Nethravathi peak hiking guide

Hiking Guide To Nethravathi Peak From Bangalore (INR 1779)

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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 views, 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

Nethravathi Hike Guide Contact

Due to the recent spike in the popularity of the hike, the locals and forest department have come together to assign guides in a circular fashion. You need not arrange for a guide in advance. Go to the hike starting point. The forest department will assign a guide for you.

How To Reach Nethravathi Peak From Bangalore?

By Train

There is only one unreserved direct train to reach Chikmagalur from Yeshwantpur junction, Bangalore on Fridays. From there, you are entirely dependent on roadways.

By Road

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 Km by marking the map to the Nethravathi Trek parking point, from where the trek actually starts. You can also hire a jeep to reach the hike starting point. Auto or shared-auto drivers generally disagree with dropping you here as the path is a mix of road and muddy terrain.

Nethravathi peak hike starting place
This is where the jeep drops you and it is the starting point of the hike. Climb towards the left from here. You will be able to follow a visible trail.

Here is where you’ll find a forest official and a guide. Remember, until you reach this point you are on your own. Should you be confused or stumped on the way, we encourage you to ask for directions if needed.

You can find more on why we chose our accommodation at Horanadu below.

Network Availability

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.

ATM Availability

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.

Languages Spoken

The regional language of Kannada is the only language spoken by the people in this region. Few guides are familiar with other languages.

Parking Availability

Park your vehicle in Samse and hire a jeep to arrive at the hike starting point. There is a limited parking space available yet it is best to park near the Samse circle. You’ll have to park your vehicles on the side of the road or in front of shops.

Restroom Facilities

No restroom is available at Samse. Come prepared as you will need to answer nature’s call with nature.

Best Time To Visit

Nethravathi peak ridge line

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 (+91 9740360365 / +91 9900182092). They have dorm rooms with attached restrooms and tent stays for budget hikers, INR 1100 including 4 times food and refreshments.

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.

Hiking Details

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 and fixed.

Registration: Prior registration or pre-online booking is required. You can register online from the official website.

Permission:

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. 

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.

Difficulty Level: Moderate – highly subjected to your fitness level.

Terrain: Grasslands, waterfall, valley, and stones.

Hiking Route:

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.

Nethravathi waterfall

After walking for a few more minutes, 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.

Nethravathi hiking trail and route

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.

Stream crossing during monsoon

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.

Last summit push to Nethravathi peak

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.

At The Nethravathi Summit:

At the Nethravathi peak

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.

View from the Nethravathi peak

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.

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 next best option would be to opt for the Kalasanka Homestay which will cost approximately the same.

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 it 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.

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16 comments

Mehul 04/04/2023 - 8:22 PM

Amazing work

Reply
Twins 07/06/2023 - 10:19 AM

Thank you Mehul. Glad that you found it helpful

Reply
Divya 07/20/2023 - 11:05 AM

Thanks a ton .

Reply
Twins 07/20/2023 - 1:05 PM

You’re Welcome Divya 😀

Reply
Mrunali 07/20/2023 - 9:01 PM

I am unable to find the date this was put up, but is it still applicable?

Reply
Twins 07/21/2023 - 4:41 PM

@Mrunali, all the information given in the blog holds good. But the Netravati peak is closed as of July’23 due to a recent death happened.

You can check the openings and register through the official website – https://kudremukhanationalpark.in/

Reply
Pavithra 10/02/2023 - 1:38 AM

I can’t find the room stay you mentioned above. How to go there

Reply
Twins 10/04/2023 - 8:08 AM

@Pavithra, Here’s the official website of the Horanadu Devasthana rooms and their location. It is located next to the temple.

Reply
Raghavendra 11/22/2023 - 3:24 PM

Hi, Thank you so much for the detailed, very useful. Is it possible to share the guide number or anyone whom we can contact before going here? Please provide the details.

Reply
Twins 11/23/2023 - 2:15 PM

@Raghavendra, You can call Vishwanath +91 9740360365. He will take care of everything and guide you. Mention that “TwinsOnToes” referred you to get best deal.

Reply
Akriti 06/03/2024 - 11:52 AM

Quite helpful guys!1 Thank you…

Reply
Twins 06/04/2024 - 9:00 AM

You’re welcome 🙂

Reply
Lubika 06/09/2024 - 12:00 PM

Is there buses available from horanadu to kalasa? Timings

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Twins 06/09/2024 - 1:02 PM

Lubika, buses are available from Kalasa to Samse. If you’re starting from Horanadu, you’ll have to change buses at Kalasa. The buses are time bound and note that frequency of the buses is less, one or twice an hour.

On reaching Samse, you can either walk or hop on a tuktuk or jeep if you’re a group to reach the hike starting point.

Reply
Sumith 06/17/2024 - 8:53 PM

I didn’t make any pre booking as of now for this trek , I’m planning to go there by this weekend. Can I get guide and entry permission ticket directly at starting point ?

Reply
Twins 06/18/2024 - 8:33 AM

@Sumith, you have to reserve your slot online for the Netravathi Trek. It is mandatory to do the reservation as only 300 people are allowed each day. As of June 2024, the reservation is done online while the payment is collected offline at the starting point.

Guides need not be pre-booked. One guide is assigned for every 10 people at the starting point by the forest officer. Also note that guides are mandatory to trek in the Kudremukha National Park.

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