Five things people will not tell you about the Chembra Peak, Wayanad, Kerela

At the outset, I would like to tell you that we never got to summit the Chembra peak because when we visited in January 2016, the summit was closed to the public. But I have read a lot about the peak and it is one of the most beautiful treks in Wayanad. We did half the trek upto the Chembra lake (more popularly known as the heart lake because of its shape) which is just about 4 kms from the base. The distance is not too much, and the trek is moderately steep.

The trail

The trail, as seen from the top: The views are greener in the monsoon, but then the leeches are such a menace <angry face>

You can get all the information such as trek details and how to get there through these blogs, but there are some things that no one will tell you about the peak:

Actual amount of time required: The ascent is 1-1.5 hours to the lake and then another hour to the summit, but it takes far longer than that. First off, reaching this place from Wayanad itself is 45 minutes to an hour. Then you have to wait at the ticket counter to get the tickets, which takes another half an hour. Then there is a jeep that takes you to the starting point of the trek (which takes another half an hour to 45 minutes). Then you walk about 15 minutes to reach the starting point of the trek. All in all, take 6 hours from the time to you reach here until you reach the ticket station back.

the open field

The last 100 m: This is the last patch that you would need to cover before reaching the lake, of course you’ll not be able to identify it as it is, but this is the only flat part of the trek

  • Fee for the jeep: Taking the jeep is not mandatory. If you are not taking it, you’ll walk an extra 5 kms, through a village. If you do decide to take it, it costs some 500-700 bucks for a round trip.
  • Terrain: There are some big rocks that may require some flexibility and at some places it is good to have basic hiking gloves (but not a must)
  • Leeches: The peak is in the western ghats, so expect leeches in the monsoon
  • Prohibited: Plastic bottles, smoking or any kind of non-biodegradable trash is prohibited on the trek. There is a 8000 Rs fine for anyone who is found smoking or disposing off garbage near the lake or on the slopes. You will have to pay a deposit for any plastic bottles that you take with you to the trek, which is refunded when you show the same bottle when you have descended. I think this is a great way to ensure that people are careful with garbage
  • There is an amazing chai-wala just where you end the trek (after descending), and he makes amazing omlets for just 15 bucks!! yum!!

    chai wala

    This is a no name shop, but yum yum yum omlates and chai!!

We had a great time at the trek, but we did find a few people that were complaining about the steepness. Why? just that they were wearing flip flops or even fancy shoes for a steep trek. I am pretty sure none of you will ever do that, so you’ll be fine! Make sure you spend some time at the lake and refresh yourself. The views are amazing from the top – just remember to walk about 100 m past the lake and you l reach the viewpoint. Enjoy some photos from the trek:

short walk before the hike starts

This is a 10-15 minute walk to the starting of the trek, this is where we got some “bollywoody” photos that I am too embarrased to put up! But you ll get those photos too – coz this place will remind you too much of movies in the 80’s

The trek starts here

The starting point of the trek – and you can refill your water bottles here, although don’t worry too much about water – you will find a nice little water fall midway to the lake, and the water there is equally clean and refreshing!

 

catching a breath or two

Thats me, on the way back!

the group

The group at the lake, we were so bummed that the summit was closed, but we sat at the lake for about an hour, just chilled out.

in the jungle

the lake

The Chembra lake! Isn’t it worth it?

 

 

 

 

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