Brief About Kudremukh Trek
Kudremukh, meaning “horse’s face” in Kannada, is a stunning trek nestled within the Western Ghats in Chikamagaluru district. Located in Kudremukh National Park, the second-largest wildlife protected area in the Western Ghats, this 6,207 ft peak is Karnataka’s third-highest after Mullayyangiri and Baba Budangiri. With diverse flora and fauna, you might even spot deer and peacocks during your trek through rolling green hills, misty valleys, grasslands, forests, and small streams.
Starting from the Mullodi Hills’ forest check post, the Kudremukh Trek is a paradise for trekkers and only 335km away from Bangalore. The trek features dense forests with water streams at every corner and is especially beautiful during and after the monsoon season when the view from the peak resembles a lush green carpet. Often referred to as India’s mini Scotland, Kudremukh offers the perfect weekend getaway from Bangalore, with its captivating natural grasslands and dense Shola forests.
As you trek through the Western Ghats, you’ll cross cascading waterfalls, narrow streams, and thick forests filled with birdsong. The breathtaking view from the peak and the chilly wind will leave you speechless. After the trek, if time permits, refresh yourself at Somavati Falls, visit the enchanting Elniru Falls, and relax by the Kalasa hanging bridge. Kudremukh is an unforgettable escape from city life, immersing you in the heart of nature.
Note: For Kudremukh trek, you’ll need to obtain permission since it’s located within the Kudremukh National Park in Karnataka’s Chikamagaluru district. The entry fee is Rs 600 per person, and keep in mind that only the first 50 individuals each day will be granted permission to trek.
Key details of the Kudremukh Trek:
- Ideal Number of Days for the Visit: 2 days and 2 nights
- Trek Distance: 10-11 km one way
- Trek Altitude Range: 6207 feet
- Starting Point: Mullodi Village
- Nearest Railway Station: Mangalore Station (108 km)
- Nearest Airport: Mangalore International Airport (98 km)
Table of Contents
Best Places to Visit & Observe during Kudremukh Trek
Kudremukh’s unique horse-face structure is visible after an hour of trekking from the forest office, with another three hours to reach that point.
As you trek through the Shola forest, a grassland and shrubland habitat in the Western Ghats, you’ll be immersed in nature, potentially spotting wildlife like deer, lion-tailed macaque, Malabar giant squirrel, leopard, and common langur.
During monsoon season, you might even find leeches at every step. Crossing numerous waterfalls and small streams on your way to the peak, you’ll sometimes need to wet your shoes.
Exiting the Shola forest, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking view of rolling green hills and misty valleys. During monsoon, the area might be entirely covered with mist, but the valleys’ hide-and-seek between clouds is a sight not to miss.
Kudremukh boasts some of the best rolling hills you’ll ever see on a trek in the Western Ghats, especially when viewed from the peak.
The final ridge walk offers mesmerizing views of valleys and mountain ranges as you’re surrounded by clouds and mist. The initial hike through evergreen forests teems with adventure as you cross water streams, encounter various trees and birds, and maybe even spot endangered and endemic species.
What is the best time to visit Kudremukh Trek
The ideal time to explore Kudremukh is from June to February, as the weather remains pleasant throughout the year in the Kalasa region.
During monsoon and winter, the trek comes alive with numerous small streams, dense Shola forests, towering bamboo shrubs, and rolling green hills. While some sections of the trek are under the open sky, it’s not recommended to trek during summer.
Embarking on the Kudremukh trek during monsoon and winter months allows you to witness the stunning beauty of lush hills and valleys at their best.
How to reach the starting point of the trek?
Kicking off the Kudremukh trek begins at Mullodi village, situated about 15 km from Kalasa.
To get there, you’ll need to first reach the Kudremukh Entrance, about 10 km from Kalasa. You can reach Kalasa by private vehicle or public transportation before heading to the Kudremukh Entrance point.
From the entrance, hire a jeep to take you to Mullodi village, where the forest office is located. Here, you’ll obtain permission to start your trek.
For those coming from Bangalore, multiple routes are available, with the best one being via Hasan.
If you prefer public transport, you can book an overnight bus to Horanadu via Kalasa on the KSRTC website. Disembark at Kalasa bus station, then take a local bus toward Balagal village, asking the conductor to drop you off at the Kudremukh Entrance. The total cost for the bus journey is around Rs 750. At the entrance point, you can hire a jeep to reach the forest office for Rs 200 per person or opt for a 5 km walk if you arrive early.
Availability of accommodations and food near the trek
Homestays at Mullodi village offer food for trekkers, but make sure to book in advance. They charge around Rs 200 for breakfast and a packed lunch.
In the monsoon season, numerous streams and waterfalls along the trail provide opportunities to refill your water bottle. If you prefer not to drink groundwater, fill up your bottle at the homestay and carry a minimum of 2 liters of water. For added peace of mind, consider bringing water purification tablets or a LifeStraw bottle to purify your water.
During your Kudremukh adventure, camping is not allowed. However, numerous homestays offer tent accommodations at the starting point. Opting for a homestay in Kalasa is an excellent choice for experiencing this destination and embarking on the trek.
The Difficulty level of the Kudremukh Trek
The Kudremukh trek is moderate in difficulty level as it covers a 10 km one-way journey. Although there are no particularly challenging sections, be mindful of a few aspects while trekking. The forest section can be slippery, so wear proper trekking shoes and use a trekking pole. Crossing small streams may be tricky due to mossy, slippery rocks.
There’s a steep 3 km ascent from the second Ontimara to the final stretch, so make sure you’re fit enough to tackle it and enjoy the view. The trail from Mullodi to Lobo’s house is easy, but the difficulty increases slightly from there to Ontimara, especially on two steep stretches. The path from Zig-Zag trail to Kudremukh peak is moderately challenging, making the overall difficulty level moderate.
Nearby Destinations you may want to explore:
- Skandagiri Hills Trek near Bangalore, Karnataka
- Makalidurga Trek near Bangalore, Karnataka
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