Trekking In Karnataka During Covid

Last updated on 21 June 2021

What To Keep In Mind When Trekking In Karnataka During Covid

Located in the south of India, Karnataka is a blend of eccentric urban life, modern tech, ancient ruins, and untouched nature. Its green hills are crawling with trails that are perfect for beginners and professionals alike, making it a paradise for trekkers and adventure-seekers. Given the current situation with the coronavirus, people are asked to remain in their homes and restrict outdoor activity. But if you’re itching for some time away from home, definitely opt for a trek.

Trekking In Karnataka During CovidAt a time when social distancing is the norm, nothing can get better than surrounding yourself with nature away from crowds and tourist hordes. This makes trekking one of the safest activities to experience during Covid. From a slew of treks to travel tips, read up about trekking in Karnataka during Covid to be as well prepared as possible.

Where To Go

There’s a range of treks for you to choose from, depending on factors like your health and physical capacity, the time you have, and how long the trails are. Keep in mind that it has been months since we’ve all sunk into a fairly sedentary lifestyle, and your body may not be as fit as it once was. Try not to get over-excited and opt for a tough, long trek; you want to be rejuvenated, not tired, sore and exhausted from overexertion. Also, try to pick a trek that is convenient to reach so you avoid public transportation as much as possible.

Trekking In Karnataka During CovidWhile you may want to head to a trek you’ve seen your friends go on, or one that’s famous online, remember that the danger of the pandemic still looms overhead. Do a little digging and try to look for an offbeat trek instead. Treks that are off the beaten path will have fewer tourists there, enabling you to practice social distancing without a hassle. On the other hand, these routes may not be as equipped as the more frequented ones. Make sure you do your research well before setting out.

Also read: Should You Go On A Multi Day Trek During Covid?

Hampi

Of course we had to start with Hampi, the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hampi is a ruin, yet is Karnataka’s crown jewel of heritage and culture. It sits on the banks of the Tungabhadra River and tells a tale of years gone by. Hampi has several trek routes to choose from, crawling across big and small rocky hills and outcrops.

hampi, chitradurga, hampi travel guide, Trekking In Karnataka During CovidOne such route is the Anjeyanadri Hill that attracts trekkers and pilgrims alike, as it is known to be the birthplace of Hanuman. Yet another location with religious significance is the Hemakuta Hill Trek, leading to a cluster of ruinous temples. Comparatively easier is the Kampa Bhupa Path, perfect for beginners and people just looking to take in the view. These treks are best enjoyed from November to February—after the heavy rains, and before the sweltering summer heat.

A popular way to get from trek to trek is by bicycle, available in Hampi itself. This town attracts thousands of tourists every year, so there’s a good chance that you may come across other people. Hampi isn’t known so much for its treks as much as for its historical significance. Still, if you are keen on exploring other options, read on.

Madhugiri Fort Trek

A trudge up to the second-largest monolith of Asia, atop which rests a 17th-century fort – the Madhugiri Trek is a memorable one indeed. Madhugiri is a town located in the Tumkur district of Karnataka and is home to the ruins of what was once a massive fort overlooking the area. The Madhugiri Fort trek is unlike most others simply because it is more historical than natural. Instead of leaves and mud, you tread on hewn stone and narrow rocks instead of passing under waterfalls you pass through old arches.

The trek takes 2.5 to 3 hours going up and around 45 minutes coming back down. But this is not one to be attempted for beginners. Sections of the trek involve steep climbing almost horizontally, carefully placing one foot ahead of the other in between the carved rock. There’s no need to take permission for the trek, but keep some government ID handy to show the office post at the start of the trek.

The Madhugiri Trek is quite famous and well known, so you may not be the only ones on the trail. Make sure there is sufficient distance between you and other people, and keep sanitizing your hands. Most importantly, avoid touching your face: wipe off sweat with a handkerchief. The good thing is that Madhugiri is just a 2.5-hour drive away from Bangalore, so you can easily take your own vehicle to the site.

Kurinjal Peak Trek

The Kurinjal Peak Trek is shrouded in greenery, hidden deep in the heart of the Kudremukh National Park in Karnataka. Though it is fairly well known, it is a less-frequented trek due to its relative inaccessibility. The trek route takes you past streams and over a river, tramping through a lush forest and up some steep inclines, to a view so stunning it will leave you breathless.

Since it is located in a national park, you will require permission to take the trek. Camping is not allowed either, and there are strict rules to be followed about littering and carrying food or plastic with you on the trek. Newcomers can pay an additional fee for a guide to accompany them; just make sure you follow the social distancing norm as much as possible while on the trek. The difficulty of the trek is easy to moderate, and it is a one-day trek.

A word of caution: there’s steep ground to cover before you reach the summit, making it a doable trek for beginners who are fit and healthy, and who engage in some level of physical activity. The best season for this trek is from June to February. The monsoon brings with it low visibility, chill winds and rain, and slippery trails. Only experienced trekkers should attempt the Kurinjal Peak trek during the monsoon, and we recommend taking a guide along for the extra help at the last steep bits.

Aane Gudda Trek

This trek is perfect for beginners looking to isolate and stay as far away from other tourists as possible. Aane Gudda means Elephant Hill, but you won’t be bumping into any of these gentle giants while on the trek. The shape of the hills here resembles an elephant, which is why it is known as the Elephant Hill Trek. It is an offbeat trek, not very popular, which means there’s no need to share the trek and the unbeatable views with other groups of trekkers.

