Savandurga from Base

Savandurga Trek

Trekking to Savandurga is a different experience altogether and I must say a trekker’s life is incomplete without completing the Savandurga trek.

Details of Savandurga Trek

Total distance : 4 to 5 kms (both ways)

Level of difficulty : Easy

Time duration : 4 hours in total

Permission required ?: No. But you can also book a guide through myecotrip website by paying 250 rs. You will get a guide along with you.

Details about Savandurga

Savanadurga is the largest monolith in Asia . Located at a distance of around 60 kms from the city Bengaluru, savanadurga is a center of attraction for pilgrims and adventurists . Savanadurga which provides a unique experience of trekking the single stone surely deserves a top place in their bucket list for the trekkers in Bangalore.

Savandurga from the base
Savandurga from the base
How to reach Savanadurga?

Reaching savanadurga should be of the least thing to bother as there are direct buses from majestic Bangalore . The bus with route number 241-A directly drops you at the Lakshmi narasimha swamy temple which is where the trail of the trek starts.

One can also choose to travel on their own vehicle. The place is located near magadi . One can reach there via magadi road or through the kengeri road and then Manchinbelle road.

Experience :
Reaching Savandurga

Our plan was to reach savanadurga by 4 am and reach the peak by 6 am or 6.30 and watch the sunrise. As a part of preparation, I googled trying to find every possible information about savanadurga and most importantly, is trekking allowed before 6 am as most of the treks are either banned or require forest permission. Unable to get a clear information we decided to start late and reach the base camp by 6 am.

As planned, we started from Bangalore around 5 and keyed savanadurga in the Google maps. The google lady suggested to take the route of kengeri but we missed taking a left near Nayandhalli and were forced to choose magadi road. On the way we picked some biscuits and water bottle . After travelling for nearly an hour , Google lady asked us to take left .

As I took left, we entered into a small village with not so good road. In couple of mins we reached a place in the village where it did scare us for a while.

Scary road in a village on the way to Savandurga
Scary road in a village on the way to Savandurga

Finally taking the guidance of the villager (thanks to the aunt who woke up early)we reached the base camp. We choose to have a breakfast before starting our trek.

From Savandurga to Peak

After breakfast we started our trek around 6.30 . As I looked at the mammoth stone , I was thrilled to trek. This was surely going to be a different experience in my short trekking life. As we started climbing, we watched the sunrise (sun had already risen but thanks to the clouds it appeared as though we are watching the sunrise ).

Sunrise during Savandurga trek
Sunrise during Savandurga trek

We realized it is unlike other treks where you have a ascend, flat surface and even descend at times. Savandurga trek offered no flat or ascend until we reached the 90%.

Pic of Savandurga while trekking
Pic of Savandurga while trekking
Machinbelle from savandurga
Machinbelle from savandurga

we made sure to take rest every now and then and keep ourselves hydrated. We reached the peak in about 2 hours with lot of breaks in between. After spending sometime at the peak we headed back and took roughly 1.5 hours to reach the base.

Suggestion for Savanadurga Trek
  • Like I mention in every trek, starting the trek early has an added advantage of less crowd, less heat, savanadurga makes no exception.
  • Take water. There is no water source. Take enough energy bars such as snickers
  • Trekking shoes are always mandatory.
  • There is no forest permission required and I have gathered the information from the local villagers that few people start at 2 in the night to witness the sunrise.

Check out more trekking destinations near Bangalore

Sunset from Kodachadri peak

Kodachadri Trek

Kodachadri : The Jasmine of Hills

It was a long pending plan and a must in bucket list to trek Kodachadri before we made plan for ourselves to experience the beauty of Kodachadri. It was a lifetime experience to trek one of the most beautiful places one can witness. Kodachadri is undoubtedly one of the must trekking places in Karnataka.

About Kodachadri :

Kodachadri  is a mountain peak with dense forests located at Shivamogga District, Karnataka. It is 10th highest peak (1343 mts above sea level) and 3rd most intense trek in Karnataka.  It is also known by name  “Kutachadri” and “Kodashi Parvatha”.

Details of Kodachadri Trek:
  • Distance : 24 kms both ways
  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Time Taken: 4 to 5 hours (1 way)
  • Ideal time to Visit: July to December
  • Suggested Age group: 7 to 40
Reaching Kodachadri:

Kodachadri is located between Shivamogga and Kolluru,

    1. By Air: Mangaluru airport is the nearest airport. One has to travel to Kolluru by road or by rail(not so frequent)
    2. By Train: The nearest railway station is Byndoor (BYNR ) is 28kms from Kollur and from here one has to reach the any of the 3 trekking options mentioned below.
    3. By Bus – One has to take bus from Shivamogga (around 3 hours) or Kolluru (1 hour) and hire a local jeep to reach base camp. There are direct buses from Bangalore to Sampekatte, Nittur and Kollur.
    4. Own Transport: Travelling by own transport should be a good option if you find a place to stay where you can park your vehicles.

