Kudremukh Trek

Duration 1 Days Difficulty Moderate

Overview

Nestled in the heart of the Western Ghats, in the Chikmaglur district of Karnataka, Kudremukh is a beautiful trek across gently rolling green hills and misty valleys. The third highest peak in the state at 6,207 ft, the trek is a day’s climb from the base village.

‘Kudremukh’ literally means ‘horse’s face’ in Kannada. The name comes from the distinctive shape of the peak.

It is a trek of moderate difficulty, a weekend is all you need to hike this mountain. The landscape you traverse will mostly be wide green grasslands, and a few patches of forest.

The peak is situated in a National Reserve forest. If you’re lucky, you may get to see an occasional sambhar deer or peacock.

Kudremukh makes for one of the best treks from Bangalore on a long weekend and we will definitely say it features highly among  ‘must-do treks’ in Karnataka.

A note to trekkers

Indiahikes does not run the Kudremukh Trek any time during the year. However, it is a wonderful Do-It-Yourself trek

Indiahikes only runs treks in the Himalayas. You can choose a Himalayan trek that you wish to based on your experience, season and difficulty here

 

How to get there?

How to reach the base camp

The best way to time the trek on a weekend, is to leave on a Friday night from Bangalore, and travel overnight to the base, 332 km away. The base village is a tiny hamlet – it has no known name as such, and no direct buses either.

To reach it, take the road from Bangalore to Kalsa, and get off at a small square just before Kalsa. The ‘square’ is instantly recognisable – it consists of just two small shops by the roadside, with no habitation for kilometres on either side. Nearby, a bridge takes a road towards the base village. Those travelling by bus need to get off here, and take a jeep to the base. Several jeeps ply to and fro from this point to the homestays to drive trekkers, and charge INR 800-1,000 per jeep. Those traveling by private vehicles can drive to this junction, park the vehicles safely at the roadside, and take a jeep from there onwards.

The jeeps are usually available all the time, but they are especially active in the early morning, when trekkers arrive. Hiring a jeep, even by those travelling by private vehicles is recommended – the route to the base is a tough one, and is better traversed by experienced drivers.

Trek Details

Trek Details

  • Altitude: 6,207 ft
  • Time taken: 8-9 hours (5 hours to ascend); 18 km
  • Trek gradient: Moderate.
  • Water sources: If trekking right after the monsoon, you can refill your water bottles from streams along the trail.

On reaching the homestay, you can deposit excess luggage, have breakfast and leave for the climb. The distance covered, to the top and back, is 18 kilometres, and it takes at least 5 hours to reach the top. You should thus begin by 7.00 am latest to make it in time for lunch at the top, around 1.00 pm.

Kudremukh Trek
The ontimara on the trail. PC: Vishnu Benne

A short distance away from the homestay, on the way up itself, is the Forest Office. Get the necessary permissions for trekking here. There is a fee of INR 250 per person.

The trek begins from after the Forest Office. It starts off with a slight ascent on a muddy path after crossing a stream. This patch is tricky, and you’ll need a guide to cross it, as there are several confusing trails. This continues for around 1-1.5 km before the trail reaches a plateau of sorts. This is marked by an ontimara, a ‘lonely tree’ at the spot.

From the ontimara, after a left – the trail is flat, with the Kudremukh valley to the right, and easy slopes to the left. The landscape here onwards is mostly wide grassland, with the occasional dense spot of trees, for around 1.5 hours. A lonely road leads the way to the top, surrounded by miles and miles of open meadows.

Trekkers on Kudremukh Trekk
A view of the valley. PC: Vishnu Benne

This route is especially scenic during, and just after the monsoon when the entire mountainside seems to be covered by a soft, green carpet. Numerous streams, small and large cross the path during this time, and can safely be used as sources of water.

After the fourth dense patch of trees, is another stream of water, and the last water source before the peak. After this point, the trail moves up two steep ascents for around 5-6 km, before it reaches another ontimara. As the road ascends, the whole Kudremukh valley becomes visible. This is one of the most beautiful parts of the trek.

Kudremukh landscapes
The landscape on Kudremukh. PC: Vishnu Benne

The second ontimara is reached at the end of the second ascent. This is a good spot to rest and look around for a while, before recommencing the walk to the top. You should ideally reach this point around or before 12 noon.

This point onwards, the trail climbs up the ‘horse’s back’ part of the mountain, gradually curving upwards, and ending in a steep ascent. This is the last ascent – the climb to the top is a level walk past green fields.

The highest point is recognisable by a small group of rocks, and a small stream that runs through from here. It is an exquisite spot to sit and have lunch, breezy, with a view of the valley and undulating hills below.

Kudremukh forest trails
Grasslands beyond the forest. PC: Vishnu Benner

Leave the peak around 2.00 pm latest to be back at the homestay in time. The descent is down the same trail. The evening can be spent setting up a campfire at the homestay and sleeping in, before leaving on Sunday morning.

