Karnataka is one of the best trekking places in southern India and makes for a perfect weekend getaway for people living in Bangalore and the neighbouring cities. These trekking places in Karnataka give you the perfect opportunity to explore the stunning landscape of Karnataka. Here, you can either go trekking in the magnificent mountains of the Western Ghats, or in the lush shola forests and scented meadows of Coorg.
With the many trekking places in Karnataka, you can explore the natural splendour of ancient temples, historic forts, towering mountains along with thrilling trails and breathtaking views. There are many treks in Karnataka, some perfect for beginners and some for the more experienced trekkers. Here are some of the top treks near Bangalore in Karnataka:
This moderately challenging trek to Kunti Betta is great for a day trip or a night trek. The rocky structure of the hill offers some tricky stretches where you will have to clamber over boulders. All along the trek to Kunti Betta, you’ll get scenic views of the landscape around, as well as of Thonnur Lake below.
The trek to Kudremukh takes you to the second-highest peak in Karnataka. The unique peak is shaped like a horse’s face and is located inside the Kudremukh National Park. The trek route winds through gorgeous greenery, with waterfalls, farms, and pretty forests all around. The Kudremukh trek is usually done over 2 or 3 days.
This is a popular location for trekking in Karnataka and lies about 250 km from Bangalore. It is ideal for a two or three-day getaway, as you can do one day of climbing, and spend the rest of your time in the forest reserve that Kumara Parvatha lies in. This is one of the toughest locations for trekking in Karnataka, so make sure you’re well prepared.
The Kodachadri trek itinerary includes a visit to Hidlumane waterfall and sometimes a stop at Nagara Fort too. The trek route goes through a dense forest, with some steep sections. In the monsoon, you’ll have streams running by underfoot, while in winters, the misty views from the top are absolutely spectacular. The Kodachadri trek usually takes place over 2 or 3 days.
The Anthargange trek has plenty of fascinating things to explore. It is a field of rocks, where boulders are stacked on top of each other to form cave-like structures. It is also home to an ancient temple with a mysterious Nandi statue that has a stream flowing from its mouth. Nobody has been able to trace the origin of this stream, and the temple is a popular pilgrimage spot even today. The Anthargange trek is usually done overnight, to allow you to camp at the top and watch the sunrise.
The Narayanagiri mountain is a 3800 feet climb, with natural caves and a thick forest to explore. You’ll also see the Laxmi Narayan temple and the remains of the fort around you as you climb. The trek is close to Manchanabele, where the backwaters offer some fun kayaking and swimming opportunities. The Narayanagiri trek is usually done overnight, with a campfire and sleeping bags under the stars.
The Makalidurga trek is about 2 hours from Bangalore and is a popular trek for those looking for a quick escape from the city. It’s not too hard either, and beginners often start here. From the top of Makalidurga, you can see the Gundamagere Lake, explore a temple built for Lord Shiva, and walk along the remnants of the fort.
Ramanagara is about an hour’s drive from Bangalore and is a popular spot for rock-climbers and rappelling trips. The craggy, rocky landscape makes it perfect for photography, adventure, camping, and lots more. Some itineraries for the Ramanagara trek include a short trek and rappelling too. If you’re staying out for the night, you’ll enjoy a campfire and sleep in sleeping bags under the stars.
Bilikal Betta is a hill in the middle of a nature sanctuary, about 70 km outside Bangalore. The trek starts off in open grounds and climbs through thick forests until you reach the summit. There is a temple at the top, with beautiful views in all directions. This trek is often done overnight, to give you a chance to catch a gorgeous sunset and sunrise.
This large mountain trek is one of the lesser-known treks around Bangalore. You’ll trek through forests, passing streams and waterfalls as you go. The Tadiandamol trek itinerary sometimes includes a rafting session in the nearby Kushalnagar too.
Explore more adventure activities near Bangalore, click here.
Though you can go trekking in Karnataka throughout the year, the best seasons are monsoon and winter. Each season offers a completely different experience, so depending on what you want to see, you can go for your trek accordingly.
