We have always loved trekking in Coorg. Especially around the Madikeri region, in the picturesque Western Ghats, the lush greenery and landscape is as pretty as an alpine meadow.
But trekking in Madikeri also takes you through rich rainforests, stream crossings, and never-ending shola grasslands. On these grasslands, you get to see flowers, which are not seen on any other treks in the region. During monsoons and post-monsoons, the entire valley is filled with a carpet of flowers.
The summit views you get from the top of these mountains, with 360-degree views of rolling shola grasslands and forests on all sides, are a major highlight of trekking here.
As you traverse these trails, keep an eye out for the rich birdlife, which includes species like the Malabar Parakeet, Nilgiri Flycatcher, and the Hornbill. The forests of Madikeri are also known for their diversity of butterflies and insects.
The place is also known for its unique Madikeri cuisine, which you get to experience while trekking in these parts.
In summary, Madikeri is an excellent choice for those seeking a quick and rejuvenating trekking experience amid the breathtaking landscapes of the Western Ghats.
Highest altitude: 5734ft
Trek Starting Point: Kakkabe
Distance from Madikeri: 32km
Fog rising above the shola forest of Tadiandamol.
A very popular trek amongst the trekking community of southern India. The Tadiandamol Trek is one of the most talked-about treks among trekkers starting on their trekking journey in the Western Ghats.
Standing at a height of 5,735 feet, it is the highest peak in Coorg.
The view from the peak is stunning to witness. You can see the green hills spread out as far as the eyes can see. This extends in all directions from the peak.
Another interesting thing about the peak is, that since it's located very close to Kerala, you get the Kerala internet network at the top.
One can spot coffee estates and pepper plantations throughout this entire stretch of the trek. Along with these, you have the areca nut (Betel nut) trees, nutmeg trees, fishtail palms, and various other trees growing here.
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Highest altitude: 4852 feet
Trek Starting Point: Cherambane
Distance from Madikeri: 30km
The Kopatty Trail in Coorg is one of the unpopular and less explored treks in Coorg. It is an ideal day trek that offers you a captivating adventure. The trail ascends through meticulously landscaped coffee plantations, winds through deep forests, and finally emerges into a vast grassland leading to the summit, all within 3 hours.
On the descent, you will experience a thrilling walk along the grassy edges of the cliff. Further along, a rapid descent through another dark forest brings you to a clear stream, making the trek as perfect as it can be.
This is where the Kopatty Trail excels, showcasing the best of the Western Ghats in 6-7 hours, and by the end of it, you will find yourself energized. The trek offers an immersive experience, allowing you to appreciate the region's diverse landscapes and natural beauty.
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Highest altitude: 5617 ft
Trek Starting Point: Kukke Subramanya
Distance from Madikeri : 75km
Kumara parvatha . Picture by Vismay
Kumaraparvatha, also known as Pushpagiri, stands as one of the prominent peaks in the Western Ghats, nestled in the Coorg district of Karnataka, India.
Being the toughest trek in south India, it is one of the most popular treks among the trekking community. Because of its popularity, it might get crowded on long weekends and holidays.
On this trek, you find yourself amidst a dense forest where towering trees stand so tall that they obstruct sunlight from reaching the ground. The limited sunlight that manages to filter through creates an enchanting play of light and shadows.
The Western Ghats, often regarded as nature's best-kept secret, unfold their splendor along the Kumara Parvatha trail, providing breathtaking views. This alone makes the trek an essential experience. As you transition from the forested section to the grasslands, your eyes are treated to a visual delight. Whether trekking in the post-monsoon months or winter, the grasslands captivate with lush greenery or golden brown hues, presenting a distinct scenery for each season.
Due to the difficulty of this trek, reaching the summit gives the trekker the best summiting experience.
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4. Nishani motte
Highest altitude: 4134 feet
Trek Starting Point: Baghamandala
Distance from Madikeri: 37km
Fog rising from the forest on the Nishani Motte Trek.
Nishani Motte is located near the town of Bagamandala in Coorg, which is part of the Western Ghats. Nishani Motte stands at an elevation of approximately 4,134 feet above sea level.
Nishani Motte is an offbeat trek in Coorg; that trek takes you through lush green landscapes, dense forests, and open meadows. The trek followed an ancient route that connected Coorg and Kerala, and the peak was a major waypoint along the way.
The summit push on the last part of the trek is thrilling in its own way. There is a small ridge that you get to cross, with beautiful views on both sides, when you reach the summit. It gets exciting with better views with each step you take.
The region around Nishani Motte is rich in biodiversity. In the monsoon, you will encounter leeches. You can watch this video on how to handle them. There are also other species of birds and animals throughout the trail.
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Highest altitude: 5708ft
Trek Starting Point: Thirunelli
Distance from Madikeri: 97km
Pakshipathalam is located in the Brahmagiri Hills of Wayanad district in Kerala, India.
The region is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. It is known for its birdlife, and Pakshipathalam translates to "bird's abode" in Malayalam. If you are lucky, you could encounter various species of birds, including some rare ones, on this trek.
One of the highlights of Pakshipathalam is the presence of caves. You may explore these caves during your journey, adding an adventurous element to your overall experience.
Access to Pakshipathalam takes you trekking through the Brahmagiri Hills. The trek takes you through steep ascents and descents, dense forests, and rocky paths. The journey to Pakshipathalam is often considered a moderately difficult trek.
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Highest altitude: 3438 ft
Trek Starting Point: Panathady
Distance from Madikeri: 70km
Rain forests of Ranipuram. Picture by Amoga Vigram P
Ranipuram is a peak and a major tourist attraction in the Kasaragod district of the Indian state of Kerala. The trek takes you to the highest peak of the Kasaragod district.
Perched at an elevation of 3,438 feet, the vista from the summit is truly breathtaking. You'll be treated to a magnificent sight of lush valleys adorned with unending evergreen shola forests.
The trek is a thriving habitat for diverse flora and fauna. If you are lucky, you may have the chance to glimpse a herd of elephants in the valley. There are many sections along the trail where you can find elephant dung. Also, various bird species, such as the Grey Hornbill, Malabar Trogon, and Orange-Headed Thrush, can be found here.
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