Kodachadri Trek- Magical Trail in the Western Ghats
- October 28, 2019
- Tanushekha Agnihottri
It had been a long time since I went for a solo trip, almost a year. Unlike the last year, 2019 kept me quite busy that I could only go for fewer trips. So, after settling down in my new job I have started to travel again. While researching about my next destination, I came across Kodachadri Trek. I went through some of the pictures on social media and instantly made up my mind.
I decide to go for Kodachadri Trek along with a group of strangers and I have to share the exhilarating experience I had.
After contemplating so many options I booked for a package of 2 days 1 night through Safarnama Travelers. Since this was going to be my first trek, I didn’t want to plan everything on my own. And I must say it was a good decision to go with Safarnama Travelers. Everything was well planned and went smoothly.
Kodachadri is a mountain peak standing 1,343 meters above sea level. It is Karnataka’s 10th highest peak. The basepoint for Kodachadri trek is Nagodi/Nittur, a village in Shivamogga. The trek includes relatively steep climbing and rugged paths, it requires you to make your way through thick forests, gentle streams and quite literally climb a waterfall which becomes a whole another ballgame during peak monsoons.
Bangalore to Kodachadri Base Point
I started from Bangalore on Friday night after being picked up from one of the pickup points. I was tired and nervous too as I would be travelling with strangers (the introvert inside me was struggling to cope up). Well, Shivamogga is 300 KM and the base point for the trek was another 80 KM. We were supposed to reach the base point at 7 AM where we would stay in a homestay.
As we commenced the journey from Bangalore people started to talk to each other. Altogether we were 17 people. A good mix of solo travellers and group travellers. Our trek leaders, Colin & Devanshi, were amazing and had excellent management skills. As soon as the journey started, we had an ice-breaking session followed by a dance session. So, everyone was friends with each other by the time we reached the homestay. All of us shared our crazy travel stories. Stories that would fill anyone with inspiration to travel more.
The night passed with people dancing, chatting and telling stories. We reached the homestay at 7:30 AM, it was 9-10 hours long journey.
After getting freshen up we had a delicious breakfast prepared at the homestay. And then we were all set to go. Trek leaders decided on everyone’s position in the group and other important instructions were given, most important being not to litter during the trek. I strongly believe that as a traveller keeping our surrounding clean is the least we can do for mother nature. We should always be setting examples for others.
From our homestay, the base point for Kodachadri was very nearby. We started to stroll through a road, the entire village was looking so beautiful amidst the drizzle of rain. Just after a few minutes, we heard the sound of rushing water. I was so amazed to see a little brook flowing below the bridge. How monsoons turn everything so lovely and add a pinch of magic in everything.
Monsoons!! Yes, it was raining continuously and most of the times furiously. I don’t remember taking off my raincoat even a once. I felt like I’m wearing a cape all the time.
After some time, we entered the forest area; dense, muddy and wide varieties of flora. We all went on, trying to maintain the grip of shoes in muddy paths.
A small brook flowing near the Base Point.
After walking for almost 2 KM we reached a small village where we halted for a tea break. Keeping ourselves warm was important as all of us where little drenched despite wearing raincoats. We commenced again, crossed beautiful paddy fields before again entering the forest area.
The trek was now getting tougher, there were steep rocks beside the waterfalls which we were supposed to cross. 1,2, 3 … we kept on crossing parts of Hudemane waterfall, we went inside the water, clicked some pictures (because who doesn’t like to capture some memories) and climbed on rocks. Due to rainfall the rocks were covered with fungi and had turned slippery. The teamwork had played a strong role at such moments, where we helped each other to move ahead.
Our first and last Pitstop for Tea. As you go ahead you won’t find any shops until the IB Point.
This waterfall was bliss indeed, it’s like a bonus you get along with the beauty of Kodachadri. A huge waterfall with a strong force of water that looked so surreal.
Everyone rushed inside the water, I was being sceptical about getting drenched. I had spent days in bed after being caught fever & cold and certainly didn’t want to fall ill again.
But then you live only once, I jumped inside.
Our trek leader knew something that I believe not many people know. He told us that behind the falling water there’s rock, we can go inside crossing through the fall and just chill there. Whatttt!!!!
