‘Wayanad’ is a highly popular trekking destination that lies in Western Ghats. Rocky hills and green valleys together constitute the district. Wayanad is a derivative of the term ‘Vayal Nadu’, where Vayal means Paddy fields and Nadu the land, comprising it to indicate a land of paddy fields. Wayanad is explicitly beautiful with mist clad mountains, intense forests and fertile green plantations. The forests of Wayanad are cosmic landmasses for animals to enjoy their natural dwelling. Wayanad shelters endangered species as it has an amazing range of flora and fauna. Wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers will find Wayanad wildlife sanctuaries as the right place of visit. The place enjoys a pleasant climate the whole year. Also it sets a perfect stage for some truly amazing adventures. But Wayanad offers much more… It is still a virgin land with ‘not much explored’ hidden tourist spots like the ‘Chembra Hill’…
The ‘Chembra Hill’
Tucked away at an altitude of 2,100 meters from the sea level, Chembra peak is the highest point in Wayanad. It is located near Meppady town which is about 8 km south of Kalpatta. The peak of Chembra offers a visual treat like none other. The whole of Wayanad lies all around you in its virgin beauty, in every shade of green and sky of bewitching blue interspersed with buttery white clouds. The emerald waters of the lakes wind and shimmers like a mythical snake winding around the peaks. All along the steep and slippery way to the top of the hill, the whisper of the flowing spring which sprouts from the top of the hill, guides the tourist. A fortunate trekker will glimpse wildlife – it may be a wild boar or a leopard stalking it.
The main attraction of the Chembra Peak is the heart-shaped lake that lies on the route to the top of the peak. The rain keeps this lake at the top of the Chembra peak perennial. Camping out in the open on the hill top with cool winds rustling your tents is a pleasure only for trekking freaks – but then it is an experience of a lifetime for everyone. It will be a refreshing experience for tourists to stay in temporary tents beside the Chembra lake as the sight beneath is breathtaking. With the blanket of mist, wrapping up the mountain on all sides, Chembra peak is an enchanting sight. As the cold breeze blows, the misty layer clears briefly, only to rush back in no time. For photography enthusiasts, trekking up Chembra is sure to be a memorable experience as great snaps are guaranteed.
A gruelling walk to the peak’s top takes about a whole day. Trekking to this peak is an extremely risky experience as the rocks are very slippery. The continuous rain makes the trail wet for most of the season. Though the lake never dries up, the water in this lake is not suitable for drinking. The ‘District Tourism Promotion Council’ is at the help of the tourists reaching the Chembra Hills. One has to procure prior permission to trek up the hill from Meppadi forest office. Also services of guide can be availed, which might be very useful. Trekking equipments too can be hired. Stay in temporary camps is allowed at the top of the peak for a day or two. But permission and registration has to be taken from the District Tourism Promotion Council.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit the Chembra hill is from November to April. Trekking to Chembra is not encouraged during monsoons.
How to reach
Air: Nearest airport: Calicut Airport
Rail: Nearest railway station: Calicut
Major towns in the district and distance from the nearest railway station:
Kalpetta: 72 km from Calicut.
Mananthavady: 80km from Thalassery/106km from Calicut.
Sulthan Bathery: 97km from Calicut.
Vythiri: 60km from Calicut.
Road: Well connected by roads from Calicut, Kannur, Ooty (175km from Kalpetta) and Mysore (140km from Kalpetta)
Chembra is located in Meppadi (Meppady) Panchayath, 11 km off NH212 (Kollegal - Mysore - Kozhikode). For people who prefer public transport, KSRTC (both Kerala & Karnataka) and a lot of private companies operate overnight deluxe buses between Kozhikode (aka Calicut) and Bengaluru. People taking buses can get down at Kalpetta and catch another bus to Meppadi. Meppadi is 11 km from Chundale, in the SH29, connecting Chundale to Ooty.
Tourist Information Offices
Tourist Information Centre
Tel: 04936 204441
DTPC (District Tourism Promotion Council)
Tel: 04936 202134