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Rolling green hills, clouds kissing the mountains, forest trails, bamboo shrubs and a dozen waterfalls, the Kudremukh Peak trek has it all; No wonder it is called the Himalayas of the south. The scenery keeps changing on the trek and will surely amaze anyone.
Coming under the Chikmagalur District of Karnataka, Kudremukh trek is one of the most exciting treks in this region. It is the third highest peak after Mullayanagiri and Bababudangiri. Absorb the beauty of the Western Ghats as you walk up the trail. Very few people know the fact that the Western Ghats are considered as UNESCO World Heritage Site for the natural beauty and for being an icon of environmental balance. The lush greenery of the hills can never fail to mesmerize a soul.
You’ll cross several cascading waterfalls and narrow streams, thick forests with a variety of trees, and the whistling of birds will keep you entertained all throughout. And finally, when you’ll reach the peak, the picturesque view from the top and the chilled wind will absolutely blow you out of your mind and make you numb for a few minutes, before you regain your consciousness to feel the enchanting magic of the place. So if you are bored of the city lights in Bangalore, then forget everything and join us for this weekend trek to Kudremukh and find yourself amidst nature.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Forest Department at Kudremukh presently allows only the first 50 persons (on first come first serve basis) to trek to the Kudremukh Peak in a day. This notification has been passed with a view to preserve the forests and promote eco-tourism in the region. In case we fail to obtain the permits, we’ll arrange for an alternate trek.
Day 1 – Depart for Kudremukh and Visit Elniru Falls
Start from Bangalore. Meet all your new friends and have a short ‘let’s-get-to-know-each-other’ session. Remember, as a famous saying goes, the best people are the ones you meet on the road. Our trek leaders would give you a brief orientation about the trek and discuss the itinerary for the next two days.
Visit Elniru Falls
Elniru means Sweet coconut, it is said that water is as sweet or tastes similar to coconut water. The ride to Elniru is through muddy roads and one can drive till the motorable area. Then one has to descend down a little to reach the waterfall. On the way, there comes another beautiful waterfall, which looks like wallpaper. Don’t be overwhelmed by that waterfall itself as that isn’t our destination.
Day 2 – Trek to Kudremukh
After an early grab and quick freshening up, everyone now gears up for a bumpy jeep ride to the Kudremukh Trek Base. The ride is adventurous as one crosses coffee plantations, muddy roads with waterfalls and streams as well on the way.
The trek to Kudremukh starts of the Forest Department Office after collecting the permits. The Trek needs to start off as early as 6 AM with strict policies of return time and leave no litter.
Our trek leaders shall now brief you about the entire Kudremukh Trail and certain tips on ascending and descending. We then hit the trail with our Tempo being high and with Plan The Unplanned’s traditional cheer dance.
At the beginning itself, after a few minutes of walking there will be a stream crossing. In monsoons, the flow and depth of the streams would be quiheate vy.
After the stream crossing, there is a slight ascent on a muddy path surrounded by ferns, several shrubs and lush green grass. This continues for around 1 to 1.5 km and then there comes an elevated plain and a stand-alone tree which is called Ontimara. (Lonely Tree)
On the left on Ontimara, the trail becomes flat for some time, on the right one can see the Kudremukh valley and Somavati river flowing below. The trail soon converts into a forest trail- dark shola forests with water streams. There are a lot of leeches at this point, be aware, but it’s difficult to actually avoid them. After another stream crossing, there are open meadows. It is an amazing feeling to trek through dense forests, with open meadows in between. The transition of scenery keeps the thrill till the end.
Kudremukh peak becomes visible after some point. The clouds will come closer and nearer as if to kiss and hug you. Amidst the open meadows, after further walking, there is a board by Forest Department Office stating the direction and distance (7 km) to Kudremukh peak.
After another dense patch of trees, is another stream of water, and the last water source before the peak. After stream crossing, there is a steep ascent. On the right, the view is mesmerizing, clouds passing over rolling lush green hills. Try taking few time lapse videos here. After further ascend you reach the second Ontimara.
Before reaching the Ontimara, be amazed by the Kudremukh range all around. From the Ontimara, the view on the right is enthralling- rolling vibrant green hills, full of energy passing all their energy on to you. After the Ontimara, the trail is a mix of narrow paths between dense forests, bamboo shrubs and steep ascents.
The whole of Kudremukh valley opens up after some point. The structure of the mountain and resemblance to horse can be understood and clearly seen from here. The left-most part of the mountain which resembles the face of a horse the front portion like the stomach and the top like the back of a horse. We will now climb the “horse’s back” part of the mountain and the climb is steep and zig-zag.
The zig-zag steep climb is difficult comparatively but the views encourage to keep going. In monsoon, it usually rains much, along with winds that one will feel as if the raindrops are slapping you. This part of the trail will surely give you the thrill of a monsoon trek.
After the end of the zig-zag point, pause for some time to look and appreciate how far you have come. The rolling hills, lush green and full of life, the open meadows, the grasslands everything on the trail is just perfect, why go to Scotland when you can experience this in India itself
At the end of zig zag point, there is a rock cluster with a blue arrow mark showing the direction to the peak. One the left there are some ruins which used to be a British Rest house. The last part of the trek is not a steep climb because of the shape of the mountain. It is a level walk past green fields.
At the peak, there is Forest Department Board as well showing the details of Kudremukh peak and other peaks of Kudremukh national park.
Wait sometime there to see the hills and clouds play peek-a-boo. After some time start the descent, capturing and soaking in as much as possible. Leech bites, heavy rains, gusty winds nothing can stop you conquer the peak if you really want to. Come back rejuvenated with a thousand memories, a lot of epic captures and a bunch of new friends.
Day 3 – Reach Bangalore
Reach back to Bangalore by early morning on the third day(Monday morning approx 5 a.m) after an adventurous and memorable trip with Plan The Unplanned.