2100 meters above the sea level, now that’s what gives an adrenaline rush to the first time trekker, one like me who ascended the Chembra peak in Wayanad. The list of do’s and don’ts isn’t a long one, just one good thing that all the efforts pay when you reach the top. A heart shape lake awaits you, the sight of which just melts away all your sweat.
Chembra Trek begins with a ticket:
The trek to Chembra Peak begins with the ticketing at the forest office which you can easily reach by a four-wheeler; however, a bike would be better. A group is charged 750 INR. This 750 INR is applicable for a group size from 1 to 10. Any additional member will have to pay INR 75 extra for Indians. For foreigners, the additional fee is INR 300.
Post ticketing, a distance of 5 KM has to be covered by automobile. Four wheelers can be used however the condition of the road, picturesque landscaping enroute and limited parking space at the destination make bikes a rather better option. Local taxi can also be hired to reach the base camp. The total distance of trekking is approx 2.5 Km and it takes somewhere close to 4 hrs for the first time trekkers.
Chembra peak trekking distance: 2.5 Km
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First time trekking – Show your mightiness:
Coming to the most important part, the trek itself, I can vouch that the trek is quite difficult for the beginners. The starting seems fine with fairly horizontal walking path passing amidst the lush green tea estates, high rise mountains and deep valleys.
It is here Mother Nature makes us realize her mightiness and that how minuscule the human beings are in front of her. There are many tourist and families (with kids) who visit till this viewpoint and return. Beyond this viewpoint, the tickets are checked and trekkers are only allowed to pass.
As one moves further, the road disappears and trek becomes rock climbing. Chembra peak will be steep up to 75 degrees. At certain places, the path is so steep and narrow that it just seems impossible to move a step further.
At such juncture, the path allows one-way traffic. We could see many people sitting and taking short breaks. Few of our group members returned mid-way, as the path was becoming quite steep and risky, moreover the day was quite sunny which was making the trek more strenuous.
But I must say, the higher you go the Nilgiris become more beautiful, the cars parked down seemed so small and we just felt the whole town of Wayanad at our feet. The co-trekkers were very helpful at most of the places. We held each other’s hand and moved. We could hear the groups shouting with excitement and could make out that they had reached the top.
Heart shaped lake at Chembra peak Wayanad:
The sight of the heart-shaped lake was mesmerizing and we also cried out loud, the joy of completing the trek gave me a sense of accomplishment. We stayed there for some time, clicked some pics and started to descend.
Being a first-time trekker, I realized that an altogether different type of skill is required in descending, some places require that you just slide down at certain other points, at other places, we just jumped down from one rock to another. Finally, mission accomplished and had an experiential stay at a resort near Wayanad.
The feeling of tiredness had somehow taken a backseat and it was more of a cautious and steady walking. The descent did not take much time. Overall it was a very pleasant experience and I am now ready for more trekking and rock climbing.
Now, coming back to the list of Do’s and Don’ts:
1. Tickets are issued only till 2 pm.
2. Carry a light backpack with water, hat and citrus fruits.
3. Reach early so that the forest department can allocate a guide (the number of guides are limited).
4. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes.
5. Stay with the group.
1. Trekking with kids and senior citizens.
2. Don’t compete with fellow trekker, you aren’t in a race.
3. Don’t take too many breaks.
4. Don’t pollute the environment.
5. Avoid body getting overheated during sunny days.