Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Highest peak in the Karnataka - Mullayanagiri and Baba Budan giri conquered



"All the Stars have to come together then only trip like this can happen".. It happened for me after 8 years. Started Cycling in Bangalore- Whitefield and around 2009. But never went outside Bangalore for a cycling trip. Who will plan such a trip, logistics and like minded people? After 8 years it happened ... Bobby Mon came forward for all the logistics planning... Dileesh Onniyil and Ravinand Naik came up with a riding plan and Chaitanya Praveen, Arjun, Biju and myself signed up for the trip. We all were cycling together so no formal hello etc. It was a perfect gang with lots of boys time  We cycled 3-4 peaks in 2 days clocking 100+km in hilly terrain... Wonderful Time..

Words of a Wise man.... an avid cyclist, marathon runner and rock climber and one of  the top 10 Data Scientist in India - Satnam Singh... 

So what makes the trip a great one.... Pushing the limits... never giving up ... riding against odds... Doing things that otherwise we believe is not possible... 

The Trip was planned as part of a preparatory ride for another trip.... More on that later... But yes.. when you have had enough of Bangalore Nandi hills climb, you start to think, what next... Why not the highest point in Karnataka...

Toshiv got us the contact of the Mini van that carries cycles... Thanks to Bobby for all the logistics and back end support.. Being a long weekend (Varamahalakshmi pooja on Friday and Rakshabandhan on Monday), most of the resorts/homestays was booked. Finally we found one at Baskal ... 25km from Chikmangalur... The entire property for us... 3 bedrooms.. 

We started around 5am from Whitefield and with 3 stops, we had all the stuff loaded and heading towards Yeshwantpur.. Our first stop was breakfast on the highway...

By 11 we reached Belur and we started ride to Baskal to our Homestay .. Coffee Kaadu.. Approx 20 km ride through the Coffee estate was really a good warm up for the rides to come. Slight drizzle and the chill wind which you associate with Chikmangalur... 






Mr. Moorthy and Mrs. Pushpa welcomed us with a big smile. They were so happy to see cyclists. A few months back there was a race in Chikmangalur where IPS officials had participated which they fondly remembered.  We had an awesome Lunch - Fish fry, Chicken, Akki Roti, 2 sweets - including Mango custard..  Tasty homely food which we could not have imagined.  After an hours rest, we started on our ride to Shankar falls on the Aladur - Balehennur road. At Aldur, we had a brief stop over and saw the Film Shooting Spot.. Valley full of greenery where movies where shot. After a brief stopover, 







From Aladur the altitude drops to 250 meters through to get to Shankar falls. About 6-7 km down hill. 




After a few minutes rest, we started on our ascend back. Without stop to the top of the hills... By the time we reached back to Handi, it has started to pour down.. Visibility came down to less than few meters and the small raincoats which I had carried was of no use. Luckily my DSLR was covered with a plastic over and escaped the wrath of the rains. By 6 pm we arrived back at the home stay after a 45km ride.. The cycles were given a good wash and the dry fit clothes left for drying.. 

After a bath, we played few card games and Carom. Mr. Moorthy arranged for a campfire .. We had a really nice time chit chatting about life, incidents in cycling as well as the plan for the next day's ride.  A perfect setting for a Moonlight Dinner in Coffee plantation. 









The ride on the previous day was a good tranquilizer :)... All of us slept peacefully and woke up around 5 am. While we loaded up the cycles, Mr.Moorthy got us Coffee, bread and rusk. 


By 6 am we thanked and bid farewell to them. Our first stop was Chikmangalur Town Canteen, where we picked up breakfast - Idly, Vada & Chow Chow Bhath. The Mini van stopped at Kaimara, the foothills of the mountains. As I stared at the hills covered with dark clouds on top, I wondered, how would the peak look like... 


Mullayanagiri is one of the revered destination for trekking.  As I climbed up, there were multiple points which gave the scenic view of Chikmangalur town. Within few kilometers I was in the clouds and visibility dropped. After a 14km climb (approx 1 1/2h hour), I was at the top of the mountain. 












Summit

At the Bend



video


The feeling at the top is quite amazing.. One can listen to the Video and get a sense of achievement we had. The Gusty winds at the top and rains meant that we could not stay up for long. We came down couple of kilometers to Seethalayangiri where the Mini van was waiting. It was time to change to wear something dry. We had breakfast and started our descend through the picturesque mountains. 





a 6 KM descend and I was at the base of the mountain, now heading towards Baba Budan Giri.. Possibly the second or the third highest peak in Karnataka. Another 6km climb and we were at the top of the hill, riding towards Jhari water falls 




Another 10 km up hill and we were on top of Baba Budan giri. Unlike Mullayangiri, the roads were better - paved with concrete until top.. 6km ascend and we were at the Shrine for Sufi saint Hazrat Dada Hayat Khalandar, a pilgrimage point for Hindus and Muslims 



Heavy downpours awaited us at the top... We spent few minutes in the shade and drove down. 

video


On the return journey, I stopped for few minutes to see the breathtaking view of the hills... 








By 3pm, I rode down, picking up Oranges and jackfruit sold by the workers in the coffee estate. We loaded the cycles within few minutes.. No punctures, no untoward instances.. Thank God.. except for a Leach that bit Arjun :)..


soon we were on our way back home, through the Hasan - Bangalore highway.. back home by 10pm.. 


Road trips like these are tough to plan, they just fall in place.. What makes them immemorial is the experience of the trip.. Innumerable kids who smiled at us and gave a thumbs up... Motor Bikers who saluted us on the way up the hills..... Local residents who befriended us with a simple question...... "Yavooru anna?" (where are you from brother).... And the smiling face (sense of achievement) of each rider when the final peak was achieved is just something that has to be just experienced.. Triple thumbs up to Chikmangalur ....


BWCC is an informal group (a group of like-minded friends) with a passion for Cycling, health, nature and even more... Friendship & Brotherhood....