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Old 23rd August 2011, 20:03   #1
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Default Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire

Long weekends in August means time for long drives out of Bangalore. So we decided to head out on weekend of 20-21-22nd of August. Checked with friends but all of them dropped out of the plan one after another. So only two of us - me and wifey - were left to enjoy the vacation. So decided a place - Chikamaglur, Belur and Halebidu, booked accommodation - Woodway Homestay and jolted down the itinerary. Plan was to drive to the mountains of Chikamaglur and visit the historic temples of Belur and Halebidu on the way back.
Here is the route of our entire trip -

Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire-route.jpg

Day 1 - 20th August 2011

Journey: Bangalore -> Tumkur Road (NH 4) -> Nelamangala -> NH 48 -> Hassan -> Belur -> Chikamagalur.

Our day started at 0500 Hrs when my alarm rang. Both of us got up and were ready to roll in about an hour. I hadn't been to Tumkur road before, so I had to rely on Ovi Maps navigation in my Nokia 5230. It decided to take me through the city (which turned out to be a bad option even at 0600 Hrs). We wasted about an hour thanks to the Metro work going on in Yeshwanthpur area. Finally we hit NH4 at about 0715 Hrs and were cruising at speeds hovering around 100 KMPH.

Here you need to watch out for a diversion towards Mangalore on NH48. There is a big hoarding about this diversion on NH4 which takes you to service lane. Once you are on NH48, the roads become as smooth as butter. One can easily maintain an average of 100 KMPH on this road, so did we. However the luxury doesn't last long as the entire NH48 is not yet complete and you get onto a two lane but still good enough NH48.

Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire-photo0354.jpg

If you want to stop on the way for light snack/breakfast, you can stop by at either Kamat Upachar or Cafe Coffee Day few kilometers before Hassan. We stopped at Kamat but the quality of food is not as good as other Kamat restaurants. Rest of the journey was uneventful, we reached our Homestay by about 1130 Hrs. Plan was to go to Mullayanagiri and Baba Budangiri peaks in the afternoon.

Mullayanagiri is the tallest peak in Karnataka at the height of 1930 meters and the road leading to the peak is highest motor-able road in Karnataka. Mullayanagiri is 23 KMs from Chikamagalur town inside Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. The road offers you scenic views which will take your breath away.

Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire-20110820ckm0012.jpg

Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire-20110820ckm0015.jpg

Last mile to the peak is really scary as the road becomes very narrow. On the way we spotted a green viper snake on the side of the road but by the time I grab my camera out, it ran away in the bushes. When we reached at the top of the hill, it was foggy at the extent that visibility was reduced to about 10 meters. Also, the wind was blowing at around 50+ KMPH. There is a temple at the top of the hill, we didn't visit this temple due to extremely chilly winds. Mullayanagiri (and Baba Budangiri) is also famous for Kurinji flowers that bloom only once every 12 years. When that happens, entire hill-top gets covered by blue sheet of flowers.

Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire-20110820ckm0038.jpg

Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire-20110820ckm48.jpg

We spent half n hour on Mullayanagiri and then started for Baba Budangiri. The road leading to Baba Budangiri peak is very similar to that of Mullayangiri except for lack of tar for last 4 KMs. This road is as scary with potholes everywhere in the final stretch. There are multiple water streams on the way which makes the drive even more interesting. On the way to Baba Budangiri a group of 10-12 boys stopped our car for help. They were trekking to the peak but lost their way and came back on the road. By the time their driver had already reached the top and they were not able to contact him. They asked us if we can give lift to couple of them to the top of the hill. Initially we were skeptical but then we believed them and said OK. Continuing on the journey to the hill-top, the roads became so bad that if not for those guys we had to drop, we would have returned back. It was already 0530 Hrs when we reached to the top and it was getting dark very fast. We just spent 10 minutes and started driving back for the Homestay.

Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire-20110820ckm0058.jpg

Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire-20110820ckm66.jpg

Day 2 - 21st August 2011

We wanted to visit Kemmangundi and Hebbe falls today. We inquired with caretaker at the Homestay about road conditions, he warned us that roads are not very good and it is quite far from the Homestay (65 KMs to be exact), but we wanted to visit Hebbe falls anyway. So with the intent to visit some mesmerizing falls, we started from the Homestay at 1000 Hrs. Road to Kemmangundi is same as that going to Mullayanagiri and Baba Budangiri. One should continue on the same road inside Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. After we crossed the turn to Baba Budangiri, the surroundings became even more beautiful but deserted as well. We continued on this road taking all the natural beauty with little bit of fear inside as we had not seen any vehicle on that road for last 10 KMs. We stopped at couple of places on the way to capture the scenic vistas.

Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire-pano.jpg

Soon after we entered the jungles from mountain perimeter and words of our caretaker back at the Homestay became true. Road condition started deteriorating at the level that my Ritzy couldn't handle anymore. We were around 15 KMs away from Kemmangundi, so decided to head back to the Homestay. That afternoon it rained heavily so we just stayed at our room and relaxed for the day.

In the evening I decided to check out surroundings to find my favorite photographic subject - Insects. I actually found a rather rare species - Atlas Moth. Atlas Moth is world's largest moth with the wing span that can expand up to 12 inches. The one I saw was about 8 and a half inches wide, so it was probably a male.

Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire-20110821ckm189.jpg

Then I found this little fella sitting on a little flower, don't know what it is -

Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire-20110821ckm0200.jpg

Next one was a Pillbug. It is from Woodlice which can turn itself into a ball. It has a very hard shell which protects it from other insects. This insect is also called a Roly Polly -

Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire-20110821ckm0220.jpg

Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire-20110821ckm215.jpg

Day 3 - 22nd August 2011

Journey: Chikamaglur -> Belur -> Halebidu -> Hassan -> Nelmangala -> Bangalore

We started from Chikamaglur at around 1030 Hrs for Belur. Belur and Halebidu are two towns that were part of Hoysala Empire. Belur was the capital city then. Both the temples at Belur and Halebidu showcase the architecture of Hoysala Empire. The temple at Belur is called "Channakeshava Temple" (Channakeshava means handsome Vishnu). It was built by the King Vishnuvardhana in 1117 A.D.

Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire-20110822belur0002.jpg

Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire-20110822belur0056.jpg

Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire-20110822belur0114.jpg

Halebidu is about 15 KMs from Belur. Road conditions are very good and it's beautiful too. Halebidu temple was built in 1121 A.D. by Ketumalla - the chief of staff of Hoysala Kingdom. The temple took 105 years to complete. Both the temples are of very similar architecture and sculpture work.

Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire-20110822belur0182.jpg

Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire-20110822belur0234.jpg

Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire-20110822belur0252.jpg

After spending an hour at both the temples, we started the return journey. Stopped at CCD on the way for light lunch and then headed back to Bangalore.

Homestay Review

After checking some 3-4 different homestay, we decided to book Woodway. They charge 2500/- per person per night including taxes and breakfast+lunch+dinner. It is located in a Coffee Estate about 13 KMs away from Chikamaglur town. If you are in for site seeing, this location is not ideal as all the famous places are on the other side of the town. Property is very well maintained and rooms are very clean and hygienic. They serve you authentic Kannada food (veg and non-veg). Staff is very friendly and all requests were promptly attended to.

Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire-20110821ckm0082.jpg

Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire-20110821ckm0134.jpg

Ratings:

Cleanliness: 5/5
Food: 3/5
Location: 3/5
Surroundings: 5/5
Staff: 4/5
Value for money: 3/5


That's all from my side. Hope you enjoyed the ride.
Signing off... Tada...

Last edited by Gandhi : 24th August 2011 at 14:06.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 20:45   #2
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Default re: Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire

Hey, I'm assuming the place is Hampi. Nice teasers!

We'd gone to the place in March - terribly hot!

Btw, were you able to visit all the 40-odd spots? Someone mentioned that during the rains a few of the temples/sites are inaccessible.
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Old 24th August 2011, 14:09   #3
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Default re: Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire

Note from Support: Thread moved here from Assembly line section. Thanks for sharing
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Old 24th August 2011, 14:15   #4
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Default re: Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Hey, I'm assuming the place is Hampi. Nice teasers!
You were off by a long margin my friend. Anyways, I have updated first post with all the details, take a look.
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Old 24th August 2011, 14:34   #5
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Default re: Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire

Nice! loved the pic
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Old 24th August 2011, 14:38   #6
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Default re: Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire

Nice photographs and travelog.
BTW, to go to Kemmangundi, it's better if you take the road to Lingadahalli (this further connects to NH206 at Tarikere) , good road all the way and scenic too. Only the section after the diversion towards Kemmangundi has some bad patches. The route thru Bhadra almost doesn't exists and it's been like that for many years.
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Old 24th August 2011, 15:42   #7
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Default re: Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire

