The Western Ghats in Kerala, India have been deemed one of the most biodiverse areas on planet Earth by UNESCO World Heritage sites. The mountain chain is home to at least 325 globally threatened flora, fauna, bird, amphibian, reptile and fish species, according to the World heritage website. Hiking the Western Ghats in Kerala, India is an experience not to be missed.
Although remote, the lower elevation of Western Ghats makes hiking easy once you finally get to the trailhead. We drove for almost three hours in a four-wheel-drive vehicle over rough roads to access the Kolukkumalai mountain trailhead located at 7,130 feet above sea level. From this vista you can see the dry plains of the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu.
The ridge trail follows a route from the gravel road to a fine viewpoint about 1.5 miles out. Some trekking companies offer guided hikes up the Kolukkumalai Tea Estate jeep trail, but I recommend hiring a driver and Mahindra jeep to take you through the beautiful tea tree plantations. They can arrange for admittance onto the road and at the world's highest tea processing plant at 8,000 ft.
Tour, guides, transportation and lodging can be made through Travel Planners, an award-winning south Indian tour operator.
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