BabaBudangiri Road Trip

Bababudangiri and Kemmangundi of Chikmagalur is one of the most favorite weekend getaways for travel enthusiasts from Bengaluru. The blend of lush green coffee plantations, beautiful weather, and amazing hilltops make it worth all the praises. The beauty of the place is doubled in the rainy season. I got an opportunity to witness this when Thilak and his colleagues planned a two-day trip to Kemmangundi and Bababudangiri in the month of July 2018. Though we cross Chikmagalur many times while traveling to our hometown, we were going there for a trip after 4 years. Western ghats + rainy season can never disappoint anyone on this earth, so we were excited about this journey.

The Plan

Since it was not possible to cover all attractions of Chikmagalur in just two days, we decided to concentrate only on Kemmangundi. Our itinerary included 1) Bababudangiri on the first day before checking in to the homestay and 2) Z Point and Hebbe Falls on the second day. We were 10 of us for this trip and we chose to go in two cars (Vineeth’s Hyundai Verna and our TATA Nexon). Our stay was in Joe’s Homestay which was on the main road towards Kemmangundi.

We all gathered in Guruguntepalya and started towards Chikmaglur at 7 AM on Saturday morning. The route was very familiar Bengaluru > Hassan > Belur > Chikmaglur. Usually, we cross this highway in the early mornings before sunrise (on our way to our hometown) or in the night (on our way back to Bangalore from our hometown). This time, we were crossing it in broad daylight and delighted to see so many restaurants on the way, which looked similar to the Mysore highway. We had a tasty breakfast in the hotel Mayura and then proceeded towards Belur. The weather was cloudy throughout and the traffic was less on the Hassan highway.

Yagachi dam

On the way, after about 4 km from Belur, we visited Yagachi dam. 4 years ago, when we visited the dam, all the gates of the dam were open and the water level was less. This time, the water in the reservoir was more, but none of the gates was open. Nevertheless, the dam offered an amazing view and was very peaceful with very less crowd.

Yagachi Dam

Towards Bababudangiri / Datta peeta

We continued our journey towards Chikmagalur and then towards BabaBudangiri. BabaBudangiri is about 34 km from Chikmagalur. At Kaimara junction, take a left deviation towards BabaBudangiri. This is the route that connects to Mullayanagiri too. After the deviation from Kaimara, the real scenic journey started. The weather suddenly became cooler, the landscape changed to dense coffee plantations with a number of long trees in between them, the terrain changed from wide and boring straight roads to narrow curvy roads.

Foggy road of Chikmagalur

As we moved further, the weather turned foggy and it continued to become denser so much so that in a few stretches, there was almost zero visibility. It was a heavenly ride. We stopped on the way where there was open space to park our cars and took photos. There was nothing visible, it was completely covered in fog, but the sight was purely magical. We had seen this place when there was no fog and that was a different kind of scenic beauty with lush green mountains all around and this time, those hills were hidden in the mist. After spending some time there, we headed towards Datta Peeta.

Honnamana Halla falls

On the way, we stopped near the Honnamana Halla falls. One cannot miss this falls. It is situated on the right-hand side of the main road itself and clearly visible from the main road. It had a good flow of the stream and people were having great fun. We too enjoyed it for some time and then left. You can also visit Jhari falls, but it’s not possible to go there on your own. You need to take an offroad jeep ride. You can easily notice the direction to Jhari falls by seeing the jeeps waiting and also from the crowd waiting. Visiting these falls was not in our plan, so we headed forward and took the right diversion towards Bababudangiri/ Datta Peeta.

Honnammana Halla

The Final Ascent

A lot of memories came flashing in our minds once we took this diversion. When we visited 4 years ago, this road was not there at all. It was under construction and we had our TATA Nano car. When we entered this road, many people demotivated us telling us that the road is very bad and Nano cannot survive there. But Nano had successfully done that trip without giving any issues. The road was extremely bad then. This time, it was a whole new road and there was not a single pothole.

On the way to Bababudangiri

The ride in this route was the best part of the trip for that day. There was no fog in the initial few km and the view of the surrounding mountains was breathtaking. Maybe we missed noticing this back then because we were more concentrated on our adventurous ride or the pollution caused due to the construction made it look less beautiful. This time, it was an absolute delight. We thought we would stop and click pictures on our way back from Bababudangiri / Datta Peetha.

Datta Peeta / BabaBudangiri

As we climbed further it started becoming foggy again. When we reached the top of the BabaBudangiri hill where Datta Peeta is situated, there was no visibility. We missed the breathtaking view from the top. However, the place had its own charm and looked mystic. We climbed down the many steps and visited the temple. You can find the details about this temple here. After darshan, we left the place, and sadly, we could not take any pictures of the landscape because the roads were covered with fog during our return journey. The time was already 3 pm and we did not have lunch and there was no proper hotel in BabaBudangiri. So we decided to go to Chikmagalur itself.

Path to the Datta peetha/ Bababudangiri shrine

We took the same route that we took for our onward journey (via Kaimara). But, this time the traffic was more and few drivers were very rash. Be aware of this while driving on this narrow road. We had our lunch in hotel Vishnu Delicacy in Chikmagalur town and then headed towards our homestay. We took the route Chikmaglur > Kaimara > Santaveri > Gangur and took a sharp right from SH 57 to Kemmangundi road just before entering Lingadahalli (you can see an Indian Oil petrol bunk on your left). From this deviation, our homestay was just 6 km. The road condition was very good and it was very scenic with the essence of Malenadu. We reached Joe’s homestay at 6.30 PM and thus ended our wonderful day.

Live the experience

Isn’t watching the video best way to explore the place yourself?

Route We Took

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