(Chikkamagalur – Sitaliyangiri – Mullaiyanagiri – Baba-budangiri – Kemmanagundi)
We get hot water only at 6am in the morning out here, so unlike our previous rides where we are rolling out by 4am, this time we were lazily sleeping till 6am. Praveen has a sexy Nokia tune Arabic remix which is our wake up alarm tune. Six and the phone started ringing, one by one all of us are ready, move out finish grub and are ready to roll, we ride out into the hills, first stop was a view point called “Sitaliayanagiri” we arrived at that spot to find it occupied for shooting a Kanada movie, they were shooting a song, and boy it was fun to watch, man it was comical. We shot a few pictures from the view point there watched around the shooting for sometime, by then had decided to move on, started our bikes and rode uphill, the roads were bumpy lots of dust and loose gravel, it made the ride rather bumpy, but the view of the hills was so scenic that we hardly felt the bumps.
Next stop,”Mullaiyanagiri”. This was about 10-15 kms from our previous stop, this was the next peak on the range, it had a temple with about 500 odd steps that lead to it, Me and Steve were out automatically. Praveen and Veda decide to climb, Veda treks alot so he likes all this climbing stuff, my lazy bottom wanted to sleep, so I pick a spot on a slope over looking the valley, and am eying the view, Steve is on a slightly higher point than me. We wait for about 20 mins for Veda and Praveen to get back. Praveen told me that the place had a cave and a temple, clicked a couple of photos and rode back. We had to be careful on the way back as the slope was rather steep, and it had loose sand and gravel, we carefully rolled our bikes till we hit the asphalt. next stop “Baba-budangiri”.
Baba-budangiri, this place looked like it was in China, it was a temple that was built on a peak, that had steep steps to it, no more climbing, so we look at it from a distance, more people started arriving so we decided it was time to push off. We rode on to one of our awaited spots, Kemmanagundi.
The roads to Kemmanagundi were terrible, full of rocks and broken gravel, this made riding very difficult and bumpy, we were riding at a very slow pace 20-30 kmph, every once in while “Thump” my bike would yell, oops I’d hit another pothole, the suspension on all our bikes were in for a workout, we were in for a bumpy ride. The way was… how do I put this.. don’t know, picture perfect doesn’t even come close to describing the landscape. On the way, Praveen hit a pot hole, and a flutter of wings all around him, it was a pothole that had been waterlogged, and there were butterflies in it, he must have accidentally disturbed the water and the butterflies took to the skies. Praveen was surrounded by little fluttering creatures, “It was awesome” he said.
We reached Kemmanagundi at about lunch time, Kemmanagundi is a small hill station, there aren’t any “tourist spots” for you to pick on, you trek down the horse path, and every sight around you is amazing, we had a solid meal, and decide to visit Santhi falls, its about a kilometer from where we were. We could take the bikes upto a certain point, but beyond that we needed to park and walk. The falls was quietly tucked into the forest, we shot some pics, and moved on to z-point. I need to break, “Nature call”, so I split while the rest proceeded to z-point.
By the time we were done, it was around 4-5 pm, heading back to Chikkamagalur via the same route will cost an easy 4 hours through the forest, we decided against it, and opted to detour through another route that went around the hills and connected to Chikkamagalur. The route back was through small villages and stretches in the gaths, the place was so dark that the night sky looked amazing, we could see so many stars, Praveen wanted click them, so we proceeded while he tried a couple of photos and caught up. The air was very chilly, and the ride back had made us hungry, back to town canteen it was, and before we knew it, we were gobbling down dosai after dosai, done with dinner, and tired from a bump-balance workout in the hills, we wante
d to crash, back to the room it was. Praveen asked me to check with Veda and Steve as to what the plan for the next day was, did so, and agreed to push out by 7:30 am.