Our team came to Muttukadu on a friday night. Then we camped at a home stay. Muttukadu is a nice, cool, quiet area with scattered cardamom plantations. Early morning on Saturday we travelled to Chinnakanal, where we had breakfast. We picked up some food to go. As we got out of the restaurant a bull- bull flew colose to our heads and dived down to the bushes hebind us on the front pillar of the restaurant. We got curious as to where he landed, and got our camera ready. We were so surprised to see a nest in the lower branches. The nest was not complete. We wainted for the bull- bull to come back to the nest. But never did. So decided to proceed to the foot hills of Chokkra Mudi for the Trekking. We were soon proceeding through the gap road. Travelled about 8 km to the hiking start point. Parked the car at the foothills, and we started climbing. The weather was hot & sunny. The terrain was dry and not slippery. So the first few feet was just fine. But then it got really steep. We kept going. Reached the first rocky, but flat formation. Stopped for a breather and some photographs. After a few minutes we spotted a family of Mongoos on the far side of the rock. They took a peak at us and disappeared fast. There were about 5 of them. The next phase of the climb is very steep and you go on and on. It took about 45 minutes to do this phase. Finally, we reached the ’Cross Summit’ . This is a primary summit of ChokkraMudi with a huge metal cross erected at the summit. All through this climb, there are small shrubs with small colourful flowers.
Took a 10 minutes rest here for some water and some photographs. The view from here is stunning already even before experiencing the view from the real summit. Now we are ready for the next phase. Again, steep terrain. Another half hour of intense climb and all of a sudden we reach this green haven. Thick greenery all of a sudden. We started seeing some kind of fruit on the ground. Up-on close examination we realized that these were Gambogia Gareenia. The dried fruit shell is used for cooking fish (Kudampuli) Never expected this at such heights. The left side of this green landing is real virgin tropical rain forest. It is so steep that no one dares to go there. So this part remains totally pristine. We could see some rare mountain Tahr keenly watching us on the far side, and they were so shy that they disappeared fast. Could hear birds tweeting from the thick forest down below. There was a hawk hovering over our head. We felt that it could be nesting somewhere there.
We proceeded right through the thick green foliage on to the summit. Again some steep rocky terrain. To our advantage, the wind remained calm. About half way up, there was another slightly flat landing area where we decided to rest and do some more photography. The only trees seen at this height is the Rhodadendron with nice red flowers. These trees only grow at this height. It is the national flower of Nepal. Must be one of the toughest trees to survive at such heights with very little water in summer and an abundance of water during the rainy season and also having to face violent cold wind and mist in the winter. Moreover, experts think that these trees are over two hunderd years old. One has to be really impressed by this tree. We decided to have some food which we carried with us under the shade of a large Rhodadendron. After the brief rest and refreshments we started the final stretch to summit 1.
Another half hour of intense climb there we were standing on the Chokkramudi summit. There is a second summit which takes another 15 minutes to reach. These mountains are connected by a small thin passage which is a steep dip and then a steep climb to the 2nd summit. The view is stunning, the air so fresh, and there is a peace that challenges all understanding. That is the feeling when you melt into the elements of the Chokkramudi Summit. We could see Anaimudi, Gundumalai, Karimkulam hills, Kolukkumalai and almost 7 dams in Kerala. This is a must do trekking trail in Munnar of you are adventurous with a love for nature. With rest & photoshoot it took us a total of 6 hrs for the entire Chokra Mudi Expedition. The total height of Chokra Mudi is aprox. 7,200 ft. above sea level. The ideal time to do trekking in this part of western ghats is from mid February to May last week before the monsoons.