An endeavored trekking feat: Kodachadri Hills

I had been off the blog, since a while. Busy with some other stuff. So, I decided to make a comeback with a travelogue post, about my recent trip to Karnataka. So……..Welcome back readers!! Hope you enjoy reading.

Viewpoint from the Moolasthan

Kodachadri hills, also known as Kudajadri or Kodajadri, is the 10th highest peak of Karnataka state in the western ghats of South India. Its peak crowns at 1.3 km above sea level and forms the background for the famous Kollur Mookambika temple. It’s a wonderful adventure right from the Jeep ride to trekking uphill. This is a complete walk through of my journey from Mookambika to Kodachadri hilltop.

Panoramic view from one of the viewpoints en-route the peak

In the morning, we went to seek the blessings of Mookambika Devi at Kollur, had lunch there and after a short nap at the hotel room we set for the adventure at around 3 in the noon. The climate was pleasant and due to the thick forest cover around, the harsh sun didn’t really matter. Kodachadri is located around 38 km from the temple and jeep is the only mode of transport to reach the hilltop! Why? You will be answered in a while. The jeep carries 8 people with Rs. 350 per head. If you have a huge group you can book the entire Jeep for a reasonable amount. Otherwise, you have to wait till the Jeep gets it’s 8 seats. If you are lucky enough, like us, you don’t have to wait, because we were the last 4 seats! Leaving the temple behind, the journey started, riding through the edgy ghats and 180-degree curves. After the one hour ride on smooth asphalt roads, we took a tea break at Nittur, 15 km from Kodachadri. We were in a question as to why only jeeps are allowed at the peak as the roads didn’t seem that tough for other vehicles. All the myths were broken to pieces in the next 15 km.

On the way to the peak

Leaving Nittur, we reached the foothill of Kodachadri, which is the check post of forest department, as the entire region comes under Karnataka Forest Reserve. A nominal amount of Rs. 25 per head is collected at the post, and then we move forward to the real adventure ride.

Jeep ride through the rocky paths

Raw direct-cut Rocky paths, with hairpin curves and steep gradients, lead you uphill. I’m referring the roads as “paths” because the way uphill is just a rough trail, gradually sloping at a ratio of 1:3. It’s a crazy bumpy ride, good enough to raise your adrenaline levels. That day I got to know the real power of a Jeep! It just Rams in like a powerful beast. Alternately, If you own a powerful bike of nothing less than 500cc and is an experienced rider, you can try your luck riding uphill.

The path leading to the peak is actually rivulets of water

After 30 minutes of roller coaster ride, we reached the Moolasthaan, which is the endpoint for vehicles. From here, we have to walk and climb the rest 3 km, to witness the peak. The trekking level is moderate to high depending on your fitness. On an average, it’s a nasty high calorie-burn climb. The paths are actually rivulets of a water stream, probably created by the flowing water in monsoons. The climb has several viewpoints and the mesmerizing scenery is sure to keep your energies high. On the way, you can also witness a Ganapati temple inside a rock-cut cave.

The Ganapati temple, inside a cave

The trek finally ends at the peak which also houses a temple of Adi Shankara, who was believed to meditate here. The peak has some cool light breezes and one can also observe the foggy clouds passing through. The heavenly views will cherish in your minds forever. After a quick photography session, we had to rush down as the same jeep will take you back, after a waiting time of 1 and half hour. So you are expected to climb up, enjoy and come down in that stipulated time period. Staying back at night and camp fires are strictly not allowed. However, you can talk with the temple priest to arrange for an accommodation, if you want to stay back.

The Kodachadri peak and the temple of Adi Shankara

The Jeep took us back swiftly, riding down furiously with power along the crooked paths. We reached the hotel around 7 pm, thus concluding the journey.

View from the peak

I would recommend each and everyone to visit this peak at least once. Apart from the blessings of Mookambika Devi, you can also live and cherish the adventurous journey. So next time, if you are somewhere around Mangalore or Udupi, be sure mark the Kodachadri hills in your list.

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An endeavored trekki…

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