“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”
– John Muir
There are few experiences that open up not just your heart but also the lungs and your mind and trekking does just that. Trekking is the best possible way to experience the local flavors of the destination. With the pace under your command, stop at leisure, meet people who live around there, try native cuisine from small hole-in-the wall shops, make new friends and come back with an interesting tale of your own!
It was a weekend and finally we materialized the long conceived plan of going to Chikmagalur. Around 26 friends of mine hired a mini bus from Mangalore and headed towards Chikmagalur on Sunday at around 4am.
The NH-73 was our route and was quite well maintained and throws stunning scenic views all around. Undulation in the landscape makes it interesting if you drive yourself. Innumerable giant mountains are eye-catching, and the fog, the weather was so overwhelming.(a little gallery from the roadtrip attached below)
As I already mentioned, we started from Mangalore at around 4:00 AM in the morning and reached there by 10:00 AM. On the way, we stopped at Mudigere (Kannada: ಮೂಡಿಗೆರೆ) is a panchayat town and taluka in Chikkamagaluru district and had we had our malnad breakfast over there.The breakfast was simple ,yet delicious. MUST TRY : tea and coffee (Hallimane hotel, Mudigere).After the breakfast we set out to reach our destination.
What was our destination?
We had planned for a trek to the highest peak of Karnataka.” Mullayanagiri” With a height of 1,925 metres (6,316 ft), it is one of the highest peak between the himalayas and the nilgiris. Mullayanagiri is one of the best trekking places. The trek distance was around 6km approx.
But due to some miscommunication our driver rerouted us towards another peak Baba Budangiri, which was around 27km away from mullayanagiri, on reaching we were little disturbed as we were going off the time schedule. This accidental stop turned out to be a spectacular part of our journey.
What happened then?
As we had already reached Baba Budangiri accidentally, we dediced why not stop by and see the place.Our mini bus wouldn’t go up to the shrine, it had to stop at the entrance of the shirin due to the rough route , we were left with two options to reach the shrine either by jeep or by trekking. As we had already decided to trek to the highest peak , we had no option left, we hired the jeep.(a little gallery from the jeep ride attached below)
The jeep ride throws stunning scenic views of the Great Smoky Mountains around, woah! that was one hell of a ride.
The peak takes its name from the Muslim Saint, Baba-Budan, who resided here for more than 150 years.
Furthermore, these are the places that the first ever coffee in the country was grown way back in 1670 A.D.
Then around 11.30a.m we proceed towards our destination, the highest point of the district and in Karnataka, and is situated at the south of the range.We reached the starting point of the trek its called as Sarpadhari.We started the trek at 12.15p.m The timing was wrong it was mid noon, the sun above was at its peak, Yet the traveller spirit kept us going.The Initial part of trek is steep and kind a difficult.
After trekking around 3 to 4km with the determination of exploring the surrounding hills we finally reached the entrance of the peak at 2.30p.m .
At the entrance of the peak, there a small penny van shops. These vans are your life savers after the drenched trek ,here you can buy some water,butter milk, juice, snack, fruits, and icecream. Just to restore your energy.
As you move forward you will find a small hillock in the temple compound is the highest point in Karnataka.There is a small temple on top of the hill.From the topmost point on the hill, the Arabian Sea is visible on clearly.
It was 3 in the noon, we still didn’t have our lunch. And we still had our journey back to the starting point. All we needed was some food, thank god! we finally found some food at the temple. The temple bhatta was generous enough to cook some rice for us. Believe me this was the best food ever ! He made us some boiled rice, pickle and rasam. He also made us some ragi manni( finger millet).
After the lunch we had a small nap in the temple hall. Then around 4 p.m we set out to come back to the starting point.
Mullayanagiri is an experience of its kind! The panoramic view of Chikmagalur planes, silver oak jungles, foggy weather, fresh air and the peace of the hills, are the things hard to forget. We were feeling we might be thrown down the hill at any point of time. Nevertheless, it was a life time experience to cherish.
The world, this universe has so much to give.
I have an urge to do more than just exist, to live, to be known for something good and beautiful and kind. To be loved by the earth itself. -blacksoul
Distance (from Mangalore) – about 151kms, a 2-3 hours drive.
Tourist Attractions : Mullayangiri Hills, BabaBudangiri Hills, Kudremukh, Hebbe Falls, Kalhati Falls, Coffee plantation, don’t forget to wander and discover.