Mist-capped ridge lines ensconcing the peak make the hike to Nethravathi peak a must. Crossing the multi-tiered Nethravathi waterfall and numerous small streams, hiking uphill onto open terrains with 360° views, and camouflaging yourself in the thickets of the Kudremukh National Park all while feasting on one-of-a-kind view, makes this one of the most rewarding journeys.
When we decided to hike the Nethravathi peak, we did not find much information on Google. All it showed was group packages from Bangalore during weekends. For instance, we couldn’t find the starting place of the hike. So we decided to write this blog covering all the essential things you need to know to hike to the most beautiful Nethravathi Peak.
Nethravathi Peak Hiking Guide
Table Of Contents
- Nethravathi Hike Guide Contact
- How To Reach Nethravathi Peak From Bangalore?
- Network Availability
- ATM Availability
- Languages Spoken
- Parking Availability
- Restroom Facilities
- Best Time To Visit
- Where To Eat?
- Where To Stay?
- Things To Do In Nethravathi
- Hiking Details
- Cost Breakdown For One Person
- Important Things To Remember
- Essential Things To Carry
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Related Posts
Nethravathi Hike Guide Contact
Arun – +91 9483071332, +91 6363479092 (Speaks Kannada, Sanskrit, and a little Hindi and English)
How To Reach Nethravathi Peak From Bangalore?
There is only one unreserved direct train to reach Chikmagalur from Yeshwantpur junction, Bangalore on Fridays. From there, you are entirely dependent on roadways.
There are many state-run KSRTC and private buses from Bangalore to Chikmagalur. You can board a bus from the Chikmagalur bus stop to either Horanadu or Kalasa. From Kalasa, transit to another bus to reach Samse. There is no direct bus from Horanadu to Samse, you’ll have to change buses at Kalasa.
The Samse Circle is the starting point of the Nethravathi peak. From the Samse Circle, walk for about 2 Kms by marking the map to the Kalsanka homestay. It is the nearest homestay to where the trek actually starts. You can also hire a jeep to reach the hike starting point. Auto or shared-auto drivers generally disagree to drop you here as the path is a mix of road and muddy terrain.
Here is where you’ll find a forest official and a guide. Remember, until you reach this point you are on your own. If you have reached the Kalsanka homestay 100 m away, it is a straight route uphill from there. Should you be confused or stumped on the way, we encourage you to ask for directions if needed. Our guide Arun was with us right from the Samse Circle bus stop and he helped us with the route.
You can find more on why we chose our accommodation at Horanadu below.
Along the trail, we were only able to find intermittent availability of Airtel and Jio with poor to moderate reception of the internet and cellular network. BSNL performed better in this region.
At the summit, all network operators offered good connectivity.
No ATMs are available on this route. You can find reliable ATMs only in Kalasa and Samse. For guide and forest department entry, you’ll need cash. So, ensure to carry sufficient cash.
The regional language of Kannada is the only language spoken by the people in this region. Few guides are familiar with other languages.
Park your vehicle in Samse and hire a jeep to arrive at the hike starting point. There is no dedicated parking space. You’ll have to park your vehicles on the side of the road or in front of shops.
No restroom is available at Samse. Come prepared as you will need to answer nature’s call with nature.
Best Time To Visit
The Nethravathi fall that you encounter midway through the hike gushes with abundance during the monsoon months of July and August. Western ghats are worth hiking during the peak monsoon season, as it is bustling with spring energy.
The best time to visit Nethravathi peak is during the post-monsoon months between September and December. At this ideal time, you get to see the majestic mountains in all their glory, in different shades of green, and with no obstruction from mist or bad climate.
We recommend going on weekdays as weekends as holidays are crowded.
Where To Eat?
There are restaurants and shops in Samse. You can buy energy bars and snacks before you start your hike from Samse.
Where To Stay?
There are numerous cozy homestays available in Samse that offer packages to hike Nethravathi peak. The nearest homestay to the Nethravathi hike starting point is the Kalsanka Homestay.
We stayed in the Horanadu Devasthanam rooms as they were quite budget-friendly and cost about Rs. 250 per night for 2 people. We commuted from there by bus. If you are on a budget, we encourage you to do the same. Make sure to book in advance as weekends are usually crowded.
Things To Do In Nethravathi
Hiking the ever-green hill of Nethravathi is a popular activity in the region. People also do a short hike to the Netravati waterfalls located en route to the peak.
Distance: 330 Km from Bangalore, and about 93 Km from Chikmagalur.
Cost: Rs. 500 per person for forest entry + Rs. 1000 for the guide for 1-10 persons. The fees are mandatory.
Registration: No registration or pre-online booking is required.
Timings: From 8 AM to 5 PM.
Duration: 3-4 hours for the ascend and 1:30 – 2 hours to descend.
Summit Height: 1520 m
Hike Distance: 16 Km one way approx.
