Trek to mulayanagiri the tallest peak (6250 ft) in karnataka from bababudangiri (bbgiri) was one of the best that i have done till date.
5 of us i.e me and my 4 colleagues from Global Edge Software ltd, Mohan, Shrikant, Halesh and Satish trekked nearly 10kms from bbgiri to mulayangiri.
We i.e 5 of us and another colleague Girish (he didn’t come for trekking) went to attend the marriage of our another colleague Sheela in Bhadravathi.
After a lot of dilly dallying we all decided to go to her marriage, as we were travelling more than 250kms we wanted to do some sight seeing also after marriage.
There are many good places which are worth a visit in Chikkamagalur district, popularly known as “Scotland of Karnataka” which is very near to bhadravathi.
So we all decided to go to bbgiri and to trek from there to mulayanagiri.
We started from bangalore on 29/11/07 & marriage was on 30/11/07. We travelled by train from Bangalore to Bhadravathi & our roller coster ride started even before we boarded the train.
While reaching bangalore railway station from okkalipuram gate, i came across few people, they were all looking poor. They told that they were coming from Maharashtra and they didn’t had anything to eat, so they asked me for some help. They were carring a small baby also, after looking at their condition i thought of giving them some money & gave them Rs 50. After reaching railway station, i met Satish. There one more group of people approached us and asked us for some money with the same excuse.
Then i realised that, the guys to whom i gave money were beggars and not some poor people from Maharashtra. This made me feel very bad, as usually i don’t give alms to beggars. I advised satish not to give money as i was conned with the same trick just 5 minutes back by some other group.
They go to everyone with the same excuse and ask them for money. Beggars have become smart now-a-days.
When i narrated this story to everyone on the platform, everyone burst into laughter and told that i can be fooled easily. I thought to myself you can’t fool a fool.
Train was supposed to leave at 9:45pm, but as usual train came @ around 11pm. By that time we roamed the whole railway station, spent some time near majestic bus stand & went back to our platform.
We thought that the train had still not come and were standing casually, suddenly a train standing next to us started moving and an announcement came saying that the Shimoga express, the same train in which we were supposed to travel is leaving the platform.
We i.e me, Shrikant, Satish, Halesh and Girish all started running, just like how we run behind a BMTC bus and got into it atlast. Thank god.
Mohan joined us in Malleswaram railway station @ around 12am. We all started chatting as soon as we got into train & didn’t stop till we reached Bhadravathi.
Its really fun to chat in sleeper coach, when your co-passengers are sleeping. After travelling few kilometers, train reached Tumkur, me and satish got down to get some water & by the time we came back train started moving. We ran like Usain Bolt & got into the train with a helping hand from TT, who warned us not to get down anywhere & we obliged him promptly.
After all these crazy incidents we all realised that there will be more surprises and this will be one helluva trip.
We reached bhadravathi @ around 6am on the next morning. From there we took an auto-rickshaw to the marriage hall & to our utter suprise there was no one in the marriage hall, then few relatives of sheela came & took us to guest room. We got ready & attended the marriage. After completing all the formalties we checked out of our guest room @ around 2pm & headed towards bbgiri.
From bhadravathi we went back to birur, from there we took a bus to kaiwara. The bus ride was simply superb, it was fully jam packed with the people all over the bus, on the roof tops, footboards and some kannada hits playing on tv. Mind you it was a video coach.
Finally we reached kaiwara around 5:30pm with our backpacks & some junk food. It’s around 15km from Kaiwara to bbgiri, locals told that we will not get any bus to bbgiri & we have to hire a jeep. For a jeep ride they will charge around Rs 400/- & how much you pay depends on your bargaining skills.
Thanx to our good fortune we got a bus from kaiwara to foot hills of bababudangiri. We reached the foothills of bababudangiri @ around 7pm, from there we hired a jeep to the top of bbgiri. As it was winter season, it was freezing on top of bbgiri. We had dinner in Hotel Kalandria, the only hotel one top of the bbgiri.
We talked to the hotel proprietor regarding what happens during datta jayanthi, he told some stories of how some rowdies dressed as hindu fundamentalists attack them & don’t allow them to open there shops.