I couldn’t believe him until I saw others going inside with him. “No, I love my life I don’t want to die!!!” The trek leader then tried to explain to me how this could be my only opportunity to do something that I might never get to do again. So easy to convince me.
The Surreal Feeling
After one failed attempt, there I was just below the waterfall where I could hardly breathe and can see nothing. My heart was pounding, I pushed myself to climb a few steps to reach the spot. I was there!! I couldn’t believe, my heart was still pounding, not sure if it was out of fear or the adrenaline rush that I was experiencing. Imagine sitting on a rock which is inside a waterfall and all you can see is water falling around you and those faded views of the outside world that you can see through the water. And we were singing out loudly sitting there fearlessly (I won’t lie I was bit scared LOL I’m hydrophobic but still love such adventures).
Crossing through a small part of Hidlumane Waterfall.
We had spent quite a long time at the waterfall and then started to walk again. The terrain was difficult from here; steep climbing was waiting ahead. Till the waterfall trek was comparatively easy but as we moved ahead it started to get difficult. We climbed through a hill beside the waterfall and continued to go inside the forest.
When Real Struggle Kicked In
So far everything was good but people started to get curious about how much distance was left to cover and every time trek leaders would tell us “We’re almost there.” BUT we still had miles to go. We stopped for a quick lunch break. It was raining furiously, and winds were strong, we managed to stand there and finished our packed lunch boxes. You can refill your water bottles from the water stream near the lunch area.
The Last Leg
And before the laziness kicks in we had begun trekking. We had another steep hill to climb, the destination was far away. By this time, we hadn’t come even the halfway and in front of us was a huge hill which was clearly demanding some steep climbing, it was challenging, and I knew all my missed work out sessions were going to be compensated soon. I pushed myself to keep crawling as Colin and Devanshi cheered all of us to stay motivated.
After crawling slowly, we reached the top and guess what that was not the peak. Well, after reaching this point you will find a road accessible to jeeps, but trekkers are supposed to trek to the top. But all your efforts will be duly paid off by the views.
Crossed over many such streams inside & outside the forest.
Made it to Kodachadri Peak!!!
Another few KM to reach the IB point from where it will take another hour or so (approx. 2 KM) to reach the Kodachadri Peak. Through a difficult terrain, we finally made it to the top.
The sad part, it was all foggy and we couldn’t witness the sunset. When the sky is clear you can easily see the Arabian Sea and the marvellous view of Western Ghat. There is a sunset point as well but for that, you have to hike for another 10 minutes. Despite the fog entire surrounding was looking magical. We sat at the edge of a rock, calming ourselves down. 14KM!!! I was screaming inside with pride.
And one group picture in front of the 800 years old temple was mandatory. We gathered, was about to pose when it started to rain furiously. So furiously, clouds turned black and we knew that it’s time to head back. But the good part is we managed to get some pictures. YAY.
On my way back downhill, my right knee started to ache so badly that I couldn’t even bend it a bit to walk. And before I could inform trek leaders I slipped. This poor knee of mine duhhhh last time also during a trek in Kasar it went bad and I had to bear the pain for a month at least.
Trek leaders ensured that I reach back to IB point safely. From IB point we hopped in the jeeps to witness the crazy bumpy rides on some of the worst roads I have seen in the hills of Karnataka.
All’s well that ends well
Trek leaders ensured that I reach back to IB point safely. From IB point we hopped in jeeps to witness a crazy bumpy ride in the hills of Karnataka.
The Jeep Driver made his “supari”, pumped up the volume of his favourite 90’s song and we were ready to roll. We were jumping but the driver had got lots of chills.
When we reached homestay, bhajiyas and tea were waiting for us. So, We freshened up quickly, wrapped ourselves in warm clothes and enjoyed the evening. After a scrumptious dinner and rounds of interesting games, we retired for the night.
On our way back to Bangalore we visited Nagara fort. A beautiful set of architectural ruins that offers picturesque views of Western Ghats.
And we began our return journey to Bangalore with a head full of memories to cherish for a lifetime. I loved every minute of Kodachadri Trek. Kudos to Safarnama Travelers for arranging such an incredible trip, certainly looking forward to going on many more treks with them.