21 Best Trekking Places In Karnataka

Karnataka, the sixth largest state of India and largest state in South India. Kannada is the most commonly spoken language. However, other minor languages like Urdu, Konkani, Malayalam, Tamil are also spoken. Karnataka experiences winter from January to February, summer from March to May, Monsoons from June to September and post monsoon from October to December.

All modes of transport are available for Karnataka. It is extremely rich in art and culture, in fact, it is a foremost center of Bharatanatyam and also rich in Indian Classical music. It is also home to diverse flora and fauna which is evident from the presence of 25 wildlife sanctuaries and five national parks in Karnataka with animals like elephants, tigers, sloth bear.

Other popular eco-tourism spots are Madikeri, Agumbe, Kudremukh. Popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites like ruins of Vijayanagar Empire and monuments of Pattadakal are also present in Karnataka.

Trekking Places In KarnatakaTrekking Places In Karnataka

Karnataka is also famous for its treks, some of which are as follows:

1. Ettina Bhuja Trek

Charmadi Ghat, known for its beautiful scenery is one of the ghats of western ghat. In order to relieve its beauty, you can trek to multiple mountains present around the Charmadi belt. Ettina Bhuja is one of those multiple mountains at an altitude of 1300 m. Situated in the Mudigere range of Chikmagalur district, it is comparatively unexplored.

This trek is locally known as Shishila Gudda Trek. This peak has a unique structure that looks like an Ox’s shoulder which is visible just after five minutes of trekking from the temple. It offers a great view of Shishila valley and charmadi range. However, a guide is a must for this trek since there is no proper trail that could be followed. The best time for Ettina Bhuja Trek is post monsoon from September to February.

2. Kumara Parvatha Trek

This trek is one the tougest treks in karnataka. Even though the trekking distance is14km, the elevation of the trek and the dense forest with no water source makes this trek one of a challenge for trekkers. The trek starts from Kukke subramanya and could be completed to the other side of the mountain ie. towards Somwarpet.

To stand at the very top of Kumara Parvatha at the crack of dawn is an experience every single tourist must experience when they find themselves at Coorg. The gorgeous sunrise displays a cacophony of vibrant colours to the sky, merging with the pale white clouds. This visually stimulating sight attracts groups of travellers and gives them an opportunity to enjoy the upward trek as well.

The abundance of greenery that surrounds the 6 to 7 KM trek makes the climb relaxing and refreshing. In fact, the 16 KM trail from Subramanya to Kumara Parvatha peak is filled with meadows and views of the western ghats, which makes the long route exceptionally beautiful and marvellous.

The second highest peak of Coorg, Kumara Parvatha is also in the Western Ghats. This trek is equally well for both the pros and beginners. It is rich in flora and fauna. The Kumara Parvatha is located in the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary hence, a double treat for the lovers of trek and jungle vacations. It takes around 8-10 hours to complete this trek of 13 kilometers. It is located at the height of 1712 meters.

The difficulty level of this trek is moderate to difficult. The Kumara Parvatha trek could be undertaken at any time, however, to get the most out of your trek, October to January and June to September is the best time. Trek in summer is not advised since the summer in South India is extremely hot and humid. All modes of transport are available for this trek.

3. Kodachadri Trek

A natural heritage site in Western Ghats, which is a good place for trekking. It is situated between Shivamogga and Udupi districts. This trek is in the Shivamoga region of Karnataka. This trek is of 14km and the highlight of this trek is the ungarded waterfall which make the place unique for trekkers and travelers from Bangalore. its said the Peak was a meditating ground for Shri Shankaracharya and so does the small temple refers too.

From Kollur take a bus to Kodachadri, going down 12 km later at Karakatta Gate. If you come by Shimoga, the hills are 12 km to the west, by the Theerthalli-Mastikatte road. Whichever route you take, there is no doubt that Kodachadri stands like a monolith. Pass through the concrete arch of the Karakatta Gate and walk along the flat track of the jeep.

Kodachadri is a breathtaking spectacle of natural beauty in the heart of western ghats. It is the only trek where there is a waterfall in it’s route. One need not trek back as there are 4x4 jeeps getting trekkers back to base on a bumpy muddy road which is an amazing experience.

