The Complete Guide to Narasimha Parvatha Trek
Narasimha Parvatha is the highest peak in Agumbe. Standing at a height of 3,772 ft, the experience this trek offers is wholesome. It takes you through the canopy of dense, tall trees of Western Ghats. It also takes you through hills and valleys covered in a blanket of lush green grasslands. On top of it, the views it offers are spectacular, to say the least.
Narasimha Parvatha falls under Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary in Kudremukh National Park. Though this trek is not as popular as Kudremukh, it is at par in terms of the views and adventure it offers, if not more.
Agumbe is called the Cherrapunji of South India as it receives the highest rainfall in the south. Agumbe is known for its efforts in rainforest conservation. It is also home to a variety of rare medicinal plants. As a result, this region is declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are two ways in which you can trek to the peak:
1. Reaching the peak from Mallandur (from Agumbe): The trek distance from Mallandur base camp to the peak is around 13 km.
The initial 8 km of the trek takes you through the dense forests of Agumbe. Immediately after this, you will witness the Sita river that graciously falls from a height of 850 ft to become Barkana Falls. This is the tenth highest waterfall in India. The views from the snout of the waterfall are breathtakingly beautiful.
From the snout of Barkana Falls, trek for another 2 km inside the forest. After this, you’ll reach vast undulating grasslands on the hills.
Trek for another 3 km through the hills of Agumbe. Before you know it, you will be at the peak of Narasimha Parvatha.
The trek from Mallandur to the peak can be classified as moderate. This is because most part of it consists of dense forests which makes it hard to figure out the trail on your own. Hence hiring a guide is mandatory.
This route will be filled with leeches in the monsoon and post-monsoon seasons. As a result, you cannot stop for breaks frequently until you reach the snout of Barkana Falls, which is 8 km away. So it’s not ideal for a beginner, especially if you’re trekking post-monsoon.
2. Reaching the peak from Kigga (from Sringeri): The trek distance from Kigga to the peak is around 6 km.
The initial 1 km trek is through narrow mud roads and is pretty easy.
The next 2 km is inside the forest. Unlike the Mallandur route, you can make out the trail easily. Hence the guide is not mandatory.
The remaining 3 km, you’ll trek through the hills. This part is steep and slightly tiring.
However, compared to the Mallandur side, this is relatively easy. Hence the trek from this route can be done even if you’re a beginner.
The descent is to Kigga, either you choose to trek from Mallandur or Kigga.
The ideal itinerary is to trek to the peak from Mallandur and descend to Kigga. This covers everything that the Narasimha Parvatha trek has to offer. This trek will test your endurance, even if you are an experienced trekker.
Table of Contents
- What to Watch Out for
- Trail Information
- Best Season To Do the Narasimha Parvatha Trek
- Difficult Sections on the Narasimha Parvatha Trek
- How to reach the Narasimha Parvatha Trek
- Frequently asked questions about the Narasimha Parvatha Trek
- Places to Visit after Narasimha Parvatha Trek
What to watch out for
1. Trekking in the dense forests of Western Ghats
From Mallandur, a major part of the trek is inside the dense forests of Agumbe.
Tall trees forming a canopy make it hard for sun rays to reach the ground. Thus it keeps you protected from harsh sunlight. Also, a few rays trying to make their way to the forest floor is a beautiful sight to behold.
Rich vegetation of Agumbe. Picture by Sumanth N S
2. Stunning view from the snout of Barkana Falls
The feeling that you’re on top of India’s tenth highest waterfall is surreal. The burbling Sita River making its way through the rocks soothes your soul.
Standing at the snout, you get an aerial view of the Agumbe Reserve Forest. Amidst all the greenery, a small waterfall at a distance overlooking the Barkana Falls elevates the beauty of the whole place.
View from the top of Barkana Falls. Picture by Manasa N L
3. Panoramic view of the lush green hills while descending to Kigga
First 3 km descent to Kigga from the peak offers panoramic views of the lush green hills that are covered in clouds. This makes you feel like you’re walking in the clouds.
Clouds floating through the hills. Picture by Sumanth N S
Narasimha Parvatha Trek can be divided into three sections.
