Karnataka is a trekker’s paradise, with over 200 trekking destinations in and around Bangalore. With lush green forests, picturesque mountains, and natural splendour, each trek in Karnataka is a unique experience. Plus, the pleasant weather makes it perfect for trekking throughout the year.
But the real thrill lies in the night trips you can take in Karnataka trekking, amidst the splendid natural beauty. It’s the perfect way to relieve yourself of stress and tension. So, if you want to embark on a journey to majestic peaks with streaming waterfalls, dense forests, and crisscrossed trails, Karnataka is the perfect getaway for you.
And if you are looking for the best treks in Karnataka, then look no further! As the monsoon season swings in, we have curated 10 of the best trekking places in Karnataka that you can do on your own this monsoon. From famous trails to relatively less traversed ones, these treks offer you the essence of the monsoon season in their unique way. So, pack your bags and get ready to relish a perfect blend of serenity and tranquillity in the lap of nature!
So lets explore the 11 best trekking places in Karnataka:
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Coorg, a paradise for nature lovers, boasts of many hidden treasures, one of which is the Kumara Parvatha (5,617 feet) – the second-highest peak in Coorg and the sixth in Karnataka. With rugged trails, the Kumara Parvatha trekking experience is full of adventure and delight.
Located in the Western Ghats, the Kumara Parvatha trek offers stunning natural beauty, taking you through dense forested land, rock climbing over huge volcanic rocks, and encountering strange flora and fauna unique to tropical hills. The trek spans 22 kilometers and typically takes two days to complete, offering a thrilling mix of thick forests, expansive grasslands, and even a waterfall. Climbing up to more than 1,700 meters, it’s best suited for intermediate to experienced trekkers.
So, if you’re planning a trekking vacation and looking for a trail that delivers luxuriant greenery, beautiful weather, and a rewarding vista at the top, Kumara Parvatha is the perfect destination for you. The vista that awaits you at the top is truly breathtaking, with a clear blue sky and an ocean of cotton candy clouds that will wipe away all the fatigue and strain of the climb.
Kudremukh Trek is a stunning trek located in the Western Ghats in the Chikamagaluru district. The trek starts from Mullodi Hills’ forest check post and features dense forests, grasslands, small streams and is especially beautiful during the monsoon season.
Kudremukh offers the perfect weekend getaway from Bangalore, with its captivating natural beauty and dense Shola forests. It is Karnataka’s third-highest peak and is often referred to as India’s mini Scotland.
The trek is a paradise for trekkers, and the peak offers diverse flora and fauna, where you might even spot deer and peacocks during your trek.
However, forest permission has changed for the Kudremukh trek, and only 50 participants are allowed in the mountain range per day. Although they try their best to gain permission, sometimes they do not get permission from the forest department. The decision of acceptance and rejection from the Department of Forest happens at the start point check post of the trek based on the count.
The Tadiandamol trek, located in the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, is a thrilling experience. The highest peak in Coorg and the second highest in Karnataka, it offers gentle slopes, grassy terrain, and a serene atmosphere. It spans about 7 km one way and is a popular adventure in Kodagu, easily completed in a day.
The trek offers breathtaking views of the Shola forest range and valleys, and the region boasts the Padi Igguthappa Temple and the Nalaknad Palace. The Tadiandamol trek is a favorite among both beginners and experienced trekkers in Southern India.
The Honey Valley route is the most popular and easy trek. It takes you through the raw beauty of Tadiandamol hills, Shola forests, abundant green grasslands, and streams. Though rated as a moderate trek, it can test your endurance, and fit beginners can give it a shot with proper planning.
Skandagiri Hills is a popular trekking destination located in Kalavara Halli village, Karnataka, and just 60 km from Bengaluru. It is also known as Kalavara Durga and is one of the prominent among the “Panchagiris” in Chikballapur district.
The Skandagiri night trek covers 8 km along lush greenery and rocky terrains, with shared transfers available from various locations in Bangalore for a hassle-free trip. The trek takes around 5 hours to complete, with 2 hours of ascent, 2 hours of descent, and an hour’s break at the summit.
