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A trekker's guide to exploring the Western Ghats

A trekker's guide to exploring the Western Ghats
ADVENTURE
SOUTH INDIA
WEST INDIA

By Aquib Nawab

03 Jun, 2024

Would you turn down the opportunity to see the 160-year-old natural beauty? Not us.

Get ready to leave all the worries of everyday life behind and set off for a trip that will bring you closer to nature.

The Western Ghats as ancient as the Himalayas are one of the most beautiful places on earth, which run from Sahyadri Mountain Range to India’s western coast.

Such mountains are a hiker's dream. They cover six states and are home to a huge variety of plants and animals.

And I bet no one would want not to have once-in-a-lifetime experiences including visiting the plantation and enjoying an unforgettable hot cup of cinnamon tea at Munnar, taking long walks through the forests of Matheran or hiking up Mullayanagiri in Chikmagalur or waking up in Kodaikanal among zestful hills wrapped in mist.

Put your boots on and let’s move through lush green landscapes, mist covered peaks, beautiful pathways across Western Ghats.

Enchanting Western Ghats

The Western Ghats also known as the Sahyadri Range stretches along India’s west coast for over 1,600 km from Gujarat to Tamil Nadu, and is counted in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This range has rich biodiversity, diverse ecosystems and some very beautiful views that any person can have in his lifetime. Western Ghats offers trails for trekkers who have been trekking for many years or those who just want an adventurous trip starting with trekking in Western Ghats.

Credits: Canva

Best treks in the Western Ghats

1. Kudremukh trek in Karnataka

It was named after its peak which resembles a horse face. You will walk through thick woods, grassy meadows, and hills. It's already a treat to see the peak through the fog and clouds. It’s an easy trek; good for people who like peace and beauty of the Western Ghats.

Best Time to Visit: October to February

Things not to miss:

Beautiful views of Kudremukh peak and the slopes around it.

A chance to see animals like lions, deer, and peacocks.

The Hanuman Gundi Falls is a perfect place to relax and refresh yourself.

Credits: Canva

2. Chembra peak trek in Wayanad, Kerala

Chembra Peak in Wayanad is its highest point. The trip is known for the heart-shaped lake called Hridaya Saras which is situated halfway up the peak. This trail gives lovely sights of lush green surroundings on one hand while getting there is equally enjoyable.

It’s an easy hike; good for beginners who have less experience.

Best Time to Visit: September to March

The Unforgettable:

  • Witness the breathtaking beauty of the Western Ghats and Wayanad region.
  • The beautiful heart-shaped lake on the way to the top.
  • Numerous plants and animals thus making it photographers’ dream come true!

Credits: Canva

3. Mullayanagiri trek in Karnataka

Mullayanagiri stands at 1,930 meters above sea level, which makes it Karnataka’s highest peak. Vacations at Mullayanagiri are extremely peaceful with lots of excitement seen during this hiking expedition that offer stunning views over Western Ghats.

The track goes through grasslands, forests as well as coffee plantations hence making it an interesting trip with variations.

Best Time to Visit: September to February

Must see:

  • Views from above Baba Budangiri hills.
  • Peacefulness in Mullayanagiri Temple.
  • Ideal for a short weekend trip away from city buzz!

Credits: Canva

4. Anamudi peak trek in Kerala

The hike up Anamudi, the highest peak in South India, is a challenging and rewarding experience. Eravikulam National Park hike will give you an opportunity to see the rare Nilgiri Tahr as well as other animals. The panoramic views from the top are truly breathtaking and that’s what makes the journey worth it.

Best Time to Visit: November to May (Avoid monsoon season).

There’s more to see:

  • You can have a beautiful view of South India’s tallest hill.
  • Many different types of plants and animals such as Nilgiri Tahr.
  • Get a view of beautiful Eravikulam National Park in its original state.

Credits: Canva

5. Agasthyakoodam trek in Kerala

Agasthyakoodam is part of Kerala’s tallest hill within the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve. This trek isn’t just about great sceneries but also tied up with rich cultural history revolving around sage Agastya. Though this trek needs some advance planning there is nothing more gratifying than ambling through pristine forests teeming with varied flora and fauna.

Best Time to Visit: December to April (January-February being a special trekking season).

The unexplored:

  • Spiritual significance and nice scenes from the peak.
  • Coming across rare kinds of plants and animals.
  • Getting deeper into Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary.

Preparing for the trek

Credits: Canva

It is very necessary to be well-prepared before you embark on a journey. Here are some ideas to help you get started:

1. Physical fitness: Ensure your body is in shape, do regular strength training, cardio and flexibility workouts which can help you get tougher by trekking.

2. Let’s get ready: Purchase fine hiking shoes, a solid backpack, and weather-appropriate clothes. Don’t forget any of the essentials like water bottle, first aid box, flash light and trekking sticks.

3. Carry out research: Familiarize yourself with the trail. Check out for the trail conditions, weather forecast and levels of difficulty as you also inform someone about your hiking plans.

4. Permits and permissions: Some treks need permission or permits ahead of time so make sure to procure them beforehand to avoid last minute complications

5. You should be smart about what you pack: Take only what is really important so that your bag stays light! Snacks, water, a basic first-aid kit are some things that you will need to bring along while on this trip.

In addition, eco-friendly products may be advantageous to carry in order not to pollute the environment.

Making the most of your trek

Credits: Canva

We can do more than just hike in Western Ghats; they offer an overall experience that connects one with nature; here’s how to maximize your hike:

1. Enjoy the view

Take time admiring beautiful sceneries around you such as different kinds of plants and animals singing birds sounds clean mountain air making it feel like a real experience.

2. Make memories

Do not forget to carry either a camera or good smartphone to capture the lovely views and special moments during hiking, but do keep in mind that eyes are the best cameras!

3. Show respect for nature by following the “leave no trace” rule

Carry all your litter away,and avoid bothering animals as well as staying on the trail to conserve the environment.

4. Talk to locals

Talking to people from the area can enhance your hiking experience. You can learn about their traditions and history, and you might even get some tips on how to hike in the area.

5. Take breaks

Go at your own pace and remember to rest when necessary. Keep hydrated and enjoy the view while you take a break.

Bottom line

Credits: The Hosteller

Are you ready for these mountain calls? Pack your bags and embark into an unforgettable journey through Western Ghats?

Your trek adventure is incomplete without proper preparations or accommodation places; nevertheless, The Hosteller will be perfect for your experience as nothing beats its services.

 

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