Mullayanagiri - Manikhyadhara - Bababudangiri Exploration Hiking: 22 & 23 March, 2014

Jai ho Baba Budangiri Ki !!

Plans started the day we finished with Gokarna trek. After 3 days I came up with Kemmengundi and after reading numerous blogs about the path, travelling and route details; we finally decided for Mullanyagiri & Baba Bhudangiri in coffee district of Chickmagallur. Decide it was than for Mullayan(m)giri & BabaBhud(t) angiri :-) part of Western Ghats.
Group photo on the peak of Mullayanagiri
Being a pilot trek we were finalized with a troop of 6 members; Santosh, Deepak, Aniket, Vikas, Shree & me. Route looked simple from Google maps and all were pretty much happy with the short distance. Finally the day came for travelling at 10.30pm from KBS to Chickmagallur. Reached at 4.10m in the morning and started howling outside the latrines for immediate access to dumping grounds. Yes, at Chickmagallur Bus Stand, make sure whosoever bangs your restroom door - don’t give up :-)
View of sunrise from Mullayanagiri The cave on the peak of Mullayanagiri
Finally after getting refreshed, we started in Auto towards Sarpadhari and that seemed to be nearly 10KM from Chickmagallur Bus Stand. Road was empty in the morning wee hours as well as chilled making us shiver in the onset of summer. Finally we reached at the base of Sarpadhari with sleepy arrival one more trekking club - CTC - and good to find our friend too in that. Started climbing sharp at 5.10am and were at the top by 6.15am.
Trekking group on the way to Manikyadhara Top view of the cliff we crossed in trekking
The route had been marked at major points to guide the trekkers. Steep and continuous ascend exhausted everyone. This followed with a short cave visit at Nandi Tempe at the top. This cave, with bats, narrows till it forms a burrow hole and with watery walls the temperature has been pretty much maintained inside. Took out with sweaty snaps we started with our breakfast at the top of Mullayangiri and had filled our bottles from the temple tap source. Trekkers need to make sure of the steep ascend of Mullayangiri and as well as the scorching heat after 9am. It’s better start to climb early and be atop by 7am to enjoy the rising sun and display of orange and reddish hues. Just at a distance one can see the sea of clouds hiding the Kemmedngundi peak.
Mesmerizing view of the valley
After breakfast of mix bread, jam, oranges, cucumber, chikki and dates; we started descending for Manikyadhara. This is completely a mountain path and anyone going through the same would remember the Lord of the Rings movie for its exquisite locations. The path is photocopy of the one in New Zealand and it’s enjoyable to have a bite after climbing every mountain and ascending for the other. Going across these ranges one can make out the folds formed and the lithography cropped out resulted due to constant movements. It was breathtaking to view of the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary on one side and the Chickmagallur town at the other. Although it was sunny, cool breeze will dry you and make you feel fresh again. Hiker’s should make sure for enough water as there are seldom any water sources in-between Mullayangiri and Bababudangiri, during summer. You may get some locals and easy to ask for help. Since the tar road (Attigundi-Mullayangiri-Bababhudangiri road) runs at an eye distance it’s easy to get help in case of any emergency. It took us 5 hrs to reach Bababudangiri with nearly 7 hills to climb up & down. Markings make it easier but it’s always to better to explore.
Group photo on the way to Jhari Water Falls grabbed bunch of fresh bay leafs near Jhari Water Falls
One will find many Indian bay leaf trees on path and even some wild trees. Make sure you take handful of it for your cooking :-). Manikyadhara can be easily viewed from distance due to the nearby transmission tower; however the same road will be pretty much risky during rainy season due to slippery trail and too may leaches. One must be sure enough to have carried energy drinks and fruits to quench your thirst. Also shoes are a must with good grip while rock climbing. Before we reached Bababudangiri, those who want a refreshing bath, can go to Maniyakadhara falls (2km before Bababudangiri) and then towards Bababudangiri. However, preferred would be Jhari Falls which one can cover in 2hrs the very same day.
Camping site at Bababugangiri
Tented at Bababudangiri and had a nice evening sleep after a wonderful trek of nearly 18km (through mountain terrain) and then had a nice dinner of Maggie and Kesaribhath. Near Bababudangiri, one can easily get fresh water and eatables. However, it’s always better to cook your own food at Bababudangiri, as the shops charge pretty well. Make sure to carry some kerosene or camphor tabs for easy fire as the wood is minutely wet and takes time to burn. The moment we finished we finished our dinner, we all were already inside and that entire seemed to be a snoring competitions, each and every tent had a different sound. It is advisable to carry warm clothes for night, as it turns out to chilling cold. Of course you can fight over with your tent partner for the bed sheet :-) - unless you own the tent.
Jhari Water Falls, Chickmagallur, Karnataka
The next day we started for Jhari falls, which is 6km from Bababudangiri. So after having breakfast of Idli-dosa and channa we were descending through the jungle and at the same time coming across minute streams of water. So o fill you water bottles and best to get down here is through the trails pointing straight done to the valley instead of going by road. One gets excited after hearing the streams and by the time we get nearer to it, the view even gets better. A fall nearly 30-40 m height, shower and falling through a steep cliff in the dark wood, one can enjoy the water bath to the fullest. We nearly spent an hour there, posed for clicks, had a leach removed and saw a snake. It was completely underground water source all the way from Mullayangiri that had resulted in such a wonderful waterfall. Definitely near the fall you would feel like its onset of rainy season. The lush green woods and the dark forest ahead made each and every view worth clicking. There are ample of trails to reach to these falls; however the preferable one would be through jungle as it leads through the dark parts of the forest. During rainy, it’s better to take a bath at the base instead of climbing up the slippery rocks.  A bath and that’s what it takes to start again with the journey and reach the top of Jhari Falls from where we headed toward Chickmagallur again.
Coming back to Chickmagallur on a lorry
The best part was the ending wherein a Truck driver gave us lift with our assess tossing in the Ghat sections and the bumpy turns ahead. Finally after reaching the town, had sumptuous food and headed for Bangalore.

Baba Bhudangiri Ki Jai :-)  !!

How to reach
Easiest way to reach is by Bus (KSRTC Sarige/Airavat/Rajhamsha) to Chickmagallur and then by rickshaw to Sarpadhari. Back - From Bababudangiri or Jhari falls, you can get direct buses for Chimagallur.

Written by: Ashay Shah
Event date: 22 & 23 March, 2014
Place: Mullayanagiri - Manikhyadhara - Bababudangiri - Jhari Falls, Karnataka
No. of hikers: 06 (06 M, 00 F)
Event Organizer: Santosh Kumar Gupta
Photos of the event: Check here


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