There are 3 routes to reach the Kodachadri peak.

  1. SampeKatte – One has to get down at Sampekatte located around 10 kms from Base Camp and hire a local jeep till Forest Check Post.

Options : Can trek or go by jeep to peak. Get to see Hidlumane Falls, if by trek.

  1.  Nagode – Get down at Kolluru Wildlife Sanctuary (Base Camp) and trek
  2. Nittur: One can get down at Nittur and start trekking. Jeeps are also available from this point and they go via Sampekatte. This route joins the option 1 of via Sampekatte at Hidlumane.

Entry Fee:

There is an entry fee of Rs. 25 per head which needs to be paid at Forest Check Post.

 Guide Required? 

Yes, if you are taking the option 1 or 3 .

Buy Trekking items in Decathlon

Our Experience:

Bangalore to Kodachadri:

We traveled from Bangalore to Sampekatte by  Bus which is around 10 hours journey, and from Sampekatte we were picked by homestay guy. We reached homestay by 7 in the morning.  Luckily we reached as planned which provided us the ample of time to refresh ourselves and finish our breakfast.

Day 1:

Reaching the Kodachadri Peak:

We chose SampeKatte route as we get to see Hidlumane Falls. We were accompanied by guide which is a must to trek safe. (Homestay helped us to find 1). The trek can be divided into 3 parts.

  1. Trek To Hidlumane Falls:  As we started from the Sampekatte, the trail was pretty easy. It was actually the jeep route to Kodachadri.  After walking a KM or more, we had to deviate from the jeep route to enter into the thick forest of Mookambika forest reserve.  The trek suddenly got interesting as we started to explore the forest with considerable amount of ascend. After walking for around 3 Kms from the deviation, we reached Hidlumane.
    Hidlumane
    Hidlumane

    Hidlumane is the last house and there is a small shop located. We had buttermilk and started our journey to the most awaiting destination Hidlumane falls. Soon, the trail provided us the view of the paddy field with the mountain as the background. After walking for 15 to 20 minutes, we started witnessing a series of falls and trekking through the falls alongside was a totally different experience. The final falls was the Hidlumane falls which was falling from a height of around 50 Ft. Taking a dip in the falls, we continued our trek to the Kodachadri.

    Hidlumane Falls
    Hidlumane Falls

      2. Trek to Peak:

We had ample amount of time to reach and peak. Path was slightly slippery at few places and very steep at few places. The view of mountains makes you overcome your tiredness and provides refreshing and unique experience with breathtaking views and paths. We find it difficult to explain the beauty of nature.

Trail after Hidlumane Falls
Trail after Hidlumane Falls

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It took around 3 hours to reach the Jeep Point (2 kms away from peak) where we had our lunch and gave ourselves some time before moving further.

There is a PWD house which can be booked though online which we explored but after seeing the PWD house, we felt happier for not able to get accommodation here.

PWD house
PWD house

There is a temple of Mookambika devi here.

Mookambika temple near Kodachadri
Mookambika temple near Kodachadri

We started to peak and it took us around 50 mins to reach to point while travelling through breathtaking views and paths covered with clouds and sun rays peeking through it.

They say kodachadri is the peak one can witness beautiful sunset and true to its word we were blessed enough to witness 1 on the day. It is a memorable experience that we find difficult to put our emotions through words.

      3. Reach Base Camp:

It was dark and our guide / homestay had booked jeep for us to reach base camp. It took us 1 hour to reach homestay which was around 12 kms from peak and road was in very bad condition. One has the option to walk back by jeep route too. We opted to take a jeep ride as we wanted to witness the beautiful sunset and it was pretty late to walk back.

Temples at Kodachadri:
  1. Sarvajna peetha –

It is a is a small temple at the peak where Adi Shankara Acharya meditated. This small structure bears a name which is similar to Sarvajñapīṭha, also called Sharada Peetha of Jammu and Kashmir.

Sarvajna peetha at kodachadri peak
Sarvajna peetha at kodachadri peak
  1. Sri Mookambika Devi temple –

It is located near travellers’ bungalow and is believed to be the origin of Sri Mookambika Devi.

