Here we come across yet another beautiful trek in the Western Ghats which is the third highest peak in Karnataka.
Kudremukh means ‘Horse-face’, as a side of the mountain looks like the horse face. It is nestled in the small town of Kudremukh in the Chikamagalur district of Karnataka state. It is at a height of about 6207 feet (1892 m). It is a picturesque trek and the trail is pretty adventurous owing to many waterfalls, streams, grasslands and forests.
About the Trail-
The trail starts from the Mullodi village which has about 30-40 houses alone.
If you are traveling from state transport bus or private bus, you need to get down at Kalasa and take a Jeep or Auto-rickshaw to Balegal which is 10 kms from Kalasa. Then to reach Mullodi, you have to take a Jeep from Balegal to Mullodi. This is a path up the mountain roads and is very adventurous. If you are travelling in the Monsoons, this Jeep ride to Mullodi is slushy, adventurous and thrilling.
Accommodation and Pre-requisites for the Trek-
- Permission for trekking needs to be got from the Forest department
- Accommodation can be sought at the home-stays in Mullodi village. Food is taken care of at these home-stays.
- A guide can be taken along for the trek especially in the Monsoons as there could be wild animals in the forests or you might lose the path due to visibility during heavy rains.
- A particular oil is given at the home-stay to apply on our legs or socks to avoid leeches to get on us. Leeches are a pretty common sight in the Monsoons all along the trail.
Fitness level for the Trek-
Make sure you are physically fit to take on this arduous trek of about 9 kms. The weather, the trail through forests, muddy paths, streams, waterfalls and grasslands make this trek thrilling and as well as exhausting. One should be capable of braving the weather changes and the leeches too!
On the Trail-
The trail starts from the Mullodi point and takes us through slushy muddy paths up the mountain. The trail then runs through a forest and some streams along the way. Throughout the entire trail you would find the leeches waiting to get on you for the ride. As we gain some altitude the trail now reaches the point called ‘Ontimara’, as there is a lone tree at the turn of the path. From here we can see the forests and grasslands ahead.
Further ahead, the trail becomes even more slushy and we find a couple of waterfalls along the forests. In the Monsoons, it is a bit risky to traverse this waterfall as the water if swift and the rocks are wet and slippery. These paths need to be treaded with utmost caution. As we leave behind the forests, , we are welcomed by the sight of the rolling hills, verdant grasslands and small pink flowers decorate these beautiful grasslands.
The path on the grasslands is now narrow and cutting across the mountains. After a winding trail we start trekking up the mountains and gain certain altitude. With the rain pouring on us, it does get a little difficult to stick to a pace. As we reach a certain point, the path is now along the mountain ridges and the last mile to the peak is up the final grassland peak. Getting to the peak is one adventurous task but when you do, the spectacle is amazing. You might miss out on this view, if it is raining and the clouds are hovering over the peaks.
- Elevation: 6207 feet (1892 m)
- Best seasons to Trek: Nov-Dec; Avoid going in the Monsoons as it is risky and the trail is laden with leeches and the Summer seasons are hard to trek because of the heat in the Grasslands
- Duration: Day hike; 4-5 hours
- Trek Difficulty Level: Moderately difficult owing to the weather condition
- Trek Distance: 9 kms (one way)
- Accommodation: Home-stays in Mullodi
- Location: Mullodi, 6 kms from Balegal which is 10.6 kms from Kalasa, Chikkamagalur District, Karnataka, India
- Nearest Train station: Tarekere Railway station connected to the Mangalore-Bangalore railway line
- Nearest Airport: Mangalore Airport (190 kms away)
- By Road:
- Bangalore->Kalasa (340 kms)
- Mangalore->Kalasa (100 kms)
Things to pack /carry:
- Sturdy Backpack preferable with wider shoulder straps as it should sit comfortably on your shoulder
- Hiking Shoes and socks(leech socks if trekking during the monsoons)
- Water bottle / Water pack
- Trekking pole
- Comfortable trekking pants and tees
- Light rain jacket /poncho depending on the season
- Light sweater depending on the weather
- Small first aid box
- Regular medication if any
- Head torch
- Sleeping bag
- A small notepad and pen
- Essentials: Wallet, ID card
- Mobile phone, chargers, powerbank
- Cameras and Batteries
Kuduremukh is a picturesque trail and though Trekking in the monsoons is not advisable, the season helps one to see the beauty of the lush grasslands and experience nature at its vivid best.