Okay, so you really want to do the Meesapulimala Trek!
What is this thing about needing permission to do the trek?!
Well, in order to legally be in this part of the Western Ghats, you WILL need to get appropriate permission.
And even if you sign up for the guided trek through the Kerala forest department like you’re supposed to, that is NOT enough.
You need to go through separate steps to get the actual permit – a piece of paper – that will grant you the official permission to enter this part of the forest so you can do the Meesapulimala Trek.
If you attempt to go to the Meesapulimala base camp WITHOUT your permit…
Well, you will not be able to proceed forward, and you will be forced to go back to get it, as you will need the permit to show at the checkpoint on the road to base camp.
So make sure you get it before you start heading to base camp!
You will also need it on the way back, so don’t lose it!
How to get the Meesapulimala Trek permit
The good news is that getting the permit is pretty easy.
There is a Kerala forest department office in Munnar.
And that’s where you need to go to fill out the form to get the permit.
You can do this right before you head to base camp.
It is probably important to note that the office does close at 5pm, so you’ll want to make sure to get there before then.
But if it looks like you’re going to be delayed, give the Munnar office a call, and they will likely try to work with you.
But in general, the earlier you get to base camp, the better!
So when you get to the office, you’ll tell the officer that you’re there to do the Meesepulimala Trek and that you want to get the permit.
There isn’t an added cost for the permit. They’ll just check that you have a booking at base camp.
This is how it was in 2018. If you find that the process has changed, feel free to let me know!
In the meantime, for more of what you can expect on the trek, see more about doing the Meesapulimala Trek from Munnar! (Including why you might NOT want to drive your own car to base camp!)
Where to stay in Munnar
There are affiliate links below. You should totally check out the reviews and photos of these places.
If you’ll be arriving a day early before the trek, or you’ll be staying an extra day after you’ve finished the trek… or you just want to make the most of your stay in Munnar… here are some places to take a look at!
Budget hotels near Munnar bus station
Budget hotels around Munnar
Simple hotels around Munnar
Best hotels around Munnar
And go for a Munnar tea plantation trek as a warm-up or recovery to Meesapulimala! 😉
HAPPY JOURNEY FROM MUNNAR TO MEESAPULIMALA BASE CAMP!
The need-to-know India travel tips!If it's your first trip to India, be sure to see these tips for getting around India on a budget, and more! You might wait until India to buy this mosquito repellent that works for many foreigners! Also be sure to see how to spend one month in South India and 2 weeks in North India, as well as tips for the Golden Triangle. And, overnight sleeper bus travel isn't so bad, and neither is traveling in general class on the train! Also see the easy way to get an e-visa. And this is the easy way to book train tickets online as a foreigner. I've used it, and it's simple! You can just show the e-ticket on your phone.
There are affiliate links on this page that lead to partner websites.
Hostels in KeralaFor a hostel with international standards in Kerala, try Zostel!
More Zostels in Kerala:
Zostel is a top backpacker chain across India, and I've stayed at many Zostels in India! And outside of Kerala, if you'll be passing through Gokarna as you go from Goa to Kerala (here are options of how to get from Goa to Kerala!), then Zostel Gokarna is in an amazing location too! Here are pictures from the on-site cafe that overlooks the ocean.
Where to stay on the tourist trail in KeralaThese places basically go down the coast from north to south!
- Cochin: Try a homestay in the cute heritage area of Fort Kochi.
- Marari Beach: This is an "off-beat" location as Marari is mostly unknown to backpackers, but it can be a convenient stop to make between Cochin and Alleppey with chill laid back vibes. For an idea of what type of beach can be nearby, see my beach walk from Alleppey to Marari.
- Alleppey Beach:
- Funky Art Beach House again for chill vibes with a location among locals in a residential neighborhood
- And there's Zostel Alleppey too for another beach location to stay several days
- OR if Alleppey is a quick visit, try Dream Nest to be closer to town
- And see how to spend one day in Alleppey (short version: go for the backwaters village canoe tour instead of a houseboat!)
- Alleppey backwaters:
- Munroe Island: This is another generally kind of more off-beat location, and you can see a different part of the Kerala backwaters on a quiet island
- Varkala cliff:
Retreats in KeralaFor relaxation and rejuvenation for health and wellness, also see:
- Yoga retreats in Kerala
- Ayurveda retreats in Kerala - ayurveda is basically healthy living through natural herbs and remedies, and Kerala is the birthplace of ayurveda!
How to book India train tickets online as a foreignerIf you don't want to go through the complicated process of setting up an IRCTC Indian railways account as a foreigner...
Then the most convenient way to buy train tickets online is through this booking website. I've used it, and it's super simple! You buy the ticket, and then show the electronic version on your phone once you're on the train. Compared to buying directly through an Indian ticket booking website (IRCTC account required) or directly at the train station in India, there is a small convenience fee, as well as a less flexible cancellation policy, though!