37 thoughts on “Kudremukh Trek

    1. Hi Ameen,
      KSRTC runs buses between Bengaluru and Hornadu, which stop at Kalasa. You can board one of these and request the driver to drop you off at the square before Kalasa. From here, you need to take a shared SUV to reach the actual base camp. There are overnight as well as day time buses on this route.

      1. Hi Sneha, I wanted to go on this trek with my 10 yr old daughter. Is there any age limit to participants? My daughter’s quite active and can manage long walks (+20Km)

        1. Hi Saurabh,
          We do not organise the Kudremukh trek. We run treks only in the Himalayas as of now.
          There is no age limit to do the Kudremukh trek. If you are taking your 10 year old daughter, I suggest you do the trek after monsoon. The trail will be difficult for a child to manage when it’s raining.

    1. Hi Harshit,

      You can go to Kudremukh any time starting from late October till December to witness the foggy weather.

  1. Hi,
    We are a group of 7-8 people, planning this trek in July 2018. Can you suggest which places/towns nearby will provide decent accomodation? Are there any other points which can be visited along with this trek if the stay if for 2 days?

  2. Dear Sneha Rao,

    I read hole Kudremukh trek details this is very worthy information & from long time i was looking for a trek to do in this place finally i got thank you very much.

    I have a one small request for slight changes in details Kudremukh means not Horse mouth its ” horse face “, hope you understand .

    1. The trek trail will be closed during peak monsoon time (July & August). You will not get Forest Department permissions during this time.

  3. We have trekked kudremukh on 5.1.2019.

    Few new rules come in to force ,Now they are allowing only 50 members per day.

    Entry timings. 6 to 9 Am.

    We paid the entry fees in Balagal In full. But were stopped by the forest guard at the check post saying that the 50 members quota per the day is over. So advice people to reach the entry point before 7 to avoid problems.

    Latest fees structure as follows:

    Entry fee. Rs . 150.00
    Trekking fee Rs.200.00
    Maintenance fund Rs.75

    That is 425 per head.

    Plus each batch shout have a guide.
    Guide fee: Rs 500.00

    1. Read in an old Times of India article (August 2016) that the trekking will be closed from Jan to May. Is that still apply or is there any changes?

  4. Can I have someone to plan this for me.
    We are a group of 8 people.
    We don’t want to and fro transportation from bangalore. Just the arrangements for stay and guide .

  5. Hi Guys, thanks for the useful info, just got a question !

    Can we camp at the peak or at any place after ascending the kudremukh ?
    can someone provide the contact details of a guide ?

    Thanks

    1. Hi, as per our knowledge, there shouldn’t be any issues with solo trekkers here. But, you’re not allowed to camp at Kudremukh. Visitors need to stay at a homestay at the base village. Most homestays charge around INR 800-900 per person, which includes breakfast, overnight stay, and packed lunch. Best way to know the latest information is to call one of the homestays and find it out.

    1. Yes, you can do it. But you’re not allowed to camp at Kudremukh. Visitors need to stay at a homestay at the base village. Most homestays charge around INR 800-900 per person, which includes breakfast, overnight stay, and packed lunch.

      1. Am planning myself to reach kudremukh base village by bike and then get assistance for trek from base to peak.. so kindly advise for
        1) Where I can get stay? Name of the village where home stay is available
        2) How can I book for a trek as I see there is limitation of 50 people

        1. Hi! You can contact Raje Gowda (9481179008, 9483983324) for help with accommodation near Kudremukh. Unfortunately, there is no provision to pay for the permits online. You can get them from forest office on the trail on the day of the trek. As for the daily limit of 50 people, it shouldn’t be a problem during weekdays when the trail witnesses very few footfalls.
          During the weekends, the crowd can surge to 200+, most of whom are turned back once the daily limit is reached. Hence, if you are planning to trek on weekends, it’s advisable to reach the forest office as early as possible.

  6. Hi basis the video posted in Bandipur where a tiger is found chasing a bike.. How safe is this trek considering the national park is full of wild life? 😐 just wondering as this is my 1st trek 🙂

    1. Hi! A National park is supposed to be full of wildlife 🙂
      I don’t think you’ll have a problem if you have permission from the forest officials. Trekking inside the national park without a forest officer/ranger or guide is, of course, not recommended.

  7. Hey, im planning for a solo trek to kudremukh this weekend. I’ve gone through the charges, but for solo trek, is the guide compulsory?? And can we pay the trekking charges online??

    1. Yes, if you are trekking to Kudremukh, hiring a guide is compulsory and the charges have to be paid in person. No option yet to pay it online, unfortunately. Have a safe trek!

  8. Morever, i’m planning to do it on an enfield. Can you suggest me, if the ride from bangalore to kudremukh is safe and till where can i take my bike if im trekking???
    Thank you

    1. Yes, if you are an experienced rider, then the ride from Bangalore to Kudremukh is one of the best possible routes you can take during monsoons. You can ride up to Kudremukh guest house parking. However, it’s recommended to call the Guest house and confirm if parking facility is available to all visitors or only to ones who are going to stay there.

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