Last weekend I and Abraham decided to go to Kodachadri. As is usual, I checked out USandeep’s blog and sure enough, there was an entry on Kodachadri.
There are several places of interest near Kodachadri. Among them are the peak itself, Arshinangundi Falls, Heddlumane Falls and the Mookambika Temple at Kollur. From Bangalore there are 2 routes to get there. One is via Shimoga and the other via Mangalore-Udupi. If you are going via Shimoga, then it is best to get down at Nittur Village and hire a jeep from there to take you to the Kodachadri gate which is on the way to Kollur. If you are coming via Shimoga, then you will be going through Kollur. So, you can get down there and have food and make necessary travel arrangements from there. The temple is at Kollur. So, there are a lot of affordable hotels nearby. Beena residency near the temple is where we stayed the night we got there. It was a very clean hotel and the food was good too. A double room cost us Rs.450.
We had booked a direct bus to Kollur and we reached there by about 8:30 in the morning. We had started from Bangalore at around 8 pm the previous night. The bus trip was the worst ever that I have had to endure. 12 hours of back-breaking misery. This was because we had booked the tickets late and we got last row seats.
After we got there, we had a coffee from a restaurant in the bus stand and took a bus to the Kodachadri Gate(Karakatte Gate). It is only 12 kms away. We reached there by 9:30. Normally, people who go there with their families hire a jeep from either Kollur or Nittur Village which will take them to the start of the actual trail. It is also possible to travel to just below the peak in the jeep by taking an alternate route. We had gone there to walk and so we decided to do every bit of it ourselves. The start of the trail is at Vallur which is marked by the Santhosh Hotel which is run by a malayalee. Vallur is around 4 kms from the gate.
It was a good warm up to the climb. It was very cool and the the land was level. We passed through thin forests and open meadows and after about 45 mins reached the hotel.
We were very hungry by then and we ate puttu and kadala and a double omlette and had some more coffee. We also bought a big water bottle and I took a small clothe sachet filled with salt and lime to rub on my legs to prevent leech bites. As it turned out, that was quite unnecessary as there weren’t many leeches.
We were feeling a little sick because of the nasty bus ride and the lack of sleep. But the refreshing walk and the clean air quickly revived our spirits and we set out on the trail. After a short walk there is a fork in the road. The jeep track is to the left and the trail is straight ahead.
Kodachadri is a pilgrimage spot and that means that there are a lot of people who visit it. Not all people do it because they love nature or because they enjoy walking. They do it for religious purposes or to fulfill some promise they made. That means that they don’t really give 2 hoots about keeping the place clean. I was pained to see that the whole place was littered with plastic bags and bottles.
All along the way, there are stalls where you can get refreshments. After a few hours of walking, we came to the temple below the peak. The temple people were very friendly and offered to prepare us lunch when we came back from the peak. We refilled our water bottles with water from a small stream, rested for a while and started walking again. There is also a PWD resthouse near the temple and a pond with some fish in it.
The guesthouse was closed then. The rest of the walk was incredibly scenic and we greatly enjoyed the panoramic views.
A short walk later we reached the peak. There was another temple there. We got down onto the other side of the peak and went to an empty bald peak nearby with a tower on top of it. Then we took another path and went down to a place where a woman sits and meditates during certain times of the year. We returned after that to the temple below the peak and had lunch and rested for a while there. Then we returned and on our way back had another stop at Santhosh Hotel. We reached the gate by about 5 ‘O’ clock. As we were waiting for the bus, it started raining heavily suddenly. I had a jacket and I escaped getting wet. But Abraham got drenched to the bone. It was also very cold.
Poor Abraham! We got back to Kollur by about 6 and booked ourselves into Beena Residency. After a restful night, we set off for Shimoga, the next day.
The bus ride was a very pleasant one. We got to see the Sharavathi rive and a lot of scenic landscapes on the way. We reached Shimoga by 5 and booked ourselves seats on a Benz o Bangalore. We always make the last leg of our trips as luxurious as possible…
Just before getting into the bus, I found out that my camera was missing. After a few frightening moments, someone told me that he had found it. So, everything went well, and we got back safe and well…