Day 2:

  1. Visit to near by places.

We booked a jeep to visit near by places and thanks to homestay guy for suggesting beautiful places nearby.

Sharavathi Back waters / The Hanging Bridge:

It is located around 10 kms from Sampekatte and provides you space to spend some good time. Boat rides are available and you can get 1 if you are lucky enough.

Hanging bridge near Sharavathi backwaters
Hanging bridge near Sharavathi backwaters

Kolluru Mookambika Temple:

One of the oldest pilgrimage temples located in Karnataka. We were lucky enough to get ample time to visit and spend some good time at temple.

Kolluru Mookambika temple
Kolluru Mookambika temple

We had booked Durgamba bus from kolluru to Bangalore and reached back Bangalore which completed our one of the most memorable trips /treks.

Other Places to Visit:

Nagara Fort (Located 6 kms from Sampekatte), Udupi, Jog Falls etc.

Suggestions to Trek to Kodachadri:
  • It is better to trek via Sampekatte or Nittur as you get to see Hidlumane falls.
  • Trekking shoes and trekking pole provides you good support, so make sure you wear good trekking shoes.
  • Carry enough eatables (chocolates, dry fruits etc) and water.
  • Carry salt / dettol / lighters etc to avoid leeches because Kodachadri is home to leeches
  • Can plan your trek with organizers. There would not be much difference in the cost.
  • Best Time to Visit is during winter. if you want too much of adventure you can opt for Monsoon trek as well whcih is surely an amazing experience.
  • Jeep Charges : 2000, Guide Charges : Depends on season or contact you get.

Thanks to Akshaya Home Stay and Guide who made our trek a memorable one.

Hidlumane Falls

Hidlumane Falls

Hidlumane falls, located in the Mookambika reserve forest in the shivamogga district is one of the famous waterfalls in Karnataka.

Details of the Hidlumane Falls:

Hidlumane falls is not just one waterfall but a series of cascading waterfalls. Each waterfall is a beauty in its own. Each waterfall is hidden from the cascading fall. The last hidlumane falls gives an enthralling experience to the visitor and to get under this waterfall which is falling from 40 to 50 ft is a totally an experience you cherish for the rest of your life.

How To Reach Hidlumane Falls

Hidlumane falls is secluded in the western ghats and there is no easy way to reach here than trekking.

Trek to Hidlumane Falls

Trekking to hidlumane waterfalls is a wonderful experience for all the adventureres . The trail starts from two places : Nittur and Sampekatte.

Total distance of the trek : 4 KMS(one way)

Time taken : 2 hours (one way)

Entry fee: 25 RS per head

Details of trek to Hidlumane Falls

The trek trail starts from sampekatte with a normal mud road on which all the jeeps go to Kodachadri . After around 1.5kms from Sampekatte , there is a deviation from the Jeep road to the right. But, one has to walk a few meters in the direction of Jeep road , pay the forest fees and come back.

Jeep Route From Sampekatte to Hildumanen falls
Jeep Route From Sampekatte to Hildumane falls

As one deviates from the Jeep track, there is a small stream of water that needs to be crossed . Crossing this stream of water is quite challenging during the monsoon. After crossing the stream of water, one has to trek through the jungles with a considerable ascend. The trek through this part is quite enthralling as you explore into the deep forest .

Trek in the forest to Hidlumane falls
Trek in the forest to Hidlumane falls

After nearly an hour of trek, you will reach a flat surface where plenty of paddy crops are grown and a small house awaits you in the backdrop of the mountains. The house is the hidlumane. Mane stands for home in Kannada. There is a small shop run by the hidlumane family where one can buy biscuits, chocolates etc. One can also taste the buttermilk which rejuvenates you after the trek.

Hidlumane
Hidlumane

This is also the place where the trek from the Nittur route joins . From this distance , hidlumane is hardly 30 minutes of trek . One would start feeling awarded as he sees the first waterfall but after proceeding the trek for 5 more minutes , Hidlumane falls would sure to make the trekker spellbound.

It is quite common that the trekkers continue to trek to Kodachadri after completing the Hidlumane falls. One has to trek through 8 Kms to reach Kodachadri from the falls. We trekked till Kodachadri and you can read about the details here.