Bababudangiri is a reverred place for both Hindus & Muslims, Hindus think it is the place of god Dattatreya, muslims say it is the place where Saint Baba Budan meditated. Baba Budan was the one who introduced coffee to chikkamaglur and india, and you can see lot of coffee estates nearby.
After having our dinner we booked a room & slept on the cement floor, as they were no rooms on top of the hills with good facilties. There are many home stay’s on the way.
We were not able to sleep because of the cold temperature & cement floor was even more colder. Satish started narrating some stories about his college days & it was like a lullaby to all of us & we slept.
The next morning i.e on 01/12/07 we had darshan inside the cave, actually there is no idol or anything inside the cave its just a stalgamite cave. There is a peeta(pedestal) where Baba Budan did penace. After having darshan we had breakfast in the same hotel & asked them for the way to mulayanagiri.
Locals told we will come across a fall called Manikyadara falls on the way to mullayanagiri and having bath there is very good for health.
We started trekking to mulayanagiri @ 9:30am, on the way we took some photos & played antakshari. We reached manikyadara around 12pm, after some second thoughts, everyone took bath except shrikant. There is a peculiar custom here, you have to leave the clothes in which you bath, near the falls itself.
As we had taken few clothes, we were wondering which one to wear while bathing, and i told why should we wear any clothes while bathing, lets save our clothes & take them back with us. So we took bath in our under garments & gave some poses for the camera & started trekking again.
After few kilometers everybody got tired, so we emptied our packets of junk food, got some pictures and started moving again, and we reached the most difficult terrain of our trek. We met with few guys here who were also trekking. After crossing this difficult terrain we were all drained out, mohan was sleeping whenever & wherever possible with his towel as bed. But the guy who was leading us was shrikant, he is an expert in trekking, i have gone to some other trekking with him. He always has the same energy whether he is walking on a straight road or a trekking a mountain. It was difficult & mulayanagiri was not to be seen, few thought of going back. But we all said to ourselves, we have come here just for trekking and we can’t leave it half finished. So we all got up & atlast reached mulayangiri around 6pm, by that time it was totally dark.
There is a temple dedicated to shiva on top of mullayanagiri, we went & prayed there. We came out of the temple and a few surprises were waiting for us, Priest of the temple told us that the last bus to chikkamagalur left @ 5:30pm. So we thought of stay putting on top of the hill, but mohan told he wants to go to bangalore at any cost (Pressures of a family man). Finally we decided to go back to bangalore, temple priest told if we go down the hill & reach highway we will get some bus, but it was already dark. Still we started to trek again without realising the dangers and Nokia 1100 mobile phone as torch. After trekking for some more time we came across a small house and a open field infront of us. To our suprise and good luck(I think lord shiva had heard our prayers) a group of people were there. They were local guys who usually come with their visiting friends to that place. They had come in jeep & as it was already full, we couldn’t go with them in their jeep. They knew few tour operators in the chikkamagalur town and told us that they will send us a vehicle to pick & drop us to chikkamagalur. We waited for nearly 2hrs and finaly a black M&M Scropio came, 2 guys who came in the scorpio were already drunk. They started talking without a break & told how risky it was for us to trek down in the dark. They told there are many wild beasts in the mulayanagiri & they could have attacked us.
Finally we reached chikkamagalur had dinner in a hotel & left for bangalore in a ksrtc bus @ 12am and reached bangalore @ 6am in the morning.
Alls well that ends well. What do u say?
How to reach: You can reach bababudangiri from chikkamagalur or you can trek from mulayanagiri to bababudangiri.
There are buses both private & government to the foothills of bababudangiri and mulayangiri. Don’t know about the frequency, but last bus will be @ 5:30 or 6pm.
1) Reach bababudangiri or mulayanagiri before 5pm
2) Don’t trek in the dark, as there will be many wild animals or snakes.
1) Plan your trek properly, it will take more than 8 hrs. So start as early as possible.
2) Carry lots of water, food.
3) Carry glucose powder packet.