We had an oppourtuinity of availing some services offered by Kerela Forest Development Corporation, Munnar. As we were planning to trek Meesapulimala there was no other way than staying in fixed destinations present in KFDC's Munnar website and booking through it.
Three varients of stay is offered:
- Base Camp (In tents)
- Sky Cottage, 500m from base camp
- Rhodo Mansion, 4km from base camp.
- Rhodo Valley Camp (Min 10 people)
About trek route, Base Camp and Sky cottage has a trail of approximately 16.5 kilometers and as per guide the trail goes through thick pine forest and shola grassland. We opted for Rhodo Mansion, as it seemed to be the safest bet.
The total trek distance is approximately 7-8 kilometers. The rooms are well maintained, clean and provide electricity at night through solar power. Talking about connectivity, it is very difficult to reach the place on non-all-terrain vehicles, you would need to book one in city. Only network available there during the time we visited was BSNL 2G. For Airtel and Reliance Jio, we had to trek 500 meters.
After reserving the respective accomodation, we need to take permit from forest department. One specific vehicle pass would also be provided. Without permit and pass, we would not be allowed to enter the forest area.
Although bumpy, the road is very beautiful, we experience different varieties of vegetation patterns on the way. Since entry to meesapulimala is conrolled, there are very less number of people and we found not a single bit of trash on the way. Really appreciate KFDC for taking control of this situation.
Trek to the mountain can be categorized in easy bucket, gradual slopes with shola glasslands was there. There were no slippery parts. Since it is rainy season now in munnar, the place was lush green. Most of the parts of mountain is made up of iron ore, my selfie stick was stuck with magnetic materials.
As a downside of our experience we saw some not so plesant things:
- Since human population is increasing at such a pace, and with population demands are also increasing. This is leading to cleaning of acres of forest just for growing Tea. I wonder how much area is deforested for other items such as food.
- Because of changing temperature and increasing human greed, we have planted some trees which are not good for the ecology and breed like anything.
- Changing climate has changed the cycle of rains, leading to drier waterfalls, dams etc. We were repeatedly told this is less water, rains have delayed etc.