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If you were waiting to make a trip to Chembra peak, Wayanad, then you have to wait no longer. The previously drought-ridden tourist hotspot in Kerala has now been opened to welcome tourists to its scenic beauty. One of the most elevated rises in the Western Ghats, Chembra Peak was shut down in February this year but has now opened by the district authorities to revive tourism in the hills.
Chembra traditionally attracts a large number of visitors each year and this is mainly why the forest department had decided to put a cap on the number of tourists permitted to visit the hills and the iconic heart-shaped lake. Now, only 200 trekkers will be allowed to climb the mountain as opposed to 1000 earlier. The new timings are from 7 am till 1 pm. Another reason for the closure was the spread of a deadly forest fire in an ecologically sensitive area earlier this year. Quite a bit of the grassland was destroyed along with local flora and fauna. The road from Meppadi to the peak cost the government about 1.8 crores to remake. It had got washed away during rains and about 50 m of the road had to be remade which contributed to the length of the hiatus. Chembra peak is situated 2100 m from sea level and takes about an hour to reach the top of the mountain. The oft-visited heart-shaped lake is 1100 m above sea level.
Tourists will have to keep some rules in mind. All vehicles will have to halt at the office of Vana Samrakshana Samithy (VSS), a protection agency comprised of locals responsible to look after the peak and the surrounding wildlife. Tourists can then resume their trek up to the lake. When are you planning to visit?
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