Saturday, 1 August 2015

Thadiyandamol Trek: Information & Tips

For my Thadiyandamol trek's story, click here

Travelled in: October 2013

Getting there:
1. By bus - The trek routes start from near Kakkabe, a small town in Coorg. Virajpet, approximately 30 kms away from Kakkabe, is a larger town with good bus connectivity to other cities. Infrequent local buses ply between Virajpet and Kakkabe.
2. By car – Coorg is easily accessible by road from most cities in southern & coastal Karnataka and northern Kerala.
3. By air – The nearest airports are at Mangalore, Mysore and Kozhikode.

1. Palace Estate – This home-stay next to the Nalknad Palace is literally at the beginning of the trek route, and makes for a very convenient base. It tends to be extremely popular with non-trekkers too, so book well in advance.
2. Honey Valley Estate and Chingaara Guest House – these sister properties are home-stays located a 20-30 minute drive away from the Nalknad Palace. Both have basic food and accommodation, of which Chingaara is a newer property with a few more mod-cons. Honey Valley Estate is very well-known, so it’s better to book in advance.
3.  The Tamara – This is a luxury resort located on the same road as Chingaara.

I stayed at Chingaara Guest House and recommend it for its clean rooms and bathrooms. Food is average.

Trek route:
The most popular trek route to Thadiyandamol begins near Nalknad Palace, and is a little over 6 kms each way. It should take you 3-4 hours each way, depending on your trekking speed and the weather conditions that day. Hire a vehicle from your accommodation to drop you at the palace.

If you are arriving by a local bus from Virajpet (going towards Kakkabe), alight at the junction of the road to Nalknad Palace. Your only option may be to walk the additional 2.5 odd kms (uphill) to Nalknad Palace. Remember to allow for this additional distance and time, taking your trek length to 8 - 9 kms till the peak.

The trek route is motorable until a few kilometers beyond the Nalknad Palace. If you do hire a vehicle from your resort to drop you off and pick you up from this motorable point, you can shave some more distance off the trek, bringing the distance to approx. 4.5 kms each way.

This trek route (known as the palace route) is a well-worn trail, and if you stick to the path, is easy to follow.

There is another trek route which begins at Honey Valley Estate, which is almost double in distance (over 14 kms each way), and is not easily navigable without a local guide. Though this route is reputedly much more scenic than the palace route, it is out of bounds for everybody except guests of the estate.

Guide and Naturalist:
  • The palace route doesn’t require the services of a guide, but the Honey Valley route does. If needed in either case, local guides can be organised by your home-stay.
  • If you have specific interest in the flora and fauna of Thadiyandamol and its surroundings, it is imperative to trek with a knowledgeable naturalist. This ensures that you aren’t stumbling about in the dark, as most of the flora and fauna are either camouflaged, or difficult to spot due to their size or dim lighting conditions. Going with a naturalist also prevents you from accidentally damaging the ecosystem by going off-path in critical areas.
  • I travelled with Bangalore-based naturalist Dilan Mandanna, who organised the stay and the trek, besides being our naturalist during the trek. Having grown up in Coorg, he is very well-versed with local flora and fauna. He can be reached at: or 98800-50977

  • The best season for the trek is from Oct-Feb, when the SW monsoon has just passed, and the weather is cool and skies are relatively clear. However, the route is open all year long.
  • If trekking during the monsoon (June-Sep), watch out for significantly higher number of leeches than usual. And, wear footwear with extra grip or carry a trekking pole for added support for the rocky stretch of the trek.
  • Carry a backpack with water for the day, food, torches, medicines and other trek essentials.
  • Wear at least a light jacket – the weather in Thadiyandamol can change without warning, bringing mist and cold breeze.
  • I’ve been told that an official board has been put up, prohibiting camping on Thadiyandamol. Your best bet would be to call any of the local estates to check, before planning your trip. However, Thadiyandamol is eminently do-able as a day trek, so this shouldn’t be cause for concern.
  • I would recommend staying in the region for another day, in addition to the trek day, especially if you are fond of wildlife. All the accommodation options mentioned are expansive estates, and a haven for flora, fungi, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects.


  1. I am planning to travel solo this weekend. What is the probability to get a group their during the trek? I do not have a problem of solo trek but in some places they do not allow solo travelers (e.g. Nandi Hills).
    Also, is it possible to complete the trek in a day. That is overnight journey from bangalore to virajpet and then trek during the day and again overnight journey back to bangalore. I understand it will be very tiring, but still from the perspective of time required, is it possible?

    1. Sorry for my late response; I was travelling. My reply may be of no use to you now, but just in case you have postponed your trip, here goes:
      Yes, you can trek solo at Thadiyandamol. And yes, you could take a night bus back to Bangalore after the trek, though it will be tiring. Trek durations are mentioned in my post itself.

  2. Me and my friends are planning to go for thadiyandamol treking...we are from Mysore..can we start treking around 4.30 pm from virajpet.whom we should approach for the treking..can I get contact number?

    1. 4:30 pm is too late to begin trekking. You should ideally begin trekking in the morning. If you need a guide, Honey Valley can help organise one. I don't have their number, but you will get it online.