Pinch me… what happened … Its so heavenly beautiful … hmmm
This is just a quick description of the awesome scenic place we had been. Also crowned as the highest peak in Karnataka. So, let me take you through this beautiful journey.
All Trekking enthusiasts gathered at Shanthala Silk by 10:30pm. To our surprise, there were already more than 40 guys waiting. So on announcement of Mulayangiri, we 5-6 gathered in a circle while rest were on other trek. Slowly, people started showing & circle kept getting bigger. Chit chat on previous treks & their experiences were the theme & soon, we were no more strangers & we didn’t need any formal introduction as well.
After 11pm, our TT arrived. We loaded the stuffs (tents, bags) in trunk & boarded the TT. We had to sign the disclaimer (indemnity form) that we are responsible for our own cause &, surely, everyone signed as we know - “We decide our own Destiny”. We were good on the track till then but after midnight, TT radiator observed a burst. It gave us a needed break for Rest Room at the toll post. An interesting thing was, we were privileged to use restroom facilities as among first users at the toll which was inaugurated previous day only.
We reached Chikmagalur by early morning around 6am. Stopped at a facility to freshen up. Had breakfast at Mayura Hotel & packed food from other place. Everyone were wide awake by now, sun was shining, sky was clear blue, and there was chillness in morning that made it ideal for trekking. We went ahead few more miles to reach our base location where we had to start the ascend.
After the brief photo-shoot, we started up hill towards Mullayanagiri. Say it a warm up or test of endurance, first ascend itself was very steep & challenging for some of us. But, as we progressed, scenery & the breeze made the climb little easy. Blue Sky & Cloud shades was making the place more picturesque. We didn’t miss the opportunity to capture the scene around with our cameras. From the top, we could see distant view of other hills, grass land around, view of the valley & the curved roads as if imitating a snake crawl. As we reached the top, we hunted for the caves as we had heard from previous trekkers about it. Some of us went exploring caves but it seemed never ending. So, after half a km we came back. During this adventure, we crawled, hopped, dared to Bats & more importantly saw the rare & beautiful rock patterns inside the cave. By the time we returned, we had missed the photo shoot but weren’t so disappointed as we still had plenty of it on the way. We climbed further & reached the top – the highest peak in Karnataka. WE TAMED THE MOUNTAINS!! It’s an overstatement but many had set their milestone in trekking that day & were feeling proud about it.
After chilling out for some time, we started towards BabaBudangiri. Since the other group were also there the same day, we had to maintain the pace to reach the peak first. So, we took the trail by the ridge, climbing one peak after another. To our right, we could see valley/deep slope while on the left there were tall rocks. Distant mountain ranges & the breeze kept us going without much tiredness. But, we had a long way to go. After rocky terrain, we reached the grasslands & we stopped for lunch. LUNCH FIRST!! We feasted on all kinds of food - packed food from morning, home made food, snacks, bread jam & much more.
Soon after having lunch, we started towards our destination. Someone suggested an idea of carrying firewood … hmm.. So guys picked dry timber on the way & carried. Some used those big sticks as hiking poles. Crossed the second/third peak & so on. At one point we abandoned those efforts of carrying wood. There were ups & downs but mostly not too steep & was plateaued. We kept an eye on BSNL tower from long distance & now, with every step, it was growing taller. Last lap, we did the final ascend & reached the tower. We started cheering up the guys who reached after us. We were on time. But, that wasn’t our destination so we kept trekking to BabaBudangiri vista point. Weather was already hinting us about its intention & soon after we reached there, it started raining. Best time to have Tea & Pakoda. So we did.
Fun part was, we cramped ourselves in a jeep (19+) & were going down to reach to our TT. Guys were hanging left, right & back side, & it resembled the TV Ad “FEVICOL - Jod aisa, Tode na Toote”. Soon, rain receded & we decided to camp by lake side. Mist covering up, mercury levels dropping while the rain played its game. We first gathered wood for campfire & started setting up tents. We ran into the tarpaulin sheets to take shelter while it rained and switched to the task of setting up the tent when it stopped.
Tents were up; tent allocation was done & then we lit the campfire with some effort by our FIRE experts. Later we had “Team got Talent” round with everyone’s introduction. Songs, Stories, Hobbies & more!! By the time, intro round was finished, everyone were so hungry. We took out all the food we had, feasted again & kept some for morning. Then, we took consensus for Plan A, B, C. All went to bed in their tents. Creative edge was then when we lit our torches pointing at tent roofs from inside & captured those illuminated tents. Day one was over on rocking node!! It was a Good night!!
Next morning was packed with mist. There was hardly 10-15 ft visibility. We managed to freshen up, packed bags & got loaded into the TT. Before leaving, we packed tents & tried clicking the droplets on eye lash & hair spikes. We started from there & reached our breakfast point. Someone devised plan D by now due to poor weather & cyclone warning. On the way down, we visited coffee estate & now plan E was to visit Belur temple – made it a heritage tour.
Temple visit was worth, as the place was so rich in art, sculptures, history & divinity. To make it even better, our guide had so many punch lines to add MASALA flavors & some essence. Description of LOVE from his thesis was LOVE – Look, Observe, Verify, Enjoy or on other hand, its Loss of Valuable emotion/economy etc. Post that, we tasted Belur Coconut, Chiwada/Chat and Masala Tomato while some of us began their journey on music instrument with some lessons taken from a local Guru. Next stop happened to be at Kamath for evening refreshment & we started towards Bangalore. Engulfed in Anthaakshari, the entire bus sang old taranas, new songs, classical melodies, peppy numbers, rock & even spiritual songs too. Never realized, we reached Bangalore & we bid farewell to all the new friends at Majestic & carried all those cherishable memories with us!!
Thanks all to make this such a memorable trek. Hope to cross path again!! Enjoy!!
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Written by: Pritish Nandanwar
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