Our trip to Kelaguru was much awaited one, as We always ride past Kelaguru while going to our native Udupi from Bengaluru, but never explored the Tea Plantations and the surroundings of Kelaguru. So, here we were planning a short trip to Kelaguru and We also wanted to add few more pit stop on our journey, to make it a tad bit longer one. We were excited to make this journey after a few months of "No Travel" due to the house shifting work and covid-19 waves. We were dreaming about the green tea and coffee estates of Kelaguru and standing a top of Kudremukha peak, the previous day of our journey, which we always do :)
Kelaguru is situated in the Mudigere Taluk of Chikmagalur district in Karnataka. It's famous for its tea/coffee Plantations and it's nestled right in the heart of Charmadi region of the western ghats. It can be reached via Kudremukha side as well as from Kottigehara side (Mudigere) by road.
Kelaguru tea estates have their own legacy and history, four Generations of the Mathias family have been directly involved in the cultivation and processing of coffee and tea. Kelagur Estate was acquired by S L Mathias (1868-1940), himself the son of a coffee planter, in 1927. His son E J Mathias (1913-1992) carried on the family tradition for five decades and developed the estate further, planting coffee, clonal tea and progressively improving the social welfare of the workers.
Currently Kelagur Mathias Coffee and Tea Plantations is spread over a thousand acres and the output is in excess of 7,50,000 Kgs of premium quality finished produce annually. As the major employer of over 500 employees.
So, following is a short Photo blog on our journey to Kelaguru and then to Kudremukha for a day's trek to Kudremukha peak which we did during August 2021. We also love to document our journey, so that it will be useful for others to plan in similar way and improvise on our itinerary.
Day - 1: Bike Ride from Bengaluru -> Kelaguru
Distance from Bengaluru: 280kms (5hrs 30mins) ride.
Route taken: Bengaluru -> Hassan -> Belur -> Mudigere -> Kottigehara -> Kelaguru.
Our stay was pre-booked at Megur Homestay in Kelaguru, right next to Kelaguru Tea factory estd.1927.
Day - 2: Visit to Rani Jhari view point and optional visit to Ballalrayana Durga fort.
From our Megur homestay, Rani Jhari is at at Distance of around 12kms (30mins of ride).
Ballalrayana Durga trek would need a couple of hours to complete so, plan accordingly.
And then ride to Kalasa (30kms / 1hr ride) for Lunch and proceed to Mullodi Homestay, Mullodi, (10kms / 20mins ride from Kalasa) basecamp for Kudremukha trek.
Day - 3: Kudremukha Peak Trek from Mullodi
A early morning trek to Kudremukha peak from Mullodi village and reach back to the basecamp by evening for nice hot bath and some snacks and to top it a dip in the somavathi Waterfalls right next to the Mullodi Homestay.
Kudremukha trek is a 9.5kms trek to the top of Kudremukha peak (total 19kms both ways) from Mullodi basecamp.
Trek planning details and Homestay's details are shared below in this blog in the detailed itinerary section.
Day - 4: Ride from Kudremukha to Bengaluru (Return journey)
Ride distance from Kudremukha to Bengaluru is 335kms (8hrs ride)
"Whichever the ride is, start early and take enough time to enjoy the ride and to reach in time"
So, that is exactly what we did, we started early at 6am from the Mullodi Basecamp and reached to Balegal check post to grab our bike. And started our return journey from Kudremukha at 7am sharp. And after 8hrs long bike journey with plenty of pit stops for Chai and rest, we reached our home in Bengaluru around 4pm in the evening, with loads of good memories of our travel over 4 day.
1. Megur Homestay, Kelaguru.
It's right next to the Kelaguru Tea factory. And it's around 3kms from inside from the Kottigehara -> Kudremukha.
It's run by a retired couple, who manages the homestay with a helper family. The rooms were good, and the food was delicious and Homely. The property is located amidst the Tea Plantations of Kelaguru and perfect getaway from the city's hustle bustle life. The Kelaguru Tea Plantation visit is possible on your own and you can also visit Kelaguru Tea factory in the morning hours which is just 300mtrs from the Homestay.
Contact details for booking the homestay:
Location of the homestay:
2. Mullodi Homestay, Mullodi (Kudremukha trek Base camp):
Mullodi Homestay run by Satish Mullodi and his family, we always plan to stay in this homestay when we go for Kudremukha trek. We had to park our bike near Balegal Forest check post as it's very difficult to reach mullodi village due to the poor road conditions which can be easily rwached by a bumpy yet exciting Jeep ride from Balegal check post on the Kudremukha road.
We could also visit Somavathi Waterfalls which is pretty close to the Mullodi Homestay in the evening for quick walk.
Mullodi homestay has dormitory kind rooms as well as separate rooms with 3 person occupancy. The Charges depend on the season and can be checked with Satish directly over his contact number. He will also arrange for the Kudremukha trek permission from Forest office in advance if you are willing to share your ID details and 575/- INR (trek fees from Kudremukha Forest Department).
Contact of Mullodi Homestay Accomodation/Trek planning:
Satish Mullodi - Mob: +91- 94810 74530
Location of the homestay:
Kudremukha Trek details:
Mullodi village -> Kudremukha Peak (altd. 1892mtrs)
Trek Distance: 19kms (both ways Mullodi -> Kudremukha Peak -> Mullodi Basecamp)
A early start to our trek at 7:30am in the morning from Mullodi, made us reach the Kudremukha Peak at 11:30 (4hrs - 10.5kms of Trek to the summit). Then another 3hrs of descend, made us reach the Mullodi Homestay by around 3pm in the afternoon.
Total Trek Distance: Mullodi Base camp -> Kudremukha Peak -> Retrun to Mullodi Base (18 kms - 7 to 8 hrs of Trek, depending on your speed)
Trek Fees: 575/- INR (Indian Rupees) per person for Forest Entry payable to Forest Department.
Guide Charges: 1000/- INR for a group of 12 -15 people. (A local guide from Mullodi village will accompany the group)
Jeep Charges (From Balegal -> Mullodi) : 600/- INR for a shared group of 5-6 persons (600/- INR/ Per Trip - Normally calculated as Onward and Return journey together makes upto 1200/- INR)
For more detailed information or itinerary on Bike trips or Trekking in Karnataka or other awesome places in India, please contact HillTrotters@gmail.com or visit our Facebook page "HillTrotters", also subscribe to us on YouTube channel with "HillTrotters Travelogues".
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