance upon a herd of Asiatic elephants, the endangered Nilgiri Tahr and the Indian Bison in their natural habitats.

Your camp at Periyar will be in a tropical rain forest, amidst exotic flora and fauna. If you are a serious wildlife enthusiast, the trek inside the Periyar reserve would be worth a lifetime of experience. The Periyar Sancutary and the Tiger Reserve, 180 km from Kochi, is rich in wildlife. Trekkers can get rare glimpses of life in a tropical forest with flying squirrels, herds of elephants or even a tiger keeping them company. In addition, there could be sightings of rare birds like the Malabar Pied Hornbill or the Crested Serpent Eagle or butterflies such as the Malabar Tree Nymph.

The road to Munnar will take on mountainous paths roads through acres of spice-scented caradamom plantations. And at the top, you will experience a world of peace and quiet on the shola-grasslands. A must visit destination is Vagamon, 60 km from Kottayam, and a trekkers paradise. You could plan your camping route to Periyar Tiger Reserve and then through mountain roads to Munnar. Take a trek through the forests and cross the Periyar Lake in bamboo rafts. It is worth a lifetime's experience.

Reaching Munnar: The nearest airport and railway station is Kochi, 130 km away. Munnar can also be reached from a number of Kerala towns. Kottayam is 80 km away from Kochi. Reaching Periyar: The nearest airports are at Madurai and Kochi while Teni, Kottayam, Madurai and Changanaserry are the convenient railheads to reach Thekkady. From there to the Periyar Sanctuary is a short distance.