In all their grandeur, the Western Ghats Kodachadri, the tenth highest peak in the state, is nestled deep in the Western Ghats in the Shimoga district and is home to lush green jungle paths through dense tropical forests, gorgeous waterfalls, and fascinating landscapes.
It is located in the Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary and serves as a beautiful background to the Moola Mookambika Temple, which is said to be the birthplace of Goddess Mookambika. Seeing the sunset over the Arabian Sea from its peak is a magical experience; it’s a rare combination of mountain and ocean that only a few peaks in the country can claim.
A GLANCE AT THE KODACHADRI TREK
Shimoga District, Karnataka, near Kollur
The Kodachadri Trek is approximately 14 kilometers long (via Hidlumane Falls)
Dense Tropical Rainforests, waterfalls, meadows, and cliffs characterize this trail.
Kodachadri Peak seems to be at a distance of 1,343 metres high
Moderate difficulty (No prior experience required). The numerous Kodachadri Peak hike routes. There are primarily three trails to the peak, with a few others that are less well-traveled. The one via Hidlumane Falls, which starts at either Sampekatte or Marakuttaka, is the most popular as well as the most difficult.
This trek is high and rugged, requiring you to walk through dense forests, moderate streams, and climb a waterfall, which becomes a whole different game during the rainy season. Despite the challenges, the trip to the top is one you’ll remember and be proud of as you’re transported to another planet, complete with breathtaking landscapes, unspoiled forests, and difficult climbs around every bend.
How to reach
Private vehicles can readily access the little settlement that houses the hotel, from where one may begin their journey to the top, which takes around 4-5 hours.
The third trail is a jeep route and is the longest of the three and is one which you’ll be taking on your descent from Kodachadri if you happen to opt for a jeep. On this trail, navigating across uprooted trees was a typical occurrence.
The alternative track, which goes from Karakatte to Valur through Santhosh Hotel, is a little simpler (Trek Route 2 in the image above). Private vehicles may easily drive up to the little town where the hotel is located, and from there, one can begin their hike to the peak, which takes around 4-5 hours.
The third track, which is a jeep route and is the longest of the three, is the one you’ll be traveling if you choose to descend from Kodachadri by jeep. The Moola Mukambika temple, which also houses a PWD guest house and a couple of homestays, serves as a significant landmark for all three paths.
TREK OF THE KODACHADRI (via HIDLUMANE FALLS)
The trail via Hidlumane Falls is the one that the Plan Unplanned team, including myself, took on our journey to Kodachadri in May 2018, and it is the one that I will be concentrating on. There are primarily five milestones to look out for on this journey, as outlined by our trek leader, Jatin, who also happens to be one of PTU’s founders.
The first is an open meadow that appears out of nowhere in the middle of dense forest trails. The trail eventually comes up to a house, where the fatigued trekkers will be greeted with a small surprise. The difficult part of the voyage, spoiler alert, begins right here.
The second is the much-anticipated Hidlumane Falls. Which consists of a series of seven waterfalls, each of which is an adventure in and of itself. Your efforts, however, are rewarded with breathtaking views of the main waterfall. Which cascades down from a height of roughly 60 feet. The sensation of pure water cascading over your fatigued bodies was, to put it mildly, therapeutic. Refill your water bottle.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT
The walk to Kodachadri may be done at any time of year, and each season has its appeal. The monsoon or post-monsoon season, on the other hand, is popular because the landscapes here come alive with greenery. However, strong rains and the inclement weather in Kodachadri can make crossing the waterfalls much more difficult, and trekking here becomes more arduous.
To Conclude, The Kodachadri Trek takes you through a charming village. Setting with paddy fields, and a waterfall that will make your knees weak. Along with this, the lush grasslands and hills that surround the peak are breathtaking.