Tired Of The Hills? Try These Jungle Treks In India For A Real Experience Of The Wild

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Photo of Tired Of The Hills? Try These Jungle Treks In India For A Real Experience Of The Wild by Adete Dahiya

When we think of trekking in India, more often than not, mountains are what come to mind. After that it's the beaches. As a result, India's jungles are part of a relatively less explored territory. In recent years, however, activities like jungle trekking and forest camping have started to gain popularity. A number of people are opting out of mountain treks to explore the wilderness on foot. And while this domain still has a lot of scope for development, I've handpicked some of the best jungle treks in the country that definitely deserve your attention if you are a hiking/trekking enthusiast.

Here are eight destinations that will help you explore the best of the lush green jungles of India.

Chembra Trek, Wayanad

Photo of Chembra Peak, Kerala by Adete Dahiya

Chembra is the highest peak in Wayanad, Kerala, clocking at 6,900 feet above sea level. And the trek to this peak is considered to be amongst the most beautiful in South India. The trek takes place through forests growing on the hills, making you cross through various hues of lush green wilderness mixed with misty clouds. One of the most popular features of the trek is the heart-shaped lake near the top, called the Love Lake.

The permits to take this trek need to be obtained from the forest office in Meppadi, which is about 35km from the starting point of the trek.

Get full details on the Chembra Trek here.

Duration: 4-5 hours

Level: Beginner

When to go: The best time to trek Chembra is post-monsoon, from December to February, when the weather is great.

Pali Waterfall Trek, Goa

Whenever we think of Goa, it is the parties and beaches that come to mind. But the sunshine state has a lot to offer in the natural department as well. One such place is Pali Waterfall. Also known as Shivling falls, this is one of the most beautiful and offbeat trails in Goa. The falls are situated in a small village called Valpoi, which lies in one of the densest jungle regions of the state. The terrain and space is quite challenging, perfect for intermediate trekkers. The trek, which starts from the village is a 6km long trail and requires hikers to cross through rocky terrain, thick vegetation, and mushy waters to reach the falls.

Watch out for the reptiles and cobras while you're here.

Duration: 2-3 hours

Level: Intermediate

When to go: It is best to go just as the monsoon season ends. From the end of August to the end of September. Winters are also a good time, but the waterfalls will be slightly scanty during this time.

Mudumalai, Tamil Nadu

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Photo of Mudumalai National Park, India by Adete Dahiya

Mudumalai, a popular tourist destination in Tamil Nadu, is a paradise for nature lovers. While it was already a popular spot for jeep safaris taking place in Mudumalai National Park, the place has now also gained notice as a jungle trekking destination. What makes it a great choice for beginners is the presence of resorts and hostels right in the village from where the trek begins. The trek to the peak takes about 2-3 hours and takes you through banana plantations and lush-green wilderness to reach the peak. You can get breathtaking views of the entire Mudumalai region from the peak.

Duration: 2-3 hours

Level: Beginner

When to go: The best time to trek in Mudumalai is post-monsoon, when the weather has cleared up and the heat is less. The season is from December to February.

Talle Valley, Arunachal Pradesh

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Photo of Talle Valley by Adete Dahiya

Arunachal Pradesh is one of the greenest states in the country, and home to some of the best and most beautiful jungles. The Talle Valley region is quite well-known for its overwhelming diversity of flora and fauna, and in recent years has come up as a trekking destination as well. The treks here are characterised not just by dense vegetation, but also thick bamboo patches, which are unique to this region. However, the jungles in this part are still untouched for the most part as the trekking is a fairly recent activity. There is not much infrastructure either, making this one of the most adventurous jungle treks in the country.

This trek requires all Indian citizens to obtain an inner line permit. Read about it here.

Duration: 2-3 days

Level: Intermediate

When to go: From October to April. The spring and autumn seasons are the best time to visit.

Kodachadri Trek, Karnataka

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Photo of Kodachadri, Valur, Karnataka by Adete Dahiya

Located in the Shivmoga region of Karnataka, the Kodachadri Peak is a natural heritage site that is extremely popular among trekking enthusiasts in the region. Nestled amidst the Western Ghats, Kodachadri is situated at a height of 4,406 feet above sea level, right in the middle of the Mookambika National Park. It is surrounded by beautiful forests, extensive flora and fauna, and breathtaking waterfalls, this makes for an amazing trekking trail.

Duration: 2-3 days

Level: Intermediate

When to go: From October to January is the best time as the temperature is moderate and there is hardly any rainfall.

Kunjkharak Trek, Uttarakhand

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Photo of Pangot, Uttarakhand, India by Adete Dahiya

This trek starts in Pangot, at the foothills of the Himalayas near Corbett. The exact place is called Akashkanda and winds up through dense jungles, full of Deodar trees, up towards the peak. What makes this trek so special is the remoteness of the place as it is still relatively untouched. The setting is beautiful as the route falls right next to Kosi river, which forms the border between India and Nepal.  

Duration: 2-3 days

Level: Intermediate

When to go: From October to April is a good time. It gets really hot during the months of May and June and the area is prone to forest fires during this time.

Sitabani Trek, Jim Corbett, Uttarakhand

Photo of Jim Corbett National Park, Ramnagar, Uttarakhand, India by Adete Dahiya

For those looking for a shorter trek in Corbett, Sitabani is your best bet. This is a DIY trek as you will not find a lot of tour operators offering to take you on this route. The trek starts from Sitabani temple and is about 8-9km to this temple called Bhola mandir in the middle of the jungle. You cross several streams and stretches of dense forests to reach the small temple. Along the way you can spot elephants and deer in plenty. 

However, you need to be careful of tigers and keep all your documents and permits in place since there are rangers in the forest and also wild animals that can attack you. 

Get complete details about the trek, here.

Duration: 3-4 hours

Level: Beginner-Intermediate

When to go: From October to April is a good time.

Binsar Zero Point Trek

Photo of Binsar, Uttarakhand, India by Adete Dahiya

This small hamlet in Uttarakhand is known for spectacular views, untouched natural beauty, and really hospitable people. The zero point trek is a relatively simple trek that takes you through the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary. It starts from the Tourist Guest House, up till where you can take your vehicles. From there it is a 2-3 hour journey by foot to the highest point in Binsar. You will encounter a number of monkeys, langoors, birds and other small animals along the way.  

Get complete details about this trek here.

Duration: 2-3 hours

Level: Beginner

When to go: October-November and February-March are the best months to visit the place. The weather is pleasant and it is not raining or snowing.

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