There is a village named Mattur in the Shimoga district of Karnataka where every resident of India speaks in Sanskrit. An unique village of Karnataka, where children speak Sanskrit. About 300 families live in Mattur village. You will have a different experience as soon as you enter this village.

Seeing the costumes of the villagers, you will feel that people from times of Chanakya are residing. Whether children, old people or young men, all speak fluent Sanskrit. Puttu and channa are very popular with hikers. In the rainy season and after the monsoon, one can see the grace of the Agastya Teertha Waterfall on the left side of the hill.

Approximately 2-3 hours later, you arrive at Kodachadri, which has a PWD bungalow, a Shankaracharya Temple and a couple of small houses with rooms for rent. Kodachadri Trek, situated in the Shimoga district is one of the most popular trekking trails of Karnataka. Not only it is rich in scenic beauty but also it is rich in history as you also get to visit a thousand years old Mookambika Temple which is situated at the peak.

The Kodachadri mountain peak is 1343 meters above sea level and the trek is completed by covering the 12km route from Nittur. It takes 8-10 hours for a fit person to complete this entire trek. The best seasons for Kodachadri Trek are from October to February, winters or even during the post monsoons.

4. Tadiandamol Trek

Located in Coorg, Tadiandamol is the sixth highest peak in Karnataka. There is a famous trek to the highest peak of Coorg named Tadiandamol which is a must to do during monsoons. A combination of scenic beauty but not too strenuous, Tadiandamol is the perfect introduction for anyone who wants to go trekking.

In general, Tadiandamol offers enchanting views and at the same time does not demand much physically compared to walks like Kumara Parvatha, Mullayanagiri, Bababudangiri, which makes it the perfect initiation trip for anyone who wants to take the trekking seriously.

This trek is one of the best treks from Coorg, Medikeri region. Coorg is about 250 km from bangalore and the best hill station in Karnataka to experience mountains valley and coffee farms. Even though this trek length is 7 km, it is the highest peak of Coorg region. The trek starts from coffee country which is also a good facility for accomodation here.

Tadiandamol Trek is a popular trek of Western ghats. It is located in the Brahmagiri wildlife sanctuary of Bhagamandala Range Forest. It offers a beautiful view of green hills since the valley is filled with evergreen forests. The total trekking distance is 14-16 kms. On an average it takes around 2-3 hours to reach the peak of this trek.

The elevation of the Tadiandamol is 1748 meters. The best time for this trek is from February to September. There are chances of wildfires in the summer hence, trekking is not allowed during the summer seasons i.e. from April to June. All the modes of transport are available for this trek. However, camping has been banned on this trek.

It is advised to not start the trek in the afternoon since the sun sets pretty quickly after that, hence, making it difficult to reach the base of your trek. In fact, trekkers are not allowed to trek between 6 am to 6 pm on all days. The trek is moderate on difficulty level.

5. Kote Betta Hill Trek

With an altitude of 1620 m above sea level, Kote Betta is the third largest peak of Coorg. The local legends have it that the Pandavas had spent a greater part of their exile at this place. The trek to kote betta hill one has a wide variety of attractions to offer, such as the coffee estates, jackfruit gardens, spice plantations and lush green forest, Eco Valley, Hattihole Bridge.

You are also likely to get a glimpse of some beautiful animals like giant squirrels, civets. The total distance of Kote Betta trek is 16 km which can be easily covered in 3-4 hours by experienced trekkers. The best time for the Kote Betta Hill trek is from October to March. The difficulty level of kote betta trek is easy to moderate and does not require any prior experience.

6. Nishani Motte Trek

Usually trekking groups from Bangalore offer only the smaller version of this trek of 13 km, but the longer version of this trek is challenging and also rewarding from a trekkers perspective. The trek starts from the base of Tala Kaveri Temple in Coorg and ends at the APC (Anti–Poaching Centre) which is located on the other end of the peak.

Tucked away into a secretive nook, Nishani Motte is a euphoric location which leaves all tourists spellbound by its magnificence. This trail goes deep into the forest, with long paddy stretches on either side. The aromatic coffee estates are an earshot away, and clear streams flow along the path accompanying your journey.

The Nishani Motte Trek is a off the beaten path trek, perfect for those looking for an adventure experience. The top offers an incredible view of Brahmagiri and throughout the route you can admire the charm of the meadows and forests. This sober view of the Cauvery river is a rare find, adding to the glory of this lesser-known destination.

