Road trip to Chikmagalur

Tripoto
13th Jul 2013
Photo of Road trip to Chikmagalur 1/8 by Meghashree
Hoysala Architecture
Photo of Road trip to Chikmagalur 2/8 by Meghashree
Belur Temple
Photo of Road trip to Chikmagalur 3/8 by Meghashree
Flowers of the woods
Photo of Road trip to Chikmagalur 4/8 by Meghashree
Miniature roadside falls
Photo of Road trip to Chikmagalur 5/8 by Meghashree
Narrow roads at mullayanagiri
Photo of Road trip to Chikmagalur 6/8 by Meghashree
On the way to the ghats
Photo of Road trip to Chikmagalur 7/8 by Meghashree
View from the homestay
Photo of Road trip to Chikmagalur 8/8 by Meghashree
Where the road ends in mullayanagiri

Chikmagalur district nestles in the beautiful and bountiful Western Ghats. The ghats are home to some of the best coffee plantations in India. And no doubt became our escape for the weekend.

Day 1 :

A friend was coming down from Hyderabad and together 4 of us started from Bangalore. Since we all were working in Infosys, we decided to stop over in Mysore campus for a day before travelling to Chikmagalur home stay. We started from Bangalore around 8.30 and reached Infosys Mysore around 12 with a break of 45-50 mins for breakfast at the Kamath on Mys-Bng highway. If you are travelling on this route, you must stop and taste some authentic delicious Kannada food before you continue on your journey. However, it may sometimes take more time as the crowd on weekends is huge. After reaching Mysore campus, the remaining day went in exploring the new facilities in campus and recalling our training days together. Quite famished, we had dinner and slept early to begin the next day early.

Day 2 : After having our breakfast in campus, we started for Chickmagalur around 8.30 am (So much for plans of starting early) and reached Belur around 10.30. Between the twin cities of Belur and Halebidu we chose to visit belur as it was on the way to our destination while Halebidu was on the opposite direction. We reached Athithi homestay around 1 pm, just in time for some brilliant malnad food cooked by the resident cook Guru. The homestay also has a lake nearby which is worth a visit on a lazy cloudy afternoon. It can be reached by walk or by driving down. The homestay also had facilities to play indoor games and TV. The evening went in gobbling up some delicious snacks made on request while carom competitions were held. The plans to have a campfire were not successful as rain gods paid us generous visit that night.

Day 3 : We had some filling breakfast in the open dining area of the homestay and checked out. Our plan was to cover Mullayanagiri and one of the nearby waterfalls before starting our way back to Bangalore. The most stunning part of Mullayanagiri is to drive uphill. The road gets narrower as the height increases. If one is not a very skilled driver, it is not advisable to drive here. The fog thickens, there are plenty of miniature water falls on the way: It is breathtakingly beautiful. Almost at the top, there is no more way to go by vehicle but there a stone steps to reach the temple at the peak. Our efforts of reaching the peak were thwarted by the car getting locked with the key inside (Resolution for this in the tips section).

Around 1.30-2.00 pm we started back to Bangalore via Hassan and reached at 6.00 pm.

Why is it special?

- A road trip is always fun when taken with long time friends. Gives plenty of rooms for all the reminiscing, bickering, shouting, singing, sleeping and stopping whenever and wherever you want.

- First time we went in a self-driven rented car which came with good enough technological assistance to find our way.

- There is always a surprise element, something that doesn’t go as planned, which becomes a part of your memory eternally – in our case, it was getting locked out of the car in cold wind and rain.

Tips:

- Book your rooms in home stays or hotels in advance. There are plenty of estates/farm houses converted to home stays, however since the location is a hotspot for weekend trips, most of the places get booked fully. Look for reviews in tripadvisor.com, call the owners and talk to them to understand what to expect there – Pick the one that suits your budget as is nearer to the town.

- We stayed one night in Infosys, which saved us some money. However, pick one place where the rates are per room than per person to reduce costs.

- During monsoon it is not advisable to go deep into the Western Ghats as there are bound to be heavy rains and landslides. Pick a home stay that isn’t too deep into the woods.

- Take extra blankets if you have space in your vehicle to carry them. The blankets provided by the host will not be enough against the cold to those who are not accustomed to it.

- Preferably take sturdier vehicles like the Scorpio than hatchbacks. The terrain changes almost immediately into steep roads.

- If inexperienced, hire a driver and enjoy the journey. DO NOT take the risk of experimenting. An inch is all that is required to cause accidents on the hill.

- Zoom cars proved to be pretty economical and suitable for 4 of us. They cover the fuel charges too in their tariff and are always reachable for assistance (unless you get locked out in a place where the signal is feeble for them to be contacted). Make sure to follow their guidelines. They are pretty strict about any kind violations like over speeding or crossing kms/per day limits.

- If you get locked out without enough signal to contact for assistance, try to open the lever near the rare windows. Check on youtube to know more details on it. They make enough space for one person to sneak in( In vehicles like scorpio that is). But if all means fail, break open the smallest and nearest window. However, it is utmost advisable to not get locked out in the first place. :P

- A good camera, a patient photographer friend and some good music CD’s never hurt anyone. Make sure to carry at least the first and the last along.

15 Comment(s)
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We are planning a road trip for Chikmagalur, I am relatively new to driving car and we have rented scorpio , I have driven on western ghats from bangalore to goa to mumbai and rishikesh to delhi. Do you suggest that roads are too steep ?
Mon 08 29 16, 02:29 · Reply · Report
I've just gotten back from a Bangalore to Coorg road trip. I'm all for hitting the road and your post on this Bangalore to Chikmagalur road trip has got me interested. I'm going to go on trip advisor and check out some homestays right now.
Sun 01 10 16, 22:08 · Reply · Report
It's been a couple of years that I went on a Bangalore to Chikmagalur road trip. The road at that point of time wasn't very good. I see from your pictures that it has improved a lot.
Sun 01 10 16, 12:48 · Reply · Report
What according to you would be the best time to go for this Chikmagalur road trip? Monsoon seems to be out of the question because firstly, I hate the rains and secondly it doesn't seem safe.
Sat 01 09 16, 13:58 · Reply · Report
Road trips from Bangalore seem to be the pick of the season. This city is amazing. If I have to go on a road trip I think I'll start with the Chikmagalur road trip only because it sounds very appealing.
Sat 01 09 16, 12:23 · Reply · Report
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