Mullayanagiri Trek: Here Is The Highest Peak In Karnataka You Must Visit 

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High hills and deep valleys surrounded by mountain grasslands carpeted in fifty shades of green; welcome to the Western Ghats – a mountain range known for its rich and unique assemblage of flora and fauna that extends for 1600km running parallel to the west coast of India, touching states such as Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa.

Internationally recognised as a region of immense global importance for the conservation of biological diversity, the Western Ghats contain 27% of India’s flowering plants and an incredible array of endemic wildlife.

Other than containing ranges of high geological, cultural and aesthetic values, the Western Ghats offer an ideal blend of treks, making it a trekkers heaven! Even though the Himalayas are mostly advocated by adventure enthusiasts for every thrill seeking adventure in India, I'm here to show you the understated charm of Mullayanagiri and the Mullayanagiri trek, highest peak in Karnataka, located in the Chandra Dhrona hill ranges of the Western Ghats of Chikmagalur.

Credits: Kailas Shastry

Photo of Mullayanagiri, Chickmagaluru, Karnataka, India by Gunjan Upreti

Mullayanagiri at a glance:

Surrounded by the picture-perfect scenery of lush green hillocks and mountains, Mullayanagiri is the highest peak in Karnataka located in the Chandra Dhrona hill ranges of the Western Ghats. About 22km from Chikmagalur, a great way of accessing the peak is through the Mullayanagiri Trek, which shows you astounding vistas and scenes to feast your eyes on.

The Mullayanagiri Trek:

The Mullayanagiri Trek starts from the Sarpadhari bus stop, which is connected to Chikmagalur by road. The 3km-long steep trek takes around 1.5 hours to be completed.

Aside from a few steep ascents, the Mullayanagiri Trek is fairly easy to do and will allow you a close encounter with wildlife as it goes through serpentine forest trails. As a genuine respite for every drained soul, the Mullayanagiri Trek will have you thinking about it long after you've completed it.

Highlight of the trek: The high point of the trek is walking across the Blade Ridge; this is a cliff on one side and a precarious slope on the other, which makes it feel like you're walking along a blade's edge.

#FunFact: The Mullayanagiri trek derives its name from the tomb of Saint Mulappa Swamy, which is located at the peak. The saint is believed to have meditated in the caves surrounding this hill.

Other trekking trails from Mullayanagiri: Baba Budangiri (12 km), Manikyadhara Falls (9 km) and Deviramma Temple (13 km).

Credits: Riju K

Photo of Mullayanagiri, Chickmagaluru, Karnataka, India by Gunjan Upreti

Camping:

If you want, you can camp overnight at Mullayanagiri. However, the place is exceptionally breezy. Additionally, there are no permanent toilet facilities here.

Best time to visit Mullayanagiri:

The best time to trek on Mullayanagiri is after the monsoon, ideally from September to February. Keep in mind that high winds, fog and rain can make the trail slippery and visibility low.

Credits: Joseph D'Mello

Photo of Mullayanagiri Trek: Here Is The Highest Peak In Karnataka You Must Visit by Gunjan Upreti

How to reach Sarpadhari, the starting point of the trek:

The starting point of the trek is Sarpadhari, which is 15 km away from Chikmagalur, and the distance between Chikmagalur and Bangalore by road is about 242 kilometres.

Located in the foothills of the Mullayanagiri range, the town of Chikmagalur is well connected to major cities in Karnataka by bus. Once you reach Chikmagalur, consider hiring a jeep or taking a local bus to Sarpadhari.

If you are driving from anywhere in Karnataka, then once you reach Chikmagalur, take the road towards Baba Budangiri. At a place called Kaimara, take the left turn. You will come across a Y-intersection. A left cut here will take you towards the Mullayanagiri peak. Drive for about half a kilometre on this route, and on your left look out for a small arch, this is Sarpadhari the starting point for the trek.

Preparation:

The key to climbing any trail lies in building your cardiovascular endurance. You can start by running regularly. Preferably, you should have the capacity to run 4km in 20 minutes before the beginning of any trek. Swimming, cycling and climbing the stairs without numerous breaks in the middle can help as well. Additionally, you can do around three sets of squats, with eight squats in every set. You can also add boards and crunches to your workout.

If you want to do the trek with a guide, you can book it here.

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