Making a living in the outdoors when the rest of the world goes back into their urban nests is a blessing. It’s easy to be outside in the sun, but it’s rewarding to traverse through a dense jungle, finding your ‘bare necessities’. Surprises by the lightening, cooking your meals, fetching water from a running stream, singing songs in a million-starred camp, and dancing fireflies putting you to sleep. That said, mountains don’t really need to have a USP for you to climb them. Like John Muir put it, “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.” That’s it. So rain or shine, here’s how we wished our urban jungles to be.

Nishani Motte


In the lesser known and lesser heard trails in the Scotland of India, Coorg, a narrow trail starting out through the endless meadows and rich Shola vegetation leads to an impressive ridge walk to the hidden jewel nestled higher up in the Talacauvery range, Nishani Motte. A campsite up above where the peaks of Coorg and Kerala stand shoulder to shoulder, letting the river Cauvery sneak in between them, here’s where the birds and wild animals know their course and you’ll be welcomed in your wanderings.

#UniqueFactor: You are actually living in the the wild — a forest reserve.

Where: Bhagamandala, Coorg

Price: INR 3,950 per person

Distance from Bangalore: 309 kms



The name Amedikallu is derived from two words: Aame {Tortoise in Kannada} and Dikke {Tripod or Stove in Tulu}. This peak, an eminent one in the Charmadi range of the Western Ghats, derives its name from the massive monolith at the crest that gives the resemblance of a stove adjoining it. Along the trail, just before the foot of the last stretch, is a man-made nest overlooking the canopy of trees below. A secret hideout for campers, with a stream adjacent to the nest, nature will usually conspire to give you a night sky with shooting stars. Just keep an eye out for it.

#UniqueFactor: Camping in a nest overlooking the canopy below

Where: Shishila, Dharmasthala District

Price: INR 3,950 per person

Distance from Bangalore: 288 kms

Etina Bhuja


A hilltop shaped like the back of an ox {Ettu is ox in Kannada and Bhuja is shoulder}, this one is deep in the Charmadi Ghats. This trail is accessible from a small village called Shishila. You can pitch your tent right at the shoulder ridge of the peak, facing the windward and leeward side of the mountain. Ah, bliss! The sound of the stream near the camping ground provides enough water for your bare necessities and also lulls your into slumber. Beware of leeches though. That is all!

#UniqueFactor: Camping on the shoulder of the mountain

Where: Horakondu, 30 kms away from Dharmasthala, Dakshin Kannada

Price: INR 3,950 per person

Distance from Bangalore: 285 kms

Bandajje Arbi


Around 300km from Bangalore, the Bandaje Arbi Falls is one of the most picturesque ones in the Charmadi Ranges of Western Ghats. Camping on top of a waterfall that drops 200 feet into the valley is a once-in-a-lifestime experience. And the surroundings of this waterfall offer enthralling trekking routes. Expect a steep climb through the dense forest areas to reach this sweet spot though. Spend the night at a campsite beside the waterfall, and fall asleep under a carpet of stars with the sounds of the river bungeeing off the cliff.

#UniqueFactor: Pitch your tent right at the top of the cascading waterfall.

Where: Charmadi Ghat, Kadivithwara Village, Belthangady

Price: INR 3,950 per person per night

Distance from Bangalore: 350 kms



A must-do in Karnataka for every hiker, you traverse through dense forests and steep hills, but it’s admittedly very gratifying. Half way through the hike, you’ll touchdown a priest’s house. A generous host to all trekkers on this trail , Mr Mahalingeshwar Bhatt or “Bhattru” as he is fondly called, stop by for his hospitality and modest meals. After all, he does feed endless troops of famished hikers who camp here en route the peak. For the past 40 years, Bhattru has also been vital in working towards preserving and protecting the forest reserves in that region. Do spend the time asking about his work in conversation. Plus, he’ll talk to you about anything under the sun. The man’s wisdom and his multi-lingual persona will surely charm you even if the trail doesn’t!

#UniqueFactor: Bhattru Mane and his anna-sambhar

 Where: Subramanya Village, Sullia Taluk, Coorg

Price: INR 3,950 per person per night

Distance from Bangalore: 280 kms

Book yourself a trek here.

All prices are inclusive of travel, accommodation, food, forest department charges.

Photos: Nirvana Nomads



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