Ideal Time: 3-4 hrs
Open Time: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Trekking hours: 6:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Cost: Indians: Adult, Senior Studen, and Child- INR 200,
Foreign Nationals: Adult and Student- INR 1000
Located in the midst of mountains, Kudremukh National Park is popular for its scenic beauty. Designated the status of a national park in the year 1987, the 600-kilometre square area is one of the most well preserved national parks in the state. The Kudremukh National Park is jewelled with natural beauty, high rising peaks studded with a plethora of flora and fauna to picturesque trekking routes overseeing verdant grasslands, there is much to experience here! The wildlife protected area is the second largest belonging to a tropical wet evergreen forest in the zone of the Western Ghats.
The domain holds a great diversity of flora and fauna. Animals that reside in the dense forests include the ferocious leaping leopard, tiger, the endangered lion-tailed macaque, langur, spotted deer, barking deer, sloth bear, gaur, sambar, giant flying squirrels and many more are found in this wilderness. The IUCN red list shortlists the region with three endemic and seven vulnerable species of amphibians. The area is also a hotspot for reptiles.
The bountifulness of almost 7000mm of rainfall every year has given birth to a dense forest cover, mainly populated by semi-evergreen and evergreen trees. Grasslands also beautifully spread themselves on the rolling hills, with the national park holding one of the largest areas of high altitude grasslands in the Western Ghats.
Kudremukh is the home to many endemic, endangered, medically and economically abundant species of flora. Rare plants such as Nilambur Cobra Lily and the South Indian Jewel Orchid on the verge of extinction are found here. Trees such as eucalyptus, acacia, silk oaks, casuarinas etc. are found in abundance.
The expanse is an ornithologist's paradise. Around 200 species of birds are found here. Bird watchers throng here to witness mass migrations and rare species of birds such as the imperial pigeon, great pied hornbill, Malabar whistling thrush and Malabar Trogon. Get out early in the morning if bird watching is your thing.
Hiking and Trekking
For hikers and trekkers, the Kudremukh peak is a delight. Rising to almost 1,900 meters, it provides fantastic sceneries overlooking clear skies, rolling hills, thick forests and rich grasslands. A combination of unforgettable landscapes that take your breath away! There are alternate trekking routes that you can consider depending upon your starting point, so plan accordingly. It can be completed easily in a day, also camping is not allowed on the premises of the park. The activity is permitted by the office of the forest ranger (mandatory permit to be obtained) from sunrise to sunset. The permit can be obtained from the Kudremukh town. This trek is easily one of the best you can undertake.
Keep in mind to obtain a trekking permit before you enter the peak for trekking purposes. Permits can be obtained from the Kudremukh town, in the Reserve Forest Office. You can get permission from the office here and also hire a guide if necessary. Camping on the national park grounds isn't allowed and strict action will be taken if found camping.
One of the highest peaks in the state of Karnataka is a sight to see. The Kudremukh peak soars up to a height of 1,894 meters, i.e. 6,214 feet. It is one of the fascinating locations for you to soak in the true beauty of mother nature. Vast pastures of pitch green meadows and undulating tranquil atmosphere tend to provide you with breathtaking experiences at every step. Three major rivers – Tunga, Bhadra and Nethravati flow through the land. They originate here in the Gangamoola hill (a.k.a. Varaha Parvata) of the Kudremukh National Park. Since its label as a national park, the area has witnessed a large number of incoming tourists, wildlife enthusiasts, photographers, nature lovers and trekkers. There are also numerous tea and coffee plantations in the region where you can quench your thirst for a delicious hot beverage. Few places of interest are:
Hanumanagundi Falls (Suthanabbe Falls): This waterfall drops from a height of 72 feet and is an amazing sight when the water is at its zenith. It is located on the Kalasa road (State Highway 66).
Kadambi Falls: The lovely Kadambi falls can be viewed en route the State Highway 66. It is located on the same road as the Hanumanagundi waterfall.
Varaha Thirtha: A clear and idyllic pond to spend your picnic at.
Gangamoola Hill: This place is the origin of three rivers - Tunga, Bhadra and Nethravati, all of which hold great religious and geographical significance.
During the British era, the Kudremukh area was declared as a nature reserve in 1916 for protecting endangered tigers. The Kudremukh township and the nearby regions advanced primarily as a hub for iron-ore mining in the late 20th century. The public sector Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited (KIOCL) functioned for over 30 years and established itself as one of the largest iron ore mines in the world, until 2006, when it was closed down on the grounds of environmental hazards to the Kudremukh biodiversity hotspot and issues raised by conservationists to preserve the natural charm of the region. Further propositions were made by the company to build a commercial resort and cater to eco-tourism, but these efforts were in vain due to natural, logical reasons to maintain the sanctity of the place.
The months from October to May are calm and serve as an apt time to visit the national park as it gleams with beautiful greenery. The previous monsoon season bestows a great deal of life to the wilderness resulting in bustling wildlife and extensive carpets of grasslands which are indeed a remarkable sight.
The rainy season from June to September is a bit harsh and may spoil your trekking or hiking plans. The area receives annual precipitation of around 7000mm!
Kudremukh adjoins the districts of Udupi and Chikmagalur in Karnataka and is easily accessible from nearby major towns such as Karkala (50 kilometres approximately) and Hornadu/Kalasa (25 kilometres). The nearest major city is Mangalore at a distance of 100 kilometres. Bangalore is approximately 350 kilometres away from Kudremukh.
Daily buses operate from these places but make sure to check the schedules ahead of your travel day. There are no trains that operate in this area.
1. The Reserve Forest Office at the Kudremukh town is a good place to obtain information about the trek all the way to the top of the peak. Information about accommodation facilities is also provided here. Also, camping is not allowed in the national park premises.
2. During the monsoon season, be mindful as blood sucking leeches are found far and wide.
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