Dudhsagar Waterfalls

Trek to Dudhsagar: Not a Trek But a Beautiful Long Walk

Ever since I have watched the Chennai Express movie, I wanted to visit Dudhsagar waterfalls. And I am sure this would be in the list of every traveler. With my newly added hobby of trekking, trek to Dudhsagar was what I was looking for from past couple of months. And finally I was at Dudhsagar waterfalls. Thanks to the wonderful organizing by the Bangalore AdventuRers with whom I choose to trek to Dudhsagar after an amazing experience in the night trek to Skandagiri

Bangalore to Londa:

With lot of excitement to trek to Dudhsagar and to enjoy the sea of milk, we boarded the Rani Chennama train to Londa Junction from Bangalore. The train scheduled to reach Londa junction around 7 AM in the morning and the last thing we wanted was a delay in the train. Luckily, the train arrived Londa junction on time which provided us the ample of time to finish our breakfast.

Picture of Train arriving at Londa junction
Picture of Train arriving at Londa junction
Londa To Kulem

We then traveled from Londa junction to Kulem station in Chennai Vasaco Da gama express in general compartment. As the train entered in to the thick forest making its way through the tunnels, we kept mesmerizing the beauty struggling to find a word to explain the beautiful nature. Travelling through the tunnels was quite a refreshing experience for me after nearly 6 years.

Train journey from Kulem to Dudhsagar
Train journey from Kulem to Dudhsagar

There were total of 16 tunnels and after every tunnel, our eyes busied themselves in the search of the Dudhsagar falls. And when we crossed the 11th tunnel, the mighty waterfalls was to our left. Every passenger in the train moved to their eyes to the left. The train slowed down allowing us to get a glimpse of the the Dudhsagar waterfalls but I was highly disappointed looking at the water level. It was the September 3rd week ; monsoon was not over yet but the falls had reduced to a great level. Anyways, within 10 minutes, we reached our destination Kulem station, where our guide awaited us for the trek to begin.

Kulem Railway station: Starting point of Dudhsagar trek
Kulem Railway station: Starting point of Dudhsagar trek
The Trek to Dudhsagar Begins:

After a bit of warm up and some stretches to our rusted body parts, we entered the jungle with a bit of ascend.

We crossed the railway track and entered the jungle again and in another 5 minutes we were on a broad mud road: the road that was meant for the Jeep safari. And From that point till the waterfalls it was just a long walk with no ascend or descend which is why I decided to call it as not a trek but a long walk. The walk in the Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary was surely exciting where we witnessed different types of flowers, we crossed multiple streams of water and also saw a snake.

Trek to Dudhsagar: Walking in Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary
Trek to Dudhsagar: Walking in Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary
Flower
Flower
Crossing a stream of water while trekking to Dudhsagar
Crossing a stream of water while trekking to Dudhsagar

After walking nearly 8 KMS, we reached a home stay where we had our delicious lunch and a small break of 15 minutes.

We continued our walk after a small break to reach the bottom of the Dudhsagar waterfalls .

Dudhsagar waterfalls Entrance
Dudhsagar waterfalls Entrance

We spent some time there: few of them taking pictures with the mighty Dudhsagar waterfalls in the background, few of them enjoyed in the water and I kept gazing at the Dudhsagar waterfalls. Here was I, completing one of the most wanted trek. I wish I had arrived a month before to witness the falls flowing to its glory.

Night Stay At Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary:

We came back to the home stay where we had our lunch which was our abode for the night. The experience of staying in small house amidst the thick forest was surely an adventure. The dinner was as delicious as lunch and we slept with a full stomach.

home stay-during-Dudhsagar-trek
home stay-during-Dudhsagar-trek

Next day we took an early to Londa and from Londa to Bangalore with loads of memories.

Suggestions to Trek To Dudhsagar:
  • Trek to Dudhsagar is allowed only through the Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary. The trek route of walking on the railway through the tunnels from the Castle Rock station is officially banned. There are enough policemen making sure you cannot escape.
  • I would suggest trek to Dudhsagar through some trekking clubs. The facilities in the location are not very great and you need to dig deep to reach there. Here is an article explaining everything about Dudhsagar that I could gather. Even if you try to explore on your own to save some penny, the chances you might not is more
  • Trekking shoes are optional. Your normal sports shoes suffice the need as the path is mostly a walk. I had trouble walking through the trekking shoes.
  • Plan your trek in July or August when the waterfalls is flowing to its maximum capacity.
Other details

Total trek distance : 12kms one way

Nearest railway station : Kulem

Forest charges : Applicable. Local guide will take care . You night have to pay extra for camera

Trek on Railway Track allowed ?: No

Best time to visit : During monsoon. A pure monsoon trek to enjoy the full view of Dudhsagar

Total time : 4 to 5 hours

 

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