After a long break, I was again back on the trekking trails and trek to Top Station Munnar turned out to be the perfect choice. A beautiful trail through jungles, water springs, coffee plantations and hills with stunning views is what I came back with after 2 days and 30 km trekking.
Trek to Top Station Munnar starts from Kurangani, a small hill station and measures 12 km one way. Our camping site was further 3 km away from the Top Station, making it a 15 km trekking on a day. After a long journey from Bangalore, we reached to Kurangani in morning and started our hike at around 8:30 after a good heavy breakfast.
For initial one km, we moved on a paved path before it turned to a trail through jungle full of greenery, water streams and sound of flowing water all the way. Water stream ‘Shyamal river’, as locally known, intersected our path multiple times, also providing beautiful waterfall views at times.
Trekking through the forest was an altogether different experience, with trees providing shade against the hot weather, creating a tunnel like structure hanging from both sides and water stream filling the atmosphere with a gushing sound.
After walking for good 3 hours, we reached to ‘Central Village’ which comes right mid way on the trek. Fully tired, we found a shop serving lemon water. Each one of us drank full to our thirst and relaxed before embarking on second half of our journey.
Thankfully weather was cloudy with cold winds and despite it being slightly hot, we ascended through the hills on our way up. Crossing grasslands and forests and walking for another 6 KMs, we reached to Top station Munnar. It was crowded like any other tourist spot. We had our lunch at Top Station, enjoyed local delicacies of Passion fruit and Honey Soda and left for our campsite, a walk of another 3 km through the scenic coffee plantations.
Our campsite was right in the middle of forest with beautiful views. Completely exhausted, we all sat outside the tents and chatted by the side of bonfire. It was all dark around with moon and stars gazing right at us.
Morning views were equally stunning as orange and red colours from sun rise wrapped the hills all around.
After breakfast, we left from the campsite and trekked back to Top Station Munnar on our way back. From there, we followed the same path for initial 3 km before taking an altogether different trail. This turned out to be another gem as we walked through open grasslands and 360 degrees beautiful views of the mountains around us.
Though we enjoyed beautiful views but this trail has a sharp descent, helping us move fast while demanding a strong control from our calf muscles. This is primarily a rain trail and thus at places, we had to move with caution.
We did not take much breaks on this path and were completely tired till we got down. After trekking for almost 4 hours (9 AM to 1 PM), we reached to a school at Muduvaarkudi village where we found a banyan tree and water. we quenched our thirst, filled up our bottles and relaxed under the banyan tree.
Here on, we found a proper mud path that finally led us to Kurangani Village, same place from where we had started our trekking the previous day. On our way, we also found a water stream. Though it did not have much water (being summers) but it was enough for us to get a refreshing bath. I enjoyed my Top Station Munnar trek, loved the trail and company of super enthusiastic fellow trekkers.
Details about Top Station Munnar Trek
Kurangani to Top Station Distance is 12 KMs. Our campsite was 3 kms further from Top Station. We started our trek at 8:30 in morning and reached campsite at 5 PM (with 1 break at Central Village). On our way back, we started at 7:30 AM from the campsite and reached Kurangani at around 2 PM (with 2 breaks on the way).
Level: Moderate to Difficult
How to Reach Kurangani
Kurangani is located around 35 km from Theni. You can take a Tamilnadu Transport bus from Theni and reach Kurangani by changing at Bodinayakanur. (Click here for the directions)
Guide and Permissions for Top Station Munnar Trek
We went on this trek with BMC (Bangalore Mountaineering Club) and they managed the things quite professionally. In case, you are planning to go on your own, having a guide is strongly recommended. There are multiple trails and there is high probability that you may loose path if you do not take the right turns. Permission can be obtained from Forest office based at Theni.