A mildly disappointing trip to Chikmagalur

Tripoto
23rd Dec 2018
Photo of A mildly disappointing trip to Chikmagalur by Sharayu Ballewar
Day 1

So this was a very last minute trip. Usually planning a trip for me begins at least a month in advance. But because of the nature of my current job, i can never be sure about my leaves. I may have booked the flight tickets a week before the trip (which too was quite late) but i waited till the very last day to ask my manager for leaves. Booking flight tickets before my leaves are approved? Quite courageous of me i guess :D

On the 23rd, after my shift which gets over at 12 a.m., i took the 2 a.m. flight to Bangalore. I reached at 4 a.m. and my friend was waiting right outside the airport. We had a little chit-chat tied our backpacks to his bullet and were ready to leave by 5 a.m.. Now from the airport to Bangalore itself takes an hour and then till chikmagalur another 5 hours. Here comes my first disappointment, this was my first ever road trip. And traveling on a bike for such long distances is just not my thing. Though we did wait quite a few times, at CCD, at a few famous eateries along the highway, there were times when i couldn't feel my bum.

Photo of Bangalore - Mangalore Highway, Belasinda, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Bangalore - Mangalore Highway, Belasinda, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Bangalore - Mangalore Highway, Belasinda, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar

Finally by 1 we reach the main city of Chikmaglur. The land of coffee! Interesting fact i read online: It is said that Baba Budan, a 17th century Sufi saint from India, had planted the first seed of coffee after returning from his pilgrimage to Mecca. Another disappointment here. Listening to my friend, i had booked nothing. Even after being a control freak, this time we decided to be spontaneous and just go with the flow. After spending 5 hours on the bike, we waited on a crossroad, in the heat and decided where should we stay. and of course we couldn't choose the best. There was nothing really wrong with the hotel we chose. But i think we should choose the accomodation based on the place. For Chikmaglur, homestays are the best. What we chose was right in between the city, without any greenery around, not at all serving our purpose of traveling this far. But it was clean, service was prompt, everything else was great. We took a little rest, took a shower and left to fill our stomachs. We should have asked the hotel staff for recommendations because we ended up having bhurji pav and egg fried rice instead of the local food. Internet did not help much here. Zomato if you are listening, please start your services in chikmagalur!

Photo of The Grand Krishna Luxury Hotel Chikmagalur, KSR Road, Basavanahalli, Chickmagaluru, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of The Grand Krishna Luxury Hotel Chikmagalur, KSR Road, Basavanahalli, Chickmagaluru, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of The Grand Krishna Luxury Hotel Chikmagalur, KSR Road, Basavanahalli, Chickmagaluru, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar

Next we searched on google, top 10 places to visit in chikmaglur and picked the most attractive one which happened to be hebbe falls. This was at a 1.45 hours distance from our current location. Now the way to these falls itself is so beautiful. You are surrounded by coffee plantations and trees on both sides. Some of these trees are freakishly huge. Cool breeze blowing on your face. It is a bliss for those who love riding bikes. And a bike ride on this road will definitely top your best rides list. We took a stop at a lot of picture-perfect locations. This road seems right out from a romantic movie. Because of the plenty stops we took, it started to get dark even before we reached the falls and we did not want this beautiful forest to turn into a horror movie for us hence we decided to chuck the plan and head back to the hotel before it got completely dark. On the way we stopped at an extremely cute and cosy cafe called halli berri and had a cup of coffee. This cafe was the best moment for me in the entire trip, it was that good. and also because someday i would love to own a cafe of this sort. And that is all for Day 1.

