Chikmaglur is a small town located in South Karnataka. It is around 250 km from Bangalore and is a 6 hour drive. Chikmaglur is a well known tourist spot and is famous for its scenic views.
If you are planning to visit Chikmaglur, I recommend you to either use your own vehicles or at least to hire one. There are no local buses in that town which ply on regular basis. We were totally 7 guys for the Chikmaglur excluding driver. We hired a Qualis for our transportation. We reached Chikmaglur by 4.30 a.m. and began to search lodges. After half an hour, we finally foundHotel Rajmahal whose rates met our budget. We then moved into the rooms and then took a nap. We woke up an hour later and freshened ourselves up. The receptionist came to our room and gave us the town map which was very useful to us. It helped up to plan our days though a few distances in the map were wrongly mentioned.
We had our break fast in Town canteen as it was mentioned in the map. The food was very delicious but oily at the same time. Our first destination was Baba Budangiri– 54 km away from the town. On our way there, we had to travel through coffee estates. We got down every 20 minutes taking pictures of the hill stations. We somehow reached the destination. We had to walk for a mile to see the main spot. The whole place was completely red- rich with iron!! We were wondering why the Reddy brothers hadn’t established their mines in Chikmaglur too. For a while we felt as though we were in Bellary.
Our second destination was Hebbe Falls. It was around 20 km from Baba Budangiri. We reached there by noon and on our way we found a lot of natural springs. As we reachedHebbe falls, many Jeepers began approaching us. We were just 11 km away from the falls and thought of going there by Qualis itself. But the localities suggested us not to take that risk. So we had to hire a jeep-4 wheel drive to go through the interiors. He charged us 100 rupees per head. We then realized that we took the right decision of hiring the jeep. The path was almost 60 degrees inclined. The whole way was of Kachcha road which was just 7-8 feet wide. There was no way in hell that we could travel the interior by our Quails. The jeep stopped a kilometer away from the falls and we had to walk all that way. We had to cross many streams and the water was freezing cold.
Once we reached the falls, we couldn’t take our eyes off it. I stood still in front of the fallsand was
totally speechless. I just can’t express the beauty of the falls in this blog. We were given an hour’s time to enjoy the place and then we returned back. Meanwhile, we were terribly hungry and started hunting for an eat-out. Unfortunately you don’t get any decent place nearby the falls. But we guys somehow managed with the improperly cooked rice at the parking spot.
Our next destination wasKemmangundi. The clock was ticked 4.45 p.m. and we had 2 more places to see before sunset. So we decided to skip watching the sunset and just spent around 20 minutes in Kemmangundi. There is nothing much to see in that spot except that it is a grassland area and a nice spot to witness sunset. As we were getting late we headed to Kalhatti fallswhich is supposed to be a very historic place. It was a huge disappointment to see the untidiness in that location. First of all the temple was closed and second- The whole area was littered with plastic bottles, chips packets and what not. It was almost 6.30 p.m. so time forced us to hit back the lodge. It took us 2.5 hours to reach back along with the inner time. Since we were extremely tired, we dozed off the moment we reached our rooms.
We were supposed to wake up at 4.30 a.m. but the never ending night talks kept us asleep till 6.40 a.m. I woke up first and realized that our entire day’s plan was messed up. So I grabbed another friend of mine, went up to the receptionist and asked him to help us plan the day. With his assistance we could make a decent enough plan which I have described below.After our refreshment we went to the city bus stand hotel for break fast. The rates and taste was moderately good. Our first destination in the second day was Kavikalgundi.
We arrived the location which was 21 km away from the town. This place is popular for the scenic views. It is a small hillock which by climbing up, you can see 4-5 eye catchy spots i.e., Z point, Datta peeta and many more. We captured a few snaps and left for the next location which was 2 km away.
We had to park our car in the road and climb down the coffee estate for about a kilometer and a half. Climbing down was pretty easy but we saw many middle aged people who ever walking the opposite direction. They were panting and stopped almost every 5 minutes to take a break.
We finally reached the Dabdabe falls. The view was spectacular. It wasn’t a very well know falls though people refer it with more than 5 names. The best part is that one can stand beneath the falls and can get an awesome massage favored by the water’s force. Water temperature was so dam low that it constantly gave us ear aches. We played there for an hour and had to leave to the next location. Climbing up the hill was the most tiring job.. I realized why those middle aged men took so many breaks. The wet clothes increased our bag’s weight, the 50 degree inclined estates!! God.. It made me feel like I was under going a military training.
We somehow made it to the car and left for the next location- Nirnayaswamy Matha.
Hoping for a free luch we entered the temple. Unfortunately, the priest told us that the facility was available only on Mondays. So we spent time playing with the local kids and enjoyed the soothing silence in that place. We had a heavy lunch in some roadside hotel and headed to our next location- Yagachi water sports!!
It was 27 km away and it took us just 45 minutes to reach there. Yagachi water sportswere held in a huge lake. We glanced at the list of activities and their costs. Finally we chose to take up Kayaking, Trampoline and Banana boat ride. The package costed us just 280 rupees per head. The rides were mind blowing. it took us more than 2 hours to complete the activities. Later we stood still by the lake and watched the sunset.
We got back to our rooms and were pretty tired. It was still 7.30 and we wondered what to do, then an idea struck me. There was a theater just 8 building next to our lodge. Only Vishnuvardhana was being played and went to the night show. After the movie we went to the same place where we had break fast, came back to our lodge and laid flat over the beds.
Our day began at 4 a.m. as we had to pack our bags and had to vacate our lodges. We refreshed ourselves, settled the bill and left to the most awaited location- Mullayana Giri betta. It is Karnataka’s tallest peak and stands 6.5k feet high. I guess we were very lucky because a cyclone had hit Bangalore on that day which resulted in a foggy climate. MG betta is known for its height and is a sunrise viewing spot. While going up the hill, the roads are very steep. Not more than 1 car can pass through and there isn’t any compound on the other side. Only experienced drivers can drive the path.
We made it to the top of the hill but had to climb up around 200 staircases to reach the peak. For our fortune, a cyclone had hit Chennai on that day, hence the weather was too pleasant.
We were surrounded by clouds all around us. the silence relieved us from all the worries in world and took us to a state of trance. The visibility was just 10 meters. We spent almost 2 hours in that place and meanwhile witnessed the sunrise as well.
We then had to return back to Bangalore and all our moods were dull. But on our way back we visited Belur temple which alone must be published in another blog. The entire trip’s cost including accommodation, food and Taxi was Rs 2200 per head. Finally I would like to conclude that the Chikmagalur trip was just mind blowing