21 places to do trekking in Kerala, India



Ponmudi is the perfect getaway for early birds. 22 hairpin bends pave the path to reach the grasslands in the top station and the incredible view of the hills from behind a film of haze. The route is strewn with attractions like Meenmutty waterfalls, Peppara Willdlife Sanctuary and a jumble of tea plantations. With a variety of beautiful mountain flowers, orchids, butterflies, small rivulets and springs nearby, this hilly destination offers excellent trekking trails.


Trek to Varayadumotta, Spot the Varayadu, Trek to Seethatheertham, Spot elephants and gaurs, Trek to Manachala, Take an off-season trek to Maruthwamala.

Ponmudi Hills


Kallar, an idyllic picnic spot, is located on the banks of the Kallar River en route to the Ponmudi Hill Station. The river has many attractive, round boulders and pebbles, especially in the upper reaches of its course which makes for a great trek.


Visit the picturesque Golden Valley, Trek to the Meenmutty Waterfalls, Spot various species of butterflies.



Gavi is a melange of picturesque landscapes and tea plantations. It is the ideal place to whip out those binoculars and spot diverse and exotic species of birds like Minivets, Barbets and more. This quiet haven is a two-and-half hour jeep ride through tropical forests and sprawling grasslands. Gavi is home to the only two Gopher trees in the entire country. The Bamboo Grove situated in the middle of Anavachal in Gavi has eco-lodges and a centre for experiential learning. Trekking, boating and even tented accommodations are provided by the Kerala Forest Development Corporation (KFDC).


Explore the emerald water of Kochupamba on a boat, Indulge in full day trek, Spot Minivets and Barbets, Visit the Valley View for a spectacular view of the deep ravine, the Sabarimala Hills and the spot where Makara Jyothi appears, Camp of Swiss cottage tents. Stay at the Green Mansion Jungle Lodge.Gavi


A small hilly town, Konni is rich in cash crops like rubber, pepper, coffee, ginger, etc. Located 9km from Pathanamthitta, the Konni Elephant Training Centre is famous for its Aanakoodu which has huge cages of wood built to house elephants. Stray and hurt baby elephants found in the dense forests are brought here and are trained by experienced mahouts.


Adavi situated on the banks of Kallar,is famous for its bowl boat riding or coracle rafting-the first of its kind in Kerala. Adavi also offers visitors options for Jeep Safari ( Konni-Kattathi-Chelikkal and back to Konni), Bus Tours (konni- Adavi-Gavi) and stays at Tree Top Bamboo Huts.Adavi Boating


Kalleli is renowned for its alluring waterfall and serene landscape. It is also known for the snake shrine where the ancient Kumbha Pattu, a rendering of songs to the accompaniment of indigenous instrument, is performed to date.


See the Wooden elephant kraals used to house elephants, Feed, rode and interact with the elephants, Visit the History Museum near the training centre to learn more about these pachyderms, Halt at the paper plants to shop for file boards created using paper and elephant dung, Board a bus to Gavi from Adavi to see some of the beautiful dams in Kerala like Moozhiyar, Kakki, and Ansathodu, Opt for bowl boat riding to enjoy the stunning Kallar River, Enjoy the mesmering Kalleli Falls.


Eravikulam is Kerala’s first national park and is home to the Nilgiri Tahr. High altitude grasslands interspersed with shoals, this national park has tributaries of the Periyar River in the west and those of the Cauvery River in the east. Different species of mammals including the Golden Jackal, Jungle cat, Wild Dog, Leopard, Nilgiri Langur, Stripe-Necked Mongoose, India Porcupine, Small-Clawed Otter, Ruddy Mongoose and Dusky Palm Squirrel are part of this park.Trekking at Eravikulam National Park


Stroll through the sholas, Indulge in seasonal Kurinji trails, Befriend a Nilgiri Tahr, Spot amphibians and endemic butterflies, Visit the Lakkom waterfalls, Hike up to Rajamalai, Stay at Lakkom Log House.


The Periyar Tiger Reserve serves as a water source for the animals during summer and offers countless adventures for the spontaneous traveller. Tiger trails, bird watching, trekking, boat safari and meandering roads with scenic vistas are some of the many ways to explore this reserve. Home to a plethora of flora and fauna, the Periyar Tiger Reserve offers a host of ecotourism programmes.Periyar Tiger Reserve


The vastness of Thekkady is mesmerising. This moist deciduous forest that thickens from one end to the other has an artificial lake in the centre put together during the colonial era, sporting shrivelled tree stumps. Hop on to a boat to watch the majestic charm of Thekkady and to spot a Malabar Grey Hornbill, a Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, or a Blue-Winged Parakeet, lounging on these stumps. The periyar forests are one of the finest wildlife reserves in India. Thekkady, synonymous with Elephants, unending chains of hills and spice-scented plantations is the perfect antidote to a hectic urban life. The nearby cardamom plantation makes for a therapeutic morning run and the hill town holds great opportunity for treks and mountain walks.