The trek starts from Papagni Mutt, at the foothills of Skandagiri, which is one of Karnataka’s oldest mutts. The trail leads to the ruins of a fort dating back to the 18th century, which was used as a stronghold by Tipu Sultan to fight against the British. The top of Skandagiri offers a panoramic view of the neighboring hills, making it a sight to behold. The trek is ideal for first-time trekkers as well as seasoned ones and can be completed year-round, with the winter and monsoon seasons being the best times to visit.
The Skandagiri night trek is a unique experience that starts after sunset and continues until sunrise. The trek provides an opportunity to explore the wilderness during the night and stargaze. The sunrise view from the misty clouds and greenery around makes it a one-of-a-kind experience. While summer trekking is also an option, it is suggested to avoid it due to the hot and humid weather. Overall, Skandagiri Hills is an enthralling experience and a must-visit destination for trekking enthusiasts.
Makalidurga Trek, located near Bangalore, is a popular trekking destination that starts from a railway station and leads to a temple devoted to Muthurayaswamy. The trek is about three and a half kilometers and is known for its thrilling rocky trails and boulders. The fort on top of the hill has a rich history that dates back to the 1600s when it was used by the Vijaynagara Empire to train their army.
The highlight of the trek is the view of the Gundamagere Lake from the top. The Makali Malleshwara temple, Shiva, and Nandi are still worshipped, and you can explore the ruins of Garuda Gamb, Basava, and Shiva Linga idols. The trek is of medium to difficult level and should take approximately three hours to complete.
Makalidurga has a rich history and is full of legends, and the fort was even used by Shahaji Bhosale, father of Chhatrapati Shivaji, the ruler of Doddaballapur in Karnataka. The trek is suitable for both beginners and experienced trekkers and is a perfect weekend getaway destination.
The Savandurga trek is an adventure that takes you to the top of Asia’s largest monolith hill. The trail is known for its challenging climb and amazing views of Magadi, Manchabele, and Thippagondanahalli reservoirs, and Arkavathi river. The trek is a year-round activity, except during the monsoon season.
There are two routes to reach Savandurga: the Mysore road and the Nayandahalli road. The latter is more scenic and passes through picturesque green countryside. At the base of the hill, there are two temples: the Savandi Veerabhadraswamy temple and Sree Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy temple. The temples date back to 1340 AD and attract devotees from various parts of Karnataka.
The hill cluster consists of Karigudda (Black hill) and Biligudda (White hill), and it has a rich history of changing hands between different rulers. The fort on top of the hill was erected in 1543 by Samanta Raya, and during the Anglo-Mysore Wars of the late 18th century, it was deemed impregnable until the British troops successfully captured it in 1791. The name Savandurga has various origins, including the theory that it came from the hill being referred to as Savandi in 1340 AD by Hoysala Ballala III.
Kodachadri is a mountain peak in Shimoga district, Karnataka, with an elevation of 5735 ft above sea level. It’s the 10th highest peak in Karnataka, located 20 km away from Kollur, famous for its Mookambika temple. The best time to visit is from September to February when the weather is favorable. You can trek the entire trail from the base, which is 15 km, or take a jeep ride to a convenient spot and trek from there.
The Kodachadri trek takes you through dense forests, water streams, and Hidlumane Falls to a small temple and the base of the mountain. You can take a jeep ride to the base of the mountain for a bumpy off-roading experience. The lush grasslands and hills encircling the peak create an awe-inspiring landscape. Along the way, you’ll encounter a historic temple believed to be thousands of years old, visited by the philosopher Adi Shankara.
Jeep rides to Kodachadri are available directly from Kollur for around 3000 Rs. Jeeps charge 400-500 Rs per person on a sharing basis, and around 1500-2000 Rs for a dedicated jeep. The best time to embark on this adventure is between September and February, when the weather is pleasant and safe. Kodachadri offers a rare blend of adventure and history that’s hard to find in the Western Ghats of Karnataka.
