Kodachadri Hill is the blessing for Karnataka. It has evergreen forest and lies in the Western Ghats of Shivamogga District. This hill range forms a lovely backdrop to the famous Kollur Mookambika Temple, near which it is located. One can easily access this place from Kollur.
The Kodachadri Hill was the original abode of the Goddess, before Sri Adi Shankara had the idol of the Goddess installed at the Kollur Temple. There is an ancient shrine here dedicated to the mother Goddess on the location at the hill where Sri Adi Shankara performed his meditation. This hill range is part of the Mookambika Temple Nature Reserve.
Trekking in Kodachadri can be an adventurous and spiritual experience. The trek starts at the base of the Kodachadri Hill. On the way, you will pass the Bhakti Vedantha Eco Village belonging to ISKCON.
The trek up to the ancient temple from this point involves a climb of 4 kms through thick jungle trails. The Siddheshwara Huliraya Mookambika Temple as this shrine is called, actually consists of two temple complexes. The first temple is dedicated to the warrior form of the Goddess, with an ancient 7 metre high iron pillar in front. A bit higher up there is the second temple, dedicated to the calm and beautiful Uma Maheshwari form of the Goddess. This temple complex has a small pond and is surrounded by four sacred springs.
Trekkers who visit this temple can stay in rooms hired out by the temple priest for a very low charge and food is also provided at reasonable rates. Staying here overnight facilitates easy access to the peak during the early morning hours.
An early morning trek to the top before daybreak, will enable you to witness the breathtaking view of sunrise. On clear days, the view of the surrounding regions and the Arabian Sea from this summit can be an experience to treasure for a lifetime.
There is another ancient temple here which is known as Shankara Peetham.
For the more adventurous, there is a steep trek down the western side of the hill to reach the Holy Chitramoola Cave. It is believed that Sri Adi Shankara sat in meditation here for several days.
Gokarna, Murdeshwara, Udupi are the nearby places one can visit during Kodachadri trip. October to February is the best time to visit Kodachadri Hill.