Top Monsoon Treks in Karnataka
All you need to know about monsoon treks in Karnataka
Monsoon is magic! Yes, that's true, at-least here in the western ghats of Karnataka. 'One state, many worlds' is the official tagline of Karnataka tourism department. One of those many worlds is...
Kodachadri though is a place that is worth visiting throughout the year, needs to be visited in the monsoons especially to get a feel of how vibrant the place really is. Once the monsoon arrives, the lushness of the forest engulfs entire Kodachadri. All you can see in the monsoons here at Kodachadri are the thick vegetation & thriving fauna. The experience of trekking in the rain, soaking wet is one that must not be missed. And, not to forget the main attraction of the Kodachadri trek- Hidlumane falls will be gushing in full force in the monsoons. This is the best time to see the falls and also it is a joyful experience to cross the brooks formed by the falls in the monsoon season.The feel of walking amidst the clouds once you reach the peak will be an unforgettable one. The jeep ride back to the base is also more adventurous and thrilling in the monsoons.
Tadiandamol which is the highest peak in Kodagu district at an altitude of 1748 meters, receives very high rainfall during the monsoons. The heavy rains in the region makes the hill and the surrounding landscape come alive with greenery in the monsoons. Crossing the many brooks which thrive in the monsoons at the start of the trekking trail to Tadiandamol is a jolly experience. The panoramic view of the surrounding hills in myriad shades of green is a feast to the eyes and can be witnessed only in the monsoons. Watching the clouds float around you once you are at the peak makes for a serene experience. Also, Chelavara falls which is very close to Tadiandamol is a place best visited during the monsoons.
Kopatty is a hill in Kodagu district which is relatively less-known than other hills in the district like Tadiandamol and Nishani motte. That is exactly why this place needs to be visited. With much less crowd on this trail than other treks in Coorg, especially in the monsoons, it is a delightful experience to trek up Kopatty. Starting from the coffee plantations at the start of the trekking trail to the grasslands atop the hill, everything will be hue of green. The many small streams throughout the trek path in the monsoons add to the charm of the place. Kopatty which is very close to the Brahmagiri hill range receives one of the highest rainfalls in Coorg district and thus has very thick forests too. Give the more popular trails a skip this monsoon and trek up this unexplored gem of a place.
4. Nishani Motte Trek
Nishani Motte is another popular trekking place in Coorg which attracts trekkers from across the country. Located in the Talacauvery wildlife sanctuary of Kodagu, the hill is the best place to experience the true wilderness of Coorg. The trek can either be started from Talacauvery (birth place of river Cauvery) or from Bhaagamandala. The hill which is surrounded by other hills in the Karnataka-Kerala border will be a delight to see in the monsoons as the entire region will be covered in green. The trek path which passes through the dense forest in the beginning will take you to the open meadows as you gain altitude. Passing through these open meadows covered in lush grass in the monsoons is an unforgettable experience. If trekking Nishani motte in the monsoons ain't on your wish list yet, add it now, as it is a trek that must not be missed in Coorg.
4. Narasimha Parvatha Trek
Narasimha Parvatha which is the highest peak in the Agumbe region at an height of 1150 meters is one of the must-do treks in Karnataka in the monsoons. With Agumbe receiving the highest rainfall in South India, monsoons over here are just different. Though forests in this region are evergreen, the monsoons make everything a little bit more magical. There are two trek paths to reach the peak of Narasimha Parvatha, one which starts from Malandur near Agumbe & the other which starts from Kigga near Sringeri. If you choose to trek from Malandur side you can visit the crest point where river Seetha takes a plunge of 500 feet to form the stunning Barkana falls. There are also numerous other waterfalls in the region like Sirimane falls & Onake Abbi falls which will be nothing short of a spectacle to see in the monsoons. Also monsoons are the best time to go herping in Agumbe where you have a chance of spotting some of the rarest reptile species.
5. Kudremukha Trek
Kudremukha in Chikmagalur district receives one of the highest rainfalls in the state & is a perfect place for trekking if you are an experienced trekker & looking for an adventurous trek in the monsoons. The distance from the starting point of trek, Mullodi till Kudremukha peak is around 9 km & it takes a full day to trek till the peak & get back to the base. It is best to start the trek as early as possible in the morning. Trekking Kudremukha needs permission from the forest department & only 50 people are allowed to trek in Kudremukha per day. River Somavathi which is the lifeline of Kudremukha forest will be gushing in full force in the monsoons & also it is a delight to watch the falls near the peak during monsoons. Carrying a poncho or an umbrella is a must if you don't wish to get drenched when you trek Kudremukha as it rains heavily in the monsoons here. Kudremukha trek is one of the most popular & also beautiful monsoon treks in Karnataka.
