Brief About Kodachadri Trek
Nestled in the heart of the Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary, Kodachadri is a breathtaking trekking destination in Karnataka’s Shimoga district. This memorable trek offers a mix of quaint village settings, paddy fields, dense forests, stunning grasslands, and a jaw-dropping waterfall. The lush grasslands and hills encircling the peak create an awe-inspiring landscape.
As you trek through Kodachadri, you’ll also encounter a historic temple believed to be thousands of years old. This spot, rich with history and mythology, was once visited by the renowned philosopher Adi Shankara, who meditated at the peak. With stories dating back to the 7th century AD, Kodachadri offers a rare blend of adventure and history that’s hard to find in the Western Ghats of Karnataka.
Easily accessible for first-time and experienced trekkers alike, the best time to embark on this adventure is between September and February, when the weather is both pleasant and safe. The trek begins at the base, 15 km from the starting point, or you can take a jeep to a convenient spot and trek from there. Whatever your choice, Kodachadri promises a captivating experience you won’t forget!
Key details of the Kodachadri Trek:
- Ideal Number of Days for the Visit: 1-2 days depending on your choice of trek
- Trek Distance: 19.5 km one way from Nittur (5 km if you take a Jeep till Hidlumane)
- Trek Altitude Range: 5735 feet
- Starting Point: Nittur Village
- Nearest Railway Station: Kundapura Railway Station (70 km)
- Nearest Airport: Mangalore International Airport (170 km)
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Best Places to Visit during Kodachadri Trek
The Kodachadri Trek is renowned for its mesmerizing rolling green hills that stretch as far as the eye can see. The various shades of green, combined with the dramatic clouds and mist, create a thrilling experience. A highlight of this trek is the Hidlumane Waterfalls, a series of seven cascading falls that offer a unique sight not seen on other treks.
This trek is also steeped in mythology and legends, with the Mookambika Temple at the peak drawing both trekkers and pilgrims alike. This stone temple is dedicated to Goddess Mookambika and Adi Shankara, who meditated at the peak during the 7th century AD. Trekking through the dense Shola forests of the Western Ghats within the Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary is a sensational experience, with diverse flora and fauna to explore.
After completing the Kodachadri Trek, don’t miss visiting the sacred Mookambika Temple in Kollur, situated on the southern bank of the Souparnika River. This is also the closest town to catch a return bus to Bangalore. If you have your own vehicle, consider a trip to the historic Nagara Fort in the Shimoga district, 30 km from Nittur and towards Shimoga, where you’ll find a palace, two tanks, and a cannon atop a hill within the fort.
What is the best time to visit Kodachadri Trek
The ideal time to embark on the Kodachadri Trek is between October and February, during the post-monsoon and winter seasons. During this time, you’ll be able to appreciate the region’s lush greenery at its finest, while the winter months offer clearer views compared to the monsoon season. Trekking is also possible during the summer, although the landscape will feature more brown shades once you leave the forest section for the grasslands.
If you’re up for the challenge of trekking during the monsoon season, be prepared for heavy rainfall and increased difficulty. Make sure you have the right gear and trek with someone experienced in navigating these conditions. Recognized as a heritage site by the government of Karnataka, the Kodachadri Trek is truly a must-visit destination. Between September and January, you can witness the peak’s mesmerizing beauty, surrounded by lush landscapes and dotted with temples worth visiting along your journey.
How to reach the starting point of the trek?
Reaching Kodachadri’s base village, Nittur, is a breeze when traveling from Bangalore.
Direct buses are available from Bangalore (Majestic/Anand Rao Circle) to Nittur, passing through Shivamoga. If you prefer not to trek, there’s an option to take a jeep from Nittur to the PWD Guest House, but be aware that the roads are rough and only suitable for jeeps.
For those driving from Bangalore to Nittur or Kattinahole, follow the Bangalore-Mumbai highway, NH48, and pass through Tumkur and Hiriyur. At Hiriyur, turn left onto the SH24 state highway, which leads to Shimoga. After Tarikere, you can choose between going through Shimoga city or taking the scenic route around Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Shimoga route is faster, but the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary route offers more greenery and picturesque views. From Shimoga, head to Nagara, and then you’ll be just half an hour away from Nittur. Depending on your preferred starting point, you can proceed to either Kattinahole or Marakutaka.
Availability of accommodations and food near the trek
Food-wise, it’s best to bring packed meals in tiffin boxes for breakfast and lunch, as hotels and eateries in Nittur may not be open early in the morning. If you arrive later, you can grab a quick bite at Hotel Santosh before starting the trek. For dinner, if you’re not staying at Bhattra Mane or the PWD Guesthouse, make sure to plan ahead since there are no other food sources on the trek. If you stay at Bhattara Mane, inform Seetharam Ji in advance, and he’ll arrange basic vegetarian meals for you.
For accommodation, consider staying at a homestay in Nagodi or Nittur, which makes trekking during the monsoon easier. If you prefer to stay overnight on the trek, your best options are the PWD Guest House or Bhattara Mane. To book the PWD Guest House, make reservations in advance through the Karnataka Tourism Department.
The Difficulty level of the Kodachadri Trek
The Kodachadri trek ranges from moderate to easy-moderate difficulty, depending on the route you choose. Trekking from Nittur/Marakutuka to Vallur will test your endurance, with challenging sections like the Hidlumane Falls, featuring slippery terrain. However, taking the route from or to Nittur via Hidlumane Falls makes it an easier trek, covering approximately 19.5 km one way.
Two sections contribute to the trek’s moderate difficulty: the stretch from Hidlumane’s last hut to the main track, which is rocky and slippery, and the forest section, which can be tricky due to mist and fog, increasing the chances of taking a wrong turn. To stay safe, wear proper trekking shoes, use a trekking pole, and download the GPX file. Keep in mind that evacuation could take longer in case of injuries or accidents. If you’re a beginner, consider taking a jeep and trekking only the last 5 km for an easier experience.
Is Camping Allowed On Kodachadri Trek?
Camping on the peak is not allowed since it’s located within the Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary the forest department banned it after 2015. But don’t worry, if you have your own tents, you can still camp near Bhattara Mane or at a clearing below the jeep tracks.
Nearby Destinations you may want to explore:
- Tadiandamol Trek in Coorg, Karnataka
- Bandaje Falls Trek via Ballarayana Durga Fort, Karnataka
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