Hike to Vattakanal (Canopy Hills) | Western Ghats

The Kotagiri trek that I had planned to do over the weekend was canceled due to not having the minimum required participants. Supposedly, the cancellation of hikes or treks due to not having many participants is quite common in Bangalore. So, I decided to call the Bangalore Mountaineering Club just a day before the hike to inquire if there was any hike that was happening. They mentioned about Kudremukh, Kumara Parvatha, and Vattakanal. I had never heard of Vattakanal before and hence I booked the trek. The booking can be done on the BMC website and it is quite easy.

About Vattakanal (Canopy Hills)

Vattakanal trek is one of the lesser-known treks in the Western Ghats. The closest town to the base camp of the hike is Theni and the distance between Theni and Bangalore is around 450 kilometres one way. And it is a 2 days hike.

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Vattakanal Hike

Logistics of Vattakanal Hike

Day 1

  • Starting point: Base camp at Kumbakarai waterfalls; Note: We took an auto from the town Theni to the base camp and the distance was around 8 kilometres.
  • Total distance: 11 kilometres
  • Time taken: 5 to 6 hours
  • Grade: Difficult (many steep ascends)
  • Terrain: Through the forests and it has steps made of rocks. The path also passes through many streams of water. Note: Be careful of the leeches.
  • Finishing point: Camping site near the village called Vellagavi

Day 2

  • Starting point: Camping site near the village called Vellagavi
  • Total distance: 7 kilometres
  • Time taken: 2 to 3 hours
  • Grade: Difficult (many steep ascends)
  • Terrain: Through the forests and misty paths. The view is spectacular. Note: Be careful of the leeches.
  • Finishing point: Altaf cafe, Vattakanal via Dolphin Nose

Important Information for Vattakanal Hike

  • Be careful of leeches.
  • Take warm clothes.
  • Carry sufficient water. The water can be refilled in the streams but if you are sensitive do carry water purifying tablets. I carried 3 litres of small bottles for the entire hike and it did fall short of 1 litre towards the end which I bought near the Dolphin’s nose.
  • Take the first aid kit.
  • Carry an extra pair of slippers.
  • Carry a good torch with extra batteries.
  • Toilets are only available at the camping site.
  • There is public transportation between Theni and Bangalore.
  • The permission needs to be taken from the forest department in advance to do the hike. This is covered in the trek package that I took.

Hiking Provider

Expenses

  • Trek package: Rs 4620
  • Food: Rs 2000 (as only day 1 was covered in the trek package)
  • Miscellaneous: Rs 500
  • Total: Rs 7120.

Safety for Solo female travelers

I would not recommend hiking this hike solo even for male travelers/hikers. Hence, a definite No for solo female travelers/hikers. There are very few people and it can get risky. I suggest going with a trekking agency or group of friends. The trekking agency is great because all the safety needs are taken care of.

Gallery

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Vattakanal Hike

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