Trekking : “to go on a long arduous journey, typically on foot”Trekking involves a long vigorous hike in the wild natural environment for multiple days. It can be done off hiking trails.
HISTORY OF TREKKING
If we need an evidence for the beginning of hiking, then, the first recorded trek was that of the Roman Emperor Hadrian to Etna in 125. There were a few expeditions to various mountains during the thirteenth century. Between the 1400s and 1500s, many people of the Inca Empire trod to the Andes for religious reasons.
The word trek was adapted from the Afrikaan’s word trekken, which means to haul or pull. So the Dutch settlers of South Africa spoke it. It means a long, challenging journey. The Nepalese had been walking to get anywhere in this mountainous nation for several centuries.
TYPES OF TREKKING
Trekking is mainly of four kinds:
Easy Trekking: This type of activity if for beginners and basically involves the view of colorful horizons or sight of beautiful nature.
Moderate Trekking: Moderate trekking is more challenging than easy trekking. It is performed on medium to slightly higher altitudes. The individuals doing this type of trekking should be energetic.
Strenuous Trekking: This type of trekking requires strenuous physical efforts. It is basically done on high altitude regions and is suitable only for those who have some previous experience of trekking.
Difficult Trekking: Fourth type of trekking is done on steep slopes. Generally professional or experienced trekkers do this type of trekking. This type of trekking requires high level of precision skill and endurance by the trekker.
Being a soft-adventure sport, almost anyone in reasonable physical condition can go trekking. To get initiated into trekking begin with day hikes, returning to your starting point in the evening. Move on to a multi-day trek which is relatively easy, in order to get to know your ability and aptitude.
BENEFITS OF TREKKING
One of the major benefits of trekking is that it improves your physical health immensely. Spending multiple hours on the trail, climbing around boulders, rock hopping and ascending hills gives your whole body a workout, improving your strength, agility and cardio fitness.
Losing that extra weight.
Gaining that extra strength.
Getting a healthier heartbeat.
Cleaning your lungs.
Calming your mind.
Understanding the local culture.
Making friends for life.
THE TREKKING ESSENTIALS
A Good Quality Trekking Shoes covering your ankles
Mobile Phone and Power Bank for a few days
Food in Dry Packets
Map of the Trekking Route (Non-Digital)
Dry Covering for the bags and cameras
Spare footwear, slippers, etc
Drinking-Water in Light Bottles
A bag with many pockets and which can carry all the needed goods for trekking must be used. The bags must have cushioned shoulder straps.
Carry sleeping bags, tent, trekking rope with at least 50-meter length, raincoat.
Carry a torch, cigarette lighter, knives small and sharp, blanket, water bottle, cap, candles, and torch batteries in extra.
Avoid wearing dark-colored outfits. Full sleeve shirts, which can cover the neck and cargo pants, are the best.
Use trekking shoes only with a good grip. The canvas shoe covering the entire foot is good, but it would create problems if gets wet.
Socks of good quality must be used and carry another 2 to 3 pairs.
Carry foods rich in carbohydrates. Don’t use liquor and cigarette.
Before trekking ensure that you are medically fit. Those who are affected with high BP, heart diseases should not go trekking.
Carry painkillers, a first aid kit, sunscreen lotion, and the medicines prescribed by a doctor for headache, cough, medicines to curb the accidental decline of body temperature.
Beware of leeches. Prior to the journey apply the mixture of tobacco leaves and mustard oil over legs and shoes. Keep tobacco and salt with you.
Don’t try to forcibly remove if leech bites you. If one forcibly removes the creature, apply a mixture of salt and mustard oil before bathing to avoid itching.
If there is moisture causing a problem from having a better view, continue trekking only after it clears.
Don’t go alone for trekking. Accommodate guides who are well versed with the route. Begin the trekking early morning and rest during noon.
Follow the instruction of the guides and don’t get separated from the team.
BUEATIFUL TREKKING SPOTS IN INDIA
Chandratal Lake Trek. It is an arduous journey to reach Chandratal Lake, but the scenery it offers is worth the effort.
Nanda Devi East Base Camp Trek. The Nanda Devi is one of the most gigantic and gorgeous peaks in India.
Rajmachi Fort Trek.
Tarsar Marsar Trek.
Zanskar Frozen River Trek.
Rupin Pass Trek.
EASIEST TREKKING SPOTS IN INDIA
Chatakpur Tiger Hill Trek. Mountain Kanchenjunga as seen from Tiger Hill, Darjeeling. .
Triund Hill Trek. Triund Hill campsite, Photograph Courtesy: Dilip Merala.
Chopta Chandrashila Trek.
Valley of Flowers.
Har ki Dun Trek. ..
Nag Tibba Trek.
Parashar Lake Trek.
