Exploring Chikmagalur Day 2 : Mullayyanagiri and Mahal
Honestly speaking, there was no clear plan for Day 2. At least we didn’t think of visiting Mullayyanagiri. We wanted to just roam around those not crowded routes of Chikmagalur. Rough idea was to proceed towards Attigundi and go straight towards Kemmannugundi. On our last trip to Bababudangiri, local drivers had warned us not to go to Kemmannugundi from Attigundi via Mahal as the condition of the road is really bad. Since no one recommends this route, we guessed it would be empty and thus more scenic.
As usual, we started early in the morning at 6 am from hotel Giri Inn and rode towards Kaimara junction. Kaimara junction is a point where 2 routes divide. One goes towards Kemmannugundi and another one goes to the most famous mullayyanagiri and Bababudangiri. As soon as we left the town, the splendid view of the cloud-capped Mullayyanagiri made us more uncertain about our plan. Visiting Mullayyanagiri was not even there in our abstract plan when we left the hotel in the morning. But the irresistible view of Mullayyanagiri made us steer towards the hill. Within a few minutes, we were twisting and turning the scooter at the inclination towards the hill.
The entire route till Seetalayyanagiri was completely covered with fog and there were barely any vehicles except ours. The last time when we visited Mullayyanagiri, we had to park our car near Seetalayyanagiri temple and had to walk 2.5 km to Mullayyanagiri foothills. This time we saw that the entry to the road towards Mullayyanagiri was open and without a second thought we rode towards the hill. Please note only light vehicles are allowed towards the Mullayyanagiri parking area from here. If you are traveling by Tempo Traveller or Minibus, it needs to be parked near Seetalayuanagiri temple itself. Road gets narrower from here and travelers in four-wheelers need to drive very cautiously. The fog got thicker and visibility was hardly 20 to 30 m. The ride was heavenly. You need to pay an entry/parking fee of 20 rs once you reach the end of the road.
Wind and fog were crazy like never before and there was no point in ascending Mullayyanagiri as visibility was almost close to 50 m and it was just plain white beyond that point. Even if we reach the top of the hill, we could barely see anything beyond that. So, we skipped climbing to the top of the hill and headed towards Attigundi.
Kaimara to Attigundi stretch is usually a busy stretch with lots of tourist vehicles buzzing around as it connects 2 major tourist hotspots, Mullayyanagiri and Bababudangiri (Dattatreya Peeta), and a lot of other minor attractions like Jhari falls and Honnammana Halla. But our stars were shining strong that day and we hardly witnessed any tourists along this busy stretch too.
The best feel begins when you cross Attigundi and head towards Kemmannugundi. Road gets narrower but gets amazingly scenic hereafter. Full of lush greenery soaked in thick fog, it was altogether a different ambiance there. We crossed a tiny village named Mahal and rode a few km further from there. All along the way, this route has multiple beauty spots where you can stop and enjoy the panoramic view of the valley and mountains and the clouds beginning their journey from those places. We stopped at one of those points and took some best nature shots.
Even though our plan was to reach Kemmannugundi via the same route, we couldn’t go ahead as it was almost 11 am and we had to check out from the hotel by 12 noon. We headed back to the town with the memories of cloud covered Mahal.
Live the experience
Isn’t watching the video best way to explore the place yourself?