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Top 5 Trekking Places in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu is known for its rich culture, historical heritage, and varied natural landscapes. Though Tamil Nadu can’t match the trekking trails of some Himalayan states, it also has numerous trekking trails suitable for novice and experienced trekkers. From lush hills to ancient temples, Tamil Nadu offers a variety of trekking experiences showcasing its natural beauty. This blog aims to introduce readers to some of the top trekking destinations in Tamil Nadu and provide them with the necessary information for trip planning.

1. Vattakanal – Vellakavi  Trail (Kodiakanal)

Starting Point: Vattakanal

Vattakanal is a small village in Kodaikanal, a famous hill station in the Western Ghats. The nearest airport is Madurai (120 km), and the railway station is Kaodi Road (82 km). This trek covers a distance of about 10 km and can take up to 6-7 hours to complete. It is recommended for a day trip, particularly for landscape photographers. The trek starts from Kodaikanal and moves towards Vattakanal, followed by a descent to Dolphin Nose in the early hours. The majority of the hike goes through forested areas. Vellakavi is a small farming village with a friendly and helpful local population. You will be able to return to Kodaikanal on the same day. For those seeking a more adventurous experience, extending the trek to Periyakulam and Dindigul is possible. 

The Vattakanal-Vellakavi trek is a scenic route that passes through lush green forests, picturesque valleys, and cascading waterfalls. Hikers can enjoy breathtaking views of the Palani Hills and the stunning Dolphin’s Nose viewpoint along the trail. The trek is known for its tranquil surroundings, which make it a rejuvenating experience for those who embark on it.

Best Time to Trek: October to March
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate

ACCOMMODATIONS FOR HIKERS IN VATTAKKANAL

2. Pallavaram Hill Trail ( Chennai)

Starting Point: Pallavaram

You might have noticed a beautiful hill near the city while landing at the Chennai airport. It’s an easily accessible trail and makes for a perfect day trip from the city. The trail starts from the Balamurugan temple, which is easy to locate. A learned man conducting geological studies informed us that early humans once inhabited this hill and holds many secrets about human migrations.

You can take a taxi or connecting local bus to the Balamurugan Temple in the Pallavaram Hills. You can climb the stairs to the temple, and the trail starts from there. Additionally, there is an alternative route available now.

The Pallavaram Hill Trail provides a scenic break from the busy urban lifestyle. The path meanders through rolling hills, offering panoramic vistas of Chennai. The trek features stunning rock formations, various types of plants and animals, and a tranquil lake that enhances the trek’s allure.

Best Time to Trek: November to February
Difficulty Level: Easy
Duration: 2-3 hours

ACCOMMODATIONS FOR HIKERS IN PALLAVARAM

3. Melmudi Ranganathar Temple Trail ( Coimbatore)

This trail is near Bilichi, Coimbatore, in Tamil Nadu. It is an out-and-back route that spans 10.9 km. It is generally considered moderately challenging and takes five hours to complete. The trail is popular among birders, hikers, and walkers and can provide solitude during quieter parts of the day. The recommended time to visit the trail is between August and October.

The trek to Melmudi Ranganathar Temple is a combination of spirituality and adventure. The trail passes through dense forests and gentle slopes and leads to the temple on a hill. Along the way, you can enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding valleys. This journey also provides an opportunity to explore the rich cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu. You must take permission before your trek.

Best Time to Trek: September to February
Difficulty Level: Moderate

4. Parvathamalai Trail:

Starting Point: Polur

The trail is located about 200 km from Chennai, and the nearest railway station is Thiruvannamalai railway station (32 km)
You can take a bus or taxi to Thenmathimangalam village, where the trail begins. You can do the Parvathamalai trek through two trails – the ‘Thenmathimangalam’ route and the ‘Kadaladi’ route. We took the Tenmathimangalam trail. There are three temples we saw during our hike to the top.

It is ideal to start the hike from the Parvathamalai entrance point. The second part of the trek involves travelling from the Sri Pachaiyamman Temple to the Veerabhadrar Temple. The third section, which leads to the Kadaladi-Thenmathimangalam Junction, is steep and may take longer to complete. The final part of the climb from the Kadaladi-Thenmathimangalam Junction to the peak of Parvathamalai Top is considered the most challenging.

The Parvathamalai Trek takes you to the sacred hill of Parvathamalai, home to the revered Shiva temple. The trail combines steep climbs and rocky terrains, rewarding you with panoramic vistas of the surrounding plains. The spiritual ambience, coupled with the serene natural surroundings, creates an unforgettable trekking experience.

Best Time to Trek: November to February
Difficulty Level: Moderate

ACCOMMODATIONS FOR HIKERS IN POLUR

 

5. Bodhamalai Trail ( Selam)

Starting Point: Bodinayakanur

There is a 4.2-km out-and-back trail located near Rasipuram, Tamil Nadu, that is widely considered to be a challenging route. You may take about three hours to complete this trek if you are a healthy adult. This trail is popular among those who enjoy birding, hiking, and walking and can also provide poised moments during less busy times.

Sights and Experiences: The Bodhamalai trek is ideal for those who enjoy nature. The route passes through dense forests, meadows, and tea plantations, providing a tranquil environment for hikers. The area is home to a diverse range of trees and wildlife, and the trek offers beautiful views of the Western Ghats, including streams and enticing landscapes. It is a memorable experience for anyone who appreciates outdoor exploration.

There are many captivating hiking trails throughout the Western Ghats, particularly in Coonoor and Ooty. However, many of them tend to be touristy. 

Based on our experience and the level of adventure they offer, we have chosen these five trails for you to explore. Keep on exploring!

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