5 Incredible Trekking Destination In Tamil Nadu (2024)
Tamil Nadu is famous for its culture, colorful festivals, beautiful and untouched beaches, and its temples. One of the lesser-known facts about Tamil Nadu is that a state is a fantastic place for trekking. Tamil Nadu is home to the mesmerizing Nilgiri mountain ranges, and some of the world’s best trekking trails are present in this area. The trekking trails in Tamil Nadu are dotted with majestic waterfalls, beautifully terraced tea gardens, and some of the most breathtaking views of the Nilgiri ranges and canyons. Some of these treks also include various eco-friendly campsites, and it’s a haven for adventure lovers as there are many activities such as slingshot, trampoline, bridge walking, zip-lining, and even archery amongst these trails. If you want a break from your stressful city life, then Tamil Nadu is one of the best trekking getaways you can hope for.
5 Incredible Trekking Destination In Tamil Nadu
Here are some of the best spots for trekking in Tamil Nadu:
One of the best places to begin your trekking journey in Tamil Nadu is from Ooty. Ooty serves as the base for many of the exciting trekking trails that are ideal for both professionals and beginners. These trails are of varying difficulty levels. While you embark on these trails, you will be able to see the magnificent and picturesque landscape of the Nilgiris, the gushing waterfalls, lush green forests, and many meandering streams. On some trails, you will also be able to go past the beautiful Mudumalai Sanctuary situated against the backdrop of the valleys and hills.
Here are some of the best trekking trails to explore in Ooty:
- Doddabetta Peak: A trek to this peak is one of the most thrilling trails in Ooty. The peak is located at the height of 2637 meters in the Nilgiris. This trekking route is covered in all types of exotic flora and fauna, especially Shola vegetation. There is also a Telescope House situated on top of this peak where you can see the mighty mountain peaks, sprawling meadows, the steep valleys, and crisscrossing rivers all laid out in front of you.
- Parsons Dam: The Parsons Trek is a famous trail that begins 11 km ahead of Ooty, from a point known as Sholur Junction. You will start walking up amidst a forest of Eucalyptus trees, which continues till you reach the Parsons Dam. Many people prefer to take a halt at the dam to take in the beauty of the place. Once you start up again, you will cross the Toda Tribal Villa and cross the Thirthor Bett, which is located at the height of 2450 meters from sea level. This trek offers one of the most enchanting views of the Nilgiri Hills below. It takes about eight hours to finish this trek.
- Kotagiri-Elk Falls: The Kotagiri-Elk is another popular trekking route in Ooty. The trek begins at Kotagiri and moves up towards the Kodanad View Point. From here, you can climb up towards Elk Falls and Catherine Falls. You can also join up the Parson trail on this route as the second base camp is located at Parsons Valley. If you prefer to take an overnight break, you can stay in the village of Porthimund, from where you can continue to Mukruthi National Park in the morning. The Mudumalai National Park and the Pykara Falls are other interesting stopovers on this route.
Known as the Land of Seven Forests, Yercaud is one of the most tranquil hill stations in Tamil Nadu. Nestled in the Eastern Ghats and steeped in lush greenery all around, Yercaud is located in the Shivaroy Hills. Yercaud is also sometimes referred to as ‘Ooty of the Poor,’ Yercaud is situated at an altitude of 4970 feet. Many of the trekking trails here will take you through the vast expanses of coffee plantations. Yercaud is a paradise for trekking as no matter where you look, you will only see the tranquil green expanse all around.
The trekking trails in Yercaud will take you through fields and fields of citrus fruits, coffee, jackfruit, pear and banana trees, and many other exotic plant species. Some of the most memorable trekking routes in Yercaud are Ladies Seat, Gents Seat, Arthur’s Seat, Tipperary View Point, Pagoda Point, and Heaven’s Ledge 7.
Kodaikanal is the Queen of Hills. This is where nature is at its finest with the green valleys and misty mountains beckoning trekkers from all over India. This hill town in Tamil Nadu is actually one of the center points where many of the most thrilling treks begin. From easy to difficulty, and even moderate, there are treks for all levels of trekkers. Some of the best trekking places in and around Kodaikanal include:
- Bear Shola Trek: This is one of the shortest trekking trails in Kodaikanal. This trail is ideally best undertaken during the monsoons when the Bear Shola Falls is full flow and appears the most glorious. During the rest of the year also, this trek makes for a very scenic route. This is an uphill route, and you will catch the forest trail that is narrow, winding, and filled with exotic biodiversity all around. There are many small streams that will cross your path every now and then. The trek is only one kilometer long and is popular amongst amateur trekkers and families.
- Pine Forest Trek: This mesmerizing trek will take you through the famous heritage pine forest reserve of Kodaikanal. This is also a reasonably easy trekking route and takes you through many picturesque spots. The pine forest is lush and thick, and the woody smell of pine fills your senses as you walk through this photographer’s heaven. It is possible to camp here, but only after taking the necessary permissions.
- Pillar Rocks Trek: This four-hour trek takes you to the top of the vertical pillar-shaped boulders known as Pillar Rocks. This is a very famous tourist spot in Kodaikanal. The trekking trail is a challenging route, and you have to navigate through the fog and slippery rocks to reach the summit. While on this trail, you should also visit the Devil’s Kitchen, which is a dangerous and scary chamber located between the Pillar Rocks. You should also consider stopping to check the Guna Caves, which are 3000 feet deep and formed out of the chasms of the Pillar Rocks. It is better to take a guided trek on this route for your safety, especially if you are new to the area.
Yelagiri has many options for anyone who wants to try out trekking. The recently established Yelagiri Association of Adventure Sports (YASA) offers rock-climbing, paragliding, and trekking activities in Yelagiri for those who are interested.
The Swamimalai Hills trek is one of the most famous treks in Yelagiri as it offers one of the most beautiful views of the entire valley from the summit point. Located at an altitude of 4338 feet, the Swamimalai is the highest point in Yelagiri. Once you reach the summit, take the time to check out a beautiful Shiva temple here, along with a huge rock located right next to the temple. Legend has it that there was a Trishul or Trident situated on top of this rock at one point in time. The priest who took care of the temple used to climb atop the tock to offer is prayers. This Trishul has been stolen since then, making this rock a viewpoint now, but it still offers some of the most magnificent views of the valley.
5. Kutralam or Courtallam
Kutralam is popularly known as the Land of Majestic Waterfalls, and it is the perfect trekking getaway from Tirunelvelli and Tenkasi in Tamil Nadu. Courtallam or Kutralam is a small town that borders the Kollam District and is famous all over Southern India for its waterfalls that emerge from the Western Ghats. Sometimes, this place is also known as the Spa of the South.
There are nine waterfalls in the region and many ancient temples that are a reflection of the age-old legends attached to this town. Kutralam is not a very big trekking place, but most of the routes will take you through one of the numerous waterfalls in this region. There are many overnight treks also that you can undertake to one of the waterfalls. Do remember to carry an insect/mosquito repellent and sunscreen if you are trekking in Kutralam.
With its bountiful natural wealth, Tamil Nadu is one of the best places to pick for trekking. There are several trekking getaways here that allow you to get a view of some of the most picturesque forests, majestic valleys, and magnificent waterfalls. Tamil Nadu’s heartland is home to some of the most beautiful forests in India that are perfect places for trekking. However, remember that it is essential to be aware of which are the safe routes for trekking and if you are new to the area, then take the help of a tourist guide to trek safely. Many people end up developing a real love for trekking once they have trekked in these beautiful locales of Tamil Nadu.