A lone tree - Kodachadri trek

Trekking in Kodachadri (2024)

One of the most awe-inspiring and demanding treks I’ve undertaken in the Western Ghats is the journey to Kodachadri Peak. Renowned and celebrated among trekking enthusiasts, the Kodachadri trek is prominent on the bucket lists of adventurers exploring South India. Here, I’ll provide all the essential details you need to embark on this exhilarating Kodachadri trek.

Kodachadri Peak is technically more of a hike than a trek. However, in India, the term “trek” is commonly used to refer to both hikes and treks. So, for this post, I’ll be using the term “trek” to describe the experience of visiting Kodachadri Peak.

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PIN for later reference - Trekking in Kodachadri
PIN for later reference – Trekking in Kodachadri

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Where is Kodachadri?

Located in Karnataka, Kodachadri is a prominent mountain in the Western Ghats of South India. Nestled within the confines of Mookambika National Park, this mountain is the 13th-highest peak in the region, towering at approximately 1343 meters above sea level.

Renowned as one of the premier trekking destinations in Karnataka, Kodachadri derives its name from the indigenous Kutaja flowers, earning it the charming moniker the “Jasmine of the hills.”

Covered in fog - Kodachadri trek

Optimal for trekking, the period between September and January is considered the prime time to conquer the heights of Kodachadri Peak. The weather is delightful during these months, and the verdant mountains offer a captivating spectacle. It’s worth noting that the trek to Kodachadri Peak can be conveniently planned as a weekend getaway from the bustling city of Bangalore.

How to Get to the Kodachadri Base?

The starting point of the Kodachadri trek is from three villages:

  • Nittur,
  • Kattinahole and
  • Vallur.
Kodachadri Mountains
Kodachadri Mountains

Trekkers have the flexibility to choose their starting point for the Kodachadri trek. Drawing from my experience of undertaking the Kodachadri trek twice, I embarked on my first journey from the quaint village of Nittur, approximately 110 kilometres away from Shimoga. It’s important to note that several places in Karnataka are named Nittur.

On my second adventure, I commenced the trek from Kattinahole, a charming village within the Hosanagara Taluk of Shimoga. During that memorable weekend, our accommodation was arranged at Sri Ambika Homestay, conveniently located just a 15-minute drive from the starting point of the trek.

By Road

Kodachadri lies approximately 400 kilometres from Bangalore city, and traversing this distance by car typically requires around 8 hours and 10 minutes for a one-way journey. The route heads towards Tumkur and includes stretches of toll roads.

By Public Transport

  • For the latest train schedules and route details, travellers can visit the IRCTC website.
  • It’s recommended to check the Redbus website for up-to-date information regarding bus services. When opting for bus travel, it’s advisable to choose Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses, as the government operates them.

Bangalore to Nittur

  • The nearest railway station to Nittur is Kundapura railway station, which is well-connected to Bangalore and has frequent train services. The distance between Nittur and Kundapura railway stations is approximately 61 kilometres.
  • From Kundapura railway station, travellers have the option to reach Nittur by either taking taxis or local buses.
  • Additionally, there are numerous bus services available between Bangalore and Kollur. The distance from Kollur to Nittur is just 21 kilometres, making it a convenient travel option for those coming from Bangalore.

Bangalore to Kattinahole

Kattinahole, a quaint village in Shimoga district, lacks extensive public transportation options.

  • The most convenient way to reach Kattinahole is by taking a bus to Shimoga and arranging a taxi or a shared vehicle to get to the village.
  • Alternatively, travellers can inquire with the homestay owners to check if they can organize a pickup and drop service for added convenience.

Trekking in Kodachadri

The trails of the Kodachadri trek lead trekkers through a diverse landscape of villages, waterfalls, forests, and paddy fields. Along the way, hikers encounter a historic temple dedicated to Goddess Mookambika, believed to have been constructed a millennium ago.

Certain sections of the trail - Kodachadri trek

As mentioned previously, trekkers can embark on a journey from various villages to reach the peak. Two villages from which I trekked to the summit are Nittur and Kattinahole.

If you’re in search of some accessible one-day treks near Bangalore, you’re in luck! Here’s a curated list of the top 14 One-Day Treks from Bangalore to explore.

Starting from Nittur

During my initial expedition to Kodachadri peak, I embarked on the trek from Nittur village.


  • Starting Point: Nittur.
  • Finishing Point: Kodachadri Peak.
  • Total Distance: 20 kilometres.
  • Type of Trek: One way. Alternatively, you can opt for a jeep ride downhill. It’s important to note that the roads are suitable only for 4-wheel drives.
  • Grade: Difficult, as the trek entails steep and rocky terrain.
  • Time Required: Approximately 6 to 7 hours.

On this route, you’ll encounter the captivating Harishinagundi waterfall. Remarkably, the water exhibits a yellow hue upon contact with the ground. However, please exercise caution as this waterfall has numerous water snakes.

Starting from Kattinahole

During my second adventure to Kodachadri Peak, I initiated the trek from Kattinahole.


