Kudremukh the “trekkers paradise” and the 3rd highest peak in Karnataka was going to be my next destination. Kudremukh which means “Horse Face” in Kannada because the peak resembles the horse’s face. Didn’t give any thought about the fitness before leaving. But trust me if you are not fit please don’t even try this trek. It has a lush green landscape which you can adore for a lifetime. Also, you can get a similar picture to the bliss theme(Windows XP wallpaper). One of the most important things is carrying your Aadhar copy for the permit which I’ll tell in detail further.
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The best time to visit the Kudremukh trek
The best time to visit Kudremukh would be after the Monsoon from October to March. You can go after March as well but it starts getting hotter which makes the trekking harder. During the monsoon, a lot of leeches can be found hanging everywhere make sure to cover your full body with clothes.
|Things to know
|Distance from Bangalore to Kudremukh
|Time taken to reach Kudremukh
|8 - 9 Hrs
|Best time to visit Kudremukh
|Sep - May
|Documents needed for the permit
|Any Govt. ID proof(xerox)
|₹ 600 per person
|18km (Both ways)
|Time taken for the trek
|8-9 hrs are needed to complete the whole trek
|Where to stay in Kudremukh
|Raje gowda's homestay(9481179008)
|Budget for Kudremukh
|Rs 2700 - 3200
How to reach from Bangalore to Kudremukh
I started my trip from Bangalore in the night. So to reach Kudremukh there are no direct buses instead we have to get down at Kalasa and from Kalasa take another bus to the base of Kudremukh Trek. There are not a lot of buses from Kalasa to the base of the Kudremukh trek, thus do check the bus timings beforehand. You can either book a seater or sleeper based on your choice. Sugama Tourist and KSRTC provide the bus to Kalasa. The price starts from ₹375 to ₹650 for seater and sleeper respectively.
I took the seater and the bus reached Kalasa in the early morning by 5 am. It was pitch dark and very cold so make sure to carry at least one woollen clothing with you. The bus drops you near the police station. Take a right from there and after going a few steps ahead you’ll find the petrol pump from where you’ll get the next bus to Kudremukh. It surely made me feel like I should settle here in the calmness of the town. The people of the town were also very simple and humble. The city buses start at 6:30 in the morning. The distance from Kalasa to the base of Kudremukh trek is approximately 10Kms. The bus charges ₹20 only.
If going with a group you can get down at Balegal. Once you get down at Balegal you can hire a jeep, which will drop you to the forest office for permission and also take you to the base camp of the Kudremukh trek. The jeep costs Rs 150-200 per person. For solo travelers, you can directly go on the bus to Kudremukh check post forest gate 2. But you can only do the trek if you manage to find a group in which you can fit in.
Things to know about trekking in Kudremukh.
The first and the most important thing is the Aadhar copy without which you wouldn’t get the permit to trek. The permit charges are ₹425 per person which you have to pay at the forest office. Once you have the permit you can go back in the jeep to the base camp. The base camp(Mulodi) is 6 Km from Balegal. Hold on to your seat well, ’cause this is gonna be one hell of a ride. The trek is 18 km both ways and usually takes 4-5 hours one way. The trekking is not allowed after 9:30 am.
Where to stay in Kudremukh
The forest officer will say there is no place to stay near the base camp. But trust me you can stay in Raje Gowda’s home which is right at the base camp. Once you reach the base camp you can keep your luggage in his place and freshen up. If you are carrying your tent he will charge you ₹500 for pitching your tent and 4 times food(2 Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner). But if you want a room in his place you will have to pay him ₹ 700.
Kudremukh trek base camp: The beginning of lush green landscapes.
On leaving the Raje Gowda’s homestay, make sure to pack some lunch for yourself. You need to have a guide for this trek or else you can’t do this trek. The guide charges ₹300 – ₹500 per person based on how good you can bargain. The trek starts from the forest office in the base camp. Please don’t litter the national park as while coming back the bags and if you have left anything on the trek they will fine you. I started the trek at 9:15 AM The start of the trek is easy, all you see is lush green mountains. On the way, you see a lot many boards which tell you about the animals in the national park. You would be lucky if you spot even one of them all, I could find was leeches(insect).
The Kudremukh permit fee is ₹600 per person
The first stop: picturesque tree
Trekking almost a kilometre you’ll find a tree, which is a great place for photography and you can take a 5-minute break. The peak is also seen from here. You can carry one water bottle which is sufficient as you will find many water streams from where you can drink the water directly. The Kudremukh trekking route is just amazing with the green landscape on the bottom and white clouds at the top. On going further you will cross a couple of water streams. The first 4-5 km of the trek is easy.
The second stop: Another picturesque tree
I wonder did someone planted these trees and made them resting spots or if these trees were already present and people stopped here for photography and then they became resting spots. Beyond this tree, the main trek starts. You find your first steep climb. Make sure to have a good breakfast at the start of the trek and don’t be like me. I almost gave up because I hadn’t eaten my breakfast until the guide told me to have something. So everyone went front and after finishing my breakfast I started the trek again.
