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Kodachadri trek....

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Beautiful Sun set at kodachadri

Kodachadri peak is breath taking scenic beauty which is situated in Shimoga district. The peak stands at a staggering height of 1343mts. It was a long time wish to go to kodachadri , especially for me, which finally came true this saturday... All four of us,friends,  planned the trip accordingly and got ourselves ready by the evening. Before leaving Belgaum we contacted Mr.Rajendra who guided us regarding trek and arranged for our stay at peak..His no is 9449145540(As of today!).. He is a localite, who guides people with route and accomodation. On his advice we left to kollur which is nearest city to Kodachadri. Even tough we did not know Rajendra personally, he guided us well regarding  trek route and accommodation.You too can contact him. .We boarded a bus to shimoga. Kodachadri is situated in shimoga dist. The nearest city to kodachadri is kollur which is around 20 kms. so we left Belgaum on friday at 7.30pm and reached Shimoga at 3.30 am... and to our fortune we had bus waiting to go to kollur!!!  we boarded bus and reached kollur at 7am on saturday.....one can get lodges to fresh up at kollur starting from rs.150/-..thats not a worry.....so we freshened up and visited Mookambika temple, by then it was already 10 am....so hurridly we had breakfast in nearby hotel and left for karikatte gate which is at 12 kms from kollur.  Karikatte gate is one of trek routes to Kodachadri peak. The other being from Nittur, if you trek from Nittur  then we come across a water falls, but guide is reqd on this route. In total there are three ways to reach top. Regarding  accomodation at peak,  there is a Govt guest house  where in you can stay for a night. But it has to booked in advance. There is a small home stay called Bhattra mane, beside guest house. They provide decent accommodation with affordable rates and even decent food. Here is Bhattra mane phone number 09480822308/08185-253653, i guess http://parvathahomestay.com should help you for same. Also one can bring their own tents to stay or it can be arranged by Rajendra.. Vehicles come till guest house...from guest house the  sunset/sunrise peak is about 1.5 kms....One has to walk this 1.5 distance to visit the sunrise/sunset point as no vehicles can go there.

                                                                                                    Three routes to reach Kodachadri
Route 1:- From Nittur, which is 20kms from kollur :- one can go directly till the Guest house from Nittur by mahindra jeep which costs 150rs per person( as of today!!)...Jeeps can be taken from Kollur or if you have your own vehicle, you can drive upto Nittur, park your vehicle and then get on Mahindra jeeps, They are plenty of them....its for those who don't want to trek all the way up...But don't at all do the mistake of taking own car as the road is very very rough(As of today). No bus will go till the guesthouse.  It will take around an hour to reach top via vehicle. Mahindra jeeps are plenty, both at Kollur and Nittur.
Route 2:-If u want to trek and go, there is another route from Nittur,(Not the jeep route) and  you  can also find Hidulmane falls on this route. But it is strongly suggested to take a guide on this route, treking here without guide can be dangerous, as there are many diversions. I was told that this is quiet tougher than route 3
Route 3:-From karikatte gate, which we took and most of people take, and this is around 12 kms from kollur. one can start treking from here even without a guide as path is well defined  inside the forest...Even 1st timers need not hire a guide on this route (We too were first timers on this route)....

Karikatee gate and nittur are just around 10-15kms apart on same straight road.


we had a hard time finding transport from kollur to Karikatte gate which is only 12kms,  so we took an auto to the karikatte gate after much bargaining for 200rs.....Finally we reached Karikatte gate, though there are no sign boards indicating karikatte gate, local people can help you as it is very famous place.. almost everyone knows it....Thus  at 12.30PM  we started our trek to the peak....... .
Starting of trek

Total distance of trek from Karikatte gate to the peak is around 12-14kms....and it takes about 4-5 hours...The inital path of walk inside forest was filled with chirping sounds of birds which was very pleasent to ears...we rested at regular intervals for about 5-10mins refilled ourselves with water, chocolates and some eatables which we had carried with us....Being silent you can listen to sounds of various birds.....And one need not worry about wild animals here as this route is regularly used by people. But see to it that you don't start trek too late. Else you are inviting 
danger.. I would suggest, the max time to start trek would be 2pm and not later than that..The path till peak can be well identified, even by 1st timers.....Now,After about 2 hours of walk through motarable path in jungle we reached  a tiny village, with some people and a school. The village is at foothills of mountain, also there is small "SANTOSH"hotel there,popularly called as "KAKA"S" hotel.One can expect it to remain open all the days. There is another vehicle route, apart from our trek route, which connects this village and hotel, but i'm unsure of the way. But if you come in dry/winter season then one can get bikes till this hotel on our trek route, provided you are good at riding bike.. I saw many people had got their bikes and parked them near KAKA'S hotel,foot hills of mountain. Bikes cannot go further than this, as we have to walk through thick vegetation..So one can 
call this, place where  hotel is located, as foot hills of the Kodachadri mountain. From "SANTOSH" hotel, there is only one route till the guest house. So, People who want to start trek from foot hills, on this route,can get their bikes till this hotel, park it and then walk till the peak. If you select route 2, then it starts on route 1 then deviates after sometime to go in forest to Hidulmane falls and finally joins route number 1 again, from where guest house is not far away. I was told that this is a bit 
Walking along ridges
tougher route compared to our path.If you are going in summer, i guess route 3 should be good else than 2 for trekking. Thus,post lunch at hotel we could see the guest house which was our destination for the day. We refilled ourselves with special dish called "PUTTU KADLE" at  hotel for very less price..Now the trekking path from hotel to peak is about 5kms but is much tougher from here as the path is steep upwards.. Since the hotel is located at foothills of mountains, the real trekking starts from here as we need to constantly keep on moving upwards till the peak..one needs to carry enough fluids and eatables as they serve as energy boosters...After around 2.5hrs of further intense trekking  which keeps on moving upwards, our legs started showing signs of tiredness. one of our biggest mistake was to carry backpack luggage with us. The load kept on increasing as we moved upwards.  on our way up met people who were coming down. Since being weekend, there were many tourists. Every one, on their way back, kept on lifting our spirits,saying that the destination in near. Although Guest house is only 5 Kms from Hotel, it seemed a lot as we kept on walking upwards which took a lot of time. At some point of trek, it opens into open grasslands and  we saw the beautiful mountain ranges. The mountains extended till the horizon!! it was such an awesome sight, one forgets all his tiredness looking at the majestic western ghats..As sun was moving quickly 
towards west( evening) we took some quick snaps and again starting moving further..Finally we 
reached the guest house at 5.30 pm,nearly after 4.5hours of trekking.Phew all of us were tired, first thing we did was to dump our luggage,inside the tent which was arranged for us,by Rajendra. From guest the serene beauty around us was soo  magnificent that we completely forgot as to how much tired we were..and felt that the pain we took to reach this spot was worth enough... Since the sun had 
Majestic western ghats
already begun to sink...and moved towards sunset point which was still 1.5kms up...As we reached the top, walking 
1.5kms,the sun had already set..and we could get only some final  moments of rays going down...It was such a heart breaking sight!!.. we missed sunset...On a clear evening without clouds one can see sun set in Arabian sea!!!.....we thought we will come tomorrow  morning for sun rise and thus came down to our tent..
  
