Anamudi Peak - Tripdino
Anamudi Peak in the Western Ghats is the highest point in South India   Photo credit : Jaseem Hamza / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Anamudi Peak in the Western Ghats is the highest point in South India and also the highest point in India outside the Himalaya-Karakoram, at an altitude of 8842 feet. Anamudi is also famous for Neelakurunji flowers that blossom once in twelve years. Trekking to the dizzy inducing peak is one of the must do things in Kerala.

The trek to Anamudi Peak passes through lush hills, valley, tea estates, spices plantations, and wildlife etc. You can also enjoy the view of Vaigai and Thamirabarani and the Periyar River flowing into the Arabian Sea. While your journey to the peak you can be greeted by Asian elephants, Gaurs, and the Nilgiri Tahrs.

Those who wish to trek should take permission from the Eravikulam National Park authorities.

Distance (From Munnar): 15 Km

Commonly Visited From: Munnar

Trip Duration (From Munnar, Including Travel): 2-3 Days

Transportation Options: Bus / Cab / + Walk/Trek

Best time to visit: November to May


Agasthyakoodam trekking - tripdino
Agasthyakoodam trekking Photo credit : Varkey Parakkal / CC BY-SA 4.0

Agasthyakoodam Peak stands at a height of 1868 m above sea level, accessible only on foot. It is the second highest peak in the state. Legend states that the mountain was the abode of great saint Agasthya. Till date, women are not allowed to undertake this trek, as the tribals and worshippers of the legendary Saint believe that he wouldn’t approve.

The mountain is revered by both Buddhists and Hindus, as it is believed to be the abode of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara as well as of the sage Agastya, a disciple of Shiva. The hill range is now declared as Agasthya Vanam Biological Park covering an area of 23 sq. km. Also, it is the source of River Kallar.

The trek to Agasthyakoodam is through pristine hills and forests. The mountain is said to be a storehouse of medicinal plants needed in Ayurveda. The air you breathe in the mountain is also therapeutic, curing diseases and ailments. At the end of the trail at the high top, there is a full-size statue of Agasthya on the peak. Marvel at the breathtaking scenery, photograph the beautiful landscape and learn about the Ayurvedic herbs growing in abundance.

A forest pass has to be obtained the wildlife office in Thiruvananthapuram.

Distance (From Trivandrum): 62 Km

Commonly Visited From: Trivandrum

Trip Duration (From Trivandrum, Including Travel): 2 Full Days

Transportation Options: Bus / Cab / + Walk/Trek

Best Time to Visit: December to April.


Hanging Bridge across the Kuntipuzha River – Silent Valley National Park
Hanging Bridge across the Kuntipuzha River Photo credit : Cj.samson / CC-BY-SA-3.0

The Silent Valley National Park spread across 89 sq. km is a part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It is the catchment area of the Kunthi River. The entire valley was declared a national park in 1985 but is closed to tourists, and there is no habitation within the park. So it was a rare privilege to be allowed to trek through the Silent Valley.

The Silent Valley National Park (Sairandri) is one among very few places on earth that have absolutely no history of human inhabitation. Also, it is one of the last remaining rainforests and tropical moist evergreen forests in India. The British named it Silent Valley for a very simple reason – that it lacked the presence and loud chorus of cicadas

The trails of the Valley take you through remarkable scenery, from the tropical evergreen forest with gigantic trees and Shola grasslands. Leopards, deer, elephants, Tiger, the Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri langur, Malabar giant squirrel and a large bird population that includes Malabar whistling thrush, hornbills all live in Silent Valley National Park.

Permission for entering the national park can be obtained from the Wildlife Warden’s office at Mannarkad or from the Assistant Wildlife Warden’s office at Mukkali.

Distance (From Palakkad): 48.6 Km

Commonly Visited From: Palakkad and Coimbatore

Trip Duration (From Palakkad, Including Travel): 2 Full Days

Transportation Options: Bus / Cab / + Walk/Trek

Best time to Visit: October to May


Chembra Lake - tripdino
Heart shape lake chembra peak  Photo credits : Unnimadhavan, Sandeep

It is not just beautiful but thrilling to explore. Trekking through Chembra Peak goes through large tea plantations, trails shrouded in misty clouds and lush forests. It rises to a height of 2100 meters above sea level.

The trek to Chembra Peak is of 14 km and takes 4-5 hours. It is worth the hard work to trek to the high peak when you make a stop at the heart-shaped lake. It is an alluring attraction of this peak. This lake is known as ‘hridhayathadakam’, which is believed to have never dried up, is a major attraction here. Trekking to the Chembra Peak is a moderately difficult task and recommended for trekkers with good physical fitness. The local tribal folks offer their valuable advice as they know most trails and the region.

Prior permission is required from the forest office in Meppady to the trek. Camping is allowed at top of the peak.

Distance (From Wayanad (kalpetta)): 17 Km

Commonly Visited From: Wayanad (kalpetta)

Trip Duration (From Wayanad (kalpetta), Including Travel): Full Day

Transportation Options: Bus / Cab / Walk/Trek / + Walk/Trek

Best Time to Visit: November to February.


Trekking route in Eravikulam National Park
Trekking route in Eravikulam National Park Photo credit : Arun Suresh / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Rajamalai is a small hill station situated inside the Eravikulam National Park. The park was founded to protect the endangered Nilgiri Tahr. The trip to Rajamalai is for nature lovers and to enjoy trekking.

The Eravikulam l national park is spread across an area of 97sq km and is a protected area. The park is divided into 3  core area, buffer area, and tourism area. Apart from the Nilgiri Tahr, other species inhabiting the park are elephant Gaur, Leopard, Lion-Tailed Macaque, Tiger, Giant Squirrel, and Sambar. Birds, flora and rare herbs are also seen.

Visitors are allowed to trek in the tourism area, which is in the Rajamalai region. Tourists can take safari and trekking tours inside the park. One can walk along the trail or board the safari bus. Entry fee is to be paid at the entry point adjacent to Munnar – Udumalpet main Road.

Distance (From Munnar): 16 Km

Commonly Visited From: Munnar

Trip Duration (From Munnar, Including Travel): 4 Hours/Half Day

Place Location: Close To Munnar – Udumalpet Road

Transportation Options: Bus / Cab

Travel Tips: Eravikulam is closed from 1st February to 31st March

Best time to Visit: June and October to December

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