Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 15th February 2009, 14:07   #1
BHPian
 
hotstuff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Campus @ IIMA !
Posts: 354
Thanked: 53 Times
Lightbulb 'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.

This is a trip from March 1st & 2nd 2008, which I dug up from the archives. Infact the main reason why I started to write these travelogues is that within a few months of a trip, the memories slowly begin to fade and the story behind each pic gets fuzzier and fuzzier.

I also had a hard-disk crash in my old laptop last year and lost a lot of pics from old trips, with no negatives to fall back on, many of the pics are lost forever. On the other hand, any travelogues and pics uploaded onto Tbhp will be recorded for posterity. Perhaps when I retire and no longer trek around, I will relive every trip via the Tbhp archives!

Coming back to the travelogue. This was a trip with a group, in a TT. The plan was to leave Bangalore at around 10.00pm on Friday evening, reach Meppadi early next day, and trek up to Chembra peak. On the itinerary for the 2nd day was a visit to the 'Meenmutty' waterfalls (which turned out to be a mini-trek by itself.) Edakkal caves & Soochipara falls were an 'optional' add-on, depending on how much time we would take for the trek and how tired we would be.

Chembra (2100 mts above MSL) is the tallest peak in Wayanad. Since this peak is located in the Meppadi Forest Range, permission from the Forest Office at Meppadi is required prior to trekking up. The normal time required to trek up and down from Chembra peak is around 6 to 8 hours. One 'trademark' of the Chembra peak is the small heart-shaped perennial lake you can see on the way to the top.

Meenmutty waterfalls are at a distance of around 30 kms from Kalpetta. It is a three-tiered waterfall, adding up to around 300 mts. This is supposed to be one of the the largest (tallest ?) and most spectacular waterfalls in Kerala. Reaching Meenmutty requires a 2 kms trek though the tea estates and the jungle.

* There are atleast two waterfalls with the same name 'Meenmutti' in Kerala, one is in Wayanad and the other is near Trivandrum.

Accommodation in and around this area should not be a problem as there are plenty of home stays and resorts in and around this area. Since we would be out for most of the time and just needed a place to crash for the night, we were booked in a small resort with a dormitory type accommodation for the guys (we were all carrying our sleeping bags) and a couple of rooms for the ladies.

Route taken:
Bangalore > Mysore > Nanjangud > Gundlupet* > Sulthan Bathery > Meppadi.

* On the return journey, someone mentioned that we could stop over for a couple of hours at Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta, so we took a deviation from near Gundlupet.

IIRC the total distance covered during the trip was around 600kms. [Including the deviation to HG Betta]

Road conditions would have changed quite a lot since then, I request any travelers who have done this route recently to post an update in this thread about the current road conditions.

Details of other attractions in this area and contact numbers are available on this site : official web site of wayanad

Route Map:
'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-routechembra.png

To be continued with a few pics...

Last edited by hotstuff : 15th February 2009 at 14:10. Reason: Added some info...
hotstuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th February 2009, 15:35   #2
BHPian
 
akbaree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 585
Thanked: 48 Times
Default

@hotstuff: this is good stuff. Eagerly waiting for other details and pictures.

I will urge other trekkers to share their experiences as well.

Thanks
Anant
akbaree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th February 2009, 01:05   #3
BHPian
 
hotstuff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Campus @ IIMA !
Posts: 354
Thanked: 53 Times
Lightbulb Chembra Peak & Meenmutty falls (Wayanad)...

We left Bangalore as planned at around 10.30pm on Friday night and reached Wayanad by around 5.00am the next morning. There was some confusion about the route to the resort that we were booked in. Since it was still quite dark and there weren't any people on the road to guide us, we finally had to call up the resort folks and get directions.

Since breakfast would be ready only by 7.00am and the plan was to head out at 8.00am, some of us decided to catch up on some sleep at the resort. The resort guys mentioned that since we were just a short walk away from the backwaters of the Karapuzha dam, we could catch the sunrise at the lake.

Sunrise...

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-1.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-2.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-3.jpg


Breakfast done, lunch was packed and we were all set!

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-4.jpg


First stop was at the Meppady Forest office where the trekking permits were issued. It was a good drive through the tea gardens to the 'Chembra estate'. The path to the Chembra peak passes though this estate and there is a Forest dept check post where we had to show the passes to proceed further...

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-5.jpg


Our first view of the Chembra peak...

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-6.jpg


The first part of the trek was through the tea estates...

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-7.jpg


Soon the going got a little tougher as we reached the base of the peak...

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-8.jpg


One third of the way up the trek, we reached the small heart-shaped lake. You have to climb up a little further to see the lake properly. See the lake in the background? This lake apparently never dries up. Many visitors who are not interested in walking all the way up to the peak prefer to end their trek here and the area around this lake can be a little littered with plastic & booze bottles etc. Also, the water from this late is not drinkable.

