Where adventure meets divinity

It is a place where adventure meets divinity. For all of those wanting a pilgrimage, Kollur Mookambika temple, the seat of supreme mother is here for adventure freaks the background of the temple, ie., the Kodachadri hills is the perfect abode.

The hill is precisely 1,343 meters above sea level, in the Western Ghats. The name comes from native word ‘Kodacha’ or ‘Kodashi’ which means hill and ‘Adri,’ a Sanskrit word, both combined together to coin Kodachadri. It is also called ‘Kutachadri’ and ‘Kodashi Parvatha’. This hill is the home for many endemic and endangered species of flora and fauna. The Shola Forests spread over the surrounding hill range as well as on Kodachadri hill range is unique.

Legend

Kodachadri is a place which has its mention in the legend. There is an ancient, mother goddess temple at the top of the peak. Legend has it that Mother goddess had slayed Mookasura here.

The tale of Mookambika deciding to preside at Kollur itself is a fascinating one. Sage Shankaracharya sat for a penance at the top of Kodachadri hill to evoke Adi Shakti Mookambika to cleanse the curse which had hit Kerala following his exit from Kerala.

Pleased by his devotion, Mother appears before the sage. Shankaracharya explaining the situation demands the mother to come with him and set her foot in Kerala to clear the curse. Mother agrees on the condition that the sage would never look back to ascertain her presence during the journey.

The two start their journey downwards. Towards dusk, sage takes a break for ‘sandhyavandane’ at the bank of river Sauparnika. On finishing the ‘sandhyavandane,’ the sage hears tingling of anklets behind him.

He turns back, finds mother goddess and thus breaks the condition. Mother opts to stay on the bank of river Sauparnika and thus came into existance the home of Mother Supreme.

There is a small temple near the peak where Shankaracharya did meditation and ancient Sarvajna Peetam (built out of rock) at the top. There is road up to temple where a travellers’ bungalow is also situated and from there one has to trek on a beaten track to the top.

Moola Mookambika temple at Kodachadri village is believed to be the moola sthana (the origin) of Sri Mookambika Devi. Just below the peak, an almost vertical path leads to a small cave called Chitramoola, from where the Mookambika temple of Kollur is visible. One iron pillar of about 40-feet is erected in front of Moola Mookambika Temple at Kodachadri and devotees believe that this is the trishula used by goddess to slay the demon Mookasura. However, many believe that iron pillars were probably planted by British geologists before independence during the regime of Mysore Maharaja, to mark this place as mining area.

Other places

Around 10 kilometers from Kodachadri is Hidlumane Waterfalls. Since the path is a bit risky, additional care has to be taken while trekking on this path. Another water falls in deep forest is Arasinagundi falls which is nearer to Kollur, at the bottom of Kodachadri. There is also one more distant waterfalls called Belakallu theertha, which is near Mudur, Jadkal (Kollur), also suitable for trekkers.

Nagara Fort is around 25 km from Kodachadri and there exists an old fort built during 18th century and around Nagara, the landscape created out of backwaters of Linganamakki Dam on Sharavathi River is pleasant. There is also thick forest area and some villages with agricultural activity, all making good landscape.

Kodachadri has all rough jeep road on which only 4-wheel drive jeeps can travel. Cars and mini buses cannot manoeuver the steep hairpin curves and highly uneven surface of the road. As this hilly road is not maintained properly, only expert local jeep drivers can take the jeep to the top.

Jeeps for hire are available at Kollur and at villages near Kodachadri base.  Shared hiring is also available at Kollur, nine persons in each jeep and this facility is convenient for odd time tourists.

Motor cycle riding on this highly uneven, steep, mud track with sharp hairpincurve with gradients, will be challenging and may be sometimes risky. Every day around 30 jeeps take tourists and piligrims, on hire, to Kodachadri.

Stay

Kollur (22 km) has several guest house and lodges as well as homestay accommodation and this is a good option. The nearest big town is Kundapura. For reservation at Travellers’ Bunglow at Kodachadri, one may have to contact Officer-in-charge, PWD, Hosanagar, Shimoga district. The best time to visit the hill station of Kodachadri at Karnataka is in the period within October to May.

How to reach?

Kodachadri is at a distance of about 400 kilometers away from Bangalore. It is very near to Shimoga which is situated 120 kilometers away. From Bangalore, you may take the National Highway- 4 upto Nelamangala and then change track to to National Highway-48 till Hassan State Highways will take you to Shimoga via Chickmagalur, Tarikere and Bhadravati. More to the west from Shimoga is Kodachadri, almost three hours away.

Shimoga is the closest railway station while Mangalore happens to be the nearest airport.

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