Karnataka – Kemmanagundi, Mulayanagiri, Belur


We started our day lazily after an excellent morning boat ride at Bhadra Reservoir and breakfast. We had driven towards Tarikere to take Chikmagalur route and then at Lingdahalli took a right diversion to take the beautiful ghat roads of Chikmagalur and Bababudan giri hills. Enroute you would find Kalahati falls which is nice and then the nice hill station of Kemmanagundi, which is a must stay. It’s setting is awe inspiring but the accommodation are difficult to get as the only options of horticultural dept’s bungalows being renovated this year.

This is a nice hill station with colorful mountains with various shades of green all around. A Hebbe Falls trip from here and some treks to Z points are a must do for the people who have the time. We couldn’t visit those and kept continuing our drive. The road became the worst in our whole journey and Xylo was going at 10kmph but the whole pain of taking such a road was worth every bit when you look around. I have seen some most amazing landscapes of colorful grasses of all shades starting from green, yellow, orange and red and the mountains in the backdrop. The scenery is simply jaw dropping and we were mesmerized with the awe inspiring landscapes all around.

Continued our journey to Baba Budangiri and Mulayanagiri and these places are nothing special comparing to the beauty of this whole road, we were in a dilemma if we should take this road as we knew the road is in pretty bad shape but didn’t regret the decision once we covered it. The sunset from Mulayangiri an experience to remember with stunning views of the surrounding lake-rich coffee country and the weird shaped mountains with thousands shades of green touching the colorful sky at the backdrop.

We continued our journey through Chikmagalur to Belur and we stayed at KSTDC, Velapuri which is a nice and extremely good value for money hotel but again without any service.

Car Odo Reading:

JLR Bhadra – 45060
Tarikere – 45083
Lingdahalli – 45098
Kalahati Falls- 45108
Kemmanagundi – 45121
Mulayanagiri – 45165
Chikmagalur – 45185
Belur – 45214

Kalahati Falls:


Kemmanagundi – Chikmagalur – The most scenic road I experienced in Karnataka:

DSC_30016 DSC_30042 DSC_30058 DSC_30065

The beauty continues along the road to Mulayanagiri:

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The sunset from Mulayanagiri:

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This day was reserved for enjoying Hoysala art of Belur and Halebidu. Both are awesome, to me Halebidu was more impressive especially the western walls but what I understood from the guide was that Belur was the completed temple where as Halebidu was incomplete. The Hoysala architecture and their work with stones some 600 years back is simply amazing. The best time to visit them to avoid crowds and for better photo opportunities are in early morning or evening, though evenings are certainly crowded. Again I found spiritual activities are performed inside the temple which I certainly don’t like in an archeological monument of this stature. The way they depict the Ramayana stories or the events of that age on stone would make you speechless, an amazing fusion between art and engineering. If you can spend some time, I would recommend to take a guide (charge Rs. 200) and that would make the visit more meaningful.

Car Odo Reading:

Belur – 45214
Halebidu – 45232
Belur – 45249

Belur Temple:DSC_30159 DSC_30164 DSC_30172 DSC_30173 DSC_30219

Previous: Karnataka – Kumta, Gokarn, Bhadra Wild Life Sanctuary

Next: Karnataka – Halebidu, Hornadu, Kudremukh, Srinigeri, Agumbe, Tirthahalli

Karnataka – One State Many Worlds : Introduction

Why Karnataka and that too for a person like me who loves mountains and lonely landscapes? The question haunted me and many of my friends who curiously asked if I am taking each Indian state as my destination. Few good friends of IM even alerted me saying it’s not going to be a Zanskar or Arunachal even in farthest dream where for many miles it’s you and your soul only. Honestly I also never heard of any Karnataka round trip, we are familiar with a Kerala trip, a month long South India trip but spending almost a month in one state, Karnataka? Isn’t it going to be too much?

The answer is with due respect to every Indian state which are all fabulous on their own, Karnataka is probably the most versatile. God has given this state all except the mighty Himalayas, so if you want to take a break from the mighty Himalayas, probably this is the state you won’t regret choosing as your destination. This land of fragrance has all the ingredients of a great holiday. Its varieties lie in the relaxed length of the golden coastline along the Arabian sea, majestic Deccan rock to thick lush tropical forests and interesting wildlife, silk and sandalwood, an incredible variety of rare species of flora and fauna, a rich culture and heritage, forts, Palaces, ruins, Ornate Temples and pilgrim centers and Hill resorts.