  • Starting Point: Kattinahole. It’s conveniently located just a 15-minute drive from the homestay where we lodged.
  • Finishing Point: Kodachadri Peak.
  • Total Distance: 11 kilometres.
  • Type of Trek: One way. Alternatively, you can opt for a jeep ride downhill. Please note that the roads are suitable only for 4-wheel drives.
  • Grade: Difficult, owing to the steep and rocky nature of the trek.
  • Time Required: Approximately 6 to 7 hours.
Hidlumane waterfall - Along the way to Kodachadri peak
Hidlumane Waterfall

Along this route, you’ll encounter two waterfalls. The first is smaller in scale, while the second is the magnificent Hidlumane waterfall. What makes the Hidlumane waterfall particularly remarkable is the opportunity to stand below and behind the cascade, offering a truly awe-inspiring experience.

Trekking / Hiking Agency

As mentioned, I’ve had the pleasure of completing the Kodachadri trek twice. I joined Exotic Expeditions the first time, while the second time, I opted for the Bangalore Mountaineering Club (BMC). Both experiences were fantastic, and I wholeheartedly recommend both organizations.

That said, for treks within Karnataka, I frequently choose BMC. In my opinion, they stand out as one of the premier trekking agencies in Bangalore. Their treks are meticulously organized, and their trek leads are enjoyable and highly responsible.

  • Trekking Agency: BMC.
  • Cost: INR 4250 + GST. Be sure to visit their website for updated prices and availability.

Important Trek Information

  • Trekking in Kodachadri doesn’t require formal permissions. However, your bags will be inspected for plastic by forest officials before entering the sanctuary on the day of your trek. Should any plastic be found, it will be noted, and a deposit will be collected. This deposit is refundable upon your return only if the plastic is accounted for.
  • Throughout the trek, you’ll encounter water streams where you can refill your drinking bottles. It’s advisable to carry water purifying tablets for safe drinking water.
  • On my initial visit to Kodachadri, I camped at the peak. However, the forest department prohibited camping at the peak in 2015. Alternative accommodations include Battara Mane in Nittur or Sri Ambika Homestay near Kattinahole. Additionally, you can book the PWD Guest House well in advance for your stay.
  • Food options are available at the homestays or villages, negating the need to carry your own. However, I recommend packing trail snacks for convenience.
  • While trekking, intermittent mobile network coverage (Airtel, Jio, and BSNL) is available along the trail.
  • Lastly, be prepared to encounter leeches on the trail.

Did you know that Kodachadri is renowned as one of the prime spots to witness the Milky Way in India?

Other Important Safety Information

Here are some essential tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable trekking experience:

  • Wear sturdy and comfortable shoes, especially as sections require rock climbing.
  • Carry an extra pair of socks for the trail to stay comfortable.
  • Don’t forget to bring your first aid kit and any necessary personal medications.
  • Bring at least 2 litres of water, as there are waterfalls and streams along the way where you can refill your bottles.
  • Pack trail snacks such as energy bars, chocolates, and dry fruits, as no shops are on the trail.
  • Ensure your lunch is securely packed in a tight lunchbox within your bag.
  • Beware of leeches, particularly during the post-monsoon season. Use a diluted mixture of Dettol and water to spray on your shoes and socks as a preventive measure.
  • Wear full-sleeved t-shirts and pants to minimize insect bites.
  • Take all your garbage and avoid littering the trail or surrounding areas.
  • Be prepared for cold weather and rain by bringing a rain jacket or poncho and a jacket. Don’t forget to cover your backpack with a rain cover.
  • Show respect for nature by refraining from writing on trees or rocks and avoiding any damage to vegetation.
  • Refrain from picking flowers or harming trees during your trek.
  • Exercise caution around waterfalls and consult with local guides before swimming or jumping into the water.
Small waterfall - Kodachadri trek

Is Trekking in Kodachadri Safe for Solo Female Trekkers?

I would strongly advise against embarking on this trek alone unless a reputable trekking agency accompanies you. The mountains and forests in this area are untamed, and there’s a significant presence of wild animals.

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.

For safety reasons, it’s always preferable to trek with a group or under the guidance of an experienced guide who is familiar with the terrain.

Filled with flowers - Kodachadri trek

Closing Notes

Kodachadri undoubtedly ranks among the most stunning treks in South India, offering everything a trekker could desire. I wholeheartedly recommend adding this trek to your bucket list and conquering it at your earliest convenience.

Have you had the opportunity to experience the Kodachadri trek? I’d love to hear about your thoughts and impressions. Feel free to share your insights by emailing me at Solopassport@gmail.com.

Sunset from Kodachadri Peak

If you enjoyed exploring the Kodachadri trek, you should consider venturing into other breathtaking treks within the Western Ghats. Some notable options include Vattakanal (Canopy Hills), Kotagiri, Narasimha Parvatha, Gangadikal trek, Bandaje Arbi Falls trek, Tadiyanmol Peak, and Kudremukha Peak. Each trek promises its unique charm and adventure waiting to be discovered.

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    PIN for later reference – Trekking in Kodachadri

    PIN for later reference - Trekking in Kodachadri
    PIN for later reference – Trekking in Kodachadri