Hiking is a lot of fun. My ideal Sunday would be me, wandering in the mountains with friends. For me, hiking or trekking is an excuse to get away from the regular hustle bustle of the city and indulge in a sense of exploration. If you’re looking for beautiful and adventurous hiking trails, South India wouldn’t disappoint you. As a trekker, there is no better alternative than Himalayas for sheer indulgence. But South India, with its verdant landscapes and untouched corners offer a wide range of experiences too. Here, I have mentioned some hikes and treks which I have personally experienced and would surely recommend.
- Chembra Peak, Kerala
The highest peak in Wayanad, you can reach Chembra peak from Meppadi town. Once your trek starts, you will go through impressive tea plantations which later transform into a dense forest. With uneven terrains and damp surfaces, you will be able enjoy a very pure form of nature. Once you have passed the forest, you will discover grasslands and a path paving through it, which leads to the Chembra peak. However, trekking till the Chembra peak is now prohibited and you can only trek till the heart shaped lake there which will become the highlight for you. Guides for this are available, which are provided by the local management system. These guides normally charge a reasonable price and can accompany you till the peak. However, the hike can be completed without seeking help from the guide. If need be, you will be able to request help from the guides standing at different points throughout the trek.
- Brahmagiri, Karnataka
Nestled in an impressive mountain range located in Coorg, Brahmagiri is one of the most popular peaks in South India. There are multiple ways to approach this trek and you can choose the route based on your preferences and how long would you like to trek. The recommended route is from Irupu falls and back. It is mandatory to obtain permission from the forest department. So, if you are planning for this trek, do keep some time aside for seeking permissions and planning the route.
Mullayanagiri is the highest peak of Karnataka, standing at 6,316 ft above sea level. The place is unexplainably beautiful, with the sunset giving you a spectacular view to look at. There are well made roads leading to a series of steps. Even though most of the people prefer the road now, the trekking route is still accessible and many trekkers use it to hike up to the top. A popular circuit is the Mullanagiri to Baba Budangiri trek. If you are visiting Mullayanagiri, you can also visit Jhari falls which is only 18 KMs from there and offers a lovely experience.
- Rayakottai, Tamil Nadu
Rayakottai is a beautiful hill, located in Tamil Nadu. It is 73 km away from Bangalore, and a hiking route is easily accessible to reach to the top. As you approach the peak, you will pass through the fort ruins which stand as a testimony to the historical times & the colonial era. The famous Rayakottai fort was ruled by several Kings, before it came into the hands of the British through a treaty. The view from top reveals a plethora of rocky hillocks with specks of water bodies strewn around. The hiking route is interesting and we encountered many butterflies fluttering around here. The best thing about this pretty hike is lack of fame. When we went hiking here, the place was devoid of any tourists!
- Avalabetta, Karnataka
Another spectacular hiking trail is Avalabetta. You can steer your car till the parking, situated at the foothills of Avalabetta hillock. After around 100 steps, you will be able to see the hanging cliff which has been doing rounds on the popular travel publications recently. The cliff offers impressive view of the verdant landscapes around. The protruding cliff, however, doesn’t hang above a steep fall, but a gentle slope eventually transforming into a valley. While trying to take pics at the cliff, be extra careful. These days, apparently a barricade has been placed, not allowing the visitors to pose on this protruding rock. Irrespective of that, you can still explore the surroundings in a pursuit of discovering enchanting views.
These treks or hikes belong to easy to moderate category. The 1st three recommendations need more than a day to experience. However, Rayakottai and Avalabetta can be explored by planning for a day trip from Bangalore.
Hope you found the blog post to be helpful. How many of these hikes have you experienced? Do share your stories in comment section below.