Photo of Halli Berri Coffee & Cottages, Athigiri, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Halli Berri Coffee & Cottages, Athigiri, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Halli Berri Coffee & Cottages, Athigiri, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Halli Berri Coffee & Cottages, Athigiri, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Halli Berri Coffee & Cottages, Athigiri, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Halli Berri Coffee & Cottages, Athigiri, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Halli Berri Coffee & Cottages, Athigiri, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Halli Berri Coffee & Cottages, Athigiri, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Halli Berri Coffee & Cottages, Athigiri, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Halli Berri Coffee & Cottages, Athigiri, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Halli Berri Coffee & Cottages, Athigiri, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Day 2

Next day we get up late and have a scrumptious breakfast at the complimentary buffet at our hotel and leave for Agumbe, the main reason for coming on this trip. i had read an article on agumbe on tripoto and was completely mind blown. We leave at 12 noon and were to make a stop at sringeri, because a friend said it has a beautiful river. Guess what? the river had completely dried off. Damn that friend. We moved on towards Agumbe. On the way we searched for a homestay but couldn't find any. Because of the season all were booked. Agumbe has some very beautiful homestays. Again here the roads are beautiful. It reminds me of a famous hindi dialogue, " Safar khoobsurat hai manzil se bhi". It means the journey is more beautiful than the destination. By the time we reached Agumbe the sun had started to set. Agumbe is a beautiful old village. I did not get to explore this place to my hearts content and it is still troubling me. i will surely go back. We returned to Chikmagalur in complete darkness. Once again we booked a place at the last moment but thankfully this time we were in luck. though the place did not look all the great on the website, it turned out to be exactly what we wanted.

Photo of Agumbe, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Agumbe, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Agumbe, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Agumbe, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Agumbe, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Agumbe, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Agumbe, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Agumbe, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Agumbe, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Agumbe, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Day 3

We did not get a chance to explore our homestay ( Soorena's Farm Homestay) much the previous day as we were really tired and went to sleep directly. The next day we get up to a beautiful view of the garden and breakfast in bed. the breakfast was the best i had in the entire trip. I loved the place. The rooms were very well decorated and the stone walls gave you a different feel. Worth every penny. The caretaker was friendly and helped us a lot. He suggested we visit Jhari falls before we leave and take back Pandurang coffee from the main market ( i took back 4 packets). So we leave for Jhari falls. (Again the whole 'safar khoobsurat hai manzil se bhi' feels). On reaching there we get to know that these falls are a private property. You cannot take your own vehicle or even go by foot. The only way to go is by the jeeps present there and the jeeps charge you 700 bucks! 700 for a waterfall! Niagara falls thodi hai! A sweet uncle there showed us a picture of the falls and said they aren't all that great. And for someone who has lived in Pune and visited lonavla, mulshi, mahabaleshwar in the monsoons, such waterfalls are no big deal. The locals compeltely comercialized this place. Disappointed we headed to Mullayanagiri which had a great view. As a last Activity in Chikmagalur we had a heavy lunch at Siri nature roost. One of the best biryanis I've had.

Photo of Siri Nature Roost, Chickmagaluru, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Siri Nature Roost, Chickmagaluru, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Siri Nature Roost, Chickmagaluru, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Siri Nature Roost, Chickmagaluru, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Siri Nature Roost, Chickmagaluru, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Siri Nature Roost, Chickmagaluru, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Siri Nature Roost, Chickmagaluru, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Siri Nature Roost, Chickmagaluru, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Siri Nature Roost, Chickmagaluru, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Siri Nature Roost, Chickmagaluru, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Siri Nature Roost, Chickmagaluru, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Photo of Siri Nature Roost, Chickmagaluru, Karnataka, India by Sharayu Ballewar
Day 4

Back to Bangalore, had breakfast with my cousins and caught the 1 p.m. flight to pune.

Overall Chikmagalur is a beautiful place, where you find coffee everywhere! Coffee plantations on the side of the street, people drying coffee outside their house or on their roof, so many small cute cafes. Every once in a while you are hit with this strong smell of freshly ground coffee. I've never had so many cups of coffee in my entire life.

A few things i learnt from this trip:
1. Bike rides are highly overrated. No thanks! I wouldn't want my bum to be permanently disfigured.
2. Planning and research is necessary if you really want to make the most of your trip. You can be spontaneous in other areas of life.
3. Choose a travel partner who has the same level of enthusiasm as yours or else travel alone.

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