Excellent pics. We took my parents there back in 2006-07. Belur-Halebid is indeed beautiful and one wonders why the Karnataka tourism department dosn't promote it better. Stayed in Chikmaglur at a private estate owned by an acquaintance. This TL brought back nice memories!
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Old 24th August 2011, 16:02   #8
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Default re: Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandhi View Post
Ratings:

Cleanliness: 5/5
Food: 3/5
Location: 3/5
Surroundings: 5/5
Staff: 4/5
Value for money: 3/5

That's all from my side. Hope you enjoyed the ride.
Signing off... Tada...
@Gandhi: Good crisp writeup with solid pictures mate.
We will be doing the trip to Chikamagalur on 2nd September and would need few inputs from your end:
How was the route overall( I mean roads)?
Any major blockades due to monsoon?
Planned Route - NH48 - Bangalore - Nelamangala -Yadiyur - Channarayanapatna - Hassan - Belur - Chikmagalur
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Old 24th August 2011, 17:08   #9
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Default re: Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire

Quote:
Originally Posted by lohithrao View Post
Nice! loved the pic
Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaushik_s View Post
Nice photographs and travelog.
BTW, to go to Kemmangundi, it's better if you take the road to Lingadahalli (this further connects to NH206 at Tarikere) , good road all the way and scenic too. Only the section after the diversion towards Kemmangundi has some bad patches. The route thru Bhadra almost doesn't exists and it's been like that for many years.
I wasn't aware about that route. Anyways we were already in Chikamaglur, so wasn't an option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Excellent pics. We took my parents there back in 2006-07. Belur-Halebid is indeed beautiful and one wonders why the Karnataka tourism department dosn't promote it better. Stayed in Chikmaglur at a private estate owned by an acquaintance. This TL brought back nice memories!
Thanks. You are right about Karnataka tourism being cold about Belur-Halebidu.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirantp View Post
@Gandhi: Good crisp writeup with solid pictures mate.
We will be doing the trip to Chikamagalur on 2nd September and would need few inputs from your end:
How was the route overall( I mean roads)?
Any major blockades due to monsoon?
Planned Route - NH48 - Bangalore - Nelamangala -Yadiyur - Channarayanapatna - Hassan - Belur - Chikmagalur
Entire route is very good. There are parts of NH48 (the two-lane portion) with some potholes, but overall the road is very good.
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Old 25th August 2011, 23:30   #10
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Default re: Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandhi View Post
Thanks.

I wasn't aware about that route. Anyways we were already in Chikamaglur, so wasn't an option.
It's the Chikmagalur-Tarikere connecting route only (SH57). Lingadahalli falls in between and there you need to take a left turn towards Kemmangundi, around 18kms from the diversion.
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Old 26th August 2011, 09:49   #11
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Default re: Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaushik_s View Post
It's the Chikmagalur-Tarikere connecting route only (SH57). Lingadahalli falls in between and there you need to take a left turn towards Kemmangundi, around 18kms from the diversion.
Ah, I get it now. This makes it clear. Thanks.
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Old 26th August 2011, 10:52   #12
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Default re: Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire

Hey nice snaps Gandhi & a crisp detailed report too.
If you were so keen on Hebbe falls, You should have taken the route mentioned by Kaushi.

The route you took towards Kemmangundi, Is very very beautiful , scenic wise, but the sad part is, it's only doable by Jeep/SUV as of now.
Around 8 months back, I took the same route in I20, with utter care we didn't scrap the car anywhere.
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Old 27th August 2011, 06:59   #13
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Default re: Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire

Nice pics, and travelogue, Gandhi.
I would use this as a reference when i decide to visit these places sometime this year.

How long did it take for you to get to the homestay from Bangalore? Apprx hours?
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Old 27th August 2011, 10:05   #14
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Nice pics, and travelogue, Gandhi.
...
How long did it take for you to get to the homestay from Bangalore? Apprx hours?
Thanks. It took about 5.5 hours (including a stop for breakfast) from Bangalore to Homestay (280 KMs total). The first portion of NH48 is very good, so that helps a lot.
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Old 8th September 2011, 00:04   #15
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Thumbs up Re: Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) : Road condition update

Just back from my tripto CKM. Great roads all the way. Thippanahalli home stay was great. Attaching a snap of the road to mulayangiri. Around 3 km from the peak.
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Chilly Mountains (Chikamaglur) and a detour to ancient Hoysala Empire-dsc00057_copy.jpg  

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