We were doing our bachelors, when we decided to do something adventurous and planned to do trekking (why should boys have all the fun). Munnar was our choice of trekking. We consulted a travel agency in Cochin. They arranged a trek for us in Munnar at the first week of March. They also arranged vehicle for us from Cochin to Munnar. It was 4 days trip. we booked hotels in advance.
We reached Ernakulam Station at 1 pm. The Keralites welcomed us. Our driver was waiting for us. We came out and got into the vehicle. We came out of the airport and had our lunch at Punjabi dhaba near the station. After that we moved to Munnar. The distance from Ernakulam to Munnar was 130 kms (as per our driver). Our vehicle rolled on.
We could see all Kerala people around us. Some north Indians and foreigners loitering were around. We dipped our eyes into the surroundings. One of my friends was busy talking to the driver and another taking picture. I was rolling my eyes to the scene out. Our Innova crossed forests, houses which resembled 5 star hotels, fields, mountains, strip of torrents. Then, we reached Oonukal, where we found acres of fields covered with orange trees, litchi trees, coconut trees, rubber trees etc. We stopped at a tea stall near Neriamangalam to have tea. As we were moving the road became narrow and dark. It was 4.50 in the evening when we reached Munnar. we directly moved to our hotel- Munnar Inn. We had our shower, relaxed a while then came out to see the place. We had our driver with us and walked to main road. We saw the Muthirapuzha River flowing slowly. We waited there for some time to see the sunset. The whole scene was awesome with the red sun setting down being reflected in the river. Then, when it was full dark, our driver requested us to go back to hotel as there is a fear of elephants coming out. We had our dinner at our hotel restaurant.
The next day- It was around 8, when our guide for the trek contacted us and told us to get ready. We got ready for the trek (packing snacks, extra clothes, first aid and everything needed for the trek). Our guide arrived in half an hour. After greeting us the first he did was checking the things we had packed for trekking. He gave a must-want list to us. Most of which we had already carried except torch and gaiters (we were on our shoes). Then, when he approved the things, we started going by a jeep. It was a 6 hours mountain trekking to Chokarmudy. We went through Anachal (where other trekkers joined us in other jeeps). Other some people joined us at Kunchithanny. When we reached Chokarmdy we were totally 20 people. We reached the gap road. It was almost 16 kms from Munnar. There we saw a gigantic mountain standing alone. There our trekking started. Augustine was the name of man who made this trip an unforgettable one, or say our guide. He had years of experience in trekking (we realised that the way he led us). The whole sceneries were breathtaking. The gap road was the first stage of Chokramudi. We were scoring step by step towards the peak not leaving a single sight without capturing pictures. There was a clear but narrow path. The way was consisted of small rocks and mud road. Mr. Augustine kept pointing out best places where we had astounding sights of tea estates and mountain ranges. Then, we were at the base of Chokramudi. We saw a large grass terrain in front of us. There were some flowering plants which Mr. Augustine kept naming. He seemed knowledgeably excellent. We climbed slowly. Looking around each detail of the area. We have had already planned that, we would be experiencing it fully. We were walking gradually, when a steep way made our climbing even slower. We had to take each step carefully. It was the most thrilling experience. then, we walked into a dense forest called Shola. Mr. Augustine warned us to be even more careful about the wild animals. We rushed through the forest to reach open grass area again. Then as we were walking, a thick mist covered us in no minutes. So, we waited there for some time.
We took lot of shots. After waiting for some time we again led to the peak. it was so much cool, but gave an immense feel of peace.
With a long walk we attained the victory by reaching the most waited Chokramudy peak. i ran to reach the peak first. As, i reached i gave a load shout of joy. Mr. Augustine held me carefully. The feel was just speechless. I was on the top of the world. everyone around us were feeling the same (i can say by their face).
We saw a 15 year old girl jumping and screaming out of joy which caught us too. We all were happy. We saw the trail of our trek from the top. Then spending nearly an hour there, we climbed back. Climbing back was not that easy as it looks. We had to be more carefully while climbing down, as , the pathway got steep and there was a chance of falling. We reached the ground safely and unhurt. We were all filled with excitement.
We drove back to our hotel, as we were tired and in need of something hot. We reached our hotel, got a hot water shower and we all jumped on bed to have a nap. We all were woke up by the knock by our bell boy. He came to ask us about the dinner. So, we all got ready and went to dinner. Back at room, we uploaded all the pics to laptop and went through each one making comments on.
The next morning we had booked for tent camping with Mr. Augustine itself. We were so much convinced with his ability and knowledge. He arrived to our hotel itself at 11 am. We asked to get ready to have a camping in the forests of Gajaraja. We went towards the Pampadum shola. We drove through Echo point and Kundala to reach our base Top station, from where our te0nt camping would start. We left our jeep back and moved to the entrance. After all the formalities done by Mr. Augustine, we moved into the forest. It was a dense jungle. Sounds of birds, reptiles, insects and ground animals moving surrounded the place. We moved step by step. One of my friends was so much afraid of getting intact with the plants that he held Mr. Augustine’s hand and walked. Augustine kept naming each flower, plant, trees and warned us about the dangerous and venomous plants. We reached our camp site. We were much relieved. We made a tent and started a fire. Then, Mr. Augustine treated us with hot coffee and bread. We gathered around the fire and were listening Mr. Augustine’s stories. When the climate started dropping we all moved into our tents. It started drizzling. We shivered to death. But, it was eateries which kept the warmness inside us. After spending hours in forest we walked out. The sounds had increased. Mr. Augustine was rushing as there was a threat of elephants or other wild animals. We heard a sound of a river, but did not want to reach it. We walked in our way out. It was an amazing feeling and experience. we reached back our hotel.