Sunny skies and gentle breezes, summer is the perfect time to go hiking and trekking. While most people focus on North India, or the Himalayas, when thinking of trekking in India, that’s not all there is. There are plenty of wonderful places to go trekking in South India as well.
South India is home to many different kinds of terrain, making it an ideal place for you to go on your next trek. Every state in South India has interesting locations where you can trek, either solo or in a group. Here are 10 places you could go trekking in South India when you plan your next trip!
1. Chembra Trek, Kerala
Located in Wayanad, Chembra Peak is a hotspot for trekkers and sees many visitors throughout the year. The peak is about 2,100 metres above sea level and is a part of the Wayanad hill ranges in the Western Ghats. Perfect for first-timers, the average time required to scale one side of the peak is about 3-4 hours. There’s a beautiful heart-shaped lake that you will encounter during the trek and the view around is ideal for nature lovers. Overnight camping is prohibited at the peak because of a possible threat from wildlife.
2. Chimmini, Kerala
Chimmini is a wildlife sanctuary in the district of Thrissur first established in 1984. The nearest town Amballoor is about 12kms from Chimmini. Home to 160 species of birds, bird-watchers will thoroughly enjoy a trek here. You’ll chance upon several insects, including the largest moth in the world – Atlas; the largest butterfly of India – Southern Birdwing; and the state butterfly of Maharashtra – the Blue Mormon. Apart from trekking, bamboo rafting is also a fun activity you could take up.
3. Kudremukh, Karnataka
Fondly called the Himalayas of the South, Kudremukh Peak has rolling green hills, waterfalls and a stunning view. There are also coffee plantations you could visit. You can choose from a wide variety of trekking trails here. The forest department allows only 50 people (first come first serve basis) to trek to the peak on a daily basis. One of the most popular treks in the Karnataka region, Kudremukh is an exciting adventure to set out on.
4. Kodachadri, Karnataka
Trekking at Kodachadri requires you to be at your peak in terms of fitness. The trek is a total distance of 12-14 kms and takes about 7-8 hours; it is also the 10th highest peak in the state. From the peak of Kodachadri you will get a gorgeous glimpse of the Arabian Sea. If you want to camp out for a while in the area, prior permission needs to be taken from the Forest Department.
5. Kolli Hills, Tamil Nadu
Situated in the Namakkal district of Tamil Nadu, Koli Hills is covered with evergreen forests. The hills are about 1000-1300 meters and the surrounding area is peaceful, far from the polluted streets of cities. Lodging and eating options are limited in the area; you’ll have to plan in advance. The start point of this trek is at a small village called Puliyancholai at the base of Kolli Hills and the final point is the magnificent Agaya Gangai waterfalls.
6. Meesapulimala, Kerala
Meesapulimala is the second highest peak in the Western Ghats and is about 24kms from the scenic hill-station Munnar. The trekking trail goes through Rhodo Valley. The peak is 2640 metres above sea level and is a biodiversity hotspot. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One side of the peak is a 15km trek and takes 9 hours to complete.
7. Perumal Trek, Tamil Nadu
The Perumal Trek is ideal for beginners; it’s a short trek and involves 4 hours of hiking upwards. No prior permission is required. Perumal Peak is at a distance of 18kms from Kodaikanal. The trek begins from the foot of the Peak near the Perumal Malai Village which is 11 km from Kodaikanal. Overnight camping is an option at the peak but given the short duration of the trek, most people choose to return. At the peak, you’ll also get to see the Nilgiri hills.
8. Yercaud, Tamil Nadu
Tucked away in the Eastern Ghats, Yercaud is a cosy hill station filled with forests, coffee plantations and waterfalls. You can explore the Kiliyur Falls and the Elephant Tooth Rocks trek. The Elephant Tooth Rocks are two pure white rocks located at a height of 120 feet. They are believed to be the leftovers of a meteorite that fell to earth centuries ago.
9. Paithalmala Trek, Kerala
The Paithalmala Trek takes places near the Kodagu forests in the Kannur district of Kerala. It is 1371.6 meters above sea level. The biodiversity is particularly interesting in the area and is ideal for photographers. At the hilltop, you can spend time at an observatory made by the Forest Department that offers a splendid view of the landscape around.
10. Nagalapuram Hills, Andhra Pradesh
The start point of the trek at Nagalapuram is about 20 km away from the actual town. Trekkers are expected to leave their vehicles behind in the village of Arai. The waterfall at the hills is a sight to behold! It is also a natural water slide with a 40 feet deep natural water pool. The trail covers a total distance of 13 km, going through dense forests, and takes about one day to complete. On your way, you’ll also come across beautiful gorges with rocky walls.
So, have we missed any of your favourite places to go trekking in South India? If so, do share them in the comments below.