My plan started with spectacular waterfalls to Shivasamudram, sand sunk temples of Talakad, Hoysala marvel of Somnathpura, great wildlife at the Waynad (Muthunga and Tholpetty WLS), Bandipur, Mudumalai and Nagarhole and then slowly moving to coffee plantations of Coorg and towards Bekal of Northern Kerala. Everyday you would see something new, the landscapes changes completely and so the people and culture.

Next was the coastal Karnataka and splendours of beaches like Kaup, Baindoor, Maravanthe, Gokarn and geographical wonders of St. Mary’s Island before heading for Western Ghats to hit evergreen Malnad via Jog Falls with its beauty and charming hill stations of Kemmanagundi, Mulayanagiri, Bhadra WLS or the Hoysala art of Belur and Halebidu. The brilliance of Malnad continues as you travel through Kudremukh,temples of Hornadu and Srinigeri, hitting the ghat again at Agumbe and finally at blissful Tirthahally.

The magic continues as you enter the ageless “Cradle of Stone Architecture” at Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal and finally the amazing Hampi. As you keep traversing through length and breadth of Karnataka, be ready to be spellbound by its magic, truly “One State Many Worlds”.

Outline of the 3 weeks trip was like this:

Southern Forest and Coffee Circuit:

Day1 – Bangalore Airport – Mysore
Day2 – Mysore – Shivasamudram – Talakad – Somnathpura – Ranganatithu – Mysore
Day3 – Mysore – Gundalpet – Bandipur – Mudumalai – Gudalur – Sultan Bathery – Muthunga WLS – Kalpeta
Day4 – Kalpeta – Meppady – Soochipara – Sunrise Valley – Phookot Lake – Banasurasagar Dam – Kalpeta
Day5 – Kalpeta – Mananvady – Kuruwa Island – Kattikulam – Tholpetty WLS- Iruppu Falls – Thirunelly
Day6 – Thirunelly – Kattikulam – Bavali – Karapura – Kabini JLR
Day7 – Kabini JLR – Bavali – Kattikulam – Kutta – Ponnampet – Gonikoppal – Virajpet – Madikeri
Day8 – Madikeri – Abbey Falls – Bhagamandala – Talacauvery – Panathur – Kanhangad – Bekal Fort – Kasargod – Mangalore

Google Map: http://g.co/maps/cqynj


Western Coastal and Central Malnad Circuit:

Day9 – Managalore – Kaup Beach – Malpe (Take Ferry to St. Mary) – Kundapur – Maravanthe – Ottinene for sunset and back to Maravanthe
Day10- Maravanthe – Byndoor Beach – Murudheshwara – Kumta Beach – Gokarna
Day11- Explore Gokarna Beach and other Beaches like Kudle, OM, Half Moon and Paradise.
Day12- Gokarna – Kumta – Take SH48 – Ondane – Mensa – Jog Falls – Sagar – Shimoga – Lakkavalli
Day13- Lakkavalli – Tarikere – Lingdahalli – Kalahati Falls – Kemmanagundi – Mulayanagiri -Chikmagalur – Belur
Day14- Belur – Halebidu – Belur
Day15- Belur – Chikmagalur – Vastare – Aldur – Balehonnur – Magundi – Balehole – Hornadu – Kalasa – Kudremukh NP – SK Border – Srinigeri-Agumbe – Tirthahally

Google Map: http://g.co/maps/8qyyg


Northern Heritage Circuit:

Day16- Tirthahally – Shimoga – Honnali – Harihar- Take NH4 – Haveri – Hubli – Take NH218 – Navalgund – Nargund -Kulgiri Cross – Badami
Day17- Badami – Pattadakal – Aihole – Badami
Day18- Badami – Gajendragarh – Kushtagi – Budugumpa – Take SH23 to Gangawati – Anegundi – back to Gangawati – Kampli – Hampi
Day19- Hampi – Daroji – Hampi
Day20- Hampi
Day21- Hampi – Hospet – Chitradurga – Tumkur – Dosspeta – Bangalore Airport

Google Map (Tirthahally – Hampi): http://g.co/maps/vy9vu


Google Map (Hampi – Banagalore Airport): http://g.co/maps/g9r4n

Hampi_Bangalore Airport

The main objective of writing this is to take you through the versatility the state can offer, so primarily it would be a photo log with some narrations.

Next: Karnataka – Mysore, Shivasamudram, Talakad, Entering to Waynad