Wayanad: For tourist and nature lovers, Chembra meant the heart-shaped lake atop the hill and the magnificent ambience created by the lush green meadows and shrubs surrounding it.

Situated 8 km away from Meppadi in Wayanad, these salient features beckoned tourists in large numbers to this peak round the year.

Until last week, Chembra unfolded before their eyes the splendid beauty of Wayanad.

However, the negligence of human beings has changed the entire scenario within a matter of hours. The fire allegedly set by tourists have ravaged this paradise and what remains here now is a heap of ash around the heart-shaped lake. Grasslands spread over 500 acres were completely gutted. 

A file photo Chembra peak / P Jayesh


Though the culprits are yet to be identified, the forest officials suspect the hands of tourists behind the incident.

Locals say the British, who reached Wayanad from Ooty first recognised the potential of this peak. Over the years, tourists including foreigners, were a common sight here.

The forest officials have launched an investigation trace the offenders.