Kerala and the Western Ghats
India, Trek & Walk, 13 days - from £1,095 (land only) - from €1,315 (land only) - from $1,805 (land only)
- A feast for the senses, as we explore India`s tropical south
- Five days of trekking in the Cardamom Hills
- Madurai`s outrageous Sri Meenakshi Temple
- Take a houseboat cruise on the Keralan `backwaters`
- Hike to the top of Meesapulimala, Kerala`s second highest peak
At the southern tip of India, the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu offer a range of experiences unlike anything else on the Subcontinent. After a day's exploration in the picturesque old Portuguese port of Kochi, we drive up to former British Raj hill-station of Munnar in the Western Ghats. Here, 5 days of trekking takes us through rich forest and plantations of tea, coffee and spices, with a high point at the summit of Meesapulimala (2600m), Kerala's second highest peak. We then visit the unmissable Sri Meenakshi temple complex at Madurai, one of the most colourful examples of Indian religious architecture. At the Periyar Wildlife Reserve, home to wild elephant, deer, giant squirrel and the elusive tiger, we have a day-hike with a forest ranger, before recrossing the Western Ghats to Alleppey, where we meet our houseboat for an unforgettable sunset cruise and overnight stay on the Keralan backwaters. A free day at Kovalam, beside the Indian Ocean, is a relaxing way to end this memorable holiday. Combining a great travel experience and 5 days of trekking, this is a deservedly popular South Indian adventure holiday.
Is this holiday for you?
This is not a long or sustained trekking holiday. The 5-day trek through the Cardamom Hills begins with a short introductory walk around the tea estates at Munnar and then involves 4 days where we will be walking for an average of 6 hours each day. The altitudes attained are never sufficiently high to cause problems with acclimatisation and the underfoot conditions are generally good, on tracks and trails through tea plantations and forest and between villages. There are 4 nights camping furing the trek. We may encounter some slippery conditions on forest trails. The trip also includes several relatively short (up to 4-hour) vehicle transfers on generally good roads.