The Ballalarayana Durga Fort and Bandaje Arbi Trek in Karnataka is a must-visit destination for adventurers who seek untouched beauty. The waterfall is located in a remote area of the Western Ghats and can be reached only by undertaking trekking in thick forests and grasslands with the help of local guides.
The trek to the waterfall is a difficult one, with two different routes to reach the falls. It is not advisable to visit the waterfall during the rainy season as not only do the rocky surface gets slippery but one can also face a lot of leeches and other insects as well.
Built by the Hoysala Empire in the 12th century, Ballalrayanadurga is a secluded fort atop a dense forest, offering breathtaking views and vibrant sunsets at 5,000 feet. This historically significant fort is also a popular trekking destination. The trekking adventure combines the captivating charm of a 17th-century abandoned fort and the exhilarating sight of a waterfall cascading from a thousand feet. Perfect for both beginners and experienced trekkers, this monsoon favorite trek offers a thrilling experience for those who venture into its pristine landscapes.
The best time to visit the waterfall is the post-monsoon season, and there is no arrangement for tourists to stay near the falls. However, the natural site offers enough space for everyone to enjoy a camping adventure. One can camp overnight next to the waterfalls and gaze at billions of twinkling stars throughout the night. The trek becomes all the more difficult and the streams are also hard to cross during the rainy season.
The Ettina Bhuja trek is a unique and challenging experience through the Western Ghats. It is a great option for all types of travelers, whether you are a seasoned trekker or just starting out. The trek takes around 1 1/2 hours and involves climbing 70 degrees of slope, and it’s essential to have a lot of stamina and the capacity to endure the climb’s altitude. The summit is accessible all year round, and it’s a great vacation for families.
The journey to Ettina Bhuja is a delight for any adventurer and offers a blend of natural beauty and adventure. The trek offers plenty of greenery along its stretches, making it a great way to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The peak offers beautiful sunset views, and the rocky peak is windy, but the climb leaves one with a tremendous sense of achievement.
Ettina Bhuja is not the tallest peak in Charmadi Ghats, but it’s a hidden gem and a must-visit for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. It is easily accessible and the route is well-mapped, making it one of the best trekking options for beginners. The peak is surrounded by tall trees, breathtaking views, and stunning natural surroundings, which make the journey up the hill tiring, but rewarding.
10: Ramanagara Trek, Bangalore
Ramanagara is another popular trekking destination in Karnataka, known for its scenic beauty and various adventures in the midst of nature. It is situated in a valley surrounded by rocky hillocks and is spread across either banks of the Arkavati river.
The town has a rich history dating back to the 1800s, with various temples and shrines, including the Arkeshwara temple, which is said to have been renovated by Krishnaraja Wodeyar III. The reserve forest ranging to Magadi is also a highlight of the area, with sightings of vultures, different birds, and rare sightings of Indian bear and leopards.
Night treks through the hills of Ramnagara offer an unforgettable experience, with mesmerizing views of the stars above and the bonfire providing warmth in the cold night. It is also possible to experience Night Rappelling, a thrilling adventure that is sure to satisfy any adventurous spirit. A 4-5 km trek amidst the lush greenery of the area is a peaceful way to connect with nature, and the rocky terrain of Ramanagara is perfect for a range of adventures.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Which is the best trek in Maharashtra?
The best trekking place in Karnataka is a subjective question and choices may vary. Although as per my experience, Kumara Parvatha, Tadiandamol and Kudremukh Trek are the best options.
Which are the toughest treks in Maharashtra?
Kumara Parvatha is the most challenging trek in the Western Ghats and the 4th highest peak in Karnataka. The trek covers a distance of around 25 kilometres and is usually done over 2 days. The views along the route are breathtaking, and Bhattaramane enroute the trek path is good for the tired legs.
Which trek is best for beginners?
Skandagiri, Nandi Hills, and MakaliDurga are some of the popular and easiest trekking destinations in Karnataka.