Gangadikal trek

Gangadikal Trek in Kudremukha National Park (2024)

While on the Bandaje Arabi Falls Trek, a trek leader I was with brought up the Gangadikal trek, mentioning it was the inaugural venture of a trekking agency. Instantly captivated, I eagerly signed up for the expedition.

Despite being familiar with the renowned Kudremukha Trek within Kudremukha National Park, Gangadikal Peak was a discovery for me. Nestled amidst this natural wonder, the Gangadikal trek remains a hidden gem, awaiting exploration in the heart of Kudremukha’s wilderness.

PIN for later reference – Gangadikal Trek in Kudremukha National Park

PIN for later reference - Gangadikal Trek in Kudremukha National Park
PIN for later reference – Gangadikal Trek in Kudremukha National Park

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About Gangadikal Trek

Gangadikal Mountain, known locally as “betta” in Kannada, resides within the scenic expanse of the Kudremukha National Park in Karnataka’s Chikamagaluru district. Among the thirteen peaks gracing this national treasure, Gangadikal stands tall.

Following the trail to its summit unveils panoramic vistas, offering captivating sights of the tranquil Lakya Dam backwaters and the majestic Kudremukha mountains and valleys.

Gangadikal trek

For an optimal experience, plan your Gangadikal trek during the post-monsoon and winter seasons, typically spanning from August to February. The weather remains pleasant during this period, enhancing your journey amidst nature’s beauty. Conversely, tackling the trail in summer or rainy seasons poses considerable challenges due to adverse weather conditions, making it more arduous and less enjoyable.

Gangadikal trek trail
Gangadikal Trek Trail

Statistics of the Gangadikal Trek

The trek spans a manageable 8 kilometres, graded as moderate overall. While most of the trail offers a reasonable challenge, sections with notably steep inclines are particularly tricky to descend, especially in wet weather conditions. Fortunately, we were treated to sunny skies, minimizing the risk of slippery paths. Amidst the journey, revel in encounters with diverse wildlife and the verdant embrace of the surrounding mountains.

However, the presence of leeches poses a notable challenge. Beware, as they are abundant along the trail. I had five leech bites, with dozens more attempting to latch on. It’s advisable to wear leech socks for protection and carry salt or Dettol for prompt removal.

The trek commences and concludes approximately 4 to 5 kilometres from the Forest checkpoint, with the total round-trip distance covering 8 kilometres. The trail follows a return path, requiring an estimated 4 to 5 hours to complete. Moderately graded, specific segments present significant steepness, demanding caution and attentiveness.

  • Starting and Finishing Points: 4 to 5 kilometres from the Forest checkpoint.
  • Total Distance: 8 kilometres return.
  • Type of Trail: Return.
  • Time Taken: 4 to 5 hours.
  • Grade: Moderate. Certain sections of the trek are incredibly steep.

Note that obtaining forest permissions, which can be secured at the national park’s entrance, is mandatory for this trek. The entry fee to the Kudremukha National Park area is INR 200, with an additional trekking fee of INR 75.

Stay at Bella Homestay

During the Gangadikal trek, our accommodation was at Bella Homestay. While the rooms are simple, and my experience has been limited to the dormitories, I have developed a fondness for this charming homestay. The proprietors, Sidu and Chandu, are incredibly warm and hospitable. They spare no effort in ensuring their guests feel at ease and have a pleasant stay.

If you find yourself exploring Kudremukha National Park, I wholeheartedly endorse considering a stay at this delightful homestay.

Bella Homestay Kudremukha
Bella Homestay Kudremukha

How to Get to Kudremukha National Park?

By Road

The distance from Kudremukha Forest Checkpoint to Bangalore City spans approximately 330 kilometres, with a car journey typically lasting around 7 hours and 30 minutes. The route leads towards Nelamangala town and includes toll roads along the way.

By Public Transport

  • Kalasa is the nearest town to the trek’s starting point, and Bella Homestay is a mere 40-minute drive away. Taxi fares typically hover around INR 300 for a one-way trip. For travellers seeking overnight transportation, Kalasa offers bus services to Bangalore. I recommend opting for private operators like Sugama Travels, as my experience with Airavat (KSRTC) was less than satisfactory.
  • I planned to return to Bangalore on Saturday night on a recent trek. Having booked my ticket through the KSRTC website, I arrived in Kalasa punctually. However, to my dismay, the bus was cancelled at the eleventh hour, leaving me stranded at the bus stop in the dead of night. Fortunately, my trek leader and one of the homestay owners came to my aid, rescuing me from the predicament and safely transporting me back to the homestay.

Trekking Agency

I opted for BMC Adventures for this trek, as they were the sole organizers offering expeditions along this trail. True to their reputation, the trek was meticulously arranged, and our trek leader surpassed expectations, ensuring an enjoyable experience.

Important Information

  • When embarking on trails like the Gangadikal trek, it’s essential to enlist a local guide or choose a reputable trekking agency, given the abundant wildlife in the area.
  • Be mindful of the numerous leeches along the Gangadikal trail. Prepare with Dettol, a water solution, or leech socks for protection.
  • Ensure you’re equipped with sturdy and comfortable trekking shoes suitable for the terrain.
  • Pack a lunch to savour amidst stunning vistas along the trail.
  • Bring an ample water supply, as there are no accessible water sources en route.
  • Note that there are no shops at the trailhead or along the path.
  • Respect the environment by carrying out all rubbish. Littering is strictly prohibited in the national park.
  • Prepare for potential rain showers by carrying a poncho.
  • Protect yourself from insect bites by wearing full-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Keep in mind that mobile network reception may be intermittent along the trail.

Is Gangadikal Trek Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

It’s not advisable to trek alone on the unexplored and isolated Gangadikal trail. Given the wildlife in the Western Ghats, it’s safer to enlist the guidance of a local expert or a reputable trekking agency. Additionally, adhering to trekking basics, it’s always wise to have a trekking buddy to navigate any unforeseen circumstances.

Download the Emergency Plus app for any unforeseen situations. The app does not require a mobile network; it shows your location. This is useful to inform the emergency services in case of any emergency.
If you are a tourist, always have good comprehensive travel insurance to cover yourself in case of any emergency.

Closing Notes

While the Gangadikal trek may not be among my top picks in the Western Ghats, I must admit it was a pleasant experience. The challenging ascents up steep slopes rewarded us with breathtaking views from the peak, making the trek worthwhile. If you’ve explored all the other treks in Kudremukha National Park, I’d recommend giving this one a try for a change of scenery.

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Gangadikal Trek in Kudremukha National Park (2024)
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    PIN for later reference – Gangadikal Trek in Kudremukha National Park

    PIN for later reference - Gangadikal Trek
    PIN for later reference – Gangadikal Trek in Kudremukha National Park