The trek to Mullayanagiri, Dattapeeta and Kemmangundi was conducted by BASC on 16th and 17th November 2013. The gathering point was Shantala silk house, near Majestic, on 15th November. After reaching there, I saw that apart from our team, one more team had gathered there and were going to Kodachadri. Met some of the team members while we waited for the bus. The other team left around 10:15 pm while we were supposed to leave at 10:30 pm. However, our bus arrived late and we started at 11:30 pm. Later, there was a problem with the radiator in the bus and we had to halt for close to 45 minutes for the radiator to cool down. Meanwhile, I had a feeling that the trip would turn out to be fun as such unplanned things would add new twists to the story.
We continued the journey after the radiator cooled down and reached Chikkamagalur on Saturday at around 6:30 am. We took a while to get done with the morning rituals, breakfast and food packing. Then we continued our journey to find a place called Sarpadhaari, the start point of our trek to Mullayangiri, and reached the spot by 9:30 am. It was 10 am by the time we started the trek. We had asked the bus driver to park down at Bababudangiri . It was bright and mildly sunny at the start of the trek. The weather eased up as we started climbing. We reached Mulayangiri summit after a 2 hour trek. After enjoying the view from the summit, we started trek towards Bababudangiri. The view along the trek was good.
By evening, we reached close to Manikyadhara. The trekking trails had disappeared by then and we weren't sure how to go ahead. We found a patch which had abundant trees and a stream flowing through it. We passed through that patch, which was considerably cooler than surroundings as the trees provided shade. It was a nice experience. I thought that if I was to go by that experience then the next day trek, which was supposed to go through Shola forests, would be thrilling. There are shops near Manikyadhara. We had some snacks and tried contacting the bus driver. The mobile network there wasn't reliable.
When we were able to contact the bus driver and asked him to come to Manikyadhara, he said he wouldn't be able to come as the bus was underpowered. It started raining suddenly. So, our plans to walk down to Bababudangiri had to be dropped. We hired a Mahindra Jeep to go to Bababudangiri and 18+driver had crammed into the jeep!!! Halfway through, we found that our bus driver was coming towards us. So, we got down from the jeep. It was somewhere between Manikhyadhara and Bababudangiri. There was a pond near by.
We decided to camp there for the night(guys, was that place Gaalikere??). It was very foggy and the recent rain resulted in the sudden fall in mercury levels. Also the wind speeds had picked up. We split the team to gather firewood and put up the tents. While erecting the tents, there was a brief spell of rain. We took cover under a tarpaulin canvas. The firewood was also covered under the canvas. After the rain receded, we went to continue with the tent work. Rain played hide and seek with us for a few more times while the tent work was underway. It was a fun experience. After the tents were done, we had a campfire. Now, Vinay, the organizer, had planned this through. We had a introduction of the team members at the campfire. Campfires are always fun. After this, we had dinner and slipped into our tents for rest.
Sunday, we woke up to a heavy mist cover; it was still windy and chilly. I took a stroll around to find Sun, had a rejuvenating walk and walked back to the campsite. We packed the tents and luggage and headed to the bus. Meanwhile, some of the folks figured out that the water in the pond was warm and spent some time in it. By the time we wanted to start the return leg of the trip, the visibility hadn't improved and the thought was that the conditions wouldn't improve because of an ongoing cyclone. So, it was decided to skip visiting Kemmanagundi and go to Belur and Halebeedu. I recollect that the temples are famous for their architectural beauty.
Things didn't look up till noon when we reached Belur Chennakeshava temple. I did not want to enter the temple as I hadn't bathed that day. I took a walk around in the small temple town and found a place to take bath and duly took bath. Then I entered the temple, but could not find the team. I had darshan of the lord and went out searching for them. Meanwhile, I overheard one of the temple guides explaining that the heavy stone pillar that I was looking at could be rotated around it own axis. This aroused my interest and started to listen to him. I would suggest you to go around the temple first and then come back and hire a guide. When you listen to the guide's version, you would realize that there is so much more in the structure that you could not figure out by yourself. I was filled with joy and pride after the experience.
Got back into the bus and after a snack break reached Bangalore by Sunday night. I got down at Navrang while the team headed towards Majestic. My first trekking with BASC has turned out to be a memorable event; Thanks to Vinay and rest of the folks for making it happen. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and hope all the members who participated also had a good time. Please invite me to your future activities if you can put up with me :)
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Written by: Vijay
Date: November 16th and 17th, 2013
Composed by: Sana
Event organized by: Vinay
The Crew: Vinay,Vijay Raghava, Varun, Nithin G, Pritish Nandanwar, Swati Nandanwar, Sandeep, Naveen Kumar, Ankitha Hegde, Shubhashree, Shruthi Venugopal, Roopashri, Jahnavi, Arun Kumar, Pradeep H.K, Satyanki basu, Rashmi Ashok, Shiva Kumar, Nagaraja