You just can’t stop admiring the place. The peak looks even closer now. After every km, there is a water stream. The water is so cold and drinkable, which makes you feel so refreshed.
Almost reached the second steep, this time I felt better to climb it but then since not being fit, I did make many stops. It was already 1 pm, and our guide told us to hurry up as while getting down it would get dark.
The summit: Finally did it!
During the trek, I had given up so many times but I don’t know what still kept me going. And after almost 4 hours I did reach the summit. Had some lunch there, rested for a while, and took some photos. The peak is all covered in the clouds. No visibility because of the clouds and it gets cold as well. After taking some deserved rest and some decent photos we start to trek down. Getting down is easier but is risky as well. One wrong step and you might hurt yourself very badly.
The Descent: Kudremukh trek
The descent was again very picturesque and it took a total of 3 hours. After reaching the base the forest officers checked our bag whether we hadn’t left anything in the national park. Reaching the homestay I had some snacks and pitched my tent. Since it was almost drizzling I placed my tent on the house verandah. After having dinner early(8 pm) I dozed off. In the night it did rain heavily. Mind you there is no or less signal in the homestay.
Day 2: Time to see some falls
I got up by 8 am and started preparing for the day. I had enquired everyone about the famous Hanuman Gundi Falls. Since they have closed it I planned to go see another fall – Ellaneru Falls. After having some breakfast I left the homestay. You can tell the owner of the homestay to call the jeep. Since I preferred to walk down to click some good photos. On the way found an old man who too was walking down. And I spoke with him in Kannada. I guess I hadn’t spoken so much Kannada in the last 14 years, how much I spoke in the last 2 days. It surely made the people feel good as well.
I reached the bus stop and took the bus to Samse. The bus ticket was just ₹8.
The hidden falls: Ellaneru falls
After reaching Samse I asked one of the localite about the direction to the falls. After walking for almost 2 km, I was almost inside the forest. Very few houses could now be seen. I asked in one of the houses and they told me it’s just 1km(Which never got over). I started walking but then there came a time when there was no one seen on the path. It gets scary when you are solo traveling to places like these. After going further I found 2 bikers coming top. Upon enquiring with them they told me the falls is another 200mts. Found some relief, reached the falls, and found no one there. I relaxed for some time there and had to rush because of a lot of leeches. On the way back stopped at some beautiful streams which had some beautiful rice fields at the back. Once you reach the main road you can take an auto to the bust stop it will just be ₹20.
The Beauty of Samse: Tea Plantation
My next stop was a tea plantation spot. It was just the next stop. It was already 3 pm and I had started to starve. I decided to finish seeing the tea plantation soon and catch the bus to Kalasa. Upon reaching there on the left you can see the water flowing and on the right is the beautiful tea plantation. It is a must-visit place if you come for the Kudremukh trek.
Final Stop Kalasa: The trip is over
After spending 30 mins at the tea plantation I took the bus back to Kalasa and had some amazing egg-fried rice at a local restaurant for 70 Rs. It was already 4:30 pm, and my bus was in the night at 9 pm. So I just stayed in the waiting space for the bus which smelled bad but didn’t have any other place to go either. The time just passed and it was already 8 pm, so preferred to have dinner soon. Had loved the fried rice so much and ordered the same thing with half a plate of chicken which cost me ₹150. And to digest everything had some Soda which was ₹25. The bus was on time and after sitting on the bus I don’t remember when I slept. Reached Bangalore early morning by 6 am. This was the end of an adventurous trip. Kudremukh trek taught me a lot of things: Try to always be fit, and never skip food while traveling. It was a great learning overall.
Kudremukh Trek: Things to know before going for the trek
- The distance between Bangalore and Kudremukh is 332 km and it takes 9 hrs
- KSRTC and Sugama tourist buses will drop you at Kalasa from where you have to take the city bus.
- The best time to visit Kudremukh is from October to March
- An Aadhar card is needed to get the permit to trek
- The permit fee is ₹425 per person
- From Balegal, Mullodi is 6 km from where the trek starts
- Trek length is 18 km both ways and it usually takes 8-9 hrs to complete the whole trek
- The jeep cost is Rs 1000 – Rs 1200
- Camping is not allowed so you can stay at Raje Gowda’s homestay(9481179008)
FAQ’s about Kudremukh Trek
Q1. Is the Kudremukh trek difficult?
Ans. The Kudremukh trek is moderately difficult. If you don’t play any sports or do physical activities I would recommend you not to try this trek.
Q2. How Much does the Kudremukh trek permit cost?
Ans. The cost of the permit for the Kudremukh trek is Rs 425 per person.
Q3. Is Kudremukh trek open?
Ans. Kudremukh trek is open all the year. The starting point of the trek opens by 6 am and you are allowed only till 10 am. You should also be back to the starting point by 6 pm.
Further, read Gokarna Travel Guide & Best things to do in Hampi! The next article is also going to be about Camping in Gokarna so stay tuned!
If you have any questions drop a comment or DM me at Stories of Raku.