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Kodachadri Trek: Everything you need to know about!

Why should you go for Kodachadri trek?

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If you have checked out with your trek loving friends in Bangalore, they would have surely bragged about a place called Kodachadri. Our trekkers loved this place so much that many people who did Kodachadri trek changed their definition of their favorite trek. That begs one question – what is so special about Kodachadri trek?

Here are are the top 3 reasons to book Kodachadri trek package:

  • Simply because it is one of the most beautiful treks in South India. In terms of sheer natural beauty, Kodachadri competes with another fantastic place in western ghats called Kudremukh.
  • Kodachadri is the only trek where you need not trek back. Yes you read it right. We can actually return by an off-road jeep ride. It is very unique for Kodachadri because there is a broken mud road where only 4×4 jeeps can commute.
  • Having the luxury of traveling back by jeep means:
    1. Trekkers can take their sweet time to hike up the mountain. Your trek-lead will not push you too much, except for occasional pep talk.
    2. Trekkers can enjoy the amazing sunset that Kodachadri is famous for (in winters and summers).

We do not have this advantage for other treks in Karnataka because everywhere else, trekkers have to return to base before night falls. This means people have to start trekking back early enough. Once it is dark, you wouldn’t want to be outside there in western ghats, for they are famous for their snakes and other wild animals.

Things to expect on the Kodachadri trek

  • How do you feel if someone tells you there is a wonderful waterfall almost halfway through the trek, where you can take a relaxing dip (become a water baby), recharge your battery, and continue trekking up? Well, this is another unique feature of Kodachadri trek via Hidlumane waterfalls. Sounds fascinating, isn’t it? It will be even more thrilling when you are actually part of the trek.
  • Bonus trip to Malpe beach adjacent to Udupi town on Day 2. 
  • Only one-way trek. Jeep ride while returning (as explained in the above section).
  • Lush green forest and mountains irrespective of the season. That’s why it is so beautiful. 
  • A thrilling ridge walk during the trek where you can see a huge mountain dip going deep into the valley.
  • Many people will be there at the top, even non-trekkers coming by jeeps.
  • A fantastic sunset during sunny days.
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Geography

Kodachadri is located in the heart of western ghats at a distance of 414 Km from Bangalore. It is also very close to the west coast. We take this as an advantage to visiting Malpe Beach on Day 2 which is adjacent to Udupi town on the Konkan coast.

Kodachadri falls under the Shimoga district of Karnataka which is also home to another extraordinary place called the Agumbe rainforest.

All the mountain areas in Karnataka are logically named as a region called Malenadu. You would have heard this name from your Kannada friends. There is a famous song (actually there are many songs) describing its unique culture, beauty, and food. Watch it on Youtube here.

Kodachadri trek experience with Muddies

After the early morning hues and freshening up at our forest homestay, we will start our journey to a small village called Sampekatte nestled in the mountains, at the base of Kodachadri hill. A set of safety instructions will be given by our trek-leader(s) during the journey. After greeting our jeep driver, who will come to the top to pick us later in the evening, we shall meet our forest guide and start the trek from the forest department check post. The trek passes through a dense forest cover with huge trees. The Locus and other insects keep making loud screechy noises as we hike up.

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After a couple of hours of trek, you will reach super fresh Hidlumane waterfalls. It’s a ritual for trekkers to shed inhibitions and take a chilling dip in this fresh mountain water. You can expect some leeches during monsoon months, like anywhere in western ghats, but that doesn’t stop us from enjoying this beautiful setting in the dense jungle. The result of playing in the water – we are extremely hungry. We will open our Lunch packets at a cliff close to the falls and savor our food.

After waterfalls, nature starts opening up as we catch up some altitude. Surprisingly, we will encounter lush green farmland in the middle of the forest accompanied by plenty of Banana plantations which probably belong to local forest/temple authorities. As we continue our trek to the peak, it’s time to witness the true glory of mother nature and relish a precious natural setting. You will get to see numerous hills, valleys, grasslands, and birds-eye views of the surrounding forest. As we near the summit, a special attraction welcomes trekkers – a ridge walk where one side is the giant mountain and the other side is a deep valley.

You will get to see colorful patches of Jasmine plants at the top. Kodachadri is also called “Jasmine of Hills” because of this phenomenon. A noteworthy place called “Sarvajna Peetha” (kind of a temple) is located close to the peak where Sree Adi Shankaracharya performed meditation. Late evening, we will head to the famous sunset point of Kodachadri overlooking deep valleys. Barring monsoons, sunsets are very clear and peaceful over here. If lucky, you will get to witness a deep red Sun setting into a thick cloud bed. On an extremely clear day, people can even spot the Arabian Sea from this point. The sunset experience would also give your body a much-needed break and relaxing time for the mind.

