About the Trek:
- Location : Chembra peak >Meppady > Kalpetta > Kerala > India
- Distance from Bangalore : 320 Kms
- Trek starting point : Chembra peak foothill
- Trek difficulty Level : Moderate
- Trek distance : 14 Kms (round trip)
- Peak height : 1790 Mts
- Time to trek : 3 – 4 hours (one side)
- Camping site : Not Allowed
- Best time to trek : Post Monsoon (August – February)
- Permission : Required, should be taken forest office
- Trekking time : 7 AM to 2 PM (After 2 you wont be allowed to start trek)
- Visiting time : 7 AM to 5 PM (You can latest return by 5 from the peak)
- Guide : Given at the VSS office
- Entry fee : Around 500 (group of 10 persons)
- Guide charges : 150 per group
- Camera/Video Charges : Rs. 25 per camera
- Parking charges : Rs. 20 per vehicle
- Things to carry : Lots of water, biscuits, fruits, energy drinks, high energy snacks etc.
Chembra peak is one of the beautiful hill located near kalpetta in wayanad district of kerala. Kalpetta is situated at a distance of 150km from Mysore and 140kms from Coorg. Chembra peak (7000 feet) is the highest peak in wayanad and also one of the best tourist attractions in wayanad. Foothill of the peak is covered with beautiful and landscape tea estates. In order to reach the starting point of the trek, one has to reach Meppady, which is 8km from kalpetta. From Meppady, you have to travel for atleast 8km to reach to forest check post. We were 11 in number, so paid around 550rs as entry at the forest checkpoint and a guide will join the group at the checkpoint. At one point, no one is allowed to take the vehicle inside even though there is a provision to take it inside. We parked our vehicle in the parking area and begin our trek.
Initial trail begins with plain walk through tree estates for 15-20 minutes. Then you reach a checkpoint. There is a watch tower located at the starting point of the trek where you can you view the forest. The real trek starts from this point where it becomes bit steep and covered with big trees. As we went in the monsoon season, the trail was slippery but weather was our favour. We trekked nearly an hour or so where in we found a flow of water which was as fresh as it can get. We took rest for a while there by drinking the water and cleaning our faces. We filled up our bottles and resumed our trek. The steep becomes more and more as you climb further. There were trails which were as narrow as 2-3 feet with other side being down slide. The trail becomes itchy as its completely covered with grass reaching till your hand’s height. Having said so, it was completely a different experience for all of us walking amidst of those green trails.
After trekking for more than 2 hours, we reached the much awaited-magnificent ‘Heart shaped Lake‘. When I first saw the glimpse of the lake, we started running towards it as there was no tomorrow because we just want to get that feel first. I had no words after seeing the lake. At this point, we were completely confused on what to see, beautiful heart shaped lake or chembra peak covered with fog or the stunning view of valleys. If you gonna propose some one, then this place is the ideal one :).
We sat near the lake for an hour or so enjoying the air hitting you face with its cold breeze. Few of them took a quick snap, few put their legs inside the water and relaxed etc. We did take so many pictures in and around the lake with many poses and the peaks behind it. If you really wanna enjoy the view of heart shaped lake, then it is recommended to trek some distance uphill. As per the guide’s information, animals like elephant, tigers etc. are often seen her. One more interesting fact about this peak was NAXALITES. The place were shut down in between as there were naxalites who were residing somewhere in the peaks which was very hard to believe at first but later got confirmed by forest officials.
There is a small trail which takes you side to the cliff where in you can sit on the rocks and enjoy the serene view of the wayanad district. It was one of the views which makes all of your stress and tiredness go at one instant. We all sat there for sometime chatting and trying to scare each other.
It was around 3 PM when the weather was changing a bit, that’s when we decided to trek back to the base. The trek down wasn’t tough and we reached to the bottom in an hour. Me with couple of my other friends trekked down in an hour and were waiting for others to join us near a small waterfall at tea plantations. It took them almost half an hour more to meet us at the place where we were waiting. There was one concern which creped in when three people didn’t reach the point yet and upon enquiring other friends, they informed “haven’t see them ahead and might be behind”. We waited, waited and waited. Minutes were moving like ages and we were getting tensed every second being passed. When we thought, few of them trek and check them out, then appeared the three guys Ajoy, Harsh and Sumanth. That was a relieve moment for me. We sat back for 10-15 mins and walked to our vehicle. This trek was by far the most difficult and longest (in terms on kms) I have experienced and will suggest my friends to go for it.