We always wanted to do a road trip during monsoon and wanted to see something in Karnataka. After searching places to visit we finally decided it’s “AGUMBE” because one of my friends started to sing “agumbeya prema sanjeya”(a famous Kannada song) when we were looking for places we could visit. We just googled the route and the places to visit and we came up with a plan.
Thrusday night at 11pm leave to Chikkamagaluru from Bangalore in our bikes and car. Reach Chikkamagaluru on Friday at 5 am and head to Mullayanagiri first then to Bababudangiri and have Lunch in Chikkamagaluru and leave for Agumbe and reach by 5.30 pm and watch the sunset at Agumbe Sunset View Point and stay in Doddamane.
Next day visit Kundadri Hills and watch the sunrise and then come back have breakfast and then head to kavaledurga Fort and trek and come back to Doddamane and stay
On the third day head back to Bangalore and on the way visit Sringeri Temple and head to Bangalore.
Now on the D-day
Thursday at 8pm we took the ZOOMCAR(Scorpio) which we had booked and then told everyone to come to our meeting point.
10.30 pm at our meeting point still waiting for people to come. By 11.30 pm everyone arrive and we are all too excited and we start the journey and before we could reach the petrol bank to fill petrol one of my friend’s bike petrol gets over and the time is 11.30pm and no petrol bunks are open. So I in my bike go in search of a petrol bunk which is open to fill my bike’s petrol and get a bottle of petrol for my friend’s bike. After filling my bike and getting a bottle for his bike we went again to fill the bike completely. By the time we actually started to Chikkamagaluru it was 12.30 am.(My Advise to everyone reading this keep some petrol in bike always 😛 )
The ride to Chikkamagaluru was a breeze as the roads till Hassan was pretty good. From Hassan to Chikkamagaluru the road gets smaller and the condition of the road deteriorate. We reach Chikkamagaluru at around 5.30 am and we go and park the vehicles at the Forest Department check post.
At 6am the gates open and we zoom past it(literally with our zoomcar :P) and headed straight to the highest peak in Karnataka aka Mullayanagiri. You pass through tea estates and also through some mist and the view keeps getting better and better as we go to the peak but also the road condition goes from good to bad to worst. However the view makes you so happy you wont think about how bad the road is.
We reach the top after many stops on the way for some photosession.
You’ll have to climb few steps to reach the top which has a temple there. At the top you’ll be greeted by strong cold wind trying to push you down and the mist giving you chills even if your wearing pullovers and sweaters.
My advise to visit Mullayanagiri is go early morning. There are two reasons for this, first the mist and the sun just rising will create magic and make it feel like heaven and the second is as the time passes the number of people visiting this places increases and it becomes too crowded.
Our Next stop was Bababudangiri or also called as the Dattapeeta is famous for all the wrong reasons according to me as the place is situated in such a beautiful location and no one talks about it first when they hear that name. The temple or the cave is surrounded by lush green hills and the view is just amazing. Just because there is a famous temple there the crowd will be too much and the place is not maintained properly. Just because of this reasons we didn’t like it that much.
Then we head to Chikkamagaluru town for some lunch and guess what we get to know that one of the bike is punctured. We go to a puncture shop to get it repaired and then get to know 7 nails had made there way into the tyre (yeah you read it right 7 nails!!!). So we had to put a tube into the tyre and when putting the tube the tube got cut and again the whole process of putting a new tube started. By the time the bike was ready it was 3.30pm and still a 1 and half hour ride to Doddamane.
Just as we cross Chikkamagaluru and take the diversion towards Agumbe we are greeted by rain, first a slight drizzle which turned out into a heavy rain in a matter of few seconds and we had to stop our bikes and hold our umbrella and stand on the side of the road.
There is no good time for SELFIE,every time is selfie time.
After 15-20 mins of waiting for the rain to slow down we decided we will start to ride. The water droplets hitting us hard and striking us like sharp pointed knifes we started to move slowly. Riding in the rain through the curves is one memorable experience and especially when your surrounded by greenery all round it just gets etched in your mind forever(all my biker friends will agree on that). We rode at a constant speed and were very careful especially after seeing one car smashed to the tree because the driver couldn’t control the car in one of the turning’s.
Now God or fate or whatever controls how things should happen had other plans for us. Just as the rain stopped, the car which we had went in took a wrong turn and it was lost. The four people on the bikes had reached Sringeri and we were waiting for the car to come. We waited there for like 45 minutes and there was no sign of the car and thankfully we had kept one phone with us(we had kept all the other phones inside the car as it was raining) so we tried calling them and guess what it was not reachable.
Now it had been more than an hour and still the phone was not connecting and the one time it had connected they were still an hour journey from us. We were all wet and we were shivering and it was 5.30pm. I told the other three that we’ll goto Doddamane and hope they’ll also do the same and also there will be a phone there and we can call them and tell them to come. Everyone agreed and we were on the bike heading to the sunset view point in agumbe which was 30km away and we had less than half an hour before the sunset. We rode with full speed and it was like a scene from a movie. We were racing through the curves at 60-70km/hr and we reached Agumbe at around 5.55pm and we headed straight to the famous view to view the sunset.(Sometimes God works in mysterious ways. Never had i taught I’ll be able to see the sunset when I was waiting for my friends to come and after all the things that had happened but still ended up watching the sunset like planned.)