Experience wildlife at close quarters; Try bamboo rafting, Witness the rich tribal heritage, Come face to face with exquisite butterflies on a Border Hiking, Take a nature walk through the deciduous forest, Lodge at jungle Camps in the company of exotic birds, Take part in Jungle Scout (Night Trekking) and Periya Tiger Trail.


This famous pilgrimage site perched atop a hill offers an aerial view of the Idukki Reservoir and its surrounding peaks and forests. It is also an ideal place for mountain climbers and trekkers. Guided trekking can be availed from here to nearby places.Kerala


Take a trip to the waterfalls, Go on a trek up the mount, Get an aerial view of the Idukki reservoir and its surrounding peaks and forests.


A well-known repository of medicinal plants, Chinnar is located on the eastern slope of Western Ghats. The Wildlife Sanctuary is home to many wild animals like the Grizzled Giant Squirrel, Star Tortoise, Tufted Grey Langur, Gaur, Spotted Deer, Slender Loris, Wild Elephant, Crocodile, Tiger, Leopard and many birds, insects and Plants.


The only place in Kerala that has a natural growth of sandalwood trees, Marayoor is a village located near Munnar. Don’t miss out the Muniyaras, or the ancient burial chambers with murals and relics from the Neolithic Age. While you are here, take a heritage safari to explore the panoramic view of the step cultivation lands of Marayoor.


Pack of picnic to Thoovanam Waterfalls, Embark on a jeep safari to Marayoor, Go trekking through the scrub forest, Stay at a log house or in a treetop hut (machans).


Meesapulimala, the second highest peak in Western Ghats and a trekking trail via Rhodo Valley, is an ideal spot for the highly adventurous. A 24km ride from Munnar via Mattupetty, through Aruvikkad estate, will bring you to the base camp of Meesapulimala. The place has served as a filming location for various South Indian Movies.Meesapulimala


Trek to Meesapulimala, Go on a Jeep ride from base camp to Rhodo Valley, Visit the Pandava Cave , Enjoy a stay at the Rhodo Mansion


Anamudi Shola Park, composed of Mannavan Shola, Idavara Shola and Pullardi Shola, is one of the most picturesque places in Indukki district. The biodiversity of Anamudi Shola is extremely rich and varied, thanks to its unique climate and perennial water sources. The place is home to hundreds of herbs and shrubs, trees and climbers, of which quite a few are endemic.


Trek to Anamudi Shola, Spot endemic species of flora.


Cradled by the Cheruthoni and Periyar Rivers, Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is replete with Elephants, Bison, Sambar Deer, Wild Dogs, Jungle Cats, Tiger and Wild Boar along with various species of snakes including cobras, Vipers, Kraits and many non-poisonous ones. The beautiful lake surrounding the sanctuary is perfect for boat rides. The tropical evergreen and deciduous trees shelter many bird species as well, like the grey jungle fowl,Malabar Grey Hornbill, Woodpecker and Bulbuls. The Sanctuary lies adjacent to the world –famous Idukki Arch Dam.


Visit the Idukki Arch Dam, Go Boating, Take a nature walk, and Visit the first hydroelectric project in the state, Vagavanam Trek, bird Trail Trek.


The Croaking of frogs, the abundance of milkweed butterflies, and the metallic piu piu of a pied crested cuckoo, mark the beginning of monsoon. You watch the slender bird that is said to only drink rainwater, crane its neck and catch droplets, having come so far from home. It is quite normal here to predict the weather by scanning the skies.

At Ernakulam, joy is a season where excitement takes you by the hand. It was through Dr. Salim Ali’s writings that Thattekkad gained fame. The renowned ornithologist rated Thattekkad as good as the eastern Himalayas and that urged many bird lovers to flock to this sanctuary. Nestled amidst evergreen forest, Thattekkad is noted for its birds like the Malabar Grey Hornbill, the Woodpecker, the Rose-Ringed and Blue-Winged Parakeet, etc. Rare birds like the Ceylon frogmouth and the Rose-Billed Roller are also seen here.Diverse migrant species from the Himalayas and other parts of the world can be spotted here from November to February.


Embark on a Salim Ali bird trail, Go bird watching on the black Baza and Trogo trails, Camp at the Frogmouth Watchtower or the Hornbill view Tower, Stay on the tree top machan at Ovunkal , Visit nearby teak, Rosewood and Mahogany plantations, Go for boating in Periyar, Take part in nature Awareness camp.Kerala


Paniyeli poru has its origin in a bottleneck formed by rock formation in the Periyar river. A secluded waterfall destination , this popular spot nestled amidst the Malayattoor forest tracts, is ideal for a One-day trek and is Ernakulam’s best-kept secret.


Take a trip to the Waterfalls, Go for a forest Walk, Indulge in bird watching.


An ideal picnic spot, Athirappally waterfalls is perched on the rim of the Sholayar forest and plunges in to the Chalakudi River. There is a certain dreaminess about this spot, making it a favourite filming location for the noted film director Mani Ratnam amongst others. While you are here, take a short detour to Vazhachal waterfalls, which is barely 5km away. Vazhachal is famous not just for its breathtaking view, but also for the unique endemic species.


