Saturday, September 7, 2013

Walking on the Clouds: Mullayyanagiri & around Chandradrona Hill (Bababudangiri)

Mist evening with rain; sky covering slowly into dark; lost the trail; struggling to find out the way to reach base camp since 3 hours; alas!!! we had hardly 30 minutes to reach the civilization; lost in the Jungle. These all are wonderful and so adventurous memories of 2 days BASC (Bangalore Ascenders) trek around Mullayyanagiri – Chandradrona Parvatha on 7 – 8th September 2013.

I had been these places two years back with my colleagues; the difference is, traveled by Car.  Since it’s one of my to do trek list, did not make delay to register it.  Unfortunately it got postponed once, since the heavy rain and land sliding in the month of August 2013.

Mullayyanagiri is the highest peak in Karnataka.  Mullayanagiri is located in Chandradrona Hill ranges of the Western Ghats of Chikkamagaluru.  With a height of 1,930 meters (6,330 ft), is the highest peak between the Himalayas and Nilgiris.  Mullayanagiri is one of the best trekking places in Karnataka.

As usual common assembly point of BASC, Shanthala Silk house, left 12 passionate trekkers around 10.30 pm by Tempo Travel (TT).  Most of them were known face and very few were new.  The specialty of this trek is, couple accompanied with us.  The introduction part and later exchanging the trek experience went on till 12 midnight.  This time we hired the tent to camp in the wild.

Bangalore – Chikkamagaluru (Over night journey)

Mullayyanagiri – Babubudangiri – Galikere (Night Camp) 

Kemmanagundi – Z Point – Kallahttigiri Falls – Back to Bangalore

Early morning around 5 am we reached Chikkamagaluru. The city was just awaking and the weather was so cool breeze.
Chikkamagaluru Bus Stand
Finished the morning nature call at public toilet and had hot coffee.  Decided to have the breakfast and get lunch parcel.  Finished the tasty breakfast at Hotel New Food Palace and took packed lunch Palav. 

Breakfast Point
Left towards the starting point of  Mullayyanagiri.  The total distance from Chikkamagaluru town to peak is around 18 km.  Sarpadari is the starting point of this trek.  After crossing the deviation of the Mullayyanagiri road, we need to travel around 1 km further where you find a arch; which is the starting point of trek.  
Trek Starting Point
Initially we got little confusion and at last reached the correct place.

Everyone getting ready to fight with leaches.  Our first day night camping was Gaalikere where the TT bring our stuffs.  To avoid the luggage, we carried only the water bottles, packed lunch and very essential things. Started our trek at 9 am.

Initially we struggle little to find out the correct path, after taking the arch about 100 feet take right up to track the correct trail.  The weather was so pleasant and the entire valley was green carpet.  It was so beautiful to enjoy the nature in monsoon.

It’s my 4th Monsoon trek in this season and each has it’s own unique.  The trail is very clear and nothing found difficult to reach the peak.  Taking multiple short breaks and chatting each other reached the first break point at Nandi.  A small Nandi temple with covered a beautiful tree.  Took group photograph and had exchanged the energy bars.

Further need to keep pace left which lead to Mullayyanagiri peak.  Reached the peak at 12.30 Noon.  The weather is now more romantic.  Mist with hide and seek around the hill and drizzling started.  Explored the caves and took many photographs.  Decided to have the lunch before proceeding further.

We can find the Mullayya (Shiva) temple at top.  Took darshana and inquired further information about trail to Bababudangiri from priest.  There is a Police control room inside the temple premises.  They suggested to take the guide to show you the path as its raining and thick mist.  The chances of loosing the trail is more and steep valley.

Guide ready with 120 bucks to show the path till certain point of distance.  The rain took its own pace and mist everywhere.  Backside of the temple trail leads to Bababudangiri.  Few places its very steep valley and very slippery.  We should be very careful while crossing this area.  Due to mist and rain we could not able to enjoy the valley.  Crossing few pinnacles reached the open area where our guide said good bye us and shown the direction to reach the main road.

Enjoying the nature, took multiple breaks with many more photographs.  Reached the forest check post at 3 pm.  Need to cross the same tar road which is Chikkamagaluru to Bababudangiri.  After immediate crossing the tar road enter into other zone of hills.  On the way you find the ruined forest check post quarter.  The real adventurous journey started now.  Till the tar road I was thinking it’s a normal easy trek! Of course it was, where now we were struggling to find out the path.  Left side deep valley, a small wrong step can take us to heaven/hell and right side steep hill. 

Each 100 meters trail took us wrong path.  Not only once, many time we were ending up hill where no way to proceed further and it was ending with deep valley. 