“KERALA “THE TREKKING HUB
Best time for Trekking in Kerala
Kerala has some of the most thrilling hiking paths as well. Which is alluring to hikers and known for trekking in Kerala. Kerala is an all-season trekking destination with multiple trekking routes active throughout the year. Monsoon is the best time for trekking in Kerala, especially the months of August and September. Kerala will be green after the monsoon and the gurgling waterfalls, pleasant weather with a non-humid climate lets you enjoy the trekking places in kerala.Monsoon is the best time for trekking in Kerala as it is the best way to relax one’s soul amidst a world that is dressed in fresh green after the rains especially if you are trekking in the Tourist Places in Munnar. However, the Monsoons are a dangerous time to trek as well because the rocks and plains become slippery. The slushy and muddy trails, the slippery rocks, the pelting rain, and the poor visibility will also cause the ideal concoction for accidents during treks in Kerala.
Best Trekking Places in Kerala
Kerala has multiple places that are suitable for moderate and hard trekking including wildlife trekking, forest trekking, and night safaris. You can book trekking at the nearest forest offices or authorized centers by the government only.
1. Agasthyarkoodam Peak Trekking
Trek through Agasthyarkoodam peak near Thiruvananthapuram is among the most popular trekking places in Kerala. Agasthyarkoodam Trekking passes are issued by Kerala Forest Departments from their office in Trivandrum. The trekking route starts from Bonacaud which is around 50 KM from Thiruvananthapuram. Animals like Elephants and Wild Bulls and the biodiversity one can see in this wildlife trekking include about 1800 to 2000 species of flora and fauna on either side of the trekking trails.
Agasthyarkoodam Ornithologists or bird-watchers flock here to enjoy the sight of rare birds and jungle trekking in Kerala. Trekking trail through the middle of the forests in this peak enables people to unwind and refresh from whatever stress or tension they are facing. An adventurous wildlife trekking for you to get yourself away from the hustle and bustle. It’s one of the best trekking places in kerala.
peak is named after one of the celebrated mythical sages, Agasthya. This makes the peak a pilgrim site as well, with a shrine dedicated to him. Pilgrimage season is from January to April.
2. Chembra Peak Trekking
Chembra Peak is in Wayanad. Hridayathadakam (heart-shaped lake) is one of the most well-known trekking spots in Kerala which will welcome you with a heart-shaped lake in the middle of grass lawns, along with a soothing nature with lush green flora and exotic fauna. The start of Trekking is from Meppadi and you can reach Meppadi from Kalpetta which is the major town in the Wayanad district. This peak is visible from anywhere in Wayanad, and trekking can be done with permission from the Meppady forest office. It is a 3-hour trek to the top of Chembra peak.
The trekking charges for locals are 500 Rupees per 10 members; whereas, for international tourists, the charges are 1000 Rupees for one group. It is not advised to trek during the rainy season as the trekking trail becomes slippery.
CHEMBRA PEAK IS FAMOUS FOR A HEART-SHAPED LAKE IN THE MIDDLE OF GRASS LAWNS
The total length of Chembra Peak trekking is about 4.5 KMs one side. It will take 1 KM from Meppadi to Watch Tower and 2 KMs from Watch Tower to Heart-Shaped Lake. Chembra peak is at a distance of 1.5 KM from the Hear Shaped Lake. Trek through this amazing trail and enjoy fresh natural air and the trek is of moderate difficulty.
3. Meesappulimala Trekking
Meesappulimala is a part of Anamudi which is the second-highest peak in the Western Ghats and a Kerala Trekking Package is offered by Kerala Forest Department to Meesapulimala with an overnight stay. Trekking can be booked at the Forest Department office in Munnar. The trekking trails go through the Rhodo Valley, which is a highly adventurous path. One can see the Pandava cave en route to Rhodo valley from the trekking base camp.
All trekkers can stay at Rhodo Mansion, in midst of the cloud top; a mystical place indeed, or at camps and tents set up near the base of Meesapulimala. Trek on and climb to the peak of Rhododendron trees. As this is a hard trek of 8 hours, basic preparation should be done very thoroughly.
MEESAPPULIMALA IS A PART OF ANAMUDI, THE HIGHEST PEAK IN SOUTH INDIA
Enjoy the wonderful view from the top of the trails and on the way, of Munnar tea gardens when you go for a Meesapulimala trek
4. Dhoni Hills Trekking in Kerala
Dhoni hills in Palakkad is the ideal place for you to learn and enjoy a wonderful trekking experience if you are a beginner trekker. This popular spot for forest trekking in Kerala and trekking for 3 hours will take you to some breathtaking scenery that includes the Dhoni waterfalls. This waterfall is reached after trekking for around 4 km. Immerse in an enchanting sight of Dhoni waterfalls, which mesmerizes you with the way it bounces and flows over rocks and pebbles. Ensure that you are carrying water and no plastic waste as it is not allowed.
There is a minimal charge of 100 INR per person for trekking to Dhoni Waterfalls and there are three treks in a day with a guide from 9:30 AM, 11:00 AM, and 2:00 PM
Refresh your mind on the trekking trail and freshen up near the stream in waterfalls as entry to waterfalls is not allowed. This area is a wonderful picnic spot as well. Embrace nature and feel refreshed, while having snacks with your group when on Dhoni hills at an altitude of about 1200 m.