Enjoy a natural dip, go shopping at the Vanasree Eco Shop, and Visit the children’s park, Go bird watching, Trek to the Waterfalls, Forest Trek, and Enrol for a nature camp.Athirapally Waterfalls


Parambikulam never disappoints. If not a herd of Elephants, you are at least sure to sport a Gaur, a Sloth Bear, a Bison or a Leopard. The reserve, whose name is derived from two words, ‘Parambu’ (reeds) and ‘ Kulam’ (waterhole), is home to a wide range of species. Around species of mammals, 47 species of fish and 250 species of birds inhabit the reserve. They dwell alongside 124 species of butterflies and nearly 1000 separate species of insects. Another unique sight here is the 450 years old Kannimara teak tree, which is believed to be the oldest and largest of its kind.


opt for the combo package that included safari, trekking and river rafting, Go on a One-day jungle safari, Trek along the bear path trail & Pungmark trail, Embark in the Elephant Song Trail, Trek along the Kariyanshola Trail, Enjoy Bamboo Rafting, Stay over at the Peruvari Island Nest Camp, Immerse in the Tribal symphony, Stay at the Treetop Hut in Thunakadavu, Stay at the veettikunnu Island hut, Spend a night at the Honeymoon comb complex, shop guilt-free at the Vanasree Ecoshop.


Famous for its trekking tracks, Thusharagiri waterfalls comprises Erattumukku. MazhavilChattom, and Thumbithullum para, three falls that are a trek away. The place is also rich in rubber, areca nut, Pepper, ginger and spice plantations, the scent of which pervades the air here. Every year Thusharagiri plays host to the Malabar River Festival, Asia’s biggest white-water festival. The festival is fast emerging as Asia’s largest kayaking
championship. Thusharagiri is also a trekker’s paradise. One is lured by the beauty of the Western Ghats, with its rolls of greens, gushing water, and mist laden mountains.


Trek to Thusharagiri Falls, Embark on the famous Thusharagiri –vythiri trail, Pay homage to the Thanni tree (Bedda Nut Tree) which is believed to be 400 years old.


Bordering the Bandipur reserve forest of Karnataka, Muthanga wildlife Sanctuary consists mainly of moist deciduous forests and semi-evergreen forests. With the common sighting of herds of Elephants and other wild species, a trip here is unique and refreshing. The indigenous tribal community of Muthanga will remind you of the simple ways of living. Tholpetty wildlife sanctuary, situated on the border of Coorg and Wayanad, is home to many nocturnal birds. The jeep ride here offers brilliant opportunities to view various animals like Elephant, Gaurs, Deer, Monkeys, Tigers, Leopards and Bears in their natural habitat. While Muthanga Sanctuary is a 15km drive away from Sultan Bathery, Tholpetty lies 25km away from Manathavady.


Take a two-hour Jeep Safari across Muthanga , Stay at Serambi, a two-storeyed eco hut famous for its spacious verandahMuthanga & Tholpetty wildlife Sanctuaries


Banasura, the second tallest hill of Wayanad district, forms the stunning backdrop of this dam. Located 21km from Kalpetta, built in 1979, it is the largest earthen dam in India and the second largest in Asia. A kilometre-long mud structure built with massive stacks of stones and boulders, it impounds the waters of Karamanthodu, a tributary of the Kabini River. The placid and crystal clean water along with the hills in background attacts a number of shutterbugs making it a photographers’ paradise.


Hop on a speed boat, Visit Asia’s largest earthen dam, go trekking.Banasura Sagar Dam


Thirunelli is renowned for its ancient temple dedicated to Lord Maha Vishnu, and for the Majestic Brahmagiri Hills is a formidable challenge for even the hardcore adventurist with its rolling hillocks, deciduous forests, grasslands, slippery trails, and rocky outcrops. Thirunelli is located about 32km away from Mananthavady.


Trek to the Brahmagiri peak, visit the iconic Maha Vishnu Temple, Go bird watching, climb the watch tower ; spot a herd of gaurs or elephants.


To navigate in and around Kuruva Island, a cluster of islets on the Kabini River, Bamboo rafting and Boats are the best options. Situated 17km from Mananthavady and 5km from Sulthan Bathery, this uninhabited island on the Kabini River is home to various species of birds, archids, and herbs. There are nature trails for trekking enthusiasts.


Explore the Kabini River, try River Rafting.Kabini River


Ranipuram is a renowned tourist destination in the northern part of Kerala. Located in Kasaragod, it is situated 780m above sea level. It is a perfect getaway where herds of Elephants can be occasionally seen. Once know as Madathumala, it borders Karnataka and boasts of some of the best trekking trails. The verdant vegetation here includes evergreen shoal woods, Monsoon forests and grasslands, Making it an ideal place to relax.


Trek to the hilltop, Soak up the stunning view from the top station.

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