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.

Rolling Hills of the Kudremukh Park.

Scenic drive on NH13 that passes through the park

Kadambi Falls in Kudremukh National Park

Lakya Dam near Kudremukh Iron Ore

Clouds playing hide and seek! :-)

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:
From Bangalore:
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.

From Mangalore:
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.

From Mysore:
Drive to Hassan and follow the same route as mentioned ex-Bangalore.

Where to stay:
Check this page from Karnataka Tourism portal.

13 Comments so far

  1. Kishor Cariappa (unregistered) on September 24th, 2006 @ 3:19 pm

    These days, Kudremukh forest has been in news owing to heavy Naxalites activity in the area (Western Ghats). I guess the special task force has been camping in the area for quite sometime now for combing operations. Get a first hand info on the situation before you plan a trip.

    Also, if you are coming from Karkala side, you can visit Hanumangundi Falls on the way to Kudremukh…the water is brrrrrrrrrrrrrr….very cold!

  2. Naveen (unregistered) on September 24th, 2006 @ 8:28 pm

    Amazing snaps RC….we had been to Shringeri, Horanadu, Dharmasthala, Kukke, Halebidu, Belur and Belagola two weeks back…the snaps cover the same road that we traversed while going from Shringeri to Horanadu. Though it was raining, I’ve some good snaps of the route. Can I upload it on the B’lore metblogs?

  3. SHADOW (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 9:31 am

    This is one of my favorite travel belt.

  4. rubic_cube (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 11:20 am

    Kishor: Thanks for the heads up! I guess any of us who travels to that sector should bear that in mind. Maybe Naveen can tell.

    Naveen: Ofcourse, upload it to flickr and then add it to the Bangalore Metroblogging set. We can all see it from that set. BTW – the route that you mention was almost the same that I had done during the last Diwali vacation. We had included Kollur and Murudeshwar also.

    Shadow: Nice to know!

  5. Ravi (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 11:28 am

    hey r_c,
    nice writeup. you are becoming quite the ‘travelling’ man, I see!

  6. Arun (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 11:32 am

    I think driving via Chikkamagalur is much shorter route. Not sure though.

  7. Naveen (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 2:03 pm

    RC: Will upload on flickr as soon as possible:) We couldn’t enter Udupi/Uttara Kannada districts due to paucity of time:( Each district in Western and Southern K’nataka will take atleast 4-5 days if you want to see all places. We skipped Agumbe, Kemmanagundi and Kudremukh…thats a good adventure circuit.

    Kishor: When we passed through the forest checkposts in Kudremukha, the rangers didn’t tell us anything about the naxalite problem…probably its not that much on the main highway. We also didn’t see any security camps. Maybe its in the interior parts of the reserve park.

    Arun: Yes, the route thro’ Chickmaglur and Balehonnur is the shortest and the best quality one to reach Kudremukh and surrounding areas.

    Some problems we had on the trip. Future tourists watch out:
    a) Fog: Beyond 5.30 pm in this season, visibility reduces to around 20 feet in the Ghat section. In fact we had to pray for the lesser evil, the rain to fall so that the fog would lift. I couldn’t take many snaps in the Ghats coz of this. Pls take experienced drivers with you and dont calculate time required to travel in terms of kms but in terms of hours:)
    b) NH48 through the Sakleshpur Ghat section, for nearly 50 kms or so, resembles a Kuccha road with tar here and there and the HTV’s make the situation worse. Avoid this section if you are travelling from Dharmasthala/Kukke to Hassan. We took a ciccuitous route thro’ some decent village road…it was better than the NH:(
    c) Road Signage: leaves a lot to be desired esp. if you are not on the Karnataka Tourism Circuit Routes in and around NH48.

  8. rubic_cube (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 4:35 pm

    @ Ravi : I have always been one. Most of my blog posts are also only on travelling. :-)

    @ Arun : Agree. Roads aren’t too good between Chikmagalur and Balehonnur.

    @ Naveen : Thanks for confirming regarding the naxalite activity. And thanks for those tips too!

  9. Dr Vivek M (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 8:29 pm

    One of my favourite routes is scaling the peak from the Naavuru side. Its tough but the best route to see the mountains. A family at a village very close to Lobo’s house has been extremely kind in letting me stay with them for the nights, which is another wonderful experience by itself. I am looking forward to going there again.. fuelled by your article! Thanks!

  10. Rahul Narula (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 10:25 pm

    I am also planning to visit some place during the New Year period as our office is shutdown for a complete week(between 12/23 – 12/31). I am relative new to this area and looking for options for a 2-3 days otuing based on the following requirements :
    1) Family vacation on hills or some cool place without too much crowd during the period mentioned above
    2) Distance around 200-250 kms (as I have my 1. yr daughter dont wanna travel for long)
    3) Travel by luxury bus or might even drive(provided my plans to buy a car materializes by then)

    Please suggest any place that matches my requirements. Already have been to Mysore, Ooty though. Exploring Coorg as an option.

  11. Sunil (unregistered) on September 26th, 2006 @ 3:11 am

    I am an avid reader of Bangalore metroblogs…great work…related to this piece, shouldn’t we take some sorta permit from the forest Dept, because I remember having to do so once, although the next time when we trekked via Agumbe we didn’t face that problem…

  12. sou (unregistered) on September 26th, 2006 @ 5:30 pm

    Rahul, try kemmangundi [K.R. Hills]

    For more info go here and here.

  13. viswanath (unregistered) on September 28th, 2006 @ 1:50 pm

    Interested in visiting Kerala..Let us know the places you would like to visit and we will give the best rate inclusive of stay,food and transportation..check out our website for more

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