The Kodachadri hill is a part of the Western Ghats and lies in the district of Shimoga. This hill range forms a lovely backdrop to the famous Kollur Mookambika Temple, near which it is located. You can easily access this place from Kollur, thanks to its proximity to the region. In fact, it is considered that the Kodachadri Hill was the original abode of the Goddess, before Sri Adi Shankara had the idol of the Goddess installed at the Kollur Temple.
There is an ancient shrine here dedicated to the Mother Goddess on the hill which is the place where Sri Adi Shankara performed his meditation. This hill range is part of the Mookambika Temple Nature Reserve.
Trekking in Kodachadri can be an adventurous and spiritual experience. The trek starts at the base of the Kodachadri Hill. On the way, you will pass the Bhakti Vedantha Eco Village belonging to ISKCON.
The trek up to the ancient temple from this point involves a climb of 4 km through thick jungle trails. The Siddheshwara Huliraya Mookambika Temple as this shrine is called, actually consists of two temple complexes. The first temple is dedicated to the terrible, warrior form of the Goddess, with an ancient 7 meter high iron pillar in front.
A bit higher up, there is the second temple, dedicated to the calm and beautiful Uma Maheshwari form of the goddess. This temple complex has a small pond and is surrounded by four sacred springs.
Trekkers who visit this temple can stay in rooms hired out by the temple priest for a very low charge and food is also provided at reasonable rates. Staying here overnight facilitates easy access to the peak during the early morning hours.
An early morning trek to the top, before daybreak, will enable you to witness the breathtaking view of sunrise. On clear days, the view of the surrounding regions and the Arabian Sea from this summit can be an experience to treasure for a lifetime. There is another ancient temple here which is known as Shankara Peetam.
For the more adventurous, there is the steep trek down the western side of the hill to reach the holy Chitramoola Cave. It is believed that Sri Adi Shankara sat in meditation here for several days.
A Trek Around the Hidlumane Waterfalls
Around 10 km from Kodachadri is this beautiful waterfall, with just a bridle path leading up to it. This can be a fine trekking option to those who can tackle a bit of challenging terrain.
A Visit to the Arasinagundi Falls
From the base of Kodachadri hills, you can also trek to the Arasinagundi waterfalls, which is a medium level trek. From the temple town of Kollur, this is a one day trek.
By Train: Mangalore, around 130 km away, is the nearest biggest railhead.
By Road: The best option would be to get a bus to the pilgrimage town of Kollur and then travel on to Kodachadri, which lies 12 km away.
It would be best to stay in the temple town of Kollur as it houses a wide variety of hotels and resorts. Kodachadri is a beautiful hill range covered in dense forests and a part of the Mookambika Reserve. For pilgrims and adventure seekers, these hills can provide a unique experience with regards to trekking.