Higher and still higher the road to Kodchadri rises through a landscape scorched by an uncharacteristically early onslaught of summer.
Nature has blessed it with plenty green forest and meadows and cluster of rare trees. Kodchadri is a land of incredible natural beauty and medicinal plants. It is delight to trek this hill situated in Sahyadri region.
An ecological hotspot, it still beckons those who are looking for off-beat trails.And as you climb up there, open up your senses and gear up to rediscover the Blue Mountains. A day time is the ideal to start trekking and the trodden path begins on the plane lands slowly leading to the vague path of ups and downs in the midst of tall wild trees. While climbing the thick white clouds embraces you gently refresh the trekker to continue the journey. Going up and up you will see the clouds below your destination seems like a snow white cotton spread on the mountains.
Kodachadri is one of the rarest pinnacles in the Western Ghats which starts from Gujarat and ends in Kerala. It contains variety and rare animals and plants. It is at the height of 1343 meters from the sea level and 610 meters from the base. Kodachadri spreads in Hosanagar taluk in Shimoga district and Kundapur taluk in Udupi district.
Kodachadri is considered as the Kashmir of Karnataka with evergreen forests, steep valleys, beautiful lawns and waterfalls. A trekker requires courage and a mind to enjoy the natural beauty of this paradise on earth. It stands at the fringes of the land facing the Arabian Sea.
Trekking gives memorable experience. There are five ways to approach the evergreen mountain. One from Sampekatte near to Hosanagar. From Sampekatte one has to reach the top of Kodachadri either by trekking or in a hired jeep available here. But trekking gives rich experience. From Sampekette there is a good motorable 10 Kms., road up to Kattehole. From there one has to trek 12 Kms., mud roads which requires at least 4 hours trekking.
On the way one can see a rare but distinguished Shiva temple called “Gulugulu Shankara” a small temple. In front of the temple there is a small pond full of water always. If you clap standing on the edge of a pond you can see the bubbles coming out from the waters in the pond. Intense clasping results the bubble jump upwards as clasping process goes on.
Therefore the Shiva is called as ‘Gulugulu (bubbles making sound) Shankara” This place is also called as Gowritheertha. Here Mahrshi Champaka penetrated. Sreedhara Swamiji also came over here and stayed for some time. The temple of Gowrishankar though it is small attracts the people.
Another route which is used by most of the people is from Nagodi on the bus route of Shimoga – Kollur. It is more blissful and enjoyable. One has to trek only 5 Kms. from the bottom of the mountain.
But as the mountain is very steep it requires five hours to trek in this path. When reached the top a trekker become tired and dampens with sweat. But the cool breezing air and cool waters of the pond on the top makes the trekker to forget all his fatigue.
The third alternate route is from Gowrikere near Nittor. Nittor is also on the bus route of Shimoga – Kolur. At Gowrikere one can enjoy at a water falls called Hiddlemane and from there Kodachadri is not far off.
Another route is trekking along with Chakra River. Chakra is a small river which rises from Kodachadri. If you trek along this small river from Kattinahole it gives immense pleasure as so many small water falls relieves the fatigue of a trekker.
One can trek from Kollur also. Kollur is a place of great pilgrimage where thousands of pilgrims throng daily to worship Goddess Mookambika. But it requires a proper guide and courage. From here one has to trek through Mookambika reserve forest and ready to trek at least eight hours.
Those who want to enjoy the pleasure of thick and wild forest can choose the route from Benakal theertha near Kollur. This forest is the abode of many wild animals and the route is very difficult to climb. It requires at least 10 hours reaching Kodachadri from this place. So courage, strength and zeal are essential to choose this route.
What to see in Kodachadri:
Both sun rise and sunset can be witnessed at Kodachadri. Dusks and dawns are beautiful as snow white clouds beneath the mountains elevate the whole atmosphere to the world of heavenly bodies.
Viewing sunset from Sarvajnapeetha is a unique experience. This sarvajna peetha believed to be constructed by Adi Shankara is that the tip of the mountain and from there one can view the set of the sun in different angles. The red sun paints the golden color to the sky in the west while it is immersing into Arabian Sea.
In the early morning the singing birds greets the lover of a nature. The sun rises in the eastern part of the mountain which is a rare experience and most enjoyable. From sarvagnya peetha there is steep valley which is a place of meditation. Bed like rocks and flowing water makes to those who meditate comfortably.
There are temples of the Goddess and Lord Ganesh. A bath at the nearby falls is a relishing experience.
The two priests of the temple have constructed their private guest rooms and they are comfortable to stay. The hospitality, tasty food which they provide makes the visitor to stay a day or two. There is one Government guest house with all amenities is ready to serve the visitor. The best time to visit Kodachadri is from November to April. Thousands of people visit this place during Shivaratri.
Another place in the bottom of the hill near Nagodi there is an interesting place where very few people go there, and almost unknown to the world. That is “Devargadde” that means the rice field of God. Here a flat land on the top of a small hill and surrounded by thick forest and here paddy grows during rainy season.
The cattle from nearby village came there for grazing. But they won’t even touch the paddy plants and never graze them. Even birds and wild animals don’t eat the paddy grows in this field. So, people call it as Devaragaddee. The paddy grains will spread on the same field and wait for another rainy season to grow. Another place to visit is ‘Hulibayi’ that means the mouth of a tiger between Nagodi and Kollur where the water comes out from the mouth of a stone face of tiger always. The traveler quenches the thirst by drinking this sweet water available all 365 days in a year.
How to get there:
Kodachadri is about 471 K.ms., from Bangalore, South India ,Plenty of local transports are there up to Kollur. One can hire a jeep from Kollur to Kodachadri and back. There is a Government guest house on the top of the hill. Plenty of private resorts are available at affordable rates.
By Sundar Raj M.N.