Thursday, 14 April 2016

Kodajadri via Kollur

Today, I will share about my trips to Kodajadri/Kodachadri
Kodajadri -  Mother Nature Unlimited

First things first: Where is Kodachadri  ?
Kodachadri is a mountain peak with dense forests (elevation - 1,343 metres above sea level in the Western Ghats in South India (Shivamogga Dist., Karnataka State). It is declared as natural heritage site by Government Karnataka and it is 10th highest peak of Karnataka.
Kodachadri forms a background to the famous temple of Mookambika in Kollur. It is located at a distance of 21 km from Kollur and 15 km from Nagodi village, in Hosanagara taluk.  It is situated in the middle of the Mookambika National Park and considered as a biodiversity hotspot. The important animal life include Malabar Hornbill, Indian tiger, Indian leopard, Indian elephant, gaur, Indian rock python

Now let me share my experiences   
I distinctly remember when my friend Rameshji suggested that we do a trek from Kollur to Kodajadri. This was in mid 2006. We did go to Kollur and luckily met 2 other groups who were going to trek through the forest route into Kodajadri. 

We started around 1400 hrs ... it was not an easy trek as the path was small and day light was fast disappearing. Somewhere around 1600 hrs our self proclaimed leader (who had trekked on this route 2 - 3 times), announced that we are not on the correct route. My heart skipped a beat as it was getting dark. 

I remember imagining a scene of a few tigers happily devouring us for dinner!  However the goddess Mookambika had better plans for us, our leader set us back on track and we reached Kodajadri by 1800 hrs - completely tired and exhausted.  We were served simple and yet good food by the priest. We stayed at an inspection bungalow. 

I remember that we must have slept before 2100 hrs thanks to our exhausted state. We woke up early and were greeted by panoramic views of Kodajadri. We had breakfast and started off for Sarvajnapeetha which took us about an hour. This is the highest peak and you can see clouds. I also remember seeing lighting originating from far away clouds. 
Kodajadri -  Mother Nature Unlimited

We spent a little time for meditation at Sarvajnapeetha and started back to Kodajadri temple. We had certain jeep taxis willing to take us back to Kollur. My friend Rameshji was not feeling well thanks to the winding and hair pin roads. We could make it back to Kollur within an hour and half. Our thoughts were now on how to reach back to Mangalore and attend the office next day!   

I did go to Kodajadri again with my friend Ajesh (& his freinds) and also Prakash, Sumesh. However we stayed at Kollur and utilized jeep taxi for reaching Kodajadri. This is a more suitable and feasible option for those of you who do not wish to be the dinner of wild animals! 

Why Kodachadri is so enchanting  Kodajadri seems to have attracted the attention of mankind since early prehistory. Several monolithic structures were built here in prehistoric times. Rocks with dimensions greater than 12 feet were used in their construction. These large structure can be found just 20 Kilometers outside of Nagara-Nilsakal.   A temple dedicated to the Ancient Mother Goddess Mookambika is located near the top of the peak. The temple is a popular destination for Hindu pilgrims and it is said to stand where thousands of years ago Mother Goddess Mookambika fought and killed the demon Mookasura.

Europeans trekked to the peak during 19th Century. Lewin Bentham Bowring, who served as Commissioner of Mysore between 1862 and 1870, records that Kodachadri is "clothed with splendid forests, and the ascent is very steep indeed in one place near foot....
Shola Forests en rooute to Kodjadri
The view from the top of the hill, which has a bluff appearance from the distance, though it is as sharp as a knife in reality, is very fine, commanding a long stretch of great Ghat range, a considerable portion of Canara (Kanara), and a vide view over Malnad". He further records that, Kodachadri is visible from Merti Peak near Sringeri.

Why Kodachadri is important as a place of worship : Kodachadri is visited by locals and Keralites in large numbers since long time. Sage Adi Shankara is said to have visited this place, meditated hereand he also established a temple at Kollur. A small temple called Sarvajnapeetha, built with stone is dedicated to Adi Shankara at the top of Kodachadri.
At Kodjadri . a view of the hill top temple. jeep taxis can be seen waiting for passengers
Pilgrims from South Indian states who visit Kollur take a trek to Kodachadri also.

Kodachadri is the most beautiful of three mountain peaks of coastal Karnataka (the other two being Kuduremukha and Kumara Parvata

Trekking in Kodachadri
Me and my friends at Kodajadri

Trekking to Kodachadri peak starts from Nagodi village or Nittur, Shivamogga village which are located at the base of Kodachadri. Tented overnight Camping and Camp fire is strictly not allowed since January 2015, Once you enter the check Post in the foothill as this comes under the Forest Department, Govt. of Karnataka (Liquor will be detained at the Check Post). However, in case you need to spend a night on top you have inspection bungalow maintained by the government of Karnataka and a temple priest's house, with simple food on request. There is little other accommodation at Kodachadri. Kollur (21 km) has several guest houses and lodges as well as homestay accommodations.
The nearest city, Kundapura, has good lodging accommodations. Best time to trek would be post monsoon, between September and March.  Peak summer seasons (Mar-May) should be avoided, as the area gets very dry and dusty. It is also recommended to avoid jeep trails during trekking, as the road normally experiences heavy vehicular traffic.
There are different routes to reach the Peak of Kodachadri and the difficulty varies highly with respect to the route chosen.  However it is challenging to reach the peak in monsoon due to heavy rains that make the routes slippery. Kodachadri receives an annual rain fall of 500 cm to 750 cm and it rains for about eight months in a year.

From Bangalore, one has to go to Shivamogga (285 km) and from there, one can take public transport to reach Nagodi village (Hosanagara Taluk). From Udupi, it is three hours journey to Nagodi village, from where trekking starts.
Kodachadri peak is connected with an all rough jeep road (partially metalled) on which only jeeps can travel. As this hilly road is not maintained properly, only expert local jeep drivers can take the jeep to the top. 

Jeeps are available for hire at Kollur and at Kattinahole village near Kodachadri base.

Kundapur is the nearest major railway station which is in Mangalore-Mumbai Konkan railway route.

I will be visiting Kodajadri ... Gods and Goddesses willing and will post more details for you on Kodajadri. have a great week ahead!

1 comment:

  1. Your travelogue is really awesome.I loved reading your travelogue.Thank you for sharing this information.Book your tickets in leading travel operator like SRM Travels and Universal Travels