Kodachadri Trek: Beginners Guide

Kodachadri is the most magical and pristine trek of Karnataka. This is also considered to be the toughest trek of all other treks in Karnataka. The trek trail encapsulates the sheer beauty of Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. Seldom any treks in India offer a view of mountains meeting sea at the horizon. This makes Kodachadri trek one of a kind and hence it should be on your list of top 10 treks. 

The Trek

The Kodachadri hills are known as Pushpagiri. Located 411 kms from Bengaluru in Shimoga district near Kollur. The easiest way to reach Kodachadri base point Nittur, is via local buses leaving from Bengaluru to Nittur via Shimoga and Hosanagara. The nearest town of Kollur which is just 20 kms away is well connected to Mumbai, Mangalore and Kerala. The nearest airport and railway station would be in Mangalore and Kundapura respectively. 

Routes

There are multiple trails to reach the Kodachadri summit. The route via Hidlumane falls remains the most preferable and the toughest route of all. The trek trail is a semi-jeep journey and a semi hiking trek. The Hidlumane route trek begins from Marakuttaka. Some people also prefer to start from Sampekatte. This trek trail is filled with steep terrain, slippery rocks, streams, Forest walk and several Waterfalls. Make sure you carry dettol or savlon along to avoid mosquito, leeches or insect bites. 

The remaining two trek routes are relatively not as challenging as the former one. The first one can be started from the farthest motorable path till Karakatte. Then start hiking towards the summit which might take 3-4 hours. And lastly, this alternative can be availed while getting down from the Kodachadri summit. This is a jeep journey which drops you at Moola Mookambika Temple where the other two routes eventually merge. Although , it needs to be mentioned that traveling via jeep takes longer than hiking. The Mookambika Temple is a landmark from where the summit is just 2 kms away. The temple surroundings also consist of homestays and guest houses where one can rest. 

Considering you opt for the Hidlumane route, you will come across varied terrain after regular distances till you reach the summit. You will witness the first terrain of meadows, open fields and grasslands. You will abruptly see a shift in view from dense forests to open fields with narrow paths. Crossing the airy meadows, you will come across the prime spot of the route, which is the Hidlumane falls. The falls reveals itself amongst the tall trees, boulders splashing down from a height of 60 ft. The waterfall is said to be an accumulation of 7 other waterfalls. You can halt here for a while or fill your water bottle with cool water from Hidlumane falls. 

The Views

Marching up towards the steep rocks and hill, you will experience a straight cascading meadow which eventually takes you to the very first hilltop of the trek. This would be an ideal place to have lunch and satisfy your hunger. The terrain is wide open where you can catch your breath and devour your home packed lunch  while admiring the Western Ghats. After a quick munch, continue your trek towards the path that joins you to tOOscHUK0PxKf307Qoq1agD0FB 8LON2d3w8L89FBMFH45mhe jeep route which leads you to the Mookambika temple. The Kodachadri summit feels like a closer dream to conquer after this spot. This is also the spot where you can hire a jeep while descending from the summit. The last stretch from here on consists of steep cliffs, rocky terrain which lead you to the summit where Sarvajana Peetha, a structure, is located. The stand alone structure on the summit gives you a sense of reward and fulfillment. Enjoy the unique blend of the Kodachari ranges meeting the mighty Arabian Sea over the horizon. The spectacular summit view makes you ponder about the design nature has laid out which no man made structure can perfect. 

Bless your eyes with this one of a kind sunset you will witness. Make sure you start descending in time so that you reach the jeep hiring point before it gets all dark. 

Best Time

The Kodachdri trek is open all throughout the year but if you want to catch the true essence of this place then monsoons or post monsoons would be a referable season. The day temperatures are fairly low during these seasons hence trekking becomes pleasant and enjoyable. Do carry a waterproof trekking bag and  coat to protect yourself from the occasional drizzle. The trek trail is fairly moderate. 

Conclusion

If you wish to camp near the region, there are guest houses, PWD houses and farm stays near the Mookambika temple. Or else you can descend to Sampekatte and camp there. The food is basic and homemade which is no less delicious than restaurants. 

It is recommended to wear fully covered clothes to avoid being bitten by leeches and other insects. Carry dry snacks, sufficient water and appropriate waterproof footwear.

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