Kodachadri, an attractive trekking route since time immemorial, is the thirteenth highest peak in Karnataka. Mankind has left their mark here from prehistoric times in the form of menhirs, monolithic rock structures that can be found 20 km from Nagara-nilsakal. Situated in the Shimoga district, Kodachadri forms the perfect background for Mookambika temple. The hill is enveloped in shola forests and is home to a number of endemic animals, many of which are threatened. It is designated as a natural heritage site by the Karnataka Government. Embark on a near spiritual journey to the top under the dark-green canopies. At the top, you will find yourself with your head in the cloud and the entire stretch of the Western Ghats to greet you. This is one of the few places that have perfectly blended the beauty of both sea and hills. The trail will take you past Sri Sarvajna Peetha, where Adi Sankaracharya is said to have meditated. Another trail will take you past the Hidlumane falls. It is a combination of seven waterfalls and the highest falls from a height of 50-60 ft. This hill has everything from dense forests to open grasslands. The magnificent view of the sun setting in the Arabian sea is even more splendid than the lovely forest trails which will lead up to the sunset point. Take a weekend off your busy life and enjoy the beauty that is Kodachadri.
Kodachadri is known as the Jasmine of the hill as it is home to the kutaja flowers. There are many routes leading up to the peak. The difficulty level varies depending on which route you chose. The road that leads to the hotel Santosh is a narrow muddy road. From this point it takes about 4-5 hours to reach the top. The road ascends through dense jungles and open grasslands and finally reaches the Sri Sarvajna Peetha. You can set up your camp here and spend the night under the stars. But you would require prior permission from the forest department. The entire Kodachadri falls in the Mookambika National Park. You can chance upon animals such as Malabar langur, Malabar pied hornbill, Malabar grey hornbill, paradise flycatcher, Indian tiger, leopard, Indian elephant, hyena, gaur, Indian rock python and many more. The second route begins at Marakuttaka. A mud road takes you through thick forests and flowing streams. It crosses two villages: Yemmeonda and Hidlumane. A house marks the end of this route after crossing numerous paddy fields. From this house, a slippery road ascends to the Hidlumane falls. This fall is made up of seven sister waterfalls. It is a bit tricky to climb after the second waterfall as the trail fades after this.
This is the highest peak in the Shimoga district with the best view of the Western Ghats. The highest point reaches up to 4,406 ft high.
Kodachadri is in its most beautiful during the months of September to February. At this time of the year, the weather is perfect for trekking and the forest livelier than ever.
By Air: The nearest airport is Mangalore airport. There are many trains from Mangalore to Kollur. Kollur is the base of Kodachadri. Mangalore is 128 km away from Kollur.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is Shimoga. Shimoga is about 127 km away from Kollur and can be reached by bus or taxi.
By Road: Kollur is connected by buses to major cities like Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai. Local buses are available from Kundapur, which is 50 km away.
Is There Any Possibility Of Altitude Sickness?
As it is not a high altitude trek it is unlikely to get altitude sickness. But prior attention to fitness is always advised before embarking on this trek.
There is a hotel Santosh en route the peak. The trail that winds its way to the top begins from behind the hotel. A few other guest house and homestays are available near this hotel. Refreshments and accommodation are available here.
It is the busiest during the peak time from September to February.