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-9.jpg


A close-up...

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-9a.jpg


We stopped every 20 minutes for a mini break...

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-10.jpg


The climb ahead. From this point onwards, the path followed the ridge of the mountain...

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-11.jpg


There was also another group that was trekking up and was planning to camp near the top overnight...

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-12.jpg


A view from near the top...

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-13.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-14.jpg


We reached the top! We opened up and finished our packed lunch and took some pics of the scenery around us. There is nothing tastier than a simple curd-rice and pickle when you are really tired and hungry!

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-15.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-16.jpg


After spending around 30 minutes on the top, we started our descent...

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-17.jpg


One comment I often hear is that climbing down is easier than climbing up. It is not exactly so in most cases. Climbing down can be quite tricky and painful...

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-18.jpg


We reached the bottom by around 5.30pm. Too tired to even contemplate any further physical activity for the day. We went back to the resort, had a refreshing bath and generally lazed around recapping the experiences of the day...

Next day we woke up a little late, had a leisurely breakfast, checked out of the resort and started off towards the 'Meenmutty falls'. The falls are located at a distance of around 2 kms from the main road. It requires a trek down into the valley, initially through the tea estates and then through the jungle. The path was really rough and a little scary at times!

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-19.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-20.jpg


There were a couple of other groups who were returning from the falls, they mentioned that there wasn't much of a crowd at the falls, which was great news for us!

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-21.jpg


We could hear the roar of the water much before we reached the falls and finally we reached Meenmutty. Wikipedia mentions that "Meenmutty in Malayalam language literally means where fishes are blocked. Many waterfalls in Kerala is called as Meenmutty falls, indicating that fishes cannot swim upstream the falls."

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-23.jpg


Some of us got into the water and stayed there for quite a while...

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-24.jpg


On the way back, we stopped at a small shanty selling masala buttermilk, pineapple slices... and even sliced tomatoes?

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-25.jpg


It was post noon when we started our journey back towards Blr...

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-26.jpg


Contd...
hotstuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th February 2009, 01:16   #4
BHPian
 
hotstuff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Campus @ IIMA !
Posts: 354
Thanked: 53 Times
Lightbulb Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta...

Somewhere close to Gundlupet, the group felt that we still had ample time on our hands, so why not make a detour and check out Himavad Gopalaswamy betta? The driver confirmed that it was quite close and we headed that way...

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-27.jpg


At the base of the hill we had to stop at the check post and pay the entry fee to drive up. All formalities completed we drove up to the top. The temple was not too crowded and we finished darshan and walked over to the area behind the temple to the edge of the hill. It is a great place to watch the sunset...

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-28.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-29.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-30.jpg


The team settled down at the edge of the valley to wait for the sunset...

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-31.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-32.jpg


There is a rock formation on the hill that looks like an elephant from certain angles. See the rocks in this pic?

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-33.jpg


Since the hill is right in the middle of the reserve forest, you can see rolling hills and forests in every direction...

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-34.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-35.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-36.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-37.jpg


Elephants! Somebody shouted... Yes! There was indeed a herd of wild elephants grazing on a nearby hill. Sorry about the quality of the pics, they were taken at max zoom...

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-38.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-39.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-40.jpg


Soon it started getting darker and it was sunset time...

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-41.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-42.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-43.jpg


Soon it was time to leave. Reluctantly we started walking back towards the temple...

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-44.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-45.jpg


Turned back to take some pics...

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-46.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-47.jpg


Hmmm... So elephants come to this hill too! Elephant dung was strewn on the path to the temple.

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-48.jpg


Boarded the TT and I promptly dozed off only to wake up somewhere close to Bangalore. We reached home at around 11.00pm.

--------------------------------------------------

Where to next?
hotstuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th February 2009, 01:36   #5
BHPian
 
arindamray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 749
Thanked: 79 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotstuff View Post
Route taken:
Bangalore > Mysore > Nanjangud > Gundlupet* > Sulthan Bathery > Meppadi.
Route Map:
Attachment 100705
Your map and route description is not tallying. For Sultan Bathery you have to take a right turn from Gundlupet, and don't have to go to Gudalur.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotstuff View Post
One comment I often hear is that climbing down is easier than climbing up. It is not exactly so in most cases. Climbing down can be quite tricky and painful...
Yes, the climbing down actually puts more strain on your knees.

Planning to go to Wayanad in coming week-end, was thinking of Chembra, but only worry is whether I will be able to drive back, after the trek! How much time will it take to go to that lake and back?

Nice travelogue once again.

Last edited by arindamray : 18th February 2009 at 01:47.
arindamray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th February 2009, 09:29   #6
BHPian
 
hotstuff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Campus @ IIMA !
Posts: 354
Thanked: 53 Times
Exclamation Routes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
Your map and route description is not tallying. For Sultan Bathery you have to take a right turn from Gundlupet, and don't have to go to Gudalur.
True, looks like its time for me to stop using Googlemaps even for roughwork. Entire roads or rather highways are missing from Gmaps. See the way NH212 & NH67 are depicted differently in the two maps below.

