Chikmagalur for a Mesmerizing weekend

Chikmagalur was a long awaited trip. I was mesmerized by seeing the  pictures of lush green shaved mountain ranges and wanted to visit there.   We had planned a trip in 2011, but we could not get a homestay in Chikmagalur so we had to goto Kudremukh instead. This time also getting homestay booking was a challenge, but I managed to get a booking in Thanamaya Homestay. They are a nice couple who have a small homestay.
Route: - Original plan was -  Chikmagalur – Mulayangiri – Baba Budangiri – Kemmenagundi. We had to drop Kemmenagundi due to road construction.
Day 1.
We started off 6 AM from Bangalore and the first 100 Km was absolute smooth ride on clouds. We were just zooming at 120 K M/ Hr. then due to road construction there were diversions just before channarayapatna and all the way to Hasan.
There is a Muslim owned hotel on highway just around Channarayapatna – AADYA IMPERIO, you cannot miss it, it serves good and Halal in case it matters to some. We had Mosambi juice for Rs. 45/- it was pure juice, no sugar or water.
Along the way after Kunigal, you can expect to see some restaurants, like Kamat, Garden family restaurant etc.
Just before Hassan we saw a board indicating diversion to Chickmagalur, we took that and headed towards Belur. We reached Chikmagalur at 10:45 AM, after taking 1 break for breakfast for 30 mins. Under 5 hours, not bad.
Bangalore >> Neelamangala >> Hassan> Belur >> Chikmagalur
Attractions covered in Chikmagalur on DAY 1
Hirekolale Lake – This is a quite place, you can reach here in your car. Approx 15 mins from Bus Stand. It offers good view with Lake in center. I would recommend if you have time. This is the lake you will see from Mulayanagiri . The good thing , very few people visit here, so it’s a clean place. We reached here around 11:00 AM. Then headed to Mulayangiri. Caution the bridge you see in this picture is quite shaky and seems very weak. 
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2.  Mulayanagiri – The road to this peak was good till we reached the last 1 KM. There was a big pothole and it was scary to cross the same. Having said that the view from Mulayangiri is breathtaking. You have to climb steps to reach the top. It takes around 15-20 mins depending upon your fitness level. But its worth Climbing. Even the view from Parking lot is good. If you can see the clouds moving it will be even more fun. 
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3. Baba Budan giri Range (Datta peeta) – After this we headed straight to the range the Attigundi road was good and once you have taken diversion for Baba Budangiri then the road is made from Cement which is free of potholes. We went all the way to the holy place (Mosque) and after we crossed the shrine. You will see some vendors on street selling stuff. You can get Tea, water , etc here. Lot of people come to this holy place. View all along the way is good.
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4. Manikyadhara View Point – From Baba BudanGiri this is very close. Road is not tarred but motorable. We enjoyed the drive to this view Point. There is a thin waterfall that you can see from view point and people enjoying the shower in the falls. Monkeys will be there to snatch things from you so be careful around the waterfalls.
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Entire Chikmagalur district has very good views. We just went around this place and to our surprise we even found an Echo Point. If you have a loud voice you can shout and hear the echo. The view point is not to be missed. It’s a thrilling experience not only from the view point but even along the way you can stop wherever you see good view. This is true for any place in Chikmaglur.
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Google maps was ON most of the time. But the signal is weak so you cannot rely fully on Google maps.
Day 1 Ended with this trip and we returned to our home stay almost before sunset. We still had enough time to left in the evening to relax, play badminton and have tea and snacks. We had dinner in the open and they did light bon-fire for us. It was a good unique experience.
The internet signal in Mobile is very weak and you will have to drive almost till KAIMARA junction to get decent signal level.
Day 2
 Walk in Plantation We had a walk in the coffee plantation of the homestay. We woke up well before sunrise. After an hour of walking and enjoying bird chirpings we came back and had hearty breakfast, coffee. They were kind enough to arrange for us outside the home in open. We checked out from home stay to further explore the place.
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Secret WaterFall -  This was not mentioned anywhere. But when we were going to Baba Budangiri we saw lot of cars parked at one place, we realized there is a waterfall there. This is now marked in google as Jhari waterfalls. You will have to Trek down to the falls. It was really good fun trekking down , the falls are huge and very beautiful Another attraction not to be missed.
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 Trekking in the range – After we came back from the falls, we started driving towards Kemmanagundi. We were thinking  of covering few points and Hebbe falls. But we realized that the road was closed. We went upto this point and the returned back to KAIMARA Junction. There was one point on Kemmanagundi road where there was a check post . We parked the car there and explored the views around. It was really amazing , we were almost alone there , no crowd to disturb and good views everywhere.
As I said earlier, if you goto Chikmagalur in your car, you can just stop anywhere and explore the place , trek , and have fun. We must have started our journey back to Bangalore 3 PM and we reached home in same duration 4.5 Hours from Chikmaglur town. We did stop at the town bought some fruits and had snacks before heading back to Bangalore.
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Do select a good homestay , but within your budget. There are many good options all along the way. Do proper research in Google. The homestay folks may not allow only Male group. So you must inform in advance if you are family. You may even get discount if the rooms are vacant.This place is like heaven , its clean due to less crowd, which is understandable as there is no proper public transport. So do plan your trip well and enjoy. Soon planning for a trip to Kemmenagundi.
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