Trekking is an enthralling experience altogether. You get to view nature’s best via its hilly landscapes, fog-covered mountains, gentle streams, and whatnot. And the best part about a trek is its adrenaline-pumping element. Although you’ll have to be fit before taking on a trek, you’ll realize that putting in the hard work is totally worth it because of the beauty and aesthetics you’ll receive in exchange. Plus, the Kodachadri trek in Karnataka is one of the best trekking experiences you’ll ever come across and it’s definitely worth trying.
Located on the Western Ghats in the beautiful district of Shimoga, Kodachadri is a destination known for serene landscapes and lush tropical forests. You’ll traverse paddy fields, lush grasslands, and a waterfall, which will make you stand in awe of it. Regarded as the tenth highest peak in Karnataka, this exciting destination is colloquially known as “the home of the hill jasmine flowers.” There is much to explore through this marvelous trek so, strap on your trekking boots and let us embark on this exhilarating journey!
Duration: 1-2 days.
Maximum Altitude: 1,343 m.
Best Time To Visit: Post monsoon season.
Difficulty Level: Easy to moderate.
Accommodation Available: Homestays and guest houses.
Expect to see these highlights when you journey through this trek!
One thing is certain about the Kodachadri trek - you’re going to get bombarded with green shades wherever you set foot. While its forests do most of the job, the rolling hills of this destination reward you with even more green. With Kodachadri’s location situated at an elevation of 1,343 m, you get a thorough bird's eye view of the emerging Shola forest.
Once you reach the peak, you get to witness the expansiveness of the Arabian Sea, making it perfect and ideal to enjoy calming sunsets dwindling into the horizon. There are very few peaks that boast such a view, giving you more reasons as to why you should trek the Kodachadri peak.
Who doesn’t like to see a nice gushing waterfall? The theatrical sound of water slapping the water bed, adding to nature’s music album is a piece any nature enthusiast will love to listen to. While trekking to the peak, you’re bound to cross this cascade of waterfalls as Hidlumane is an amalgamation of seven waterfalls.
This combination adds to the sound’s intensity, making it an iconic spot to just pause and listen to the tune. Don’t forget to at least dip your toe if not take a dip in these cooling waters descending from above.
On the way to the peak, you’re rewarded with a monument called the Mookambika Temple to place your devotion too. Located at a distance of just 2 km from the peak, this temple is an important landmark for many pilgrims and temple enthusiasts too.
The emergence of the temple has a pretty deep mystical significance. It’s said that Goddess Mookambika slayed the demon Mookasura right here, making it an emblem of courage and endurance. So, if you’re feeling the trek is getting to you, visit this temple and gain some of that lost confidence back.
Located at a small distance from the peak, you’ll find another temple that goes by the name of Sarvajna Peetha. It’s believed that Adi Shankara, an Indian Vedic scholar, meditated at this peak during the 7th AD and as a way to mark his devotion, the temple was built. But, in all, this monument looks splendid when it’s covered with mist and fog, especially during mornings and evenings.
Lying along the Western Ghats, Kodachadri comes under the protection of the Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary from where you’ll get to see a rich variety of flora and fauna. Through the sanctuary, you’ll have to traverse the dense Shola forests to get to the peak, making it a canopy of greenery all around. For any avid trekker who is closer to various shades of green than shades of gray (wink, wink), crossing Shola forests will be an added memory to the timeline.
In addition to some less familiar paths, there are mainly three routes that the Kodachadri trek can be accessed through. The routes all vary in difficulty and depending on how you feel, you can select the best one for you. One thing you should know is that all three routes converge at PWD Guesthouse. From there, the trek to the peak is just about 2 km.
P.S - If you’re coming by air, the nearest airport is the Mangalore International Airport, which is about 165 km from Kodachadri. From Mangalore, the nearest town to the trek is Kollur. So, you can catch a bus to Kollur and enjoy the long bus ride before the trek.
This is, by far, the easiest route to take to reach the Kodachadri peak. Whether you’re coming from Kollur or Shimoga, you’re certainly going to meet at Niitur, a small village acting as a common point. Technically, the trek begins from this village and you’ll get many buses from Bangalore traveling this part. Proceed further on that village road going to Kollur and then you’ll see a broad mud road on your left.
Take that road, pass the muddy stretch and then you’ll reach Santosh Hotel. The distance between the main road and the hotel is around 6 km. From the main road, you can choose to travel by foot or by jeep to the hotel. The former is recommended since it’ll give you an enriched trekking experience and ample time to adjust to the rough terrain. Halt at Santosh Hotel to feast on some delicious local breakfast and snacks before moving forward.
From the hotel, you’ll have to traverse a forest area to reach the PWD Guesthouse. Just be careful during the monsoons since the forest is infested with leeches. Don’t forget to carry some lime and salt! The distance between that forest stretch and the PWD Guesthouse is around 4 km. You can choose to stay at the guesthouse (prices start from INR 250 per head) or book a homestay around that location.
