As I started to explore more in the Western ghats nowadays, many new and interesting places are getting into my head daily. The trek to Chokramudi peak was on such that I read in a social media page for travellers very recently. As soon as I came to know about the place, my interest to go there began to grow. And felt like doing the trek before the end of this year monsoons. The Southwest monsoon usually ends by October but this year it was extending a little bit longer, so I had my time to trek to Chokramudi peak.
So on a weekend, I reached Kumily from Chennai. From there, started the journey to find Chokramudi with my friend. We only had a small idea about the location of the peak. We knew it was nearer to Munnar. From Kumily, drove through the villages of Idukki, also known as “high range”. We asked many people on the way about Chokramudi, we got mixed responses. Some never heard of it, some had only a small idea where it is. We met some people who knew about the peak as we reached nearer on the way to Munnar. From a village called Udumbanchola, we were asked to go to Bison valley.
When we reached Bison valley, there was a bit of confusion regarding the entry point to the trek. A couple of times, we took the wrong route and had to come back. So after a lot of enquires and search, got the exact location of Chokramudi peak from one person. He told us to go drive towards Munnar direction till the beginning of the “Gap road” and look for a cross on the left side once you pass the gap road.
Finally, we found the cross and began our trek. Very soon it started to rain. Since we expected rain, we were all prepared for it. The initial hike is a normal climb, there are proper trails to lead us. After that, the hike is over the rocks until we reach the top of the first peak. Since it was raining, the rocks were very slippery. It was little difficult for us to climb, the fog began to come and very soon we were in the middle of the clouds.
The first peak we reach is called “ Kurisu mala”. From there Chokramudi is yet another stretch.
Chokramudi is one of the highest peaks in the Western Ghat region of Kerala. Sometimes, you can see the endangered“ Nilgiri Tahrs” here in the peak. Another speciality of Chokramudi peak is the “ Neelakurinji” as it is called in Malayalam. The scientific name is ‘Strobilanthes kunthianum’. The “Neelakurinji flower blooms once in 12 years, The mass blooming covers these mountains in entire blue. People from different part of the world come during this time to witness this phenomenon. The last mass blooming was in 2006 and this is the 12th year. All are eagerly waiting to witness the blooming this year. There are many places here in the hills of Munnar where you can go and see the Neelakurinji flowers. Nirmala city, a place near to Kattappana (Idukki district is one such place)
How to reach Chokramudi peak
Chokramudi is located between Bison valley and Munnar. If coming from Kumily, it is good to reach Bison valley via Udumbanchola and Rajakumari. Once you get nearer to Munnar, you find the entry to the “gap road” (connects Munnar and Salem), Chokramudi peak is nearby. You can find a cross on the roadside. Follow the trail behind and you are on the right track. The trail to the top is easy to find.
Few things about Chokramudi peak trek
- Chokramudi peak trek is one of the best things to do in Munnar if you are looking for an offbeat experience. The trek is easy which can be completed in 2 hours.
- Trek up to the first peak, anyone with normal health conditon can do the atleat upto the first Kurisumala.
- Carry enough water (on your own water bottles). There are no shops nearby.
- Nearest places are Munnar and Bison valley
- There are many resorts and guest around Chokramudi peak. But if you are looking for an economic accommodation, it is better to try in Munnar.
- Sunrises and sunsets are beautiful from the top. So plan your trek to Chokramudi not to miss either of them.
- You have to be very careful if there is rain, the rocks are slippery. You won’t be able to get balance and it is dangerous. A good pair of shoes with proper grip will be good.
- Sometimes there will be a restriction for vehicles coming from Munnar side because of the works going on in the “ Gap road”. In that case, you have to reach Bison valley to go to Chokramudi.
That’s all about Chokramudi. Go and explore the place. The views from the top are stunning. Avoid plastics in the mountain. Bring back whatever you have taken to the top. Have a good time in nature.
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Also read: A monsoon trek to Kodachadri peak