In the months of monsoon, from mid-June to September, the landscape is lush green due to rains, and the dense forests are flourishing with flora and fauna. During these months, you get to see the colourful wildflowers dotting the verdant meadows, the radiant green of the forests swaying in stark contrast to the grey skies, and the mountains of the Sahyadris disappearing into the clouds. With these, the thrill of trekking on slippery terrain which adds an extra dose of adventure to the trek.
And in the winter season, the clouds disappear, revealing the cerulean sky but the forests are still fresh and green. You don’t get soaked and you get to experience the cool breeze of the Western Ghats. You also get to see the mist rise over the lush forests and disappear into the sky as the sun makes its way over the horizon.
For your Karnataka trek packing list, you need to first consider the clothes that you are going to wear on the trek. So for that, you need a comfortable t-shirt and trek pants that do not restrict your movement. If you are going during the monsoons, then you also need a raincoat or a poncho.
Then comes what you’ll wear on your feet, and that is a good quality pair of trekking shoes. Make sure these shoes are comfortable, well broken-in and provide ample grip and support. Good shoes ensure a safe and comfortable trekking experience.
As for what you will carry during the trek, you need, first, a sturdy backpack. In the bag, you should carry a water bottle, dry snacks and chocolates along with all the personal essentials like toilet paper, sanitizer, sunscreen, sunglasses, etc. And lastly, don’t forget to carry a personal first aid kit.
Check-out our blog on what to pack for trekking in the Sahyadris here.
While trekking in Karnataka, the best time to go is during the months of monsoon and winter. During the monsoon season from mid-June to September, the landscape transforms into a green paradise with flourishing flora. This is the season when the nature of the Sahyadris and Coorg are liveliest, offering splendid views and exciting trails that can sometimes get slippery.
During the winter months, however, the landscape is misty and the winds are cool, offering perfect trekking opportunities without getting soaked. The forests are bustling and the views are green with mist flooding the horizons.
You can go trekking in Karnataka in the summer months, but the weather can get quite hot and humid, making it an uncomfortable experience.
Yes, most treks in Karnataka packages include travel arrangements from Bangalore to the base village and back. You travel via a private bus or an SUV, and in some cases where the base village is far-off, you travel on trains.
The pick-up points in Bangalore are always major landmarks that you can reach easily using local transport like buses or taxis. Do check the trip details and fine print of the trek that you are planning to book to know more about the pick-up points and travel arrangements.
Most of the trekking places in Karnataka are located near Bangalore, hence, you don’t need to go too far for trekking. Moreover, the tour operators provide travel arrangements between Bangalore and the starting point of the treks.
Though the pick-up/drop-off locations vary from operator to operator, they are always major landmarks within Bangalore that are easily accessible by local transport like bus, taxi, etc. Some tour operators even offer multiple pick-up points from where you can join the team.
The mode of transport can sometimes vary, but for most treks, it is via a private bus or SUV. Sometimes, for treks that are farther away, you might be taken to the starting point via trains.
Remember to check the ‘trip details’ and ‘additional instructions’ of the trip that you’re looking to know more about the pick-up points and mode of transport for your Karnataka trek.
For trekking in Karnataka, you should wear a comfortable t-shirt and trek pants along with a hat/cap and sunglasses. With that, you also need to wear trekking shoes that are broken-in, comfortable; make sure they provide a good grip even in wet conditions.
Avoid wearing denim jeans or any other restrictive clothing that will make the trekking experience uncomfortable.
Ensure that you have a good pair of shoes and a trusty bag for any trekking in Karnataka. Carry at least two bottles of water per person and a few snacks. Do carry powerful sunscreen lotion or spray to save your skin, as well as an insect repellent. If you’re going trekking near Bangalore in the monsoon, carry the right rainwear. If you’re going trekking in winter, dress in layers to stay warm.
The preparation and fitness levels depend entirely on the trek that you go for. If you are going for an easy trek in Karnataka, then you don’t need any kind of preparation as long as you have basic fitness levels.
For moderate grade treks, you need good fitness levels, and you can start preparing for these treks a couple of weeks prior to the date. And for the challenging treks, you need prior trekking experience as well as decent fitness levels.
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