- Mallandur Base Camp to Barkana Falls Top
- Barkana Falls Top to the Narasimha Parvatha Peak
- Narasimha Parvatha Peak to Kigga
Trek Distance: 8 km
Trek Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
GPS coordinates of Narasimha Parvatha starting point: 13°28'44.2"N 75°07'36.2"E
GPS coordinates of Barkana Waterfalls: 13°26'57.7"N 75°08'09.1"E
Start your trek in the morning as early as possible.
The initial 1 km of the trek is pretty easy and straightforward. It takes you through muddy and then rocky terrain.
Trekking starting point. Picture by Anjan Shanbhog
Tip: If you choose to trek immediately after monsoon ( early October), the trail is filled with slush. So make sure to wear proper trekking shoes.
Rocky terrain as soon as you start the trek. Picture by Suhas K N
After the first kilometer, the real adventure begins. The next 7 km to the snout of Barkana Falls is through the dense forests of Agumbe. The forest is so dense that it is almost impossible to find the trail on your own. This is where your guide will come in handy.
Tip: The forest trail is covered with a lot of dry leaves and is full of leeches. So wear proper trekking shoes and apply antiseptic liquid like Dettol to keep leeches away.
The trail through the dense forest. Picture by Anjan Shanbhog
You wouldn’t be able to stop anywhere until you reach Barkana falls top, leeches won’t let you even if you want to. Once you reach the top, spend some time next to the Sita River and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature around you.
Sita River that becomes Barkana falls. Picture by Sumanth N S
View from the snout of Barkana Falls. Picture by Manasa N L
Tip: Make sure to refill your water bottles from the Sita River. There are no water sources ahead of this point.
Trek Distance: 5 km
Trek Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
GPS coordinates of Barkana Falls Top: 13°26'57.7"N 75°08'09.1"E
GPS coordinates of Narasimha Parvatha Peak: 13°25'53.2"N 75°09'11.7"E
The trail after Barkana Falls is again in the forest region. This is the most challenging part of the trek. Now the trek is not just in the forest, but the ascent is very steep. But what makes it most exciting is that you get to witness the rich vegetation of the Agumbe reserve forest.
Steep ascent through the forest. Picture by Sumanth N S
2 km later, you’ll reach an open grassland.
For the following 3 km, you’ll trek through hills and valleys. Some sections are steep, but it doesn’t get too tiring if you’re fit.
Hills of Western Ghats do come alive during the monsoon and post-monsoon season. Trekking amidst lush greenery, soaking in the mist is a whole different experience.
Trekking in the misty, mighty hills of Narasimha Parvatha. Picture by Sumanth N S
Finish your lunch at a nice spot along the way to the peak as leeches are not a threat anymore.
Pit stop for lunch en route Narasimha Parvatha. Picture by Manasa N L
3 kilometers later, you’ll reach the peak. The views from the peak are stunning.
If you’re trekking post-monsoon, there is a high probability that the weather is cloudy and you may not get to witness the views from the peak. But this shouldn’t bother you as you’ll get to see the transcending beauty of entire Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary including Kudremukh peak on your descent to Kigga.
View from the Narasimha Parvatha Peak. Picture by Sumanth N S
Tip: Trekking through the steep hills and forests could be very tiring. Carrying a pair of trekking poles comes in handy in this region.
Trek Distance: 6 km
Trek Duration: 2 hours
GPS coordinates for Narasimha Parvatha Peak: 13°26'57.7"N 75°08'09.1"E
GPS coordinates for Kigga base point: 13°25'07.2"N 75°11'01.5"E
From the peak, the descent is through the steep hilly region for 3 km.
As soon as you start descending, you’ll notice a small hut near the peak. You’ll also find a water source nearby. Fill your water bottles here as you won’t find any water source till the base.
This stretch offers splendid views of the Agumbe range.
Panoramic view of the Agumbe hills. Picture by Megha N L
The following 2 km is through the forest. Unlike the Mallandur route, the trail is well defined. You can easily descend from here.
The last 1 km is on a muddy trail that is wide enough. After walking for a while, you’ll notice a lake to your left. That’s when you know you are almost there. Walk for another 200 m to reach the temple at Kigga. You’ve reached the end of the trek.