The Aane Gudda trek is a one-day trek and is easy enough for everyone to go on. Your route takes you through a small stretch of the thick Shola forest, opening out onto grasslands and leading up to the top of the hill. On the way, you pass a few bubbling brooks and a waterfall. The best time to go on the trek is after the monsoons and before the heat of the summer, from the end of September to February.

Getting To Karnataka

In terms of adventure activities that are Covid-safe, trekking is way up there. After all, there’s little to no close contact with other people and you can easily maintain social distancing. However, getting to your base camp for the trek is another story. If you’re traveling to Karnataka from another state, make sure you comply with all the interstate travel restrictions put in place to mitigate the Covid virus.

Luckily for you, Karnataka currently does not have any mandatory testing or quarantine requirement for domestic tourists from other states. All tourists will be screened for symptoms upon arrival, and only those who exhibit Covid symptoms will be isolated and tested for the virus. If at any point you feel unwell, immediately dial the Apthamitra helpline @ 14410.

Karnataka itself is very well interconnected by road and rail, but you must ensure to take Covid precautions when planning your trip. Most often, trek organizers will arrange for a bus or a train journey to get trekkers to base camp. Ideally, they should ensure that the bus is sanitized, and avoid public transportation altogether. If there is no arranged transport, try to reach the base camp in your own vehicle. This drastically reduces the chances of the virus being transmitted to you.

Tips For Trekking In Karnataka During Covid

Hampi, Trekking In Karnataka During Covid

  • Ensure you carry a medical kit that includes basics (bandaids, disinfectant cream, cotton, gauze) and Covid specials (thermometer, pills for cold, pills for fever, and body ache).
  • Before you leave, research the Covid hospitals, care centers, and emergency numbers for Karnataka as well as for your trek and accommodation locations. Having this information ready at hand will go a long way should the need arise.
  • Self-isolate for 14 days before and after the trek, constantly monitoring your health and consuming only home-cooked food. Inform your organizers as soon as you feel unwell; avoid going if it is before the trek, and make sure you tell your travel group if it is after so they can all get tested if needed.
  • Carry your own drinking water, food, cutlery, and trek equipment if you can help it. Also carry ample sanitizer and disinfectant spray, using them liberally.
  • If you are someone who has recovered from Covid, check with your doctor whether you can go on treks. Covid is known to have severe and sometimes permanent damage to the lungs, and you may need a lot more rest than you initially think.

FAQs

Is There Lockdown In Karnataka?

As of 21 June 2021, Karnataka is under lockdown until 5 July but with the exception of Mysuru District, the regulations for the movement of people are being relaxed. However, there will still be a night curfew every day from 7 pm to 5 am.

Which Is The Toughest Trek In Karnataka?

The Kumara Parvatha Trek in the Kodagu district is considered to be the toughest trek in Karnataka. You’ll be climbing over 1,700 meters and traversing through thickly forested areas in this trek.

Is Trekking Allowed In Karnataka?

Yes, trekking is allowed in Karnataka but there are certain trails that are declared illegal. To add to that, the state has also introduced a ‘green passport’ on which you can keep track of all the trails you’ve conquered!

Which Is The Toughest Trek In India?

India has not one, but multiple treks that are considered to be its toughest. Some of these are the Auden’s Col (Uttarakhand), Chadar Trek (Ladakh), the Pin Parvati Pass (Himachal Pradesh, and the Stok Kangri Trek (Ladakh).

How Long Is Skandagiri Trek?

If you’re looking for a short trek near Bangalore, consider trekking through the Skandagiri Hills. It’s an easy trek with a trail being just 4 km long. But keep in mind that you’ll have to apply for an entry pass.

How Long Is Mullayanagiri Trek?

The Mullayanagiri Trek in Chikmagalur is a rather simple trek that would take you about 3-4 hours to complete.

What Is The Minimum Distance To Be Kept From Each Other To Avoid Covid-19?

WHO recommends keeping a distance of at least 1 meter and avoiding crowds to avoid Covid-19.

How Can One Stay Physically Active During Covid-19 Self-quarantine?

Staying at home during quarantine might tempt you to just do nothing, but a bit of physical activity can work wonders. Here’s what you can do:

Walk: Even if you’re within the confines of your house, you can still walk around the house. Just the act of standing up every 30 minutes or so can help your body.

Plan Activities With Friends/Family: Perhaps doing an activity with loved ones can make it more exciting for you. It’ll keep you healthy and also spend quality time!

Stick To A Routine: It’s easier to fall back into doing nothing, so make sure you fit exercise into your routine. You could join an online class or have reminders. Set goals for yourself and maybe treat yourself if you reach them.

What Are Some Of The Precautions Should I Take While Staying At A Hotel During The Covid-19 Pandemic?

Opt For A Covid-ready Hotel: Most hotel websites now explain the processes in which they’re keeping their premises sanitized. Only opt for such hotels and ensure that the safety norms are adhered to.

Wash Your Hands: Irrespective of where you are, the mask and sanitizer rule applies. Use a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content and wash your hands thoroughly.

Avoid Contact: As far as possible, opt for cashless transactions and avoid contact with common touchpoints like elevator buttons, doorknobs, faucets, etc. If you do, wash your hands before touching your face.

Dine In: Instead of eating at the hotel’s restaurant, opt to dine in as it reduces your exposure to other guests.

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    Guide To Trekking In Karnataka During Covid Guide To Trekking In Karnataka In 2021

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