Come Diwali, there is always a trek planned to avoid the noise of the crackers. This time it was a Trek to
We couldn,t get tickets in the train and so had to travel by Semi Luxury Bus up to Palghat. We reached Palghat at 4.00 am on the 21st. On enquiry it was learnt that there is a bus to Mannarkad at 4.30. It was one and half drive from Palghat. We reached Mannarkad at 6.00 am in front of a vegetable market. After purchasing vegetables we boarded a bus to Mukkali at 6.15 am and reached Mukkali at 7.00 am.
The information office was to open only at 8.00 am. We had breakfast at the only available hotel. After completing the formalities at the office, we proceeded to Sairandri by jeep accompanied by 2 Guides from the forest department. The 24 km distance was covered in 1 ½ hour. We were all looking for some sighting of wild animals. We could only sight 1 barking deer.
At sairandri, we climbed the watch tower to have a look at the full range of Silent valley. It was rare privilege to be in one of the best evergreen forest in the Nilgiri Biosphere reserve. 3 Km from Sairandri is where the proposed dam site on the River Kunthi. Thanks to the environmentalists and naturalists (Kerala Sastra Sahitya parishat and an organisation in
Crossing the bridge, real trek starts. The trail initially is a steep climb towards east and since the team is an experienced one having trekked together in various parts of the
Next day, we started at 8.30 am after breakfast with a pack lunch. Experiences with the leeches made us apply oil mixed with snuff till the knee. (This really has a very good effect) The path all along is a wide one with a gradual ascent and descent walking in
Having planned to come back to vallakkad the same evening, we started our trek to Sisipara at 8.30 am with only our pack lunch and some snacks. Initially the plan was to trek up to Sisipara, leave our luggages and trek up to Anjinda the highest peak in this region and camp at Sisipara. The forest guards at vallakkad briefed us that after the rains, the camp shed at Sisipara is full of water and is not possible to camp inside. Sisipara which is at a height of 2370 m is the entry point to the Nilgiris. A steep climb on a winding path of 8 km inside the shola forest takes you to Sisipara. This is the only place in the
The return journey was not tough since the route was familiar. We moved at a much faster pace and reached Sairandri on the 25th morning. The forest Guards had made arrangements for the jeep to take us to Mukkali. It was rare privilege to be allowed to trek through the national park. I wish to thank the DFO who gave me the permission and the ever helping Forest Guards stationed at all the camp sites keeping the camp site so clean making our stay comfortable. I hope to get another chance to trek to Anjinda peak and cross over to Ooty.
Thanks to the restrictions in entering the core area, the place remains litter free. I remember the settlements inside the national park with rubber plantation, when I first trekked in
Never miss the Information centre where the details about all the national parks in Kerala forest have been neatly made and the sounds of all the birds and animals which are available inside the
The programme goes like this.
Palghat to Mannarkad by Bus 40 kms 1 ½ hrs
Mannarkad to Mukkali by Bus 20 Kms 45 min
Mukkali to Sairandri by Jeep 24 Kms 1 ½ hrs
Sairandri to Poochipara Trek 8 Kms 1 ½ hrs
Poochipara to Vallakkad 16 kms 4 hrs
Vallakkad to Sisipara to Anjinda to Vallakkad 30 kms 9 hrs
Vallakkad to Poochipara 16 kms 4 hrs
Poochipara to Poochipara peak to Sairandri 12 kms 3 hrs
One can extend the trek from Sisipara to Bangitappal (12 Kms) and from Bangitappal to
Mukkali can be reached from