Reaching the Narasimha Parvatha Peak from Kigga
The starting point here is Rushya Shringeshwara Temple. From the temple, start walking towards the lake nearby. The first kilometer is easy and takes around 20 minutes.
After walking for 1 km, you’ll find two routes. One leads to a house and the other one into the forest. This is the forest entrance. Take this route.
The next 2 km trek is through the forest and will take around 1 hour 30 minutes. The trail is easy to navigate and a guide is not necessary.
After the forest region, you’ll encounter an open grassland. This stretch is 3 km long and is a continuous ascent till you reach the peak. This takes around 2 hours.
Best Season to do the Narasimha Parvatha Trek
The best season to do Narasimha Parvatha Trek is from October to December.
Post monsoon, especially in October and November, you will witness the lush greenery of Agumbe region in its full glory. Depending on the rainfall, you may also witness a fair amount of greenery in early December. During winter and pre-summer you get to witness the golden brown hills but the views are much clearer during this time compared to post-monsoon.
The summer season is prone to wildfires and hence trekking is not allowed during the peak of summer. This region receives heavy rainfall during the monsoon season. So trekking during the peak monsoon is not allowed (March to September).
Difficult sections on the Narasimha Parvatha Trek
The Narasimha Parvatha trek is moderate from Mallandur and of easy-moderate difficulty from Kigga. Your endurance will be tested if you are trekking from Mallandur to Kigga in one day.
From Mallandur to Kigga, the total trek distance is 19 km. So covering it in a single day becomes difficult to even for fit trekkers.
Here are some difficult sections you’ll come across on the trek:
Trekking in the forest section could be slippery. The dry leaves on top of it make it even harder to walk. Make sure you wear proper trekking shoes and carry a pair of trekking poles.
At the Barkana Falls Top, the rocky terrain of Sita river is very slippery. So make sure to be extra careful in this region. Do not go to the edge of waterfalls, especially if you are scared of heights.
Though the descent looks easy, it could lead to ankle twists and knee injuries if you aren’t careful. Be mindful of your steps and pace.
How to reach Narasimha Parvatha Trek
If you’re trekking from Mallandur, you can reach Agumbe by public transport. Mallandur is just 6 km from Agumbe. If you inform your guide your arrival timings, he’ll arrange for the transport from Agumbe to Mallandur.
If you’re going by your own vehicle, you can directly reach Mallandur or you can park your vehicle in Agumbe and reach Mallandur by the vehicle arranged by the guide as the road conditions are not good.
If you’re trekking from Kigga, you can reach Sringeri by public transport. Then, take a local bus to Kigga from Sringeri. Kigga is just 10 km away from Sringeri.
If you’re going by your own vehicle, you can directly go to Kigga.
Reaching Narasimha Parvatha by your own vehicle
If you are planning on reaching Mallandur by your own vehicle, use this link to help set up navigation in Google Maps.
And if you are planning on reaching Kigga, use this link to help set up navigation in Google Maps.
Reaching Narasimha Parvatha by Public Transport System
If you’re trekking from Mallandur, there is an overnight KSRTC bus that runs from Bangalore to Agumbe. You can book from the KSRTC website here.
The bus leaves Bangalore at 10.00 PM and reaches Agumbe by 7.00 AM. Bus fare is Rs.600 per person. From Agumbe you can ask your guide to arrange the transport to Mallandur.
If you’re trekking from Kigga, there are buses available from Bangalore to Sringeri. Check the KSRTC website for options. The cost of a non-AC sleeper bus is Rs.600 per person. Choose the bus that arrives latest by 6.00 AM. You can freshen up in Sringeri and take a local bus to Kigga.
Frequently asked questions about Narasimha Parvatha Trek
Permission and Camping on the Narasimha Parvatha trek
You need to take permission on the trek of Narasimha Parvatha. The trek falls under the Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary of Kudremukh National Park.
If you’re trekking from Mallandur, you’ll find the forest check post near Mallandur. Take the permission here. From Kigga, there is a forest check post near the base. You can obtain permission from here.