The difficulty of this route can be classified as moderate because of the tricky stretch at Hidlumane Falls. From Nittur, you’ll have to walk (or drive for those coming by jeep) for around 3 km to the Government Higher Primary School. From the school, take a right and it’ll lead you to the waterfalls. Just be careful since there are many smaller roads once you take that right. Better take a guide or someone with experience to the trek to avoid getting lost.
Now, you’ll have to be a bit careful at the Hidlumane Falls stretch, especially during monsoons. Due to its rocky and slippery terrain, the sole difficulty would be not to lose balance and hurt yourself. The descent into the waterfall stretch is pretty steep as well, so don’t forget to wear your best trekking boots. Plus, the infestation of leeches is another point added to the difficulty table, which means forgetting to bring salt and lime along could make your trek unpleasant.
From the falls, the distance to the PWD Guesthouse would be around 4 km.
This is the longest route to reach the trek with its distance of around 15 km from the Nittur main road. If the other two routes are unavailable due to excessive rain, you can hire a jeep and use the jeep route to make the 15-km stretch as it’s much safer and more convenient.
Once you reach the PWD Guesthouse, the trail to the peak of Kodachadri is pretty well laid out. It’ll take you approximately one and a half hours to reach the top. Near the base of Kodachadri, you’ll come across a small check post, indicating that camping is prohibited beyond that point. From here onwards, the trail is going to be really muddy, so be prepared to get down and dirty!
A few meters up the hill, you’ll come across a small fork diverting the trek. The left side will lead you to the sunrise point and the right side will take you to the peak of Kodachadri. Just be cautious that the trail to the peak is a bit of a ridge walk with a steep fall on the left side of the hill. When it gets too foggy, avoid steering too much to the left, or else there will be nothing left of you!
You’ll reach the peak after you’ve completed that section of the trail. Over there, you’ll see the quaint Mookambika Temple overseeing the vast descending grasslands along the hill. Take a few moments there, breathe in some of that mountain air, click a few Instagram-worthy pictures, and then head back to the guest house for a good night’s rest.
The trek is around 15-20 km from the main village road of Nittur to the peak of Kodachadri. Ideally, the trek would take you a day to complete if you travel by jeep from the village. The ascent to the mountain will take you around 2 hours to complete and you’ll need the same amount of time to descend as well.
If you choose to do the trek on foot from Nittur, the trek can extend to two days.
Post monsoons are preferably the best season to do this trek, especially in the months between October and February, when the weather is temperate. After the end of the monsoons, the whole of Kodachadri is at its finest glory, making the region plush and green. The summer months can also be an ideal time to embark on this trek as you’ll see a fusion of green and light brown shades.
The winter season allows you to have much clearer views of the landscape as compared to the monsoons. However, if you choose to trek this mountain during the monsoons, you have to be extremely careful as the trekking difficulty immediately increases. You’ll have to be careful of overflowing streams, waterfalls, and mossy terrain. Make sure that you bring your best trekking gear with you and preferably have a guide to help you navigate.
Also read: The Valley of Flowers Trek In Uttarakhand
Now you know all that you need to know about the Kodachadri trek in Karnataka. Remember that in addition to bringing your best trekking gear, you need to be in your best physical state too. Some weeks before the trek, ensure that you exercise well and eat healthy, so that you have the strength, flexibility, and endurance to perform the exhilarating Kodachadri trek.
Is Kodachadri Trek Safe?
Yes, the Kodachadri trek is completely safe for anyone who loves trekking. However, you need to be cautious if you’re trekking during monsoons since the terrain is extra slippery and mucky.
How Long Is The Kodachadri Trek?
The trek can take you two whole days if you choose to trek on foot from the Nittur village. If you’re coming by jeep, then you can cover the distance from the village to the PWD guest house at a faster pace, leaving you just to trek the mountain. In that case, the trek would take you a day to complete.
How Difficult Is The Kodachadri Trek?
Overall the trek is moderate, although crossing the Hidlumane waterfalls increases the difficulty level a bit. If you want the trek to be easier, you can travel the distance from Nittur to the PWD Guesthouse by jeep instead of trekking on foot.
What Is The Best Time For The Kodachadri Trek?
Post monsoons are the best time for the Kodachadri trek as it’s safe, and you can witness the mountain in all its splendor, in terms of greenery.
How Many Km Is Kodachadri Trek?
The Kodachadri is said to be one of the most difficult treks and it takes around 20 to 22 kms in total to complete the trek.
Which District Is Kodachadri?
Kodachadri falls in the Shimoga district of Karnataka.
Which is the biggest hill in Karnataka?
The biggest hill in Karnataka is Mullayanagiri Hill.
How Long Does It Take To Climb Kodachadri?
It takes around 8 to 10 hours approximately to climb Kodachadri.