Sunday, June 14, 2015

Weekend in Chikkamagalur

After a long time I planned for a long trip. It was the end of month of May, the peak of summer. Though Chikkamagalur has a number of hill stations, but it is advised to skip this place at this time. This part of the beautiful western ghat is hotter than Bangalore in this month. Even after aware of this, I decided to visit here as I just wanted to go for a long drive.

Early Saturday morning, I with few of my family members started this trip in Hyundai Ascent car which was well comfortable for four adults and three kids. Early morning drive is always great. We hit the Tumakuru road in next half an hour. Drive from Yeswantpur to Tumakuru on this well maintained highway was very smooth. There we took a diversion for Tiptur-Birur road. This road was also good except a few kilometers. In between we stopped at Cafe Coffee Day shop for getting refreshed. On this road there are no good eateries and travelers has to use CCD for getting refreshed. They pay good amount for coffee which they might not be looking for but there are no other options available as well.

After six hours of travel, five hours drive and covering 260 kilometers, we reached to our resort 'The last resort' at nine o'clock. Check-in was easy. We got our cottage which had a decent cot. Outside we had a Sofa and a carom board. Resort has a good ambiance. There is beholding view of hills from its courtyard and it has very well maintained garden. Our kids started playing. In next two hours we got ready and had well prepared breakfast. After the appetizing breakfast, we left resort to visit Kemmanagundi. First stop was at Kalanithi falls which was a big disappointment for us. This place was very dirty. A temple was there at the footsteps of falls where devotees were taking bath but filth were spread all around. This is the perfect case to show, how we destroy the nature in name of religion and how tourists liter the unwanted stuffs at places they came to enjoy beauty. After this disappointment, we moved to Kemmanagundi hills. Landscape view of Kemmanugudi hills which has green lush grassland is scenic and striking. Road to Hebbe falls was closed for private vehicles so we went to Shanthi falls. After the end of the tar road, we saw cars going on mud road and so we followed them too. After a short drive on the very narrow, one way and water filled mud road we realized that the road was not meant for cars. There was no place to turn back too. It was near Z-point. We drove to the end of hill and came back. Thankfully no vehicle came in between, otherwise we could have faced a real nightmare. After all these adventures, we reached back to resort just at lunch time. In night, resort has arranged bonfire for individual cottages and we enjoyed it a lot. Kids had a great time sitting out and playing in night.

Next morning we did an early checkout and drove towards Belur though it was not in our original plan. We passed through ghat road in early morning. After two hours we crossed Chikkamagalur town and in next half an hour we were in Belur. We had our breakfast there before going to the famous Chennakeshava  temple built by Hoysala empire. The temple is standing on a platform which has very detailed exquisite art work on its wall. Stories from Ramayana and Mahabharta have been carved beautifully in the boundary walls. From Belur, we went to Halebidu temple which was at twenty kilometers only. Here temple complex comprises of Hoysaleswara and Kedareswara temples. Both of the Belur and halebidu temples are the best example of fine work done by Hoysala sculptors.

After Halebidu, we were back on road for Bangalore. After a drive for more than hundred kilometers we reached to Tumakuru. We had lunch in between. After crossing Neelamangla we faced very heavy rain but did not stop. We reached to our home in late evening with a great fill of a complete and memorable Chikmagalurur trip.