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Mullayanagiri / Baba Budan Giri Trek of July 2003, January 2007 and September 2007

Chikkamagaluru (Chikmagalur / Chikmagalore) is about 250kms from Bengaluru (Bangalore), via Nelamangala - NH48 till Hassan and Belur. Trek to both Mullayanagiri (also spelt Mulayanagiri / Mullainagiri / Mulainagiri) and Baba Budan Giri starts from Sarpadhri, about 20kms from Chikkamagaluru. To reach Sarpadhri, one has to take a deviation towards Kemmanagundi (ask for 'Giri'), from the Chikkamagaluru - Tarikere / Shivamogga (Shimoga) state highway. The road through the 'Giri' passes via Sarpadhri and Kemmanagundi and joins the same state highway back @ Lingadahalli. An alternate route from/to Bengaluru is via Birur (abt 12kms from Lingadahalli by road) along the NH206 (Tumakuru / Tumkur - Honnavar highway). Birur also has a railway station along the Bengaluru - Shivamogga line.

Trek start

During my first trip, we were a group of around 15. All members of Safe Outdoors [1] an egroup of like minded people. We reached Sarpadhri, a couple of kms before Attigundi and about 20 from Kemmanagundi, by around 5.30, had our breakfast and started trekking by around 8.00. Sarpadhri, is easily identifiable from a bus stop and a radio tower on the right side, on top of the lofty mountains of Baba Budan hill ranges. Route to Mullayanagiri is towards the left from Sarpadhri.

Me

About 20mins along this route, the walkway goes around a hill taking you to a beautiful valley [2]. Mullayanagiri, the tallest peak in the vicinity (and also the tallest in Karnataka @ 1930m) is visible from this point and may be identified by the temple on top of it. The trek continues mainly through the grass lands for abt 2-3 more hrs. There are about 3-4 intermediate small hills before reaching the top. On the hill, just before Mullayanagiri, one has to take the path to the left, along the hill and the path becomes rocky here. Avoid the temptation to continue straight ahead at this point and find a way along the shola forest. I tried exactly this and then had to climb up a reasonably steep part of the hill to get to the top.

Top of the peak

We scaled Mullayanagiri by around 11.00 [3]. There is a small temple on top of the hill, where we camped. This is a small hillock in the temple compound, which is the highest point in Karnataka. U r not supposed to wear footwears inside the compound and be careful abt that. The priests stay in the temple compound and they may even make coffee / tea. One more thing to note is that, there is not water source all the way till the hilltop and be sure u have enuf water with you.

Me @ temple complex

Outside the temple compound in Mullayanagiri top. What is seen in the background is the idyllic hill ranges of Baba Budan Giri.

Gang

The whole team inside the temple compound. Boy ... it was freezing out there !!!

@ the cave

This snap is taken in front of a cave. Yeah ... I know the cave is not visible in the photo. But it was fun going inside, pitch-dark with lots of bats and frogs moving around.

Rock climbing

Towards evening, Theja taught us the basics of knotting which was put to use for a rope up climb we did.

Later in the evening we went on and on playing Dumb-C and TDH, had a great dinner prepared by Sumana, Sivaram and Theja and went to bed.

Party time

Next morning was party time. We wished Sivaram and Sumana a happy marriage anniversary. And Sivaram responded by playing on his mouth organ. Soon everybody joined and it was really fun.

Time to say good bye to the top of Karnataka, walk back and to scale some other peaks in the Baba Budan Giri hill ranges.

Mullayanagiri valley

The way back was much more enjoyable. With the mist in frequent abeyance, we could get a better glimpse of the beautiful valley below.

Road

The roads in the snap is connected by a couple of hair pin bends, which is not visible here.

Mullayanagiri Valley

We reached the foothills by noon time and started with our next expedition soon.

The ridge to Baba Budan Giri

The rocky path leading to the Baba Budan Giri hill ranges was breath taking, with very steep cliffs on both sides.

The ridge to Baba Budan Giri

Not to mention the panoramic view of the valley around.

Me @ the cliff

By the time we scaled the peak, the mist took over and photography was not possible after that.

We went on to see a temple and a small waterfall in the valley and then proceeded towards the tempo van in heavy mist. It was parked in a small town in the foot hills. And there in one of the shops we found what we all desperately wanted - a hot cup of coffee, something to eat and a small fire !!!

@ the hotel

So .. here are the heroes who climbed the dual peaks, now having a cozy dinner in a hotel in Chikkamagaluru. Dinner was sweet and the trip back was comfortable with most of us falling in to deep sleep in no time. Not everyday do u get to scale 6300 feets and get lost in mist. This trek will remain among the most memorabe ones.

References:
  1. My tributes to Teja Murthy, who lead us during this trek. He was among the 3 trekkers, reported missing in May 2006, near the Charmadi ghats during a trek and the body was found almost 9 months later. The group is almost dormant now. Anyways ... check out groups.yahoo.com/group/safeoutdoors_blore for information on the group.
  2. I was almost heart broken watching a gang of people littering this valley, by throwing around everything from plastic covers, to toffee wrappers ... to a big steel bowl. A more disturbing observation is that this gang was fully equipped with even a tent. Just wondering where else they'll be visiting? If u r among the gang who camped there on 13th January 2007 or atleast know them .... please dont do this, if not for the sake of people who are going to go up these places after u, atleast for ur second visit !!!
  3. Recently (in 2006) a road is built to almost the top of the peak and one has to walk only abt 5 mins to reach the top. Understandably so, the place is more littered than before with plastic all over the place. I HATE ROADS now!



© 2018 Sandeep Unnimadhavan