Charming Chikamagaluru

Charming Chikamagaluru

The end of the calendar year promises many joys, one of which is holidays. A short weekend getaway was our pick as that would ensure genuine recreation sparing us the meticulous planning part. So, all we did was book a homestay in Chikamagaluru for a day and pack our bags, and from there on the paths escorted us as we went along.

How did we get there?

On a cold Saturday morning at around 7 o’clock, we leisurely drove from Bengaluru, had a brief breakfast layover at Adyar Anand Bhavan (near Channarayapatna on the highway) and headed towards Chikamagaluru reaching our homestay by late afternoon. Its enticing ambience offered a beautiful backdrop where one could hear even the hushed mountains and the whistling winds.

What did we do?

Lunch followed. Having already been to Baba Budangiri at our earlier trip, we decided to visit Mullayanagiri this time. En route, we stopped by Siri Coffee to catch a glimpse of the magnificent sculpture of a sleeping woman which curiously is quite gigantic and also intricate in artistic unison.

A 40-minute drive led us to our terminus but vehicles were stopped two km before the foot of Mullayanagiri hills. A half-hour trek along the rock-strewn serpentine upward path took us to the base of the steps (450 steps) leading to the top of the hills. And in another ten minutes or so, we were on top of the hills. Although a bit exhaustive, it was an amazing experience I must say. After a quick visit to Mullappa Swamy Temple on top, we were right on time to view and capture the mesmerising sunset. Beholding the vermillion sun descend down those sublime hills in crimson-streaked twilight while basking in chill, I was persuaded that nature can never cease to blow one’s mind. Later, we headed back to our nest to retire for the day.

The next morning, after some discussion we opted to go to Kemmangundi which is about 60 km from Chikamagaluru. On our way, we took a small breather at Hirekolale Lake.

The placid waters bounded by the mountains rendered a tranquil atmosphere and felt desolate serving as a modest picnic spot but we had to hit the road. At about two in the afternoon, we reached our destination. After having lunch at the Government guest house, we moved towards the hills. The beautiful hill top and the green gardens were welcoming but it was too sunny at the time, so we had to curtail our visit wishing we had come at some time in the evening.

Last but not the least, on our way back, in our itinerary was Hebbe Falls (10 km from Kemmangundi) which is deep inside the forest and hence could be accessed only by trek or by four-wheelers. We settled down in the jeep (government owned with trained driver) that rode us through uneven terrains in the jungle through coffee estates.

From where we were dropped, we had to cross some streams that ushered us to the falls. I hadn’t heard much about this one, so didn’t know what to expect. But when you hear the sound of the gushing waters from far beyond in the otherwise calm surroundings and on heading further you see the pure milky water cascading down through large boulders and lush green hills from over 500 feet that gives a refreshing drizzle as you move closer, you’ll be taken by total surprise. This is what I could say – nature in its fullest glory and unblemished. It was a fulfilling venture worth all our time, effort and money. Having thoroughly revived ourselves, we drove back to Bengaluru in the evening.
I guess I had quenched my thirst of exploring the world – well, at least until our next trip.

(The author can be contacted on dear.rajak@gmail.com)

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