Kannur is a popular destination among travellers, but if you want to explore the Western Ghats beyond this hill station, a hidden treasure awaits at Paithalmala.
Situated at a height of 1372m above sea level, Paithalmala is the highest geographic peak in the Kannur district. Nestled in the Kerala-Karnataka border near to Kodagu forests, it lies in the Western Ghats.
The trek route is a photographer’s delight as rolling mists cover the hill sides, and when they part, they reveal a lush green landscape. The trek route passes through thick tropical forests in the initial part, and when you near the peak, it opens into vast open meadows with great panoramic views of the surrounding Western Ghats.
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There is an observatory tower made by the department of tourism at the hilltop which can be reached after a 45 min walk from the Paithal valley. Often people end their treks at the tower. But the best part of the trek is the walk from the observatory tower to the thick forest where trail from Kappimala ends. One can move on top of the hills enjoying the mesmerizing scenery of the Coorg forest on right and Paithal valley on the left.
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Thought the hill sides offers a pretty walk through wild growth and flowers, beware of the tiger leeches near trees. Washes your feet in salt water before you begin the trek is a safe precaution. Also carry enough sustenance and water, as little is available beyond the base village.
You can also visit the Chelavara waterfall in the vicinity. Chelavara Falls is a beautiful site near Cheyyandane village on Virajpet – Talacauvery road in Coorg. It drops from a height of about 150 feet into a big pool. The enchanting natural beauty and the tranquillity of the place makes it a serene spot for nature lovers.
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The nearest railway station and airport is at Kannur. Buses ply till the base village of Pottenplave. There is an all-weather road till the base of the climb.
So, head to Paithalmala to beat the Southern Indian summer.