During the Bandaje Arabi falls trek, one of the trek leads I had gone with mentioned about the Gangadikal trek and how this was the first time a trekking agency was organising to hike this trail. Instantly, I was drawn to it and I decided to be part of that trail. We all had heard of Kudremukha trek, which is very famous in the Kudremukha National Park but I had never heard of Gangadikal peak. The Gangadikal trek is a lesser known trek in the Krudremukha National Park.
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About Gangadikal trek
Gangadikal mountain (betta in Kannada language) is located in the Kudremukha National Park of Chikamagaluru district in the state of Karnataka and is one of the thirteen peaks in the national park. The trail leads to the Gangadikal peak, that provides stunning views of Lakya dam backwaters, and Kudremukha mountains and valley.
The best time to do the Gangadikal trek is post monsoons and winters which is between the months of August and February as the weather is pleasant. The trail is very difficult during the summer and rainy season.
Statistics of the Gangadikal trek
The hike is just 8 kilometres and grades between Moderate. There are a few sections that are extremely steep and the descend is that difficult, especially when it rains. Luckily, we were blessed with sunny weather as the trail can become very slippery during the rains. The best thing about the trail is the wildlife and the lush green mountains.
The worst thing about the trail are the leeches. There are so many of them. I had 5 leech bites with at least 30 to 40 trying to bite me. So best to wear leech socks while attempting this trail. And carry salt or Dettol to get rid of leeches.
- 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 extremely steep.
- Note: Forest permissions need to be obtained in order to do this trek. The permissions can be obtained at the entrance to the national park. The entry fee to the Kudremukha National Park area is INR 200 and the trekking fee is INR 75.
Stay at Bella Homestay
On the Gangadikal trek, we stayed at Bella Homestay. Even though the rooms are basic and I have only stayed at the dorms, I love staying at this amazing homestay. The owners Sidu and Chandu are absolutely delightful. They go out of their way to make sure the guests are comfortable and are enjoying the stay. I highly recommend staying at this homestay if you are visiting Kudremukha National Park.
How to get to Kudremukha National Park?
The distance between Kudremukha Forest Checkpoint and Bangalore city is around 330 kilometres and the journey by car takes up to 7 hours 30 minutes. The route is towards Nelamangala town and has toll roads.
- Kalasa is the nearest town to the starting point of the trek or the Bella homestay. The town is around 40 minutes drive from the homestay and the cab usually takes about INR 300 for one way. There are overnight buses that run between Kalasa and Bangalore. I suggest taking a private bus such as Sugama travels as I had a bad experience with Airavat (KSRTC).
- I had decided to return to Bangalore on Saturday night after the trek. I had booked the ticket on KSRTC website and I had reached Kalasa town on time. Unfortunately, the bus was canceled at the last minute leaving me stranded at the bus stop in the middle of the night. Luckily for me, my trek lead and one of the owners of the home stay we stayed at came for rescue and picked me up at midnight to take me back to the home stay.
I went with the BMC adventures as they were the only ones running the treks for this trail. As usual, the trek was well organised and the trek lead was amazing. I had a great time.
- Trekking agency: Bangalore Mountaineering Club (BMC) Adventures.
- Trek cost: INR 4180 per person.
- Note: This trek is a weekend trip from Bangalore.
- Always go with either a local guide or a reputed trekking agency on such trails as there is abundant wildlife.
- Gangadikal trek has too many leeches on the trail. Be prepared and take the Dettol and water solution or wear leech socks.
- Wear sturdy and comfortable trek shoes for the trail.
- Carry your lunch with you to enjoy a good meal with stunning views.
- Take sufficient water as there are no water sources on the trail.
- There are no shops at the start of the trail or along the way.
- Take your rubbish with you. DO NOT litter the trail or anywhere in the national park.
- Be prepared for rains and carry a poncho.
- Wear full sleeved t-shirts and pants to avoid insect bites.
- There is intermittent mobile network on the trail.
Safety for solo female trekkers
I would not suggest trekking alone as the trek is unexplored and isolated. The Western Ghats have wildlife and it is best to go with a local guide or a trekking agency. Also, as trekking 101, it is always best to go with a trekking buddy for any unforeseen situations.
Download Emergency Plus app for any unforeseen situations. The app does not require mobile network and it shows the location of where you are. This is useful to let the emergency services know, in case there is any emergency.
If you are a tourist, always make sure to have a good comprehensive travel insurance to cover yourself in case of any emergency.
Even though Gangadikal trek is not one of my favourites treks in the Western Ghats, I would still say that it was a nice trek. The steep slopes of the mountains with breath taking views at the peak, the trek was surely worth it. I would suggest going on this trek if you have exhausted all the treks in the Kudremukha National Park.
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