Mid-June and still hot weather in Bangalore. It had rained a week before but after that, there were no signs of any rains and the mercury kept rising. Amidst all my work, I craved for a break and a short drive. Friends were all scattered and neck deep in their own work but one day…just one day, we had to spare for catching up and driving out of the city to someplace and forget about the heat or the traffic or our daily chores! A quick request and some cajoling each other did the trick. Before we knew it we, the 4 quarters, had hit the road.
Described as the hilly heaven, Chikmagalur is a sought after weekend holiday destination. Blessed with excellent weather, beautiful vistas and some very interesting trek routes, it attracts travellers from all over the country. This traveller friendly place has innumerable homestays as well as hotels to cater to a varied class of travellers. The coffee plantations and panoramic views of the green mountains peeping through the thick white clouds lure visitors all through the year. But come monsoon, it is a different atmosphere altogether!
The place tops the list of ‘must visit’ monsoon destination! A list of most interesting activities while in Chikmagalur are
- A visit to the Kudremukh National park
- Bhadra Wildlife sanctuary stay
- Baba Bbudangiri mountain range
- Monsoon miracles Hebbe and Kalhatti waterfall visit
- Drive towards the Bhadra Dam
- Coffee Museum
- Trekking up the Mullayyanagiri peak also excites the young and old alike
- Belavadi temple visit
Well, had the perfect place to visit and have fun! Chikmagalur was not difficult to zero in on but it was just a day’s outing and hence Bangalore-Hassan-Mullayyanagiri it was, A lovely road, blue skies ample time to enjoy the drive, chat and catch up and a cherry on the cake, climb up to the Mullayyangiri temple. Perfect!
Exact 5 am, we were driving on the highway and headed towards our first toll booth near Nelamangala. A relaxed initial hour of drive and waking ourselves out of the sleepy eyes, finally got into the groove! A short break for fuelling our tummy past Hassan got us all chirpy.
Driving within Chikmagalur and some market roads and finally, the climb up to the Mullayyanagiri was most enjoyable.
By 11.00 am, including a few photography breaks, we had reached the parking lot at the base of Mullayyanagiri. The last 1 kilometre stretch towards the foothills of Mullayanagiri is a tricky stretch to drive especially on weekends when the traffic surges manifold.
Situated at a height of 6300.17 ft, above the sea level, in Chandra Drona hill ranges of western ghats in Chikmagalur taluk, Mullayyanagiri is considered to be the tallest peak in Karnataka. Though at first glance, the hike up the steps towards the peak looks scary, the ascent isn’t a tough task. It is a delightful experience to climb up the zigzag stairs as the clouds come floating and cover the peak. The occasional drizzle and the strong breeze completely sweep one off their feet pleasantly and sometimes literally!
The scenic views of the surrounding mountain range and the distant views of the road and the toy-like vehicles running on the road makes for a photo op! With a bunch of crazy friends, the fun of walking, singing and posing for pictures doubles and within no time one would have reached the top.
The most enjoyable time has to be the time we spend together climbing up the stairs as we absorb the mystical views of busy road below, the thin floating cloud caressing our face, intermittent showers drenching us now and then but the constant cool breeze drying our hiking gear within a few minutes – a perfect cool weather for a perfect fun day!
Mountain, Mist and making memories as we climb up
The stone-walled temple complex, a very modest temple and the misty mountain are all what the Mullayyanagiri peak promises and what you actually get. One can spend hours walking along the route as well as going off the path towards the picturesque Nandi Mantapa and spend some splendid time viewing the town below. Walk along the trodden path and find a cave entrance by the side. Although a bit littered, people do walk up and make some pictures in this place.
The descent is as fun as the climb. Within no time one reaches the foothills. A hot cup of tea and the freshly made corn on the cob with generously smeared chatpata masala tastes heavenly on your way back to the vehicle.
After spending a good few hours, we walked down to our vehicle after having made some wonderful memories.
Heading back to Chikamagalur for a late lunch, we started our drive back to Bangalore by 5,00 pm. The drive back to Bangalore was pleasant all along with a tiny tea break after Kunigal near a roadside Dhaba. By 10,00 pm we were comfortably perched in the cosy confines of our home recollecting and narrating all the hilarious situations to our family members.
- Chikamagalur is located around 250 Kms from Bangalore, Karnataka (India) and well connected by road and rail. A further 20 Kms of scenic drive brings us to the Mullayyanagiri peak.
- Mullayyanagiri Peak is reached through a comfortable drive or by trekking.
- From the foothills (car parking place as seen in the pics) till the peak, it is just a easy 15 minute climb for a fit person
- The peak gets its name from the small temple located at the peak, dedicated to Mullappa Swamy
- Seethalayyanagiri is the adjacent peak just a kilometre and half away. A colourful little temple is the main attraction here.
- A good place to enjoy your meal is at Chikmagalur – Hotel Aadrika
- Swathi Delicacy and Anagha Grand are 2 restaurants on either side of the highway around Kunigal