So after the beautiful Sunset we head back to Doddamane. Doddamane is a big house on the Agumbe Udupi mainroad and its a 200 year old building(not sure about the age of the house) whose owners name is Kasturi Akka. She has been providing facilities for people who come to agumbe to stay from 40 odd years now. Her main reason for doing this is so that no one ever complains that there is no place to stay in Agumbe or talks bad about Agumbe. There is no online website to book this and no fixed charge that you’ve to pay. But you do have to call them before and inform them about the number of people coming and the number of days your going to stay. They make authentic Karnataka food and service you on a banana leave. The house is very big just like the name suggest(Dodda means big) and has a sense of calm about it and has a lot of stories. If you want to stay in a peaceful place and find peace then this is the place you need to be. The most attractive thing and the thing your going to take with you from this place is the HOSPITALITY and how the people of the house treat you and make you feel so comfortable that when your leaving the house you feel like your leaving a part of yourself there and learning a very important thing “Atithi Devo Bhava”. I can go on and on about Doddamane and my experience living there but I’ll leave that for your guys to experience yourself (TIP/ADVISE-PLEASE DO GO AND VISIT THIS PLACE AND STAY THERE FOR FEW DAYS)
So at 7pm the missing people also come to the Doddamane and we all freshen up and at 8 pm we have the most amazing dinner and we go to sleep early so we can go see the sunrise to Kundadri.
5.30 am the alarm rings and we put it to snooze and this kept happening till 7.30 am (because we were very tired of the over night ride) when the morning sun passed through the open window and fell on us. We all got up lazily and go ready and after our breakfast we decided we will alter the plan a little and head to kavaledurga Fort and finish our trek and on the way back visit Kundadri hills.
At 10.30am we leave to Kavaldurga fort and it was a 35 odd km journey and went and parked our vehicles at the foot hills of the fort. This is one of the most secluded palces and definitely an off beat place in Karnataka. We started our way up the fort and it’s a very basic trek and will take you an hour or two to go to the top.The fort at Kavaledurga has three lines of walls, which are constructed of huge granite blocks following the natural contour of the hillock. Each fortification has a gateway flanked by guard- rooms on either side In between the fortifications there are temples, a ruined palace site and basement of structures. At the summit of the hill almost at the centre overlooking the western sea is a small temple popularly known as Shikhareshvara or Srikanthesvara temple. The Srikanthesvara temple on plan has a Garbhagriha. A Nandi mandapa and an entrance porch commanding a fine view of the setting sun beyond the western horizon.
The view at the top of the fort is amazing and you could see the series of mountain ranges and its so surreal. When we had went we had the opportunity to witness the rain bearing clouds shed rain on a selected area and the way the wind was moving the clouds and spreading rain was just fabulous. We sat on the walls of the forts just staring at the marvel of nature.
Nearly after an hour at the top we started the trek back down as we were all hungry and we headed to Thirthahalli for lunch at 3 pm. After a good lunch we made our way to kundari hills which has a very old and famous Jain temple at the top. You can trek your way through the forest and to the top of the hill or there is a neat tar road that leads to the temple to enable cars and buses to ply the route.
The summit offers a panoramic view of the surrounding region, with streams flowing at the foothills into the lush green jungle. The backwaters of the Varahi Dam in the distance add to the scenic setting.On clear and cloudless days, this is a fine place to get a stunning view of the sunrise and sunset, if you are here at the right time. The temple itself is a beautiful spot. There are two small ponds near the temple and these are covered in lotus blooms throughout the year. When we went it was cloudy so we could not enjoy the sunset as expected.
After staying there till 6.30pm we head back to doddamane and then we head to agumbe view point again just to try our luck again at seeing sunset at around 6.45 pm but we were unlucky. Still after some picture session we head back to the house freshen up and eat dinner and go to our room and start playing cards till 3am.
Next day at 10am we bid our goodbye’s to doddamane and kasturi akka and with loads of memories of the amazing place we begin our journey towards Sringeri to visit the temple. En route we find a board which says SIRIMANE FALLS TAKE RIGHT. We stop beside the board and start thinking temple or this falls. We were not sure how the falls was or how far is it. With all these doubts we were standing there when we meet two local people who told that the falls was good and it was just half and hour journey and also there was another route inside from were we could go to Sringeri.
The next thing you know we all are travelling in a single lane road inside a forest like area towards Sirimane falls. We took 1 hr to reach the place as the road was in pathetic condition and the rain had made it very slippery. After riding very slowly for an hour we reach the place. once you go the parking you hear the sound of water falling and the place is welly maintained by the tourism department. They’ve made ticket counters and proper stairs and changing rooms and a toilet. After you buy the ticket and walk down few steps you get first glimpse of the falls and its just a small fall when compared to other falls and the water is not too deep and its pretty clean. We decided to get into the water and play for sometime.
After playing in the water we get back and change our clothes and we decide to skip the temple visit and head straight to Bangalore as it was getting late.
We reach Chikkamagaluru at 4pm and have some thing to eat and then headed to Bangalore. At 9.30 pm we reach our Bangalore and say our goodbyes and leave to our homes.
Here is a small video which was made by us in gopro, hope you guys like it.
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