We decided to take a trip to Chikmagalur over the last weekend, with kids on vacation mode.
It is about 260 kms away from Bangalore.
On route, we took the Tumkur - Arsikere - Kadur - Chikmagalur route.
We started around 10.45 AM, after the decision was made to travel at 9.30 AM after breakfast. We reached Chikmagalur around 5 PM, with few stops on the way. We had veg lunch, with egg burji at Ananth Dhabha Green Restaurant just after Tiptur. (unusual and may be bcoz there are limited Non veg eaters in that area )
On reaching Chikmagalur, we thought of meeting my wife's cousin family, but they had gone to North India tour. We roamed around the place with weather like Coonoor, and saw the length and breadth of the city! Lots of demolition going on, of the illegal constructions. The Traffic cops are helpful, with too many oneway's, without any boards.
We stayed at Vasavi Vihar, with a decent room. Had dinner served at room. Chicken Tandoori Kebabs and Biriyani.
The next day, we woke up early. I went alone outside at 6.30 AM in search of hot coffee nearby... but no shops around. Room service started at 7 AM only. Had a small walk, with the Police Commissioner who stays near that hotel, and he gave me tips of seeing around that area. Nice of him!
We had breakfast in Food Palace, RG Road, which runs parallel to MG Road.
At around 8.30 AM we started for Muliyanagiri hill trip. It is about 22 kms from Chikmagalur and a scenic drive. There is Muliyana Easwara temple almost of the top. Beyond that point, the peak is at around 3 Kms. But it is not safe to drive beyond the first hairpin bend and after that temple. We stopped after seeing the steep climb and Maruti Omni's running behind, with people stopping them with stones and pushing the car up the hill! There are no railings that might stop the car. I drove back in reverse, with help of my wife outside, for about 100 meters (to reverse) a thrilling drive to return back to the temple area, which I will never forget.
The forest authorities in that area, should do something to build protection on the side, which might make the drivers drive upto the view point ( that too on 1st gear ) and also try to reduce the steep gradient.
We did a small trek from the temple area, up hill probably for about 200 meters... rested for sometime. Kids enjoyed a lot. Very beautiful scenarios - breathtaking ( other than me huffing and puffing pulling my weight up ).
On the return we stopped at a waterfall. Very small. The area is full of coffee estates. Nice aroma of coffee. We got some filter coffee from Jayanti Coffee works.
There are 2 waterfalls Kalhatti and Hebba falls, but we decided to skip as we wanted to see Belur and Halebidu on the return.
We reached the hotel around 11 AM, and checked out starting at 11.45 AM. Belur is about 22 kms away. In hot sun, we had a nice architectural tour for an hour. Then we went on to Halibedu, which is 16 kms away. Spent some time there wondering the architectural Hoysala marvel, and reached Hassan at 2.30 PM. We had veg lunch at Santhosh Cafe on Rt. 48 and topped with some icecream cones. We started driving the remainder of 200 kms at 3.30 PM and reached home, via Nelamangala and NICE road at 7.30 PM.
There is an alternate route itseems, from near Kunigal after Johnson Tile factory, which leads to NICE Road, on Magadi road. It might save 20 kms and some time.
Our return trip had lots of showers and the drive was slow.
Total round trip 600 Kms in 2 days.