The entry fee is Rs.500 per person from both sides.
This area is home to wild animals. Hence, camping is prohibited anywhere on the trek.
How to arrange a Guide for the trek
If you plan to trek from Mallandur, going with a guide is mandatory. You can book any of the homestays/hotels in Agumbe and ask them to arrange for a guide.
But if the guide is from Agumbe, you'll have bear the cost of his travel from Kigga to Agumbe after the trek. An auto would cost Rs 1000. If you're staying at Agumbe, you can all come back in the same vehicle.
Stay Options near Narasimha Parvatha Trek
If you’re trekking from Mallandur and going by your own vehicle, you have a few homestays and even a few hotels in Agumbe.
If you’re going by public transport, a better option is to opt for a stay at Sringeri as you’ll be descending to Kigga which is near to Sringeri. You can check for options here .
Timings on the Narasimha Parvatha Trek
The total time required for the Narasimha Parvatha trek is around 7-9 hours.
You’re allowed to start your trek between 7.00 AM and 10.00 AM. You must complete the trek on the same day. The earlier you start the better it is for you, as you get to enjoy the whole trek.
Food and Water sources on the Narasimha Parvatha Trek
If you’re trekking from Mallandur, you can either opt for breakfast and lunch from Guide’s place or pack your food from Agumbe.
If you’re trekking from Kigga, make sure to pack your food from Sringeri itself as there are no shops/hotels in Kigga.
Green Trails Tip: While packing food for the entire duration of the trek, avoid packaged foods. Instead, carry your own lunch boxes. Whether you plan to take away from a hotel in Sringeri or Agumbe or the guide's place, ask them to pack it in your lunch box. This will ensure you're not littering anywhere on the trail and leaving the mountains better.
Water Sources: From Mallandur, you can refill bottles at Barkana Falls Top and near the old hut just below the Narasimha Parvatha Peak.
From Kigga, the only water source available is near the old hut just below the Peak.
Additionally, during post-monsoons, you may come across water streams flowing along the rocky terrain from Mallandur side. This water is potable.
Tip: If you are not comfortable with having water from the stream or the waterfalls, carry purification tablets or a Paany Bottle to purify water.
Emergency Contacts on the Narasimha Parvatha Trek
Hospital: Primary Health Centre Agumbe(Contact Number - 081812 33224) , Government Hospital Agumbe and Government Hospital Sringeri are the nearest hospitals on the Narasimha Parvatha trek.
Both the hospitals at Agumbe are about 6 km away from Mallandur and the hospital in Sringeri is about 10km away from Kigga.
Police Station: Agumbe Police Station and Sringeri Police Station are the nearest police stations to the Narasimha Parvatha Trek.
Agumbe Forest Office: In case of any emergency, you can contact the Agumbe Forest Office.
ERSS: For any kind of emergency help, you can contact the Pan-India Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) number- 112
ATMs and Networks on the trek
ATMs: Agumbe and Sringeri are the only nearest towns having ATMs. It is better to carry cash with you rather than relying on any ATMs on the way. Carry cash either from your hometown or at a reliable town en route if you are driving till the base.
Mobile Networks: The signal connections are intermittent throughout the trek. But you get good coverage of operators like Airtel, BSNL and Jio at the Peak.
Vodafone does not get good connectivity throughout the trek.
Places to visit after the Narasimha Parvatha Trek
- Sirimane Falls: A small but beautiful waterfall just 5 km away from Kigga temple. If you are trekking from Kigga, you can easily cover this place as the trek distance is less.
- Sringeri Sharadamba Temple: Located in Sringeri town, this is an 8th-century temple founded by Sri Adi Shankaracharya. Hindu goddess Saraswathi is worshipped here. It has both religious and historical importance.
- Places in Agumbe: Agumbe is home to many waterfalls such as Jogi Gundi falls, Onake Abbi falls, Barkana falls. You can also visit Sunset point and take a road trip in the Agumbe Ghats.
Trek explored and photos clicked by Manasa N L, Sumanth N S, Megha N L, Anjan Shanbhog and Suhas K N.
Special thanks to Sajan T for helping with updation of documentation and for gpx file.
Trek written by Manasa N L