Apply Dettol or any leech-repellent spray while you start as leeches are prevalent on this trail during monsoon seasons. For the first 2 Km, you’ll hike a forest trail frequented by humans. As you progress exploring this trail it feels almost as if the glory of the Kudremukh forest range cannot contain itself.
After walking for a few more mins, you will be within earshot of the thundering harmony of the waterfall. Step carefully on slippery stones, and the multi-tiered Nethravathi waterfall comes into full view. Crossing from here would lead you to a hiking path and subsequently to the viewpoint. You can rest for a while here, enjoy the waterfalls and then resume your hike.
You’ll enjoy hiking in the abundantly green western ghats. The monsoon rains rejuvenate this entire experience. Crossing multiple small streams en route is evident in the forest trail of Nethravathi.
After a Km, the route is accompanied by the high screeches of insects and a huge stream that could be very easily mistaken for another waterfall. The stream is wide and powerful enough that bamboo stems were tied to 2 trees to aid the crossing of hikers. Be very mindful of your surroundings as the rocks are slippery and the water tide and flow are high during rains and monsoon season.
Fortunately, after crossing the stream, the leeches became less prevalent. It is a straight open uphill climb for 4 Kms, and trust us when we say, the view gets progressively beautiful with each step. The muddy terrain is slippery with dead leaves and water flowing to the very top.
The last climb to the summit is slightly steep. Turn around and soak in the view from all directions. This is one of the few trails where stopping to soak in the sights happens to be very true. The last arduous push to the summit is truly rewarding. A pile of stones balanced atop the other marks the final summit.
The return is also the same route as you came through. So ensure you apply Dettol once more as you cross the river.
Difficulty Level: Moderate – highly subjected to your fitness level.
Terrain: Grasslands, waterfall, valley, and stones.
At The Nethravathi Summit:
The green forest of Kudremukh National Park can be comprehensively admired from the peak. Spend as much time as you can to witness the beauty of this place.
Mist is accompanied by drizzles and crystal clear views, this place of conundrums is guaranteed fun. We did enjoy every bit of nature’s drama.
Since Nethravathi peak is located in the Kudremukh National Park, permission is required to summit this peak.
Unlike the Kudremukh Peak Trek, the Nethravathi hiking route has no proper forest check-post office building. Forest officials can be found standing near the starting point of the hike collecting entry fees.
Cost Breakdown For One Person
- Room rent in Horanadu – Rs. 125, (Rs.250 for 2 persons)
- Breakfast in Horanadu – Rs. 30 (Idly)
- Bus between Horanadu and Kalasa – Rs. 34 (includes return ticket to Horanadu)
- Bus between Kalasa and Samse – Rs. 36 (includes return ticket to Kalasa)
- Jeep ride from Samse to hike starting point and back – Rs. 100 (costs between 1K – 2K for around 1-30 persons)
- Guide charges – Rs. 100 (Rs. 1000 for 1-10 persons)
- Forest entry fee – Rs. 500
- Energy bars, snacks – Rs. 100
Total for the hike = Rs. 1025
- Bus from Bangalore – Horanadu – Bangalore costs Rs. 754 (Karnataka Sarige)
Grand Total = Rs. 1779
Free water and free dinner are available at the Horanadu temple premises. You can also do the Kudremukh trek and cover all the places near Kalasa. The only downside is lunch, but you can adjust for a day with the snacks and energy bars you bring with you.
The same trip would cost Rs. 2000 per person at Kalsanka homestay, excluding the bus from Bangalore.
Important Things To Remember
- A guide is mandatory to hike the Nethravathi peak.
- The use of plastics and smoking is strictly prohibited. As a hiker, it is incumbent on you to be responsible and not litter. Collect and bring back the waste with you and dispose of them in proper dedicated bins.
- Illegal trekking is strictly prohibited, and trespassers will be prosecuted.
Essential Things To Carry
- Ensure you carry at least 1L of water per person.
- Take sufficient snacks and energy bars, as there are no shops nearby. Fill your snack box at Samse itself.
- Cap, sunscreen & sunglasses are essential to ward off the summer heat.
- Carry a poncho or raincoat in case of rain.
- Above all, ensure you wear comfortable shoes with good traction and grip.
- Carry leech-repellent spray like Dettol as leeches are plenty during the rains.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a guide required for the Nethravathi trek?
No directions are marked along the route and the probability of getting lost is high. So, a guide is mandatory to trek Nethravathi.
Is camping allowed in Nethravathi?
Nethravathi lies in Kudremukh national park and it is a reserved forest maintained by the government of Karnataka. Camping is strictly not allowed.
What are the places to visit around Nethravathi?
You can trek the Kudremukh peak, and visit other places near Kalasa. You can visit Elaneeru falls, which is very near to the Nethravathi hiking route on the same day.
Is a GPS file required to hike Nethravathi?
As a guide will be accompanying you throughout the hike, a GPS is not required. But it is always good to have a downloaded offline map.
If you find this blog helpful in planning your trip to Nethravathi peak, comment below. For more extensive hiking guides such as this and travel tips stick with us, the traveling twins.