Shadowed last peak is Mullayanagiri from where we started in morning.completed this long within half day.
Hitting the trail – Hard & Fast
The Trail: Sarpanadari Arch – Mullayanagiri - Baba Budanagiri - Kemmanagundi – Hebbe Falls – Kemmanagundi
The Distance: 60+ Kms in 1.5 days
The Team: Santhosh (Me), Patrick, Satya, Jijo, Anil
So, it all started with a call from Patrick. All he said was, we would be doing a fast hiking and it would be Mullayanagiri – Baba Budanagiri trail. While the first proposal was exciting, the second one made me agree as I already had an unfinished business in this trail. Of course, who could deny such a plan that’s both intriguing as well as interesting? I was itching to get back to my trekking ways after a three-month exile and there couldn’t have been a better way to start again.
On Friday, we gathered at Majestic and after the initial round of introductions, we boarded the bus to Chikmagalur. While we spent a large part of the time talking various topics, we did get some rest to prepare ourselves for the big day. Once at Chikmagalur, we hired 2 Autos, to reach our entry point for the hike.
Oh, and now I was excited, so.. damn.. excited at 4.30 in the morning. Soon we got into the trail and started walking upwards. Within 5 mins, Anil twisted his ankles and was in agony. He asked us to move ahead while he would return back. But we encouraged him to come up with us till Mullayanagiri and then re-evaluate his condition. 60 mins later, when the clock struck 6, we were at the peak. And waited for Anil to come. The peak was cold and breezy and refreshing, needless to say, early in the morning.
(view near mullayanagiri peak)
Anil decided to move with us till Baba- Budanagiri as we had to go downhill till the check post. We started at 6.30 from Mullaiyangiri and were soon on our way to face the next challenge. We crossed the checkpost and sneaked into the woods silently as we did not want to explain our mission to the guys there. Anil somehow was sticking with us though he was in pain.
Once we crossed the checkpost, we had a mild ascent on the ridges. The ridges were deep enough to get one scary. The trail went as close to the ridges as possible and we considered it as one of the most challenging trails that we have been to. The trail along the ridges leads us to Manickyadhara falls through another hill (where we spotted some sambar deers and a fox) and a BSNL tower. We reached here by 8.40 and broke to have our breakfast. We spent some time here, saw the thin waterfalls and then started to Baba Budanagiri. Anil decided to part ways as he was in pain and agony. So we waved bye to him and soon we lost Patrick in the woods (who went in search for a shortcut :P)
Me, Sathya and Jijo decided to head towards Baba Budanagiri and we knew Patrick will somehow make it to there as he was carrying a GPS (Carrying a GPS and getting lost?? Ask Patrick, How?? :P). We passed beside a pond along the jeep trail, which suddenly faded away. At a distance we could see the road to Baba Budanagiri and decided to walk through the bushes to reach that road. Once on the road, we were confused on which side to head. Luckily a jeep came uphill and asked the direction. Then in another 10 mins we were in Baba Budanagiri and there was no signs of Patrick coming here. Sathya and Jijo went to the mosque and also fetched water for me. In the mean time Patrick came down to Baba Budanagiri and it was a surprise to see Anil along with him.
By then, the time was 11 and we started to Galikere at 11.40 after spending some time here. This part of the trail wasn’t difficult as it was a clear road till the lake. At about 12.30 we were at the lake, having lunch and sharing snacks. We spent some time at this lake and decided to walk towards Kemmanagundi later.
This part of the trail was pure beauty. The hills, the ridges, the valleys and to top it, add some seasoning with herds of Sambar deers and Antelopes. The beauty of this trail mesmerized us. We came across the highest peak and Patrick told us this was the actual Baba Budanagiri hill. Me, Satya and Patrick went up this peak while the others continued along the trail. Then we came down and continued with the rest of the team for the long walk.
On the way we literally crawled through a few bushes where Patrick missed the GPS. We came back and crawled again searching it and to our luck, we got it back. After a long journey through hills, ridges and valleys and passing through the remains of an old building, we continued further. After 31 Kms of walk, at 6.30 it started to get very dark and we decided to call it a day. We had our dinner and then sneaked into the tarpaulin to get some much-deserved sleep. We were surrounded by sambar deers all the way in our trail.Even we heard their sound many times while sleeping in our camping site.
We woke up at 5.45 to see one of the best ever sunrise that we have ever witnessed. Couple it with some hard wind embracing us with the mist that it brought down from the hills. After relishing all these, we then started our day 2.
Soon we reached a jeep trail after walking for 30 mins. This jeep trail connects Kemmanagundi to Z-point. We then started heading towards Kemmanagundi, and then we reached the horticultural department’s guesthouse. There was a canteen available and we filled our tummies with lemon rice and omelets.
Soon we reached a check post, paid the entry fees and headed toward Hebbe falls. We took the shortcut instead of the jeep trail and we were able to save about 2 kms.
In 30 mins we reached the jeep trail again and started to move in the direction of the falls. This is a clear trail and hence each of us walked at our own pace and reached the falls in 1 hr 45 mins. Here we had our dip, ate our snacks and lunch, took some photos and spent some time. At 1.30 we regrouped and started back to Kemmanagundi. We had some more food (puris and omelets) at the canteen again and then took the 4.15 bus to Lingadhalli from where we took another bus to Chikmagalur.
In short, we travelled well over 60 kms, through hills, valleys and ridges, sighting sambars, antelopes and foxes, took back memories and all the litter.
A week has passed by and I still relish the memories from this trek. The END.
Written by: JAYAN SANTHOSH
Event organized by: PATRICK SAMUEL
Image Gallery: satya
Event organized by: PATRICK SAMUEL
Image Gallery: satya