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By now, a call would have gone to our jeep driver who will drive uphill to pick us. We will walk for 30 mins to the jeep point. The ride is so bumpy, it’s not recommended for very old citizens or people with back pains. The ease at which jeep drivers turn their steering and change gears on tough trails feels crazy. Nevertheless, it’s an enjoyable ride in the evening chill after a tiring trek.

You will alight the jeep, board our shuttle, and move back towards homestay with the remarkable memories of the Kodachadri trek.

The all-important: Stay

Our homestay is about an hour ahead of the Kodachadri base, deep in the rainforest. The village vibes you get here are just unparalleled. We deserve not just a lovely stay, but lovely hosts also. Isn’t it? We got this covered. Along with giving a warm reception, the hosts will also serve tasty and edible Malnad style food. As always, we have different spaces for men and women. In this case, the ground floor belongs to the guys and the first floor belongs to the girls. There are common washrooms in our home which are well maintained. We also have a few tents. Based on the request, we will arrange camping by pitching tents in front of the homestay. Being true localities, the hosts have been living here for generations, so it is completely safe and secure for travelers.

Since it is located close to the forest without any light pollution, having a campfire under the cold night sky with plenty of stars gives an amazing experience here. The place makes you want more of it, especially because it doesn’t pull any carrier signal except for BSNL. When you are ready to check-out of the homestay on Day 2, the place tempts you so much that you will find it hard to leave. However, we have no choice but to continue following our Kodachadri itinerary towards Malpe Beach or Nagara Fort.

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Kodachadri in different seasons

  • Monsoons:
    Being in the heart of western ghats, the months of June to September bring plenty of rains to Kodachadri. Thick clouds, intermittent rains, and leeches constantly accompany trekkers. There will be lots of water in Hidlumane waterfalls. Monsoon trek to Kodachadri is indeed famous among trekkers as it poses a different kind of experience. Our itinerary involves visiting Malpe Beach on Day 2. However, it’s not the season to play in the Sea. Hence, we usually explore Nagara Fort which turns very beautiful in these months with a green carpet of grass, visit rainforest water pools that are active in this season and then head to the beach town to chill out. This is the best time to visit Kodachadri as there are more places to explore.
  • Winter:
    Months from October to January attract plenty of trekkers. The rains would have reduced and landscapes would have turned slightly misty. There is a good amount of water at Hidlumane to play. The sunsets are usually pretty. The weather is mostly pleasant to climb during the day. Cold evenings and colder nights are the new normal. Malpe Beach gets colorful with lots of tourists. Watersports and Saint Mary’s Island may be opened based on Sea conditions which are added attractions. This is probably the best time for Kodachadri trek.
  • Summer:
    February to May offers clear views and amazing sunsets. The climate will be warm but still good enough for trekking as Kodachadri has a thick Shola forest. Hidlumane waterfall has enough water to take a refreshing dip. Great time to indulge in plenty of watersports and take a ferry ride to Saint Mary’s Island at Malpe Beach. Hot Sun and refreshing Beach are a perfect match.
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10 Interesting facts about Kodachadri

  1. Kodachadri of Sanskrit is translated as “Jasmine of Hills”.
  2. The altitude of Kodachadri is 1343 meters above Sea level. That’s about 4400 feet. It is the 10th highest peak of Karnataka.
  3. It is situated in the heart of Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary with plenty of biodiversities. The forests are home to Malabar Langur, Rock Python, King Cobra, Hornbill, Spotted Deer, Leopards, etc.
  4. Kodachadri trek distance is 11 km one way. Trekkers usually avail Jeep while returning.
  5. It is the only trek blessed with gushing waterfalls in its route named Hidlumane waterfalls.
  6. Kodachadri trek difficulty level is classified as “Moderate”. People with basic fitness levels can attempt this trek.
  7. It is famous for its beautiful sunset in the winters and summers. The Arabian Sea can be spotted on clear days.
  8. Kodachadri is covered by the Shola forest which is typical to western ghats. They are dense and green most of the year. 
  9. The stones found in these hills have magnetic properties with good content of Iron Ore Zinc and Manganese.
  10. Kodachadri is a trek for all seasons which is indeed special when compared with other mountains.

Check out about this Kodachadri Trek & Malpe Beach Experience!

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