When 5 of us decided to head up to Chikmagalur, it was definitely fun. This Travelogue on Chikmagalur is a testimony to just that. This one’s for my Chikmagalur Trip, or rather Chikmanglur, as I used to call it before.
Bus rides ain’t fun. Not for me. Hence, I was skeptical. But then, you’ve got to get rid of your fears, however, idiotic and silly they may sound, right ?
We boarded the KSRTC Volvo bus around 11.30 PM from Majestic and were supposed to reach by 4:00AM at Chikmagalur.
We planned to not waste time in the hotel and head out as early as possible. But first, it was time for breakfast. The guy at the reception suggested breakfast at the nearby Hotel Annapurna.
Although what seemed like Hotel Annapurna to us in the early morning, it wasn’t. I’m not sure whether it was the hunger or they actually change their names every morning for tourists like us. Not complaining though, the food was good.
We booked a cab for 5 of us to head over to Mullayangiri, the highest point of Karnataka.
And boy!! We were in for a treat. This was the best part of the whole trip. The trail towards the top in those curvy roads, where we got scared more than once, is still fresh. The view from the top after a brief trek on foot was simply amazing.
After numerous photo sessions and admiring the beauty of what it was, we headed down for a series of stops on different locations. This, right here, was the point of surreal beauty.
Although I must add, once you’ve seen Mullayangiri, the other “view points” just don’t impress you. And every hill-station has those aplenty.
We had plans to visit Hebbe waterfall as well, but due to the hired jeep, which was clearly over-charging, and time constraints had to skip it. Here are a few snaps of flowers around Mullayangiri.
Our next stop was the Bhadra Tiger Reserve. However, we stopped then and now in the forests to check out the Flower-blooming Coffee plantations, black pepper, cardamom among others. Even plucking out a few of them. This clearly is the place to be.
Travel Tip: Get a homestay in one of these Coffee Estates to enjoy your visit to Chikmagalur. Or any hill-station for that matter.
Only if we knew that our wish to explore the wild side would only end in disappointment. The close to 90 minute Safari ride which charged us 400 Rs each, only ended up making us sleep. We did see a peacock and a herd of deer though as compensation to our anticipated sous, who longed to see tigers there.
Travel Tip: If you aren’t a wildlife enthusiast, then you can simply skip the Safari or a visit to the Bhadra Tiger Reserve can be skipped without a second thought.
Chikmagalur had a lot of hills to trek, waterfalls to be seen and a variety of estates to explore, however we had to skip a lot of them. Considering most of the waterfalls were dry anyways, we decided to head over to Belur.
Belur is an old temple town and falls under Hassan District and is just an hours ride away from Chikmagalur in a local bus.
Renovation work was underway when we visited the temple. While it was still dark, before sunrise, and the temple doors were yet to be open, we roamed around town and came across this chariot.
We returned back to the city to complete what we left for the last day: The Coffee Museum. Most of the Travelogues we read, rated this as a Must-visit place.
However, it was funny that not many in Chikmaglur knew about the place. And the ones who seem to know, It was always “somewhere straight”. This trail, made us walk. A lot. But good thing was, we loved the experience.
We also feasted on few raw mangoes on our way and quite a few local sights.
Coming across giant trees which we hanged onto, stopping in between to talk to locals, mostly in Kannada, which only one of us knew.
After strolling around the area and finally getting to see that sign of “Coffee Museum”, we were elated. Like finding water in a desert!! Sadly, It was an oasis-situation in the end as well!
When we reached the Coffee Museum, it was closed. This place is only open on Weekdays which these travel blogs failed to mention.
The watchman allowed us inside and stroll, take pics and even recommended where we can get the best coffee in town to take back. Panduranga it was! The coffee we bought, along with Honey and lots of spices, were indeed good. (Late edit: Coffee was good, but the honey wasn’t)
We had to catch the bus, but before that there was lunch! Favorite part of any trip is the Food. Atleast for me. After having stuck to vegetarian choices on this tour, we finally had something else, something better.
Ohh yes!! Searched for this place called “Eats of Arab” which had some good ratings on Zomato, and it was worth it. More than anything, the menu itself was enough to create an appetite. Not that we were lacking any of it. Not only because of the variety of food but the menu card/booklet design as well.
It was a good end to the trip. Most of our time went into travel and perhaps that is what you end up doing when you visit a hill station. You either book a fancy hotel to relax and enjoy the view or drive around those trails and enjoy the same.
Leaving you with this picture of the road down the hill from Mullayangiri.
Chikmagalur is indeed a great place for a weekend getaway and the ideal way to enjoy is to stay at a lovely Chikmagalur homestay, head to Mullayangiri, visit coffee plantations and have good south Indian food. And of Course, Coffee!