Kodachadri is in Shivamogga (Shimoga) district, 1343 meters above sea level. A beatific hill abode that overlooks the panoramic Western Ghats. It is clothed with splendid evergreen forests. The place is 115 kilometers from Shivamogga town, but very near to the famous temple town of Kollur.
We started of from Bengaluru (Bangalore) in a bus to Udupi (Uduppi), another to Kollur and then one to Shivamogga and alighted at a point in the ghat called Karakatta Gate and started our trek.
The initial walk throught the forest path, listening to the music of the birds was really serene.
After walking through the plains for almost 3 hours we reached an inhabited area, with a malayali hotel there, where you can get puttu and kadala (steam cooked rice cake and chana). We gobbled up a lot and headed to climb up.
It was only a matter of time before we started feeling the heat. Initial ascend, though steep, was through the shades and was less sapping.
During a short walk a mountain side, covered with grass, almost turned gold by the shining sunlight, we caught our first glimpses of the hill top.
By evening, we reached the foothills, were there is a guest house and a couple of small houses. We booked our accomodation and rushed up to watch the sun going down.
It was indeed a race with the sun. All of us where inexplicably tired, but still managed to drag on. In the end, we managed to reach there in time, with enough time to spare to catch glimpses of the beautiful sunset.
We spent the night in the foot hills trying to setup a small campfire. Later on had a nice dinner and went to bed praying to be able to get up in time for the sun rise.
With the morning rays, the whole hill top had turned golden. This was awesome and singly worth all the effort to get up in the morning and climb uphill for the sun rise.
We spent some time in the hill top exploring different hills around the main peak.
There was a small stream of water in one corner of the foot hills. But in December, there was hardly any water in it.
The descend was swifter and easier than expected. We reached downhill by noon. Boarded the bus to Kollur, paid a visit to the famous Mookambika temple and then headed back to Bengaluru the same night.
Overall the trek was one of the hardest and most exciting I had.
Five years later, we headed again to Kollur for another trek to Kodachadri. This time we hired a tempo traveller and had a hard time sitting in the bus through the length of the journey. We took the Hassan - Belur - Mudigere - Jaipura - Sringeri - Agumbe ghats road to reach Kollur only by abt 11!
To top of this, there was some construction going on the Sowparnika river bridge on the Kollur - Shimoga road. So, we had to leave the tempo @ a parking lot in Kollur and hire a jeep (costing us abt Rs. 700 for a ride till Valur, where the tea shop is located). The jeep driver turned out to be the son of the person who runs the tea shop! So, we cud tell him to keep lunch ready for us and proceed quickly to the peak.
With a slight drizzle almost all the time and heavy showers at times, the hills were as verdant as it could be, with waterfalls erupting from all sides of the hill. It was extremely misty by the time we reached up, with visibility as low as abt 100m. It was a completely different feel to be here during the monsoon with so much of greenery, water and mist! Even water drops and spider webs looked beautiful! Also, its a lot easier to scale the peak in this cool weather!
The conclusions from the two trips were:
All this makes it one of easiest treks to plan. Well .. I'd luv to go there again ... whatever be the time of the year!
- Kodachadri is a good place to go ... winter or summer or monsoon!
- Public transport may be a better idea to reach Kollur (guess, there are direct buses plying to Kollur from Bengaluru).
- No need to worry about food and shelter, since its always available in the form of the Malayali hotel in Valur, PWD resthouse near the peak and the other numerous small houses nearby.
- If u cant walk, u can cover a good distance of the trek in a jeep :)