Kemmanagundi And Around

Republic Day and a long weekend!  Something had to be planned, but had not been planned. It was a last minute dash to head to the western ghats and hike up the mountains there. Mullayanagiri and Bababudangiri were the two candidates chosen. Myself, Boda (Rajavardhan) and Paccha (Prashant) headed out of Bangalore towards Chikmagalur  by around 3pm on the Saturday, the 24th Jan 2015.

While on the way, we frantically try to hunt down a hotel room, motel room, a dormitory or anything which we could just sleep for the night. But Chikmagalur was full, with absolutely nothing available there. We would reach the place by 9pm in the night. Finally, Boda decided to call his uncle and arrange something since his uncle knew someone influential. And Muthodi Forest Camp it would be. We reach there in the dead of the night – it was midnight on the absolutely stunning star filled skies all through our drive in the forests. We woke up the cook as advised and asked him for our accommodation for the night. It was the Salim Ali Room in the forest camp – an open room, museum by the day. With nothing to sleep on, we decided to use our tents and sleeping bags which we had taken along with us. It was a pretty sleepless night. A stuffed tiger on a stone pedestal  gave us company through the rest of the night.

The next morning, we were longing for a hot cup of tea, some warmth and information. We went to the cook’s room and found all that. We freshened up and enquired about the hike to the mountains – Mullayanagiri and Bababudangiri and were told no camping up there. We decided we would try our luck in Kemmanagundi. The road to Kemmanagundi through the Muthodi reserve is a really run down forest trail. We found a small village on our way and had breakfast – neer dosa. That was the only option we had as it was already ready and to prepare anything would take time. We hogged on what was available and proceeded. No metal, very uneven – our progress was slow through the forests. But we were presented with stunning sceneries, beautiful landscapes, blue winter skies. No complaints there. We reached the forest check post and parked out cars there and decided to hike. Again, no camping up in the mountains:( But we decided to head out towards the famous ‘Z’ Point. It didn’t take us long to get to the ‘Z’ Point and reached the top by around 4pm. We spent an hour or so up there and headed back before sunset. The landscape was a beautiful one. Kemmanagundi was slowly but surely restoring its vegetation after several years of abuse through mining the rich ores!

Some pictures from the trip.

Karadi Betta [Bear Hill]

It is the season – the season of the hikes. It has started raining here in Karnataka with the monsoons arriving, although it was a week late than usual.  The right time to start hiking in the Western Ghats is after a couple of rains. The vegetation turns green and pleasant to the eyes. Sun will be milder ensuring a pleasant hike. During the monsoon itself will be a very bad time, most of the places are leech infested and it would not be a pleasurable experience.

With that said, I wanted to start the same with a hike. I got the opportunity to go on a small hike when my father-in-law informed me of a hike arranged by Koramangala Club through BMC. The place decided was – Karadi Betta. It is also known by multiple names like Mari Betta, Bananthi Betta etc. The rocky hill is located around the Kanakapura Town. It is located 3 Kms from the town of Kanakapura. Kanakapura itself is around 70kms from Bangalore and 1.5hrs  of travel time ( See map for the locations).

Some pictures from the hike here.

Karadi Betta

Landscape From Half Way Up The Karadi Betta

Karadi Betta

View Of The Karadi Betta From The Starting Point.


For the interested:

Distance: 6.04Kms | Moving Time: 2:52:07 Hrs | Avg. Moving Speed: 2.11Km/h

Karadi Betta Hike Chart

Karadi Betta Hike Chart



View Karadi Betta Hike in a larger map