The literal meaning of Kudremukh in Kannada is ‘horse faced’. The Kudremukh mountain range, which is tucked away in the heart of the Western Ghats in Chikmagalur district in the south Indian state of Karnataka, got its name from its main peak, which has a marked similarity to the face of a horse. It comes under the Kudremukh National Park, the second largest wildlife protected area in the Western Ghats, and is one of the most favourite hunting grounds of trekkers.
Kudremukh is home to some unique and incredible flora and fauna, and the peak at 6,207ft is the third highest mountain range in Karnataka after Mullayanagiri Peak and Baba Budangiri Range.
The travel to this amazing spot provides an out-of-the-world experience, as a tourist can savour the beauty of rolling lush-green hills and mist-enveloped valleys. And while trekking, the chances of spotting deer and peacocks are very high.
Way to Kudremukh
The trek to Kudremukh starts from Mullodi village, which is 15km away from Kalasa. But reaching the Mullodi hamlet is not easy. One has to first reach the gateway to Kudremukh, which is 10km away from Kalasa, and then hire a jeep to proceed to Mullodi. The requisite permission for trekking should be taken from the forest office in Mullodi.
What Shola forests offer you
Shola is the local name for patches of stunted tropical montane forest found in the Western Ghats. One has to trek through the verdant Shola forest to scale the Kudremukh peak. The forest is the natural habitat of many wild animals such as deer, lion-tailed macaque, Malabar giant squirrel, leopard and common langur.
If you are lucky, you would see these beautiful animals in their natural settings. And beware of blood-sucking leeches while trekking during the monsoon season.
Other attractions of Kundremukh are picturesque waterfalls and brooks that gurgle over the rocks. It can be pure bliss to cross the many small streams with cool water, while trekking to the top.
As you step out of the Shola forest, the imposing mountain ranges surrounding you will take your breath away. And the rolling hills with hues ranging from dark green to light green can transport you to another world. The sight of mist caressing the hills is simply enchanting and during the rainy season, the mountain ranges will be gobbled up by thick mist. The vista of the valley propping up between the changing moods of clouds and mist is ethereal.
From the top of the Kudremukh peak, one could get a 270 degree view of the valleys covered in verdure and the view only gets better with the cold breeze rustling your hair.
It takes close to four hours to reach the summit of the Kudremukh mountain range. You have to trek down before 2pm and it takes nearly three hours to reach the base of the hills. The forest department’s strict restrictions will be in place in the region after 6pm.
Best time to visit
The best time to go for trekking in the Kudremukh Hills is between the months of June and February. After the rains, the nature will spread its green carpet, which is soothing to the eyes, in the region.