NH212 goes to 'Sultan Bathery' from Gundlupet in the the MMI map, whereas NH212 goes to 'Gudalur' in Gmaps... TTK South India road guide agrees with the MMI data.

To summarize, route is correct, Gmaps is not accurate, anyone driving up to Wayanad, please refer to Eicher-Goodearth or a TTK published south India roadmap.

'Xing'ing around ! - Chembra Peak, Meenmutty waterfalls, Himavad Gopalaswamy betta.-updatedmap.png

Quote:
Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
Planning to go to Wayanad in coming week-end, was thinking of Chembra, but only worry is whether I will be able to drive back, after the trek! How much time will it take to go to that lake and back?

Nice travelogue once again.
IIRC the lake can be reached within 1.5 hours from the start of the climb. It is approximately 3.5 kms from the base. Walk up to the lake and you can decide thereafter if you wish to continue to the peak.

If you decide to go up all the way, then would suggest an overnight rest before your return drive.
  • Just remember to call the Wayanad tourist office / forest office and confirm about the passes prior to trekking up. (see the link in the first post)
  • Remember to carry atleast 2 lts of water per person, since there are no clean water sources on the way up. (There is supposed to be a small spring somewhere along the way, but it is usually dried up at this time of the year.)
  • Cap + Shades are a must, sunscreen is highly recommended.
Take care & enjoy your trip!

Last edited by hotstuff : 18th February 2009 at 09:35. Reason: Typo..
hotstuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th February 2009, 00:08   #7
BHPian
 
arindamray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 749
Thanked: 79 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotstuff View Post

IIRC the lake can be reached within 1.5 hours from the start of the climb. It is approximately 3.5 kms from the base. Walk up to the lake and you can decide thereafter if you wish to continue to the peak.

If you decide to go up all the way, then would suggest an overnight rest before your return drive.
  • Just remember to call the Wayanad tourist office / forest office and confirm about the passes prior to trekking up. (see the link in the first post)
  • Remember to carry atleast 2 lts of water per person, since there are no clean water sources on the way up. (There is supposed to be a small spring somewhere along the way, but it is usually dried up at this time of the year.)
  • Cap + Shades are a must, sunscreen is highly recommended.
Take care & enjoy your trip!
Thanks for the tips. Any tip for driving direction to Chembra from Kalpetta, and also about Parking.
As I do not have leave, might have to go only till the lake

What is the timing of tourist office/forest office to collect the pass?
arindamray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th February 2009, 17:47   #8
BHPian
 
hotstuff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Campus @ IIMA !
Posts: 354
Thanked: 53 Times
Arrow Details...

Quote:
Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
Thanks for the tips. Any tip for driving direction to Chembra from Kalpetta, and also about Parking.
As I do not have leave, might have to go only till the lake

What is the timing of tourist office/forest office to collect the pass?
Kalpetta to Chembra route should not be a problem since Chembra is a popular spot and any local will be able to guide you.

Since most visitors to Chembra prefer to start trekking up as early as possible, I understand that there is usually someone at the forest office by around 7.30am. I remember that we reached Meppadi and called up the Forest officer and had to wait for around 20 mins for the forest dept folks to come to the Meppadi office specifically to give us the permits. [Someone from the group had already spoken about this with the Forest dept folks a couple of days in advance]

The trekking path starts from an estate called Chembra estate, the gate of which has a forest office checkpost (passes are not issued there), which opens at around 6.00am. (So those who already have passes from the previous day, can stark trekking at around 6.30am.)

As for parking, you can park your vehicle in the estate (the estate folks should not have a problem). The Forest Dept guys at the gate are also quite helpful.

Dial up these numbers to get the updated info on the timings when trekking is allowed, guide fees, permits etc.
- Vana Samrakshana Samiti Office ph : +91 94957 57681
- District Tourism Promotion Council of Wayanad ph : 0493-6202134,712
hotstuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wanderlust Traveller: Shivanasamudra - Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta mpksuhas Travelogues 24 14th November 2017 12:50
'Xing'ing around ! - Trekking in the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Thoovanam Waterfalls hotstuff Travelogues 34 26th October 2015 14:26
'Xing'ing around ! - A weekend trek to Mukurthi Peak near Ooty... hotstuff Travelogues 22 4th August 2011 12:45
Bangalore - BR Hills - Himavad Gopalaswamy Hills - Bandipur - Mysore coolfyre Route / Travel Queries 2 15th November 2009 01:40
Finally we decided, ....Himagiri Gopalaswamy Betta.. DRC Travelogues 15 22nd August 2009 01:08


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 12:00.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks