May 23, 2012
Pics by Dayananda Kukkaje
Daijiworld Media Network
Chickmagalur is known as the Ooty of Karnataka and is famous for its scenic beauty resplendent with its green foliage. Its valleys, streams, beautiful snowy hills and evergreen tea and coffee estates apart from its magical weather attract tourists in hordes from all over the country. Though September-March is considered to be the best period to visit Chikmagalur I was lucky to have a marvelous experience of watching its hills and valleys even in May in their green attire. Thanks to the unexpected showers in April this year the hills and valleys had worn a green look which was a feast to the eyes to those who marvel nature in its true colour. There are many attractions in Chickmagalur for discerning tourists.
Once in Chickmagalur who can resist the temptation of having a look at Mullayanagiri, the highest peak of Karnataka and also a trekker’s paradise? The only difference was that we did not trek on this peak but just climbed the 400 plus steps to reach the peak.
The scenic beauty of area is simply marvelous and one can feel like being in an exclusive oxygen zone. While the surrounding hills and valleys dressed in green magnetize the viewers the peak ahead invites us to its lap. All the way towards the peak one gets a good dose of fresh air and forgets all the stress, worries, tensions and problems. One feels rejuvenated and recharged on reaching the top of the peak. Apart from a well designed Shiva temple there are caves it is believed sages used to meditate.
A look around all the four side around the peak gives us the view of the picturesque surrounding. If it is cloud covered hills on one side the green blanket of hills on the other. It calls for phenomenal efforts extricate oneself from such a wonderful milieu.
Despite keeping a waste bin just at the foothills with huge hoardings to keep the surrounding clean one can find heap of plastic bottles and plastic covers strewn around with gay abandon. Typical Indian attitude!
The road to Mullayanagiri though asphalted is narrow and one has to drive carefully and skillfully especially when vehicles approach from the opposite direction.
From Mullayanagiri we moved to Baba Budangiri, a pilgrimage centre for both Hindus and Muslims. Though the shrine is locked following a dispute now devotees mainly Muslims come to the shrine. Cleanliness is not maintained around the shrine area.
Travelling another 3 kms upward one comes across Manikyadhara Falls where pilgrims who come to Baba Budaniri shrine take bath before offering prayers.
The narrow meandering road is in bad shape but manageable. There are steps to go to this falls and one can see a large number of devotes bathing under the falls which has considerably shrunk now. The devotees here following a strange practice of throwing some used clothes over a nearby tree just down the adjacent valley.
We retreated from this area to come back to Chikmagalur having feasted on the splendor nature had to offer in its pristine form.
For tourists who are inclined to visit Chickmagalur there are lot of other attractions apart from these destinations mentioned here.
Think of Chikmagalur the next time you plan your tour and you will forever treasure the mesmerizing and intoxicating beauty of this land.