Visit Kudremukh National Park
I have been meaning to write a piece about this place for close to 3 weeks now and finally found the time to do it now. The impetus was someone discussing things to do over the next weekend, it being a long weekend – Saturday, Sunday and Monday holidays. You either go to Mysore and enjoy the Dussera revelry with the crowds. Or you could escape into the lap of nature. If you were me, you would choose the latter option.
A long weekend affords the time and space to travel longer and enjoy more of what nature has to offer. Bangalore has lots of such options that are within the 300-400 kms radius. Prominent among those are the wildlife parks and sanctuaries lining the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu-Kerala border. One place that is not advertised a lot is “Kudremukh”. Literally meaning “Horse Face”, the name of the park takes from the horse face shaped peak (1892m) in the mountain ranges that cover the expanse of the park.
The Horse Face Shaped peak in Kudremukh National Park.
One of the most recently inducted into the National Park list (2 Sep 1987), this 600 sq km is blessed with scenic landscapes, evergreen forests, and shola forestation. There are many trekking trails and waterfalls that dot the park. It stretches over 3 districts – Udupi, Dakshin Kannada and Chikmagalur. The park is divided into 4 areas – Kudremukh, Kerekatte, Kalasa and Shimoga.
This park is skirted by some of most important religious places in Karnataka. To the south, you have Annapoorneshwari Temple @ Horanadu. To the west, you have Sringeri. To the south west, you have Moodabidri, Dharmastala and Kukke Subrahmanya. So you can mix pleasure and pilgrimage at the same time.
For the adventurous, you have about 13 trekking routes that criss cross the park. Kadambi Falls is one of the highlights of the park. There are a lot of wildlife sightings in the park. Over 195 species of birds are found inside the park. Bhadra and Sitanadi rivers flow through this park.
Some pics that I had clicked when I visited this park during Diwali vacation last year.
Climate is salubrious all through the year, except in monsoons when it rains heavily in these areas. The best time to visit this park is from late September onwards till early March. So, right now is about the right time for you to visit Kudremukh.
How to get there:
Take the NH48 towards Hassan. Cross Hassan and go towards Horanadu. From Horanadu, enter the Kudremukh National Park and drive all the way towards Sringeri. From Sringeri, you can go towards Balehonnur and then to Chikmagalur. From Chikmagalur, you can come to Belur and then to Hassan. The roundtrip would be atleast 750 kms or so.
Drive north towards Udupi and Kundapura. After Kundapura, you can go to Sringeri. There is a direct route. From Sringeri, you can go to Horanadu via the Kudremukh Park. From Horanadu, you can come to NH48 again and come back to Mangalore.
Drive to Hassan and follow the same route as mentioned ex-Bangalore.
Where to stay:
Check this page from Karnataka Tourism portal.