This unconventional route runs 15 KM long and is quite an adventure-filled journey, with steep slopes and dwindling paths. What makes this journey truly memorable are the numerous leopards and elephants one can spot along the way. This destination offers a panoramic view of the Western Ghats and must not be missed out on while visiting Coorg.

Nishani Motte is one of the least frequent peak of the forest range of Brahmagiri in Coorg district, Karnataka. It is not only a center of attraction for tourists and trekkers but also for environmentalists. The total trekking distance is 15 kms. It is also rich in flora and fauna and the trekking trail has plantations of coffee and cardamom.

From its summit at 1270 meters you get a 360-degree view of the landscape with emerald western ghats. Average temperature at Nishani Kotte ranges from 28 to 16 degrees. The trek duration is around 5-6 hours but it might take 2-3 days for a complete trek. The most favorable time for Nishani Motte Trek is winters and the most frequented months are from November to April but if you appreciate a lot of greenery the monsoon trek is perfect for you.

7. Yana Caves Trek

Yana is a popular pilgrim center in Karnataka and presently it has become extremely popular amongst the trekkers. Yana is actually a part of Sahyadri range hence, it is blessed with some rugged mountains, dense forests, rock formations. There are two beautiful black needle-sharp gigantic peaks of limestone known as Bhairaveshwara Shikhara (120 feet high) and Mohini Shikara (90 feet high) which is a major attraction.

The best time for the Yana trek is early winter. The trek duration is 16 kms. Vibhuti Falls is located at a distance of 8 kms from the village of Yana. It takes about 5-6 hours to complete this trek. The difficulty level of this trek ranges from easy to moderate.

8. Chandragiri Hills Trek

Located at Chikkaballapur at a distance of 60 km from Bangalore Chandragiri or Channagiri hills is a treat for both your body and soul. It is an unexplored and peaceful destination for adventure lovers. It is equally rich in flora and fauna. The trail of the trek is however a bit challenging. Chandragiri hills is about 3052 feet above sea level i.e. 370-400 steps to reach the hilltop.

These steps are covered barefooted in order to maintain the sacredness of the place. The best time for Chandragiri trek is October and March.

9. Mullayanagiri Trek

Chikmagalur is a paradise for monsoon treks. With dark green Coffee estates, beautiful Bababudangiri hills, Buttermilk waterfalls, the highest peak of Karnataka Mullayanagiri easy trek, Yagachi reservoir where you can indulge in water sports, Belur temple that has magnificent architecture, Chikmagalur offers many interesting things to do. It’s not far from Bangalore too.

It boasts of the highest peak of Karnataka Mullayanagiri, famous treks like Kudremukh, Bababudangiri and Buttermilk waterfalls. Mullayanagiri Peak at 6332 feet is the highest in the Chandra Drona range. It is situated at a distance of around 23 km from Chikmagalur. It has a small temple located on topmost summit and has a statue of Mullappa Swamy.

You can reach a point where you have to leave your vehicle and start a trek of around 3 km which can be easily covered in 3 hrs. It is also a good photography spot. Sarpadhari is the starting point of the Mullayanagiri trek. Most tourists prefer to drive on the road that leads to Mullayanagiri Peak and take a jeep from this point.

The motorized path is a completely different route from the walking walk on the Sarpadhari trail. Trekking to the top is an especially adventurous and the sunset view from the top is absolutely worth the slightly difficult climb. Go trekking in some of the high peaks or visit the Lakya dam.

Located at a distance of 23 and 20 km respectively from Baba Budangiri and Chikmagalur, Mallayanagiri is the highest peak of Karnataka. The altitude of this peak is 1950 meters. The place holds both an adventurous and religious place as it has a temple of Tapasvi Mullapa Swami on its topmost summit.

The trekking route to the topmost summit starts from Sarpadhari that extends up to 3 kms and is quite steep. The best time to visit the Mullayanagiri trek is Spring. There are several attractions apart from the temple like that of Jhari waterfall, Rock Garden, Bhadra National Tiger Reserve. The entire trek trail is 3-4 kms long and can be covered in 3 hours.

