“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”    – John Muir

If you are ever in Munnar and like to enjoy a bird’s eye view of Munnar as well as a first-hand close encounter with the Western Ghats, a trek to Chokkan Mudi Mountain is the ideal route to take. From any part of Munnar, Chokkan Mudi displays an alluring presence. It projects varying characteristics when viewed from different locations.

A trek to the Chokkan Mudi summit has transpired to be a one of a kind memorable experience for the five of us; organized by Travel Cart, tour creators in Kerala. We stayed at the ‘Spice tree Resort’ the previous night. We were up by 5.00am. We reached the bottom of the mountain at Gap Road by 6.30 am. This is the ideal place to start the trek. Chokkan Mudi trek has a few stages based on landings as you ascent. The landings are more or less flat areas which are excellent view points.

Our plan for this trek was to set aside the entire day to enjoy this mountain. So we were in no hurry. We also had the mission to take as many photographs as possible. The fact that the Neelakurunjis were in full blossom added tremendously to the beauty of the hills and ravines. Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes Kunthiana) stay dormant for 12 long years. Then in the 12th year they blossom profusely and embellish these mountains with dazzling shades of blue and violet. This special plant is a native to the shola forests of the Western Ghats. Of the 200 varieties of Strobilanthes found in Asia, the hills of Munnar host 45 of them. There is a few that blossoms every 6 years. These hills were adorned with mesmerizing hues in 1990 and 2002.

Within a short time we reached the first landing. The view is good from here on, but this area is not high enough for the Kurinji plants. The trek to the next stage is a rather steep climb through a very large rock formation. Surrounding rocks and boulders helped us stay balanced and secure on steep ascents.