As my cousin Vasu was visiting us from Delhi on Raksha bandhan, we had to plan for a short trip near around Bangalore. Since we had already covered most of the places in the last 5–6 years of our stay in Bangalore, Kemmanagundi was one of few options left. Kemmanagundi( also known as Krishnarajendra and coffee land of Karnataka) is a hill station located in Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka located at around 280 KM from Bangalore. Without any further procrastination, we booked the stay and got our car serviced and we were ready to go. It was a 3-day trip and we planned to start very early on Friday so as to avoid the Bangalore city traffic.
DAY 1- 19th August 2016
Started from home @5 AM in the morning.
Reached hasan @8AM covered around 200 KM so far. Had breakfast( decent butter masala dosa) at Hotel Sri Krishna in hassan
Reached the hotel( horticulture department on KH hill) by 12:30. It looked magnificent from outside but the rooms were very damp from inside( maybe due to heavy rains). There was foul smell all around in the rooms, bedsheet covers were stained, Geyser and even the TV was not working. Somehow we had dumped our luggage in those enclosures and went for lunch in the nearby canteen. Canteen though offered limited options, and the taste of the food also didn’t meet our expectations. The only silver lining there was their fast service and everything was served withing few minutes of order. We had sumptuous food and we were ready to explore the surrounding points. Got to know from brother’s past experience that there is a track nearby and there was no second thought about it. The track was of around 6 KM and proved one of the most difficult tracks we have covered so far keeping in mind rains, exposure to leeches ,bad health of asmi and her Chachi. It took around 2 hrs to reach the summit and frankly speaking had an awesome feeling reaching there. We were planning to stay there for few minutes and savor the moments of that beautiful panorama but it was too windy at the top and we have to quickly take our way back. It didn’t take us much time while returning and took some pics at Shanthi falls. We returned by 5 PM. After Snacks and a refreshing cup of coffee, we made a visit to the Raj Bhavan which is also a property of horticulture department but it’s at the top of the peak.
We ate our dinner in the single menu providing govt canteen. We had to eat the same items which we had eaten in lunch( not sure whether they were lunch leftovers). The unprecedented Olympic badminton women’s final was also broadcasted on that day and we managed to watch the last and deciding last set. Though Sindhu lost but she won enough of accolades in her debut Olympics appearance .
Nothing worked in this horticulture hotel and we had made up our mind to get a transfer to Raj Bhavan and see how good is it. Went to bed early ( 10 PM) as we all were very tired.
DAY 2- 20th August 2016
Day 2 of the trip was expected to be the most action filled day of the trip. Though we had not planned the itinerary of the day, but hebbe falls was the most obvious choice apart from mullayanagiri. Woken up fresh from a very good night sleep after a tiring day, we went for a nice morning walk exploring the nearby natural flora. Soon we realized that there is no point wasting time in taking going through the daily ordeal of taking a bath etc . We quickly packed our bags and set out for breakfast .
Morning breakfast — we had lowered our expectation after repetitive lunch and dinner menu from the previous day. I ordered for the usual bread omelet and to my surprise, it was very tasty( though it had more than required onion) and I ended up eating 2 of them. Poori sabzi was also fresh and tasty and we were quite satisfied with our breakfast experience .
Shifting to Raj bhavan — When breakfast was done, it was already 10 Am and time to shift from our damp, badly maintained rooms to literally Raj Bhavan of kemmanagundi.
Jeep trip to Hebbe falls — It won’t be wrong if we call Hebbe falls as the highlight of the trip. Initially, we had plans to go the falls in our car ( as quoted by our trip planner that 8 yr back they have done it on their bikes). There were govt jeep this time. They charged 3200 for the whole Jeep . It was a very narrow, uneven and rough road and meant for only high clearance vehicles. It was around 10 km one way trip to the drop point for the vehicles and from there it took us 20 minutes to reach the falls, passing through the river twice, fighting with the blood sucking leeches which sneaked up on us without any prior warning and noticeable pain of biting . It was an amazing feeling at the very sight of nature’s amazing form in its full flow and didn’t wasted much time in getting ourselves into blood freezing cold water. Asmi played the spoilsport and was terrified to the core, so we soon were on our way back.
Trip to Mullayanagiri hills — It was already 3 PM when we reached the point where the Jeep dropped us and after munching on to refuel our energy levels, we decided to make a start for Mullayanagiri hills( the highest peak of Karnataka). It was around 70+ KM from there and we were looking at very tight schedule, and we had to go there, track for 30 mins at least to reach the summit, have dinner and return to the stay. It took around 2.5 hrs to reach the hill, but the last 1 KM of the road was very bad and all the courage left vanished when we saw the car in front of us getting stuck. Alas ! we had to return back from there unsuccessfully. While coming back, we had a very nice and appetizing dinner. It was already dark when we had finished the dinner, and it was another 55 KM to be traveled for our stay. Driving in the night at an unknown hill station with a baby and two ladies in the car, you wouldn’t have asked for a more complex situation. Somehow with the help of two gods in today’s world( God and Google), we managed to reach the stay by 9:30 PM. Mr driver was too exhausted and we soon dozed off.
21st August 2016
We got by 7 Am and had a nice tea and superb breakfast( Idli, vada, Chocho bath). We spent an hour exploring raj bhavan and nearby area, clicked some pictures, selfies and checked our from the beautiful Raj Bhavan by 11 AM. We still had some time at hand and decided to go to Hoyseleshwara Temple in Halebidu( a beautiful 12th-century lord Shiva temple). It was an amazing sight and after getting some historical information from the guide, we were set on our path to return to Bangalore. We reached home by 9 AM, feeling exhausted as well as refreshed, capturing memories of a memorable trip , the first trip covered in our own car.