Explore The Great Outdoors With These Must-Do Treks In Karnataka

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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 meals, fetching water from a running stream, singing songs in a million-starred camp, and dancing fireflies putting you to sleep are just some of the thrills treks provide. 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. This walk further leads one to the hidden jewel nestled higher up in the Talacauvery range, Nishani Motte. Erect 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 their wanderings.

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

Where: Bhagamandala, Coorg

Price: INR 5,000 per person

Distance from Bangalore: Around 300 km


The name Amedikallu is derived from two words and two different languages: 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 4,000 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 (we recommend applying salt wherever the leeches bite, they will fall off). 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 Western Ghats. Camping atop a waterfall that drops 200 feet into the valley is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And the surroundings of this waterfall offer enthralling trekking routes as well. 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 4,500 per person per night

Distance from Bangalore: Approx 350 kms


A must-do in Karnataka for every hiker where you've to 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, who is a generous host to all trekkers on this trail. You can choose to stop by for his hospitality and modest meals. 

#UniqueFactor: Bhattru Mane and his anna-sambhar

 Where: Subramanya Village, Sullia Taluk, Coorg

Price: INR 5,000 per night

Distance from Bangalore: approx 300 km

Book yourself a trek here.

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


Nirvana Nomads is an offbeat travel company that brings alternate travel to the fore. Travel to us is about experiences, conversations, revelations and interconnections. It's about the adventure, nature and culture found all around us. Come trippin' with us and see the difference.