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Karnataka state has some of the prettiest hill stations in India but among them, Kodachadri hills, a lesser-known spot, is quite different from other hills stations. It is an ideal place for all adventure lovers and for people who love Nature,
A part of the Western Ghats, Kodachadri hill range is situated at an altitude of 1343 metres above sea level in the Hosanagara taluk of Shimoga District.
Considered to be the highest peak in the district, it lies 115 km from Shimoga, 20 km from Kollur and 500 km away from Bengalaru.
The name Kodachadri comes from the Kannada words 'Kodacha' or 'Kodashi' which means hill of Kutaja flowers and 'Adri' a Sanskrit word which means hill , both these combined together derived the word Kodachadri. Kutaja in Sanskrit means Girimallika or Jasmine of the hill. It is also called 'Kodashi Parvatha'.
Due to its rich cultural and natural heritage, Kodachadri is declared as a natural heritage site by Government Karnataka. The most attractive feature of Kodachadri hills is the famous Mookambika temple is located on the top of Kodachadri hill.
Since, it is situated in the middle of the Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary, it is considered as a biodiversity hotspot and home to several endemic and endangered species of flora and fauna. Tha rain forests loom in a perpetual layer of mist around the peak.
Some of the interesting places to visit in Kodachadri are Sarvajina Peetam, Sri Mookambika Devi Temple, Hidlumane Waterfalls, Sauparnika River, Arasinagundi Wateralls, Belakallu theertha Waterfalls, Nagara Fort, Kodachadri Trekking Route and Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary. Those who love to travel adventurous places can plan the trip to Kodajadri.
Sri Mookambika Devi Temple
Sri Mookambika Devi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvathi. Believed to be one among the seven pilgrim centers created by Parashurama, this temple located on top of Kodachadri hill, at the foot of the Western Ghats. The temple attracts thousands of devotees not only from South India but from all around the country. Here the goddess is worshipped in the form of a 'Jyotirlinga' incorporating aspects of Shiva and Shakti.
It is just 10 km from Kodachadri and can be reached by 5 km trekking on a bridle path. Eventhough, it is an adventurous trekking, the route throughout is very scenic with lush green forest and paddy fields all around. These falls are a series of waterfall
Arasinagundi falls is 6 km from Kollur, at the bottom of Kodachadri near Dhalli village. One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Kodachadri region, it is situated in the deep inside of the forests close to Kodachadri hills. This is alsoa a nice trek to the Arasinagundi waterfalls. There is also a cascade from half way formed from water flowing from another stream. The falls got its name Arasinagundi since the color arasina (yellowish) can be seen when the water makes contact with the ground.
Belakallu theertha is located near near Mudur. 15 km from Kollur, the Belkal Theertha is falling from 300 feet down from a mountain called Korshi Betta, which is an extension of Kodachadri. The treking to this falls is easy.
Nagara Fort is around 25 km from Kodachadri and 17 km away from Hosanagara. A nice picnic spot, it is a nice location with lots of greenery with a pond near by the fort. There are two tanks located inside the fort .
According to the famous travel book 'Outlook travel' considers it one of Karnataka's most beautiful beaches. Situated 50kms from Udupi to the north along the coastal road is Maravanthe on National Highway, it is a famous picnic spot.A narrow road separates this beach with the Arabian Sea on the western side and the Saurpanika River on the eastern side. Surrounded by Kodachadri Hills, the swinging palm trees, clear blue sky, endless stretch of golden sand and blue water make the beach a very attractive. At sun set the beach surroundings looks like a fairyland with the red sky and golden rays. The waters are ideal location for water sports activities and also safe for swimming .
Kodajadri has many treking routes. October to February is ideal season for trekking. One is from Nittur and on the way one can find Hidulmane falls. Note: Try hiring a guide on this route, treking here without guide can be dangerous, as there are many diversions. The another one is from Karaghatta which is through the rugged wild terrain. On this route one can find two small shrines where vedic rituals are performed. The presiding deity in the fist shrine is worshipped in her terrific form, one can see a Trishul with which Devi killed Mookasura and in the second, the diety is worshipped in her beautiful and merciful form - Goddess Uma. There is a Ganapati Cave with an ancient idol of Lord Ganesha and behind the idol, there is a tunnel, which lead to Kollur. Further up, on the hilltop is the Sarvajnapeetam is situated. Sarvajnapeetam is a rock structure where Idol of Sri Sankaracharya worshiped. This is the place where he is said to have immersed himself into deep meditation and received the ultimate knowledge and dissolved into the universe The entire structure is made of rock and its roof has various yantras and chakras carved and resembles a 'Meru' - a three dimensional form of the mystic design called the 'Srichakram'. One has to descent steeply on the western side of the hill to reach a holy cave called Chitramoola were Sri Sankaracharya did meditation to please goddess Mookambika.
From karikatte gate is another treking route which one can start trek without a guide as path is well defined inside the forest. The distance of trek from Karikatte gate to the peak is around 12-14kms.
Kodachadri is also famous for its wonderful sunrise and sunset.