Kerala (God’s own country) is a hot favourite spot among tourists, both national and international. Though south Kerala (i.e. Munnar, Kochi, Alleppey) attracts a lot of tourism round the year, north Kerala also has its share of abundant gorgeous and scenic locales. Wayanad, one of the most beautiful tourist destinations, is a small town which shares its borders with Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It also has some beautiful trek routes and the one that stands out is the Chembra Peak trek.
Wayanad unfolds varied options to break away from the strident commotion of the busy life of the cities. From trekking to cycling, from wildlife sanctuary visits to camping under the stars, you name it and Wayanad offers it all.
The Chembra Peak (the crown jewel of Wayanad) offers one of the best trekking tracks. This valuable guide can help you make a magnificent trekking experience at Chembra Peak.
How to Reach the Chembra Peak?
The mighty Chembra Peak is about 17 km from Kalpetta. You can either reach by a state transport bus or a private vehicle. You can take a KSRTC bus to Kalpetta, and from there you have to catch another bus to Mepaddi. From Mepaddi, you can hire a jeep to reach the starting point of the Chembra Peak trek.
For trekkers traveling through private vehicles, the following route is a big favourite to take:
Leave early for Chembra so that you can reach the highest permissible point before noon and enjoy the view. These days you are not allowed to trek beyond the heart-shaped lake, which is 600 feet below the peak.
The government has banned trekking beyond this lake due to the influence of Maoists.
The Chembra peak stands tall beyond the tea plantations and lush green landscapes. Prior permission from the Forest Range Office at Meppadi is required for the trek. You have to pay a nominal fee for the trek, which includes the guide’s fees. The entry fee to Chembra peak is listed below:
You will not be allowed to trek without the guide.
On walking for around 400 meters from the parking lot, you will see a three-storied forest watchtower from where you will take a diversion to the trekking trail. The total length of the trek is around 4.5 km (one side).
The ascend is steep from the beginning and the loose gravel makes it more strenuous. As you continue the trek you will start feeling the change in climate. After crossing the dense forest, you will reach the lush green land from where you can see the gorgeous valley.
Avoid taking the hairpin bends and move through the side of the mountain. Soon you will reach a point where clouds will be almost at your height.
You can see the Chembra Peak peeping through the clouds.
Before starting the last leg of the trek, there will be a flat piece of land which will provide much-required respite from the arduous climb.
Take some pause there, reclaim your breath and admire the beauty around. In another 15-20 minutes, you will reach the heart-shaped lake. Soak yourself in the tranquil beauty of the valley and the calm and pretty lake. The descend is easier, but take care on rainy days as tends to get slippery. Some first-time trekkers, also prefer carrying trekking poles.
Have a look: Should you carry Trekking Poles for a Trek?
The Magnificent Heart-Shaped Lake
The natural heart-shaped lake is a treat for the eyes. It is like an oasis in Chembra. It lets you devour the natural beauty and savor the taste for eternity.
Known as “Hridhayathadakam” in the local language, the lake is a beautiful sight to marvel at. It is said that this lake has never dried up and is the only source of water for animals like elephants and deer.
Tips and Essentials for Chembra Peak Trek
As this trek has been rated as a moderately challenging trekking path, it is perfect for both amateurs and trek enthusiasts.
Be careful while selecting the shoes as it is a steep trek and gets slippery in monsoons.
While crossing the tea estates and lush green forest, leeches might get stuck to your feet. Do not worry; just rub salt on your feet and the leeches will fall off.
Carry steel water bottles along with you if you wish to carry water.
Do not carry plastic water bottles as they are not allowed free of cost; if you wish to carry them then you will have to pay a deposit for each plastic bottle.
You will not find any snack or tea shop. Carry your own snacks. And please don’t litter. Carry your own trash in an eco-friendly bag and bring it back along with you!
When you begin the trek, you will not feel the need for sunglasses, but after 500 meters you will thank us for the recommendation.
As you continue the trek, the sun will glare at you with all its might. As you ascend and gain height, you will need a sunscreen to safeguard your skin from the scorching heat.
Also, take a look at the Must-Have Gear for your Next Trek.
If you want to admire the soothing nature on an adventurous trip, then this trek is the perfect getaway for you. It will entice your heart and etch memories for a lifetime.
So, pack your bags and treat yourself to this virginal beauty of Wayanad.