KALPETTA: This is the right time for a trekking expedition on Chembra peak, one of the highest peaks in Wayanad district.
The peak stands 2100 meters above the sea level and is part of the Meppadi Forest Range. One has to obtain permission, issued free of cost, from the Forest Range Office at Meppadi for the trek. A 20-minutes drive from Meppadi through lush greenery of tea estates will lead the travellers to the three-storeyed forest watch tower on the foot hills of the peak.
From here it is a three km trek to reach the top. It will take one hour of strenuous trek to reach the central point of the peak from the watch tower.
At the zenith there is a heart-shaped perennial lake where drinking water is available from the nearby natural springs even at the height of summer.
It is believed that, a hundred years ago, the British planters met here every evening to play golf. The planters laid out a golf course, put up a small rest house and a stable to keep their horse. The relics of the rest house and the vestiges of the road they used to ride their horse-carts are visible even now.
Here, on the pinnacle of the peak, the nature reveals the picturesque beauty of the virgin sholay forest on both sides.
Most parts of the district is visible from here. The town of Kalpetta, the snow-covered peaks of the Neelgiri ranges and the lush greenery of Nilambur forest range in Malappuram district… an alluring experience for travellers.
“Although we have travelled to all important tourist destinations in Kerala, the view from the pinnacle of the peak is exquisite,” says K. Santhosh, an IT professional from Bangalore.
“The tourism department has allotted Rs.30 lakh for the expansion of eco tourism projects in the district and the forest department plans to make trekking paths, erect nature friendly huts, restaurants and other basic amenities here at a cost of Rs.15 lakhs,” Mepadi Forest Range Officer N. Rajesh said.
More than 150 travellers, mainly from Bangalore and Chennai, reach here daily. The number of foreign tourists is also increasing, Mr. Rajesh added.