10. Kavaledurga Trek

Kavaledurga is a fort at the elevation of 1514 meters in the Western Ghats near Karnataka. The place is a harmonious blend of mountains, rivers and forest land which could be explored rightly by a trek. On reaching the summit of Kavaledurga Fort you are blessed with the marvelous vistas of the Western Ghats, Chakra and Varahi rivers.

There is no accommodation available in Kavaledurga but visitors can stay at Shimoga or Agumbe since they are close by. The best time to take this trek is from August to April. The Kavaledurga Fort trek is a small trek of 3 km which is covered in 2 hours.

11. Agumbe Trek

Agumbe, a picturesque location in the Western Ghats in the Shimoga district of Karnataka is noted for rains throughout the year. Agumbe is an ideal destination for trekkers and those who love verdancy. It is sometimes called "The Cherrapunji of the South" after Cherrapunji, in Northeast India.

Watching the sun set far away into the Arabian sea, while standing in the middle of Evergreen forests on top of Western Ghats is a special experience. Agumbe being part of the Western Ghats offers some good places for hiking/trekking with scenic beauty around. However, the striking feature of this place is its forest. The forest will lead one to a jungle pond known as Emkal Kere.

Narasimha Parvatha is also popularly known as Agumbe peak. It is one of the most famous Agumbe-Srinegri trekking trails. Agumbe peak is located at Shimoga district of Karnataka. The elevation of this peak is 3870 feet above sea level. The kudremukh range is visible from the top of this peak. The trail is challenging as it involves steep climbs.

The best time for the Agumbe Trek is November to February. The total trek trail is 6 kms long and it takes around 5-6 hours to cover it completely. The difficulty level of this trek ranges from moderate to high.

26. Amedikallu Trek

Well, if trekking is your thing, give the Amedikallu range, about 25 kms from Dharmasthala, a try. The whole trek is about 10 km from the base and would take you through thick forests, open meadows, and some really steep rock climbs. To be honest, the most part of the trek involves quite a steep vertical climb, with some relief coming towards the end of the trip, where the woods give way to some really pretty meadows.

It’s not a dangerous climb, by any means, but it does take a lot out of you. The weather is pleasant if you begin your climb at about 8 in the morning. This would also help you get back by 5, or before sunset. Carry plenty of water, because by the time you get out of the woods, the meadow terrain can get hot and energy sapping.

Well, this a high energy, and high reward sort of trek which makes climbing to the top totally worth all the energy you spend. Do hire a guide and knowing someone from that region of the state would really help you do the climb in an easier way!

13. Narayanagiri Trek

Narayanagiri is a hill situated at Jalamangala hills, Karnataka. At the peak of this hill there is a temple of Laxmi Narayana. It is a 3.5 km long trek on one side and takes around 4 hours. Different kinds of rocks are visible throughout the region. The height of this trek is 3800 feet. The difficulty level of this trek is moderate.

This trek could be done both during the winters and summers but monsoon is prohibited since the trails are slippery. Hence, March-May and September- February is ideal.

14. Jenukallu Gudda Trek

Located at the Hassan district of Karnataka, Jenukallu Gudda is a mountain peak of 4500 feet amidst the lush green forest and coffee plantations. It is also known as the honey stone mountain. It has a panoramic view of various green hills like Ettina Bhuja, Kumara Parvatha. During the monsoon the hill tops become misty.

The trek distance is about 8 km from the Byraveshwara Temple and takes about 4-5 hours. Jenukallu Gudda Trek is moderate in difficulty level.

15. Agni Gudda Trek

Often known as the trekkers delight, Agni Gudda hill with the height 3240 feet is the most amazing place to visit in Sakleshpur. This hill is extremely volcanic in nature. It is a treat for the adventure lovers and Agni Gudda Trekking is a must for them. The trek trail is 3 kms long and one can reach the mountain top within 1 hour by a moderate climb.

The difficulty level of this trek is easy to moderate. The best time for this trek is from October to March. Apart from trekking you can also indulge in camping and picnicking at Agni Gudda hill.

16. Baba Budangiri Trek

There is another popular trek from Mullayanagiri to Baba Budan Giri and it is approximately a 10 km trail. Jhari Waterfall is at a distance of 13 km from Baba Budangiri. It is one of the most famous waterfalls in the district. Z-Point is at a point of 67 km from Chikmagalur. It is a wonderful trekking spot. It has deep valley surrounded by greenery. It is situated at hills of Kemmanagund hills.

