Kudremukh trek was in my head for a while as this time I was looking for a new travel journey where I would be completely lost into the wild with limited or in fact no human intervention.
Trekking is fun and especially if you are wandering in the wild forests of the Western Ghats and that was what I was looking out for, a long trek with a group of fun-loving people, a long trail that would bring me closer to nature, open up my mind and make me forgot the monotony of the city life.
So let me take you back to the time when I was completely lost in nature.
Kudremukh Trek Overview:
Location: Kudremukh National Park
Trek Partner: Plan the Unplanned
Difficulty level: Moderate
Trail Type: Lush green forests
Trek Distance: 22 Kms(Up and down)
Best Season to visit: Monsoons
Since this was my first trek, I wanted to travel with a group of fun-loving and travel enthusiasts and I chose “Plan the Unplanned” travel group, who were known for conducting usual treks in a unique way. I started off my journey on a Saturday early morning and joined another 20 people along with two trek leads. The trip was very well organized with fun activities, and they took full responsibility for the travel, accommodation, food, and trek.
We reached Bella Homestay, freshened up and had a sumptuous meal. It was a beautiful night under moon and stars, along with a bonfire and some soothing music. We all headed off to bed so as to wake up early the next morning and have an early start to the trek. A jeep was arranged early in the morning to the trekking base camp which was about 7Kms from the homestay.
Things to be careful about:
- Trek timings are from 7 am – 5 pm. By sharp 6 pm, all the groups should return to the base camp with the local travel guide. Only first 50 people are allowed to trek in a day.
- Do not carry any eatables wrapped in plastic with you as the forest officials won’t allow you to carry the same in order to protect the environment and wildlife. Food items packed in containers are allowed and it needs to be brought back at the end of the trek.
- Wear long tracks and trekking shoes to avoid leech bites in the forest. For more safety carry anti-leech socks.
Kudremukh is definitely one of the best and most picturesque treks in the whole of South India. Nestled in the heart of the Chikmagalur district of Karnataka, it is a beautiful trek across gently rolling green hills and misty valleys. The third highest peak in the state at 6,207 ft, the trek is a day’s climb from the base village.
Kudremukh’ litreally meaning ‘horse face’ in Kannada derives its name from the distinctive shape of the peak. It is a moderately difficult trek and can be accomplished over a weekend. The landscape traversed is mostly wide green grasslands, and a few patches of forest. The peak is situated in a National Reserve forest and if you’re lucky enough you might even spot some wild animals.
There are overflowing streams that have to be crossed, dark forests with lush green trees, bamboo shrubs tall enough to touch the sky, rolling green hills and finally, the peak itself, where heavy winds can blow you off your feet while the scenery will have your mind blown.
The initial trek is all on the plane ground and can be walked easily but do watch out for mushy land where one can not spot tiny leeches and other insects.
After walking for a while through the dense jungle, the trail becomes flat for some time and on the right one can spot the Kudremukh valley. Multiple streams can be seen on the way which makes one refreshed. The best part about trekking in Kudremukh during monsoons is the abundance of water in the streams, from which you can refill their water bottles and never run out of the water and if it really becomes tiring you can even take a dip in the chilly cold water.
After another stream crossing, there were open meadows and the trail became quite evident and then there comes the Official board to prove that yes we were trekking in the foothills of Kudremukh.
One of the fondest memories I had after crossing this point was discovering the footprints of a Tiger and it did give us a hint that it had passed the trail sometime back.
Beyond this point, the real trek begins when the path becomes tough to climb as we started approaching the uphills. Since it was drizzling the trail became slippery but it’s worth the climb to reach the final destination.
The much-awaited view of the Peak after continuous trekking for 5 hours made us realize that we were nearing the peak.
While trekking we all got so involved in just focusing on the path ahead until one of them screamed out of joy pointing towards one of the rarest phenomena to happen and that was a Rainbow formation right in front of our eyes.
This point onwards, the trail climbs up the ‘horse’s back’ part of the mountain, curving upwards, and ending in a steep ascent. The highest point was recognizable by a small group of rocks, and a small stream that runs through from here. Mother nature was kind enough to shower her blessings on us. We all finally reached the point and started hogging food packed for lunch from the homestay.
Upon reaching the peak, the view was just breathtaking. All the tiredness, leech bites, and body aches were worth the climb for this amazing view. We sat there for an hour and enjoyed the untouched beauty of nature.
Also not to forget the welcoming host, waiting for us right at the peak who accompanied us back to the downhill later.
It is advisable to leave the peak around 2.00 pm latest to be back at the base camp in time. The descent is down the same trail. As it starts raining in the afternoon, one should not delay trekking back down as it takes approx 3-4 hours to reach the base camp and it becomes dark by 5.30 pm.
Kudremukh trekking is a must for all the adrenaline junkies and travel enthusiasts. The choice is yours to travel in a group or just be a solo traveler but do take this trek once in your life to come out of your comfort zone and experience the amazing view.
Last but not the least, Kudos to the Plan The Unplanned batch for making it to the top.
Experience all this and more with Plan The Unplanned. To see our available dates for Kudremukh & plan your itinerary, head to our events page now!
This blog was originally published on Gypsy On Wheels