DHONI HILLS IN PALAKKAD IS AN EASY TREKKING EXPERIENCE IN KERALA
5. Silent Valley National Park
Trek through the Silent Valley National Park is wildlife trekking. Silent Valley National Park in Palakkad district is a UNESCO heritage site has a variety of biodiversity with a wide range of exotic flora and fauna, which include elephants, tiger, some rare migratory birds, lion-tailed Macau, butterflies, and beetles. A place is known as Sairandhrivanam named after Sairandhri, the wife of Pandavas because it is said that Pandavas halted at this place during their exile.
It is called a silent valley because of the absence of cicadas. Trekking is charged at 400 INR and is for a distance of 1.5 KM. You can either take a longer route to enjoy all the biodiversity, nature offers or you can trek via the waterfalls. It would be quite an experience to trek through the Silent Valley National Park. However please note that the park is closed from February to March as animals roam freely in these months.
SILENT VALLEY NATIONAL PARK IN PALAKKAD DISTRICT IS A UNESCO HERITAGE SITE
6. Ramakkalmedu Peak
Situated at the Idukki border 45 KM from Thekkady, Ramakkalmedu peak is another ideal trekking trail that beginners can exploit and learn the craft. You can get a panoramic view of many places and villages of Tamilnadu from atop the peak and the trek is worth just for the view from the top. Get energized and revitalized by the flowing breeze that tickles your senses. Bamboo forests and grasslands offer a unique view, which brims your mind with joy and bliss.
The main attractions of Ramakkalmedu peak trekking are the Kuravan & Kurathi Statue. This area is foggy during the wee hours of the morning. A statue that reminds us of the Sangam period inculcates the will to know about the history of India and the people who used to live during that era; You can do Thekkady Boating in the morning and then go for a visit in Ramakkalmedu and return back to Thekkady for overnight stay.
KURAVAN & KURATHI STATUE IS A MAJOR ATTRACTION OF RAMAKKALMEDU TREKKING
7. Thusharagiri Waterfall Trek
Trek through the trails that pass near the 3 waterfalls formed by Chalippuzha River, in the Malabar region of Kerala in Kozhikode district. The most famous among these is the Thusharagiri Waterfalls. There are three waterfalls. One is at the top of the hill, the second one at the middle of the hill, the third one is near the entrance. Waterfalls nearest to the entrance can be visited during the 1 KM trek and you can start your trekking by 8-30 AM.
To visit the other two waterfalls you need to go through the forests and the ground is slippery and muddy. This place is a haven for trekking enthusiasts as well as tourists from September to November (monsoon season). The place is very clean and the water is chilly cold.
Unique and intriguing paths, which comprise the trekking trail offer joy and peace to the trekkers. Thusharagiri Waterfall trek offers unique experiences like a 400-year-old tree that is hollow from inside. One could virtually stand inside three and have look at the hollow inside and take a photo.
THUSHARAGIRI TREK THROUGH THE TRAILS THAT PASS NEAR THE 3 WATERFALLS FORMED BY THE CHALIPPUZHA RIVER
8. Ponmudi Trekking
Ponmudi or golden peak is situated 60 km from Trivandrum, the capital city of Kerala, offers some breathtaking sights on the way there and also on the trekking trails. A wonderful place to be for trekking, Ponmudi hills offer a diverse nature to be part of and there are popular trekking camps as well at Varyadumotta & Seethathertham. The trek is conducted by the Kerala Forest Department, tickets to which can be bought at the check-post.
The climate stays pleasant throughout the year with the hill covered with lush green and fog; an amazing setting to be at for enjoying your trek. The climbs are of medium difficulty and hence Ponmudi Trekking may be taken up by beginners as well. The best time to do Ponmudi trekking unlike other best places for trekking in Kerala is from November to March.
9. Nelliyampathi Trekking
Enjoy a unique experience of trekking through Nelliyampathi hills to the Seetharkund viewpoint. The velvety lush-green patches provide a natural flair and elegance, which any trekkers and travelers should experience at least once in their lifetime. Immerse in a stunning view of the Sholayar pass as well as the ever so tranquil and serene Poonthudi Dam, Govt Orange and Vegetable Farm.
Rainforests adorn the route to Nelliyampathi hills, which itself refreshes your mind. This experience keeps you in a jovial state while you trek through these hills. Please note that trekking and sightseeing in Nelliyampathi are permitted only from 6 AM to 6 PM.
NELLIYAMPATHI IS A PLASTIC-FREE TREKKING ZONE LIKE MOST OF THE BEST TREKKING PLACES IN KERALA
10. Chokramudi Trekking in Munnar
Chokramudi peak in Munnar is one of the toughest trekking experiences in Kerala. Get greeted by elephants as well as other exotic flora and fauna, when you travel to this peak as you may be just following a wild elephant trail. The last stretch will be more of rock climbing. Here trekking can be done at different levels and in groups, which can offer a fun, playful, and competitive element to the whole process when you see Munnar town and bison valley views on the trek.
Winter treks offer the best and unique experiences. The misty view of mountain or peak tops are a sight to behold. Create memories by enjoying the experience of traveling through a forest; trekking that should not be missed in your lifetime.
CHOKRAMUDI PEAK IN MUNNAR IS ONE OF THE TOUGHEST TREKKING EXPERIENCES IN KERALA.
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