You may find difficulty in finding the right route as it is not properly mentioned in google maps,you have to take help of the locals to find the best route. As you start your trek the trail keeps on getting narrower and only one person can walk at a time, it becomes difficult to overtake someone.

There are no fences or railing so you have to keep proper balance. There is also a waterfall which you have to cross during your 40 minutes trek.

17. Uttari Betta Trek

Uttari betta is another place for a night trek to witness a peaceful Sunrise. Advantage of Uttari over other hills is, there is no need of any prior permission here. It can be done in any season without any problem since it’s an easy trek.

18. Nijagal Betta Trek

Nijagal Betta has been accidentally discovered to get away from the concrete jungle for a few hours. First things first, the lack of human beings here makes this place absolutely safe for a long drive. Nijagal Betta is perfect for adventure junkies. Nevertheless, an extremely beautiful sunset point at the top and the soothing wind makes this a great option for everyone.

19. Basadi Betta Trek

Not more than 30–40 minutes away, Mandaragiri Temple trek in Basadi Betta gets its name from the Jain temple on top of a hill. This place is ideal for a day’s trek to get away from the city for a few hours. However, you could also pitch a tent on the top of the hill. The hilltop offers stunning views of the valley below and there is even a lake which only adds to the beauty of this place. The boulders at the location also make for great nature shots and photography in general, so take along your DSLRs and smart cameras.

Cut off from the rest of the world, Dodda Ayur is popular for the sheer peace and tranquility experienced here. The presence of a water body in the center flanked by mountains only adds to the charm and beauty of Chota Ladakh.

20. Sakleshpur Trek

Sakleshpur, the closest hill station from Bangalore is famous for it’s lovely Coffee estate Homestays. There are couple of easy treks to Pandavar Gudda and Devil’s Hill which are amazing during monsoons. A Star shaped Fort, Backwaters and Waterfalls add to the experience.

Saklespur is a well-known hill station located in the Hassan District of Karnataka and is also among the best places to visit in India. This is actually the nearest proper hill station from Bangalore. More offbeat than it’s sisters Coorg and Chikmagalur, lush green coffee estates, homestays, open top jeep rides, Hemavati river, a star shaped fort, backwaters all add up to the experience.

Sakleshpur is located in the Western Ghats. Favored by a favorable climate and relatively temperate climate, these hills are covered by thick vegetation and are characterized by cardamom and pepper crops, in addition to the prized coffee plantations. Agriculture flourishes in Bisle Ghat, and that of Arabica coffee is the most important production in the area, renowned and appreciated all over the world.

If you visit Karnataka in October then rainfall must have stopped and the weather must be fantastic and hills will be gorgeously fresh and green. Thus it is the perfect time to visit Karnataka and enjoy lovely trails in Western Ghats for you explore the natural beauty of this wonderful place.

21. Gokarna Beach Trek

This trek is a combination of different beaches of Gokarna (Uttara Kannada) which is about 500km from Bangalore. This trek is relatively easy and best trekking spot for begineer trekker. Food and camping experience are the highlight of this trek.

The best of places for a relaxed weekend trip, Gokarna offers spectacular views of Arabian sea, trekking between the beaches, Yana caves formed by volcanic lava, Mirzan fort, chilling fresh water of Vibhooti waterfalls in dense jungle. Camping on a private beach is an unforgettable experience. No wonder it’s called as mini-Goa.

Kumta has scenic green grassy carpets and the imposing Sahyadri Mountains in the backdrop make this place worth visiting. You can also trek to Gokarna and visit some of the amazing temples in the area. It’s a great place for an offbeat beach trip with white sand beaches, hillocks, pine/coconut trees, shacks and campsites. Some of the beaches can only be accessed by trekking. Camping is a great experience on Gokarna beaches.

It is one of the holy places to visit in South India with temples such as Mahabaleshwar temple. You must visit the temple to take the blessings of Shiva. Some other places which you must enjoy include the Gokarna Beach, Om beach, Half moon beach and paradise beach. For adventure activities you can enjoy banana boat riding, night stroll on Nirvana beach, street shopping and many other things to do in South India.

Kalyan Panja