The higest peak in wayanad, kerala ! The scenic beauty of the chembra and the surrounding forests and the tea estate are worth the difficult trek. Another surprise you find middle the way is the heart shaped lake called “hridaya saras”.
some important points:
- the trek will take whole day
- carry enough water and food with you
- enough water means say, 4 liters per person
- its a good idea to carry a torch
- probably some sun screen lotions
- don’t wander into the forests
- please try to keep the place clean and don’t throw away plastics and cola bottles.
Chembra peak is situated near a small town called Meppadi. Meppadi is 21 kilometers from Kalpetta. If you have a vehicle you can use to reach meppadi or you will easily get buses from kalpetta bus stand to meppadi. The tea estate enroute meppadi are treat to one’s eyes.
An early morning view from kalpetta bus stand
Before trekking to chembra, we need to take permission from meppadi forest station. no. there is nothing to worry. We just have to go the forest station, one person in the group has to give an application saying that he want to trek to chembra and he should mention his name, address and the number of people with him. Then you have to sign a register saying that you won’t do some nasty thing which will cause wild fire. (you better not do it. and if you are planning to do it, please stop reading this article. Also, please try to keep the place clean.) The forest officers are very very friendly and cheerful. (so friendly and helpful that you will start wondering whether you are in a goverment office or not !) You will be a given a slip with the forest officers signature and seal. You will have to keep this as you have to handover this slip to a watch tower just before the start of trek route.
If you don’t have a vehicle, you can hire a jeep from here. You can check with the shop keeper near the forest station and he wil help you out. To reach the starting point of the trek you have to travel around 5 kms from the forest station. You have to enter the Chembra tea estate to reach the starting point. Its not a good idea to walk all the way to the start of the trek. Hiring a jeep is a must. You will have to show the slip given from the forest station at the entrance of the estate. Vehicles can go near (around 200 meters) of the forest watch tower. You will have to produce the slip to the officer there and you are all set to the journey.
A view of the chembra estate
From the point shown above, you will have to walk around 5 kms to reach the peak. Most of the journey is upward climb. There are grasslands in between. There is a narrow path all the way. You can reach the peak by just following the narrow trail.
About half the way, you will find the Heart shaped lake
Its a good idea to take rest and refresh yourself near the lake.
From the heart lake, the route become steaper and tougher. The last 200 meters of the path looks really tough but its not very difficult to climb it.
Once you reach the peak, you will understand that it was worth the trek. You can take rest, even sleep there on the peak and return. Its recomended to return via the path you took to climb the peak.
time to relax :-)
Have a nice trekking !
PS: In Malayalam chembra is pronounced as “chem bra” (ചെംബ്ര)
(Note that the photos in this article are taken during a chembra trek after a wild fire. Usually, this area is green than what is shown in this article.)
if you are coming from Bangalore via mysore:
Bangalore > Mysore > Gundalpet > Sultan Bathery > Kalepetta
(This is road is in very good condition. Both karnata roads and kerala roads)
You can find accommodation in kalpetta. From there you can easily commute to chembra peak.