Post Monsoon, the Western Ghats of Karnataka welcomes the adventurous trekkers. One can rediscover the beautiful greenery, cool breeze, mountain views and nature's spirit.The Western Ghats encloses several mountain ranges and is home to various flora and fauna. Among which, the highest peak of Karnataka - Mullayanagiri (6,300 feet) is a paradise to trekkers. The peak is located in the western ghats of Chikmagalur. It derives its name from the tomb of Saint Mulappa Swamy, which is located at the peak. The saint is said to have meditated in the caves surrounding this hill. A small Shiva temple exists on the summit. You can see the complete Western Ghat ranges from the summit.
Highlights :[caption id="attachment_3021" align="alignright" width="300"] NH4[/caption]
- Distance from Bengaluru : 280 km
- Places to explore : Mullayanagiri
- Mode of transport : Car / TT
- Type : Trek, Nature
- Ideal for : Friends
- Companions : 15 friends
- Budget : Fuel and Food.
Mode of Transport
Chikmagalur is around 280 km from Bangalore. There are plenty of buses connecting to this city from major cities. The starting point of the trek is a place called Sarpadari.From Chikmagalur, you can hire a Jeep/auto or take a local bus to Sarpadari ("Snake way"). Sarpadari is located at a distance of 15 km from Chikmagalur.
As we visited in Monsoon, it was raining and as an alternative, we followed Seethalayyanagiri path (Small peak). There is a motorable way to the Seethalayyanagiri, park your vehicle and then start trekking towards Mullayanagiri. There is a road from Seethalayyanagiri to Mullayangiri, which is quite dreadful. Don't attempt to drive through, unless you are a pro.
Stay at SK Regency or Soundarya hotel. Food at Soundarya or Mayura hotel would be preferred.
Items to carry
- A good pair of walking shoes is a must : Walking on the forest trail needs shoes.
- Umbrella / Raincoat : In monsoons, one can expect rain showers.
- Food and water : There are few stalls for tea and snacks at Seetallayanagiri. Please carry your own food and lots of water.
- Anti-leech products : Carry salt, eucalyptus oil if trekking via Sarpadhari.
The crew included 15 young friends enthusiastic to trek western ghats. Without second thoughts we booked a tempo traveler and started on a Friday evening at 6pm. We kept driving on NH4, the landscapes outside Bengaluru accompanied us. We enjoyed the journey playing UNO cards, songs and talks kept us all lively. We stopped by at Hassan to sip coffee and pick snacks.
It was almost at 9pm, we arrived at Chikmagalur city and had dinner at Soundarya hotel. This hotel is famous here and there are lodges also to stay overnight. However, we had reserved rooms at SK Regency, a new and decent hotel. After long overnight, we settled in our rooms and a nice nap.
Next morning we woke up early and went onto the streets of Chikmagalur to have coffee. The roads were not crowded like Bengaluru, they were calm and peaceful. Chikmagalur is famous for coffee plantations and one can find the best coffee here.[caption id="attachment_3022" align="alignright" width="466"] Seethalayyanagiri[/caption]
At around 7am, we were all ready with our bags to start our journey. We had packed the rice bath, planning to have food on the peak.
Since it was Monsoon, we did not follow Sarpadhari and started to drive towards Seetalayyanagiri, ghat section. The vehicle can reach till Seetalayyanagiri and can be parked there (useful tip).[caption id="attachment_3023" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Landscape at Seethalayyanagiri[/caption][caption id="attachment_3024" align="alignnone" width="1000"] The lonely tree added beauty to the view[/caption]
Seetalayyangiri is another view point and the view from here was beautiful. The Nilgiri trees, silver wood and lakes can be seen.[caption id="attachment_3025" align="alignnone" width="1000"] View at Seethalayyanagiri[/caption]
The weather here was very cool and misty, lightly drizzling. We found bajji shops here and they tasted the best in this weather. Lots of groups were there for trekking along this path ,mostly friend circles.[caption id="attachment_3018" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Starting point towards Mullayanagiri[/caption][caption id="attachment_3016" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Panoramic view as we go higher[/caption][caption id="attachment_3019" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Forest trail[/caption]
A trek of 3 km awaited us. We started to climb the mountain and followed the forest trail, whistling woods. The view was getting better at every altitude and excited us. The fresh air and cool breeze filled our spirits.[caption id="attachment_3006" align="alignnone" width="1000"] An unusual leaf - Credits to Abhi[/caption][caption id="attachment_3007" align="alignnone" width="1000"] The trail is full of these small plants[/caption][caption id="attachment_3008" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Capturing the tree[/caption][caption id="attachment_3009" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Deep into woods[/caption][caption id="attachment_3010" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Is it a frog committing suicide ? - Pic by Pradeep[/caption][caption id="attachment_3011" align="alignnone" width="1000"] An entrance marked[/caption][caption id="attachment_3012" align="alignnone" width="1000"] On the way[/caption][caption id="attachment_3017" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Huge mountain rocks[/caption][caption id="attachment_3014" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Mist, Fog or Both ?[/caption][caption id="attachment_3015" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Almost reaching the peak[/caption]
After a while of moving forward, we reached a spot where few vehicles were parked, overlooking a valley. We now had to climb some 500 steps to reach the topmost viewpoint from the peak, which is also called Z point.[caption id="attachment_3002" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Mullayyanagiri - The Z point View[/caption]
We started climbing the steps. The heavy winds were blowing, with tiny but fierce rain drops. The feeling was just AWESOME !. I literally felt whether the rain drops were penetrating my face, it was that sharp.
The view kept getting better and better as we climbed the steps. Finally, we reached the top and the view was now truly breathtaking.[caption id="attachment_3005" align="alignnone" width="1000"] 6300 ft[/caption]
The vast landscapes spread to infinity in front of us. All that we did was to take a deep breath and admire nature’s elegance. There was a small temple at the top. We visited the temple and spent some moments.[caption id="attachment_3020" align="alignnone" width="2048"] Mullayanagiri[/caption][caption id="attachment_3004" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Cave in which Saint Mullappa used to meditate[/caption]
We had our breakfast in that chilling weather. After which, we reached back Seethalayyangiri and finally back to hotel room. Later in the evening, we explored few more places, which will be my next post.
Mullayanagiri makes a perfect picnic spot due to the magnificent view. I would surely recommend this attraction if you are planning a weekend in Chikmagalur.
Keep exploring :) Thanks to Abhi and Pradeep for the snapshots.