Saturday, 25 August 2012

Chikmagalur - A monsoon drive in Western Ghats!

Last week we were in Chikmagalur. 

The idea was to do nothing but go for drives in the western ghats. If you are a driving freak like us, nothing can be more pleasurable than driving in monsoon in these mountains when nature is at its best. It is green everywhere. The waterfalls which are invisible in other months are at their glorious best. Driving on the foggy roads hugged by mountains and valleys is an experience in itself.

It was raining cats and dogs in Chikmagalur. Our drive to Mullayanagiri was an adventure. The fog was so high we could hardly see any thing. Whenever the fog cleared a bit, we could see the valley. Driving carefully and hoping that visibility does not deteriorate, we reached the summit. It was too windy and rainy. It was as if we were inside a cloud. 

Coming down from the summit, we headed towards Kemmanagundi. This was a fantastic drive except for the last fifteen KMs when the road turns bad. Cars with low ground clearance should take a U turn and return back at this point.

Driving a Scorpio helped. Join us as we take you through the drive!!

Like the adage "A picture is worth a thousand words", these pictures will paint a lovely journey.

Mist clad valleys

Water falls, water falls everywhere!

Driving on the foggy road
Fog cleared and rain drenched road
........Foggy again
The Gopura of the Shiva temple at the foot hill of Mullayanagiri
Waterfalls again.....
Beautiful waterfall on the way to Kemmanagundi - Shot in different angles and shutter speed

The road condition is fantastic making drive a pleasure
Water cascading with full force

The water fall seen above plunges from a great height. It is not accessible but can be seen from a distance

Green meadows

Fog clears and we get a glimpse of valley
Foggy road again
From here, the road condition to Kemmanagundi deteriorate
Lovely meadows on the way to Habbe Falls
The view of Mullayanagiri ranges when we drove from Lingadahalli on the way back from Kemmanagundi
These are few videos we shot of the drives

a) Monsoon drive - 1

b) Monsoon Drive - 2

c) Monsoon drive - 3

d) Monsoon drive - 4

Travel Tips

Getting there

By Road - There are plenty of buses by state run Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation to Chikmagalur from different parts of the state. If you are driving by car, it is at a distance of 240 KMs from Bangalore. The road condition is very good and driving time will be 5.30 hours with a break.

By Train - There is no direct train to Chikmagalur. The nearest rail-head is Kadur on Bangalore - Mumbai line. All important trains stop here. Kadur is 35 KMs from Chikmagalur and there are plenty of buses and taxis from here to Chikmagalur

By Air - The nearest airport is Mangalore which is at a distance of 200 KMs.

Stay options

The best way to enjoy Chikmagalur and Malnad is to stay in many home stays in the region. Since most of the home-stays are in Coffee estates, it will give you an opportunity to experience estate life as well. If you are a "resort type" of person, then there are resorts as well.

Resorts & their websites
Home Stays & their websites
Lodges & their websites

Planters court - The Planters court

Other information

a) Chikmagalur is a driving enthusiast's dream. The hill roads, greenery, waterfalls, rivers makes this a real pleasure. Though monsoon drives are exhilarating, any season is good.

b) Minimum three days are required to explore Chikmagalur. Places not be missed (along with their web links) -
c) Try authentic "Malnad cuisine" served in the home-stays.

d) "Town canteen" in Chikmagalur town is famous for "Butter Masala Dosa". Don't miss it.

e) Driving up Mullayanagiri is only for experienced drivers. The last three KMs is very narrow and needs to be very careful.

f) MG Park in Chikmagalur town is a good place for kids. It has musical fountain which is operated in the evenings.

g) If you are a golf enthusiast, then try putting in Chikmagalur golf club. Check with the hotel or home stay personnel for more details.

h)  Winters are best for watching the sun rise and sun sets at Mullayanagiri.

i) Chikmagalur is also the base for many treks in western ghats. If you are a trekking enthusiast, check this link Trekking in Western Ghats

j) Carry a good Binoculars to enjoy the valley views from the hills and also for bird watching.


Western Ghats - Mountain ranges in Peninsular India
Malnad - Mountainous region of Karnataka state
Hoysala - A medieval dynasty that ruled parts of South India
Masala Dosa - Indian pan cake made of rice and lentil with a stuffing of spicy potato and onion

Please visit the following related posts on Chikmagalur

a) Sunrise in Mullayanagiri

b) Halebid - Zenith of Hoysala Architecture!

c) Driving Holidays from Bangalore 2 - Magical Malnad

d) Alekan Falls

Did you like this post?  Do you need help in planning a trip to Chikmagalur? You are welcome to write at

Happy to help.

No comments:

Post a Comment