Guide To Kudremukh In Karnataka: All You Need To Know Before Visiting

The name "Kudremukh" means "horse's face" in Kannada, which is a reference to the distinct shape of the peak that resembles the face of a horse
Kudremukh National Park is a trekkers paradise
Kudremukh National Park is a trekkers paradise Udayaditya Kashyap/Shutterstock

Kudremukh, nestled in the heart of the Western Ghats within the Chikkamagaluru district, is part of the Kudremukh National Park, the second-largest wildlife-protected area in the Western Ghats. The name "Kudremukh" translates to "horse's face" in Kannada, aptly named for the distinctive shape of the peak that resembles the face of a horse. The immense hills overlooking the Arabian Sea are connected by deep valleys and jagged cliffs. For almost 2,000 years, Kudremukh has served as a navigational aid for mariners along the western shore. The rain-created terrain of the landscape in Karnataka's Chikkamagaluru district is breathtakingly beautiful. The landscape is dotted with charming villages. You will come across tea and coffee plantations, and palm, cardamom, and mango trees.

Kudremukh National Park

Established as a natural reserve by the British in 1916, the Kudremukh area was designated to safeguard the habitat of endangered tigers. Positioned merely 10 kilometers from the nearest town, the reserve is an expansive territory of dense evergreen rainforests, punctuated by towering peaks. It serves as a sanctuary for a diverse array of wildlife, including leopards, the majestic tigers, the rare lion-tailed macaques, langurs, spotted deer, sloth bears, gaur, sambar deer, and the Malabar giant squirrel, amongst others. Additionally, Kudremukh is a haven for bird enthusiasts, home to species such as the Malabar trogon, Malabar whistling thrush, and the imperial pigeon, with approximately 200 bird species residing in or migrating to the area seasonally. For those wishing to immerse themselves in this natural wonder, the Bhagwati Nature Camp, operated by the Kudremukh Forest Department, provides accommodation within the park. For further information, interested parties are encouraged to seek additional details.

Hikes And Treks

Trekking through the grasslands of Kudremukh
Trekking through the grasslands of KudremukhVinu Sebastian/Shutterstock

Karnataka's lush hill station is a paradise for adventurers and nature lovers, boasting an array of exhilarating hiking trails. Embark on the journey to conquer Kudremukh Peak Trek or explore the scenic beauty along the Kalasa Trek. Standing tall at 6,214 feet, the summit of Kudremukh Peak, located just before the town, offers breathtaking views. The landscape is dramatically marked with deep valleys and cliffs, with the peaks presenting a stunning overlook of the Arabian Sea. On a day when the skies are clear, the azure expanse of the sea is visible in all its glory, making it a sight to behold. As Karnataka's second-highest peak, following Mullayyanagiri, Kudremukh is celebrated for its tropical biodiversity, ranking it among the world's 34 biological hotspots. Please note, the summit is off-limits to visitors during March and April. Beyond the iconic Kuduremukha Peak, the region is dotted with other trails leading to Kurinjal Peak, Gangadikal Peak, Seethabumi Peak, Valikunda, and Narasimha Parvatha. These trails are nestled within the national park, offering more splendid trekking opportunities. For those keen on exploring further, Hanuman Gundi Waterfalls, located 16km away, and Ganga Moola, a mere 12km distance where the Tunga, Bhadra, and Netravathi rivers find their source, are excellent choices for hikes.

The Beauty Of Waterfalls

The Kudremukh Wildlife Sanctuary is home to some of the most breathtaking natural wonders in India, including the mesmerising Kadambi Waterfalls and the majestic Hanumangundi Falls. The Kadambi Waterfalls, with its cascading water falling from a height of nearly 30 feet, is a sight to behold and has rightly earned its place as one of the top tourist attractions in the Western Ghats. Located conveniently close to the main route that connects Sringeri and Kudremukh, the waterfalls is a must-visit for anyone looking to explore the beauty of natural landscapes.


A malnad house in Agumbe
A malnad house in Agumbemanoj_kulkarni/Shutterstock

A two-hour journey takes you to Agumbe, an area that lends itself to some excellent outdoor adventures — there are waterfalls and pools to bathe in, birds and snakes to spot, and treks to build up your appetite. It is also where the famous television series Malgudi Days was shot. You can visit the house where Swami lived with his family and even stay here as it is now a homestay. With an average annual rainfall of more than 8,000mm, this is one of the wettest places in India and the site of the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station, which carries out research in rainforest ecology. Interestingly, one of its main projects is to track the area’s king cobras using radio tagging. Numerous waterfalls and trails through the winding hills make Agumbe a trekking paradise. Carry all required equipment and supplies with you and engage a guide as getting lost in the dense woods is very easy. It’s best to avoid trekking at night. The 850-ft-high Barkana Falls are 5km from Agumbe, after which a 3km trek affords gorgeous valley views. On the way back, take the route via the Jogi Gundi Falls. The water flows over stepped rocks and through a cave into a large pool.

Visit A Temple Town

A delightful excursion from Kudremukh leads to the enchanting temple town of Kalasa, renowned for housing the sacred Sri Kalaseshwara Temple. This revered site is steeped in the mythology of Rishi Agasthya, believed to have emerged from a kalash (water pot), adding a mystical allure to its origins. Primarily dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple complex is also peppered with several smaller shrines, enriching the spiritual tapestry of the place.

The Information

Best Time To Visit

October to May

Entry Fees

INR 200 for Indians, INR 1,000 for foreign tourists

Getting There

Mangalore International Airport ( IXE ) is the nearest airport (95 km). Mangalore Railway Station is the nearest railhead. You can also drive down from Bengaluru, around 332 km away.

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