Appreciate Sunil, Sreeharsha and Santosh were the leading the group to find out the trail.  The rain, mist and wind were challenging us during the trek.  We could not able to see anything beyond 10 feet.  

The time was around 4 pm and we were little relax thinking that found the correct trail.  It was open grass land with greenery everywhere.  BSNL tower is the only navigator to reach the Bababudangiri, which I was read in many blogs.  Unfortunately we could not able trace out the tower due to mist and rain.

Now the real twist in our trek, again the trail took us left side of the hill.  Almost 2 – 3 km crossed in the open grass land and ended up with deep valley.  Now everyone got worried and there was not much time left to explore the path.  Few of friends went all around the direction! No one come back with positive.  We had hardly 30 minutes to reach the civilization.  The sky is become so dark and dark.  It was not only tough and very difficult to walk in the night.  Our all essentials of torches, tents, energy bars left in the TT.  It was very challenging, all of us to go back the initial point which trekked almost 4 hours.  We lost in the Jungle!!!!

We had quick meeting and decided some what we should reach the tar road.  Sunil tried to find out the location through his mobile GPS! However disappointed with no signals.  We had the idea of the tar road direction, so decided to go back the same trail until we get some vehicle sound.  The pace of the trek was obviously fast.  One point of place we could able to hear the vehicle horn sound.  Now the typical position is right side thick forest and left side deep valley.  After a km decided to get into thick jungle and follow the stream. Ohhhhh!!! the path was not so easy.  Thick forest, bushes, thrones, mud and dark!! Normal time we can’t think to get in,  hit it or get out we need to take the risk.  

There was no other way to reach the civilization on that night.  One by one just rushed into the jungle and keep on following the stream.  Believe me it was very scary and our mind status pushing us very hardly.  Niranjan was leading this time and just followed everyone.  Almost half an hour trek; I got a voice from Niranjan and Sunil “Hey guys we got the tar road”!!!!!!!! everyone so happy and shouted heyyyyyyyyy.  Luckiest part is, stream just landed a flat tar road.  We worried if it take us some deep location where we don’t have the rope too. (Sorry no photos available during this pace)

The moment of joy was unforgettable.  The faces were talking about their victory.  In the victory again one more twist! Just I checked my legs…everywhere leeches.  Not only me, it’s to all.  We had no time to think about them at this point. Everyone mobile network was dead and rain was pouring continuously   Luckily we could able to get the lift by jeep till Attigundi.  Jeep driver suggested us to stay back at Attigundi and let us call to our TT.
Now the time to talk with leeches. 

Everyone got leeches bite badly.  The place quite small village with many hotels and shops.  We decided to take dinner and rest the night in home stay.  The rain was no break, had yummy Chapati, Omlet, Parotha, Tea and coffee.  

Moved to home stay and just relaxed.  Home stay was really neat and nice location.  We had recalled our adventurous part of journey. Really if we could not able to reach the tar road! God knows what will be our situation.  After long chitchat everyone said good night at 11.30pm.

In almost all trek, I got up very early and it happened here too. Woke up 5.30 am and finished the morning duty.  The weather was cold and mist.  Home stay surrounding was really beautiful. One by one everyone freshened up and headed towards Bababudangiri.

Most of the friends were not ready for long trek today.  From our home stay the Bababudangiri is around 20km. First we visited the Manikyadhara which is 4 km away from Bababudangiri.

The view of the valley is so beautiful.  Spent good time and had breakfast in a small hotel.  Few of our friends did shopping of Jadi-Booti.

Next destination is Gaalikere. From Bababudangiri its around 4 km on tar road.  Beautiful green all around and small streams.  Spent enough of time at there and took many group photographs.

Due to road close we could not able to go Kemmanagundi and Z point.  We were helpless and decided to visit at least Kallahattigiri falls.

The falls was crowded by people and making nu-sense everywhere.  Its pain me whenever I see people making nasty the beautiful nature.

Now the time is back to Bangalore.  On the way we spent good time at Tarikere lake and back to Bangalore at 3 am.  One by one said good bye and promised to meet another trek!!!

Team: (L-R First Row) Shanthi Prasad, Santosh, Tontri Das, Saswat
          (L-R Second Row) Venu, Me, Govind, Arpta, Sunil
           Standing: Niranjan, Deeptangan
           Cameraman Sreeharsha missing in the photo
Thanks to Niranjan organizing wonderful trek and giving me an opportunity to be part of it
Many thanks to whole team, so co-operative each one of you!!

Till date it's one of the adventurous trek (Love lost part in the Jungle)
Photo courtesy - Deeptangan, Shanti Prasad, Sreeharsha, Govind, Arpita

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