Campers Talk – Destruction of Grasslands at Paithalmala

Paithalmazha – a camp for women was conducted in Paithalmala , Kannur on 8 , 9 July 2017.

The campers , on their trek encountered a private property , which was landscaped for an upcoming resort. The plot borders the land under forest department , and importantly , by observing the surrounding area one can understand that it was a grassland.

Letsgoforacamp , had actively involved in grassland restoration by the forest department at Pamabadumshola National Park , sought to analyse the issue of destruction of grasslands via a discussion by camp participants.

Some of the camp members are sharing their thoughts here.

Video – LetsGoForACamp Trips

Vaithalmala or Paithalmala is a hill station in the Kannur district of Kerala in India. Located near Pottenplave village, at a height of 1372 m above sea level, this is the highest geographic peak in Kannur. It is located at 40 km from Taliparamba and 65 km from Kannur. Nestled in the Kerala Karnataka border near to Kodagu forests, it lies in the Western Ghats. It has become a favourite spot for the nature enthusiasts, photographers, trekkers and leisurely visitors.

There are two trekking seasons at Vaithalmala, falling in monsoon and summer. Monsoon (June to October) trekking to Vaithalmala is a photographer’s delight as the mist blankets the hills and forest. One can indulge into the lush greenery amidst the showers throughout the day, especially in July. Practically, trekking is not as easy as in the summer because of the extreme climate. Watch out for leeches and occasional elephant visits.

 Paithalmala Hilltop: The observatory tower is seen at the extreme

Monsoon is followed by a cool climate in Vaithalmala and the grass surrounding the hills grow to their fullest size, making it difficult to walk through. As they grow above seven feet, finding the regular way becomes a difficult task. By December, the forest caretakers set fire to the grass, taking care of the rest of the forest, to ease out the trekking experience. Soon after this, the hill becomes unsuitable to trek because of the black sooth formed but clears away after a couple of weeks. The best time for a trek is from January to March though the sun might be harsh.