Kudremukh, an Uphill Journey

Have you ever been to Kudremukh? If no, it’s a must visit, here I’ll be sharing my experience about a trip to the tip .

Kudremukh literally means ‘horse-face’(kannada) and refers to a particular picturesque view of a side of the mountain that resembles a horse’s face. It’s located in Chikkamagaluru district, in Karnataka, India. It’s the second highest peak in Karnataka .

Travel

The journey started when we left Bangalore city early in the morning with the anticipation of reaching by afternoon so we could book a place to stay on the go.

As we went with the thought of visiting a hill station packed with warm clothes, we ended up getting warmer as we strayed from Bangalore .

After an 8:00 hours journey through all the humps and bumps, tolls and trolls we finally reached all pumped up knowing that now all we needed was to search for a place nearby the mountain as that was our ultimate goal for the journey.

Unfortunately, we didn’t find the right place to halt at so we ended up walking around different parts of the hills searching for the right spot. After 2 hours of searching we finally found a homestay before the sun went down and oh yes it was perfect.

We found a homestay quite close to the mountain which would provide us with easy access for the trek next morning.

Accommodation

The home stay provided us with 3 meals a day, all vegetarian food but don’t be disheartened my non veg lovers, me being a foodie just loved the home food they cooked. The homemade recipes were a delight.

The price we paid for accommodation was ₹800/- per day per person and it was worth every rupee. The prices may vary depending on the season.

Next we wanted to get details about the Kudremukh mountain trek and luckily the homestay we were in had a trek guide already available .

The Trek

We learnt that we needed to buy a ticket to climb the mountain and the tickets are sold on the very same day early in the morning between 5:00 to 8:00. The price per ticket was ₹500 per person. To get the tickets we needed every persons Government recognized ID proof with a valid photograph. We could not buy the tickets even a day earlier so better wake up early or you will miss out! Also, we cannot do the trek without a guide present with us and not more than 5 people per 1 guide. Carrying any kind of plastics is prohibited from the starting check post, which means no plastic bottles, no cigarettes and no plastic bags.

It’s a total of 18km trek from the starting point, 9km up and 9km down so I would insist you all to carry a water bottle at all times, one thing which we didn’t do and suffered quite a lot because they told us no plastic bottles and the guide will tell you there is water on the way to the trek. What we didn’t know was that he talking about a few small streams that ran through the forest and that’s the only water source, nothing else.

One more good point would be to get up as early as 5:00 am to leave for the trek because it takes quite a long time to cover the 18km if completed, the trek would take around 6–8 hours depending on how fast you cover the distance.

Half way to the top @kudremukh

Our experience

Our story was quite different though so we actually planned on calling quits on the whole idea to trek up a mountain and most of us decided to sleep it out because we were partying the previous night.

The next thing we know one of our friends just walked out of the room at 5am went to the ticketing office and bought us 5 tickets. When we found out we had no choice, we just couldn’t waste the 500 rupees ticket only valid for one day, we left without further debate.

Our home stay had a jeep so to drop us up to the check post we would have to travel around 1 to 2 km to reach. Once we reached the check post they started checking our tickets and IDs with our guide and even started to check our bags for anything not permitted.

We started our journey with a bag filled with puliyogare as they feel that’s a really healthy food for a trek which was given to us from our home stay. At the beginning it was 5 tired souls who just had a long night came on this journey but slowly the adrenaline rush started to pump in once we headed into the thick forest and the beautiful view it was just something else. We started the trek around 8:30 in the morning which was quite late to be honest and the guide would let us take a break every 1 km or if we just passed a steep climb .

The first 3 km was pretty much a walk in the park as we didn’t have to start climbing uphill. All of us between 26 to 30 years of age, not so active around the park, just doing what we do best to enjoy life ended up in a journey to be remembered for a lifetime.

On the 4th km mark is when we really started to have a problem as the incline meant literally using your hands to climb as well. Not used to such a blow of energy release one of our friends stopped at the 4km mark and decided going ahead was not an option any more as he found such a sweet spot under a huge tree giving enough of shade for a building itself.

The 4 of us on our journey got to see a deer, leopard, peacock, mice and a landscape as beautiful as it could be. At the 6 km mark is where the mountain really starts to test you, starts to make you feel weak and you would feel like you would want to give up and call it a day, well that got the best of 2 more friends who ended up letting go at the 6km mark.

At this point we already passed 4 streams and 3 parts of the dense forest which literally felt like evening when it was a bright sunny day. Not being able to carry plastic which made us thirsty all the time was even just a huge backdrop for our journey .

At the end only two of us kept pushing and had really beautiful conversations with a bunch of 5 to 6 elderly people around 50 to 60 years old who wanted to complete the trek as well. Seeing them made us more enthusiastic to reach to the top of the mountain.

The view with in the clouds @kudremukh

The Finale

The heat of the sun, the cool wind and the beautiful landscape along with 4 to 5 hours of trekking to the top, we finally reached our destination and it was so beautiful. It had a stream flowing all the way from the top. The feeling of being able to complete the trek of 6216ft was amazing. It was so high that houses looked like tiny ants and the satisfaction of achieving the goal to climb to the top felt just great . Well the journey up was a whole different ball game compared to the journey back down this is where a good pair of shoes come in handy.

By 1:30pm in the afternoon the guide would start taking us back down no matter how far we had been able to reach. We had to be back before dark and it got dark real fast .

The experience to climb up and back down was unbelievable and the view with the adrenaline rush was just amazing. I recommended this trip because it’s one tough journey and once we reached our goal it’s one big victory. The feeling can’t be replaced by anything but you standing up there and climbing that mountain it was just an amazing trip all in all we got to really know how much we can push ourselves to reach a certain goal.

Price

Stay per person : ₹800 including food

Max number of people can stay : 8

Fuel : ₹4000 2 way diesel in car

Ticket : ₹500 per person

Extra expense : ₹2000 per person (average taken)