6. Kurinjal Peak Trek
Kurinjal hill which is just around 10 km from Kudremukh is one of the best monsoon treks to do in Karnataka. It is considered to be one of the easy treks in Karnataka & hence can be done by beginners too. The trek takes around 6 hours to complete & the total trek distance of Kurinjal is around 14 km. Kurinjal peak shot to fame after a restriction on number of trekkers per day was introduced at Kudremukh. During the monsoons the place comes alive with many streams flowing which can be seen on the trek path. The view of the fog-covered hills from the peak of Kurinjal is beautiful & will make the 14 km long trek worth it. The ridge walk on the trek path of Kurinjal is a thrilling experience & also makes it one of the best treks to do in the western ghats of Karnataka.
7. Tavoor Hills Trek
Little-known to the outsiders, Tavoor hills which is also known as Dumchi Gudda among the locals, is another beautiful hill in Coorg/Kodagu. Located very close to Talacauvery which is the birth place of river Cauvery, Tavoor hills is a beautiful place to visit during the monsoons. The trek path takes you along forest trails where you cross many streams & looking out over lush greenery as far as the eye can see is a delightful experience. The ridge walk before you reach the peak of Tavoor hills is an adventurous experience & this stretch offers incredible views of the sprawling valleys. From the summit of the hill the nearby Kopatty hill range can also be seen. The place is often deserted as not many people know about the place & hence you need not be surprised if its just your group on the trek path, especially in the monsoons. Other places to visit near by are Talacauvery, Bhagamandala, Nishani Motte & Kopatty hills.
8. Gaalibeedu Trek
Gaalibeedu is around 10 km from the town of Madikeri & is yet another lesser-known trekking destination in Coorg/Kodagu. Coorg as is generally known receives high rainfall & it is no different in Gaalibeedu. If you are nature-loving & also adventure-seeking person, trekking Gaalibeedu in the monsoon will be a memorable experience. Though the total trek distance is around 14 km, it can be considered an easy to moderate level trek. The trek trail is not very steep in the initial stretch & gradually gains incline in the later stretch. The mist moving while giving you glimpses of the surrounding hills is beautiful to watch & is best experienced during the monsoons. The other places that you can visit nearby Gaalibeedu are Abbey falls, Raja Seat & Mandalpatti.
9. Kote Betta Trek
Kote Betta which is located around 33 km from both Somwarpet & Madikeri is a hill which holds both the beauty of nature & the enigma of mythology within it. A monsoon trek to Kote Betta though challenging is worth the effort because of the incredible views & an exhilarating experience which is possible only in the monsoons. Kote Betta is the third highest peak in Coorg/Kodagu district after Tadiandamol & Brahmagiri. The trek trail passes along huge coffee plantations & gushing streams while leading you to the lush green meadows. You can also see the Mandalpatti hill from Kote Betta. There is also an ancient Shiva temple on the hill which is visited by the locals on festive occasions. The other nearby places to visit are Mallalli falls, Harangi Dam, Dubare elephant camp, Nisarga Dhama & Golden temple at Kushalnagara.
10. Mullayanagiri Trek
Mullayanagiri is the highest peak of Karnataka at an height of 1930 meters. Located around 20 km away from Chikmagalur, Mullayanagiri is one of the most popular tourist places in Karnataka & is often visited by tourists from across the country. Mullayanagiri got its name fromt he tomb of Saint Mullappa Swamy at summit. There is also a small shrine of Lord Shiva at the peak. Though there is a concrete road that takes you almost till the peak, trekking via an alternative route which starts at 'Sarpadhaari' is still allowed. Permission should be taken from the authorities for trekking at the starting point. Mullayanagiri trek might be a little challenging during the monsoons as there are some rocky stretches where you should be careful while trekking but if you are an experienced trekker, trekking Mullayanagiri in the monsoons is an experience you must not miss.
11. Kumara Parvatha Trek
Kumara Parvatha trek which undoubtedly can be called as one of the most popular trek of South India is also one of the best monsoon treks to go on in Karnataka. Though the trek gets a little more challenging with the presence of leeches in the monsoons, there's nothing better than a trek to Kumara Parvatha in the monsoons if you are an adrenaline junkie who loves nature. Even during the monsoons the trek can be done from both sides, Kukke Subramanya & Somwarpet. If you prefer the easy path then you can start the trek at Beedalli camp which is around 30 km from Somwarpet or if you are an experienced trekker you can start the trek from Kukke Subramanya. But you must be warned that there's no shelter anywhere at Kumara Parvatha . Staying in the tents you pitch near 'Bhattaramane' or 'Girigadde forest camp' is your only option. If you are not comfortable staying in a tent while it rains, then a monsoon trek to Kumara Parvatha is not for you.
12. Kabbe Hills Trek
Kabbe hills near Chelavara village is a hidden gem of a place in Coorg. It is not very well-known though it is very close to the popular Tadiandamol hills to which lots of people go trekking on weekends throughout the year. Kabbe hills trek is an easy trek to do but offers very scenic views from the peak. Though it is little challenging to do this trek like all other treks in Coorg during monsoons because of the leeches, it is worth the effort. There are a few homestays at the base of Kabbe hills where you can rest for the night after the trek. They serve local malnad cuisine & offer comfortable rooms or dormitories to crash in after the trek. Also, don't forget to taste the coffee at your stay. After all, what's better than a steaming hot cup of coffee in the land of coffee while it's raining, right?