Snow blocking your way to the peaks? Fret not for we have some bomb alternatives for you to go trekking even during winter! Turn your eyes from the Northward direction to the South of India for you will be surprised at the plethora of options available for trekkers. However, you can’t make snowmen during these treks. By Shubhanjana Das
1. Kudremukh Trek, Karnataka:
Located 333 km from Bangalore, the Kudremukh National Park houses the Kundremukh peak, which is the third highest peak in Karnataka. The trek comes with quite a surprising variety of topography on the way. Translating to ‘horse head’, Kudremukh is often called the ‘Himalayas of the South’ owing to its natural charm and serenity. Not only will you be covering an altitude of 1,892 meters, you will also pass coffee farms, rain forests, waterfalls, and as many as 10 streams. The difficulty level is medium meaning that anyone can venture on this trek.
2. Perumal Trek, Kodaikanal:
The allure of the Nilgiri Hills, even after all these years of active promotion, is partially unexplored. Take the Perumal Trek for example. If a 4-hour short trek (one way) takes you to ideal viewpoints to stare out into the Nilgiri Hills, why won’t you venture on it, right? Especially because it is just 11 km from Kodaikanal, can be done even by the most novice trekkers, and also offers overnight camping options! The best time to visit is from January to May and you won’t need any prior permission. Kodai, we are on our way!
3. Chembra Peak Trek, Kerala:
Who thought that God’s Own State will have both backwaters and hills to climb? The Chembara Peak Trek comes as a very pleasing surprise to every trekker, nestled at 6,900 feet. The highest peak in Wayand, Chembra peak trek requires prior permission from the Meppady forest office. The absolute showstopper of the trek, besides the unadulterated green of the Western Ghat hills, is the heart-shaped lake ‘hridhayathadakam’ that is said to have never dried up. Once you’re up at the top, look around for the panoramic views of the whole of Wayand, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Niligiri districts. Best suggested time for this trek is any time of the year barring the monsoon as the trail gets quite slippery.
4. Horsley Hills Trek, Andhra Pradesh:
Perched at a height of 1,265 meters above the sea level, Horsley Hills or Horsleykonda, is not only blessed by nature’s charm but also legend and folklore. While the former is for you to witness once you climb up the hills, the legend so goes that the temple atop the hill is built in the memory of a saintly old woman, Mallamma, who was fed by elephants. The legend is as intriguing as the view from the hills is enticing. Although the trek is a day long affair, accommodation and campfire can be easily arranged at the end of this day-long trip for you to sit back and relax in the beauty of the night sky.
5. Kotagiri Trek, Ooty, Tamil Nadu:
Take the road less taken and venture on the Kotagiri trek in Ooty, which involves a 5,890 feet-high climb. Just 330 km from Bangalore will land you in Kotagiri to cover a trail that traverses through tea estates and valleys meandered by rivers. A visit to the second highest waterfall in the Nilgiris, Catherine falls will wind this 3-day trek real fine. Elk Falls, Doddabetta Peak and the Rangaswami Pillar are also frequently visited by trekkers who undertake this trek.
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