Whenever we think of the ultimate chai and hills combo ( could also be coffee and hills ) we usually think about The Himalayas. But are The Himalayas the only mountain range in our country? Hell no. We have the lovely Western Ghats situated in the southern part of India. Neither do the Western Ghats experience snowfall nor are they as majestic as The Himalayas but they are certainly as beautiful. The lush green meadows, the forests, the waterfalls, the tea gardens, the clouds touching your feet and lots and lots of rain make The Western Ghats unbelievably beautiful. One such place in The Western Ghats is Kudremukh and it is a must visit.
Just to clear up the confusion, Kudremukh is both the name of a mountain peak and also a small village next to it. People usually refer to the whole area surrounding the village and the peak as Kudremukh.
Kudremukh means " face of a horse " ( because the Kudremukh peak resembles the face of a horse ) in the Kannada language, which is the official language of Karnataka. Kudremukh is situated in Karnataka at an elevation of 6214 ft. The nearest airport is 100 km away in Mangalore. Kudremukh can only be reached by road. Although there are buses available, I would suggest traveling to Kudremukh on a vehicle, it'll be a trip to remember. You can catch buses to Kudremukh from Karkala. Kudremukh isn't the kind of place where people usually spend a night because there are very few hotels in Kudremukh, the reason being protection of animals and their habitat in the Kudremukh National Park.
Now you might hear people say that Kudremukh is best visited during October to February period, well that's just partially true. True how? Well because in October the rains have just stopped, Kudremukh is showing off it's lush green colors all over which makes it ideal for both trekking and a road trip. Now from December to February the weather is very pleasant. Although the meadows that you come across during the trek might not be as green as they used to be till October. The green grass wears off due to high speed wind and no rainfall leaving tiny grasses of yellow and green color. So the peak season has been explained. It is suggested that you not visit Kudremukh between March and May, that's just because it gets a little hot during those months. If you can beat the heat, then you might as well go to Kudremukh. Now comes my favorite season, the Rainy Season. It rains in Kudremukh from June to September ( May 20 to September end approx) and it rains hard. Kudremukh experiences approximately 6000 mm of rainfall annually. The rains make Kudremukh look extremely beauitful. The lush green forests, meadows and clouds touching your feet make it a trip to remember. Why people wouldn't suggest you to visit Kudremukh during the rains is because some of the activities are closed during this time( I'll mention the specifics later in the article). But it makes a hell of a road trip. So if you are looking for a day out, then Kudremukh is the one to go.
Following is the list of of things you can do in Kudremukh.
Kudremukh offers a very good trekking experience. The trek difficulty is moderate. It takes 4-5 hours to reach the peak which is a 9 km long trek. All the way you find huge meadows and great views of the Western Ghats. The trek gets difficult during the summer and rainy seasons. During the rainy season they might even close the trek for safety concern. The optimum trekking season is September to February. Between September to November you'll find lush green meadows and between December to February you can expect dry yellow/green grass. The trek begins from Samse which is a small village near Kudremukh. You can reach there and take your trek permit and also rent a jeep to drop you off to the trek starting point. It is recommended to begin your trek early in the morning ( by 9 preferably ) so that you can chill for long time at the peak and return with peace.
1) Hanuman Gundi falls - This is the most popular and beautiful waterfall of Kudremukh. A little hike from the parking site will take you to the falls. The falls are very picturesque. The falls are located right at the entrance of Kudremukh. The falls remain closed during the rains due to heavy force of the waters.
2) Elaneer falls - This is a comparatively smaller one yet very beautiful. The falls are located in Samse. You are not allowed to visit these falls without a guide. You can call him up and ask him how to reach the falls. Contact :- Shreyas Guide, 9964194497.
3) Somavathi falls - Somavathi falls is a pretty place to visit. It is one of the less visited falls but certainly not less beautiful. It is just a km from Mullodi. You can collect your tickets from Satish House at Mullodi. A small trek will take you to the falls.
The Shree Ganga Tea Depot near Samse offers some amazing tea with clear views of the tea gardens. The Vinayaka Temple ( dedicated to Lord Ganesha ) is located right next to the tea depot in the middle of the tea gardens. It is a peaceful place of worship.
A huge Hanging Bridge is located in Kalasa just above a river. It is a lovely place to chill and you get some amazing photographs here. Any Kalasa local will guide you to the place.
Kudremukh gives you an amazing and picturesque drive right from when you enter. The smooth roads surrounded by trees, forests, hills make the drive memorable. If you are not up for trekking then a drive to Kudremukh and visiting few of the above mentioned spots will make your day. But if you can spare two days then I suggest you to trek and also visit these places.
Kudremukh is something else altogether. There's no place like it. If you are in Karnataka and can spare a day or two then Kudremukh won't disappoint you. Kudremukh will surprise you throughout your trip.
Thank you for giving it a read guys. Appreciate it.