Regarding staying at peak, you can get accomodation in guest house if u book in advance, Also there is home stay (Beside guese house) who allow to stay for a night with a fair price, Bhattare mane for example(ph numbers for both are written at top)...Jeeps come till guest house from Nittur(Route 1).  If you want to complete the trek in one day then one can do that but chances of seeing both  sunrise and sunset are less as you have to cover a lot of distance.  we can even trek one side and take jeep another side. Jeeps are present at guest house till evening. But from guest house,one has to cover remaining 1.5Km by walk to visit sunrise and sunset points, as there is no route for vehicles.. One can even start 
from route no 2 and return on route no 3. or vice-versa.

Thus night fell, and the cold set in...so we went inside our tents.... Since there is no source of light inside the tent, it is advised to carry a torch along.. Guest house and homestay do have power connection, But not tents!! Aslso one should not forget to carry enough  protection against cold..It really becomes bone chilling cold at night.. make sure u've enough things to keep yourself warm.Now 
Surrounding covered by fog at sunrise.
it was dinner time, we were served with hot roti, sambar,rasam, rice, butter milk. After stomach full of dinner we sat infront of campfire for about15mins so as to save us from bone chilling cold ,  and finally we went to sleep inside the tent.We had planned to stay there at night and visit both sun rise and sunset.......Now that we missed sun set...we were eager to watch sun rise...

   Morning, we woke up at 4 got ready by 5...and started trek towards sunrise point which is around 1.5kms from guest house...Torch here is strongly advised as it is completely dark....finally after 45mins of treking we reached the sunrise point which is kodachadri.... Many people had already gathered there to see 1st glimpse of sun who was yet to rise...finally at around 6.15 we saw first rays of sun and the entire surrounding which was covered by fog was visible...It was such a beautiful sight, where ever you scroll your eyes, you find pure white 
fog..awesome...we hurridly took some snaps....finally at 7am sun was visible and there was no end to our excitement...also everyone was jumping with joy to see the fabulous sun, rise with pride... The golden shinning rays gave perfect background for photos. it was nice to see the entire sun rise in just 15mins.. Then we went to Sri Sarvajna peetha which is at the top...It is told that Shri Adi shankarachayar used to meditate in this place.
 Then we came down to our tent, packed our things and were ready to descend.. One can go back to karikatte gate by taking the same trek path back or via route 2 else go back by hiring jeep(Route 1),to nittur, which costs 150rs per head... We hired a jeep as we needed to get down quick and move back to Belgaum..


Finally we bid aideu to the fantastic kodachadri hill, which was clearing itself off fog....and reached Nittur in jeep by traveling around 45mins..and thus wonderful Kodachadri trip came to an end..


           SUNRISE

                                          
QUICK CHECKS......
  • Kodachadri is located in Shimoga district.
  • No permission is required from forest department to visit this place.. We did not take any permission.
  •  Nearest city to kodachadri is kollur at 20 kms, where u can fresh up have lunch and all.....
  • For accomodation at top there is Govt guest house located at the peak. you need to book that in advance, There is home stay, and even tents are available for staying... I guess Rajenda can help you out guest house and tent. And contact home stay before you start. I"ve provided all the contact numbers at the begining.
  • There are 3 ways to reach peak:- jeep from Nittur, trek from Nittur, trek from Karikatte gate.....all are at very short distance from kollur.
  • It is advisible to start trek before 2PM. as it requires around 4-5 hours to reach peak....so dont get urself struck in dark!
  • spots to visit are  Hidulmane falls and Arishinagundi falls.- both falls to be visited with guide... you can get hidulmane falls on route 2.  For Arishina gundi falls one needs to take permission from forest office at Kollur......
  • Its advisable to halt a night to see both sunset and sunrise....
  • One request to all.... PLEASE DONT LITTER THE PLACE!!!!

Some snaps of kodachadri.....(Though we did not have high end camera!).





 Sunrise..




                                              




  
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