Coffee with Land of Coffee! Chikmagalur!!!
We made our trip to Chikmagalur in Jan 2016. Our plan was to stay in a homestay for a day and see Mullayangiri, Hebbey Falls and Baba Budangiri hills on the next day.
We traveled to Birur from Bangalore via train. It was a 3 hours long morning journey in Hubballi express which started at 6 am in Bangalore and reached Birur by 9.30. The train route was mostly through rural areas with farms and small hills. We had our breakfast at Preethi Canteen in Birur. It was a small food outlet with considerable crowd, probably because it was Sunday. We took a bus to Chikmagaluru from Birur bus stand. There were frequent buses in the route. It was a 90 minutes journey through areca nut and pepper farms in a hilly background. There were hardly few villages in between the two places.
We reached Chikmagaluru by 12. And the place was quite different from my imagination. I expected the town to be a typical hill station. But Chikmagaluru looked more of a town in plains. The climate was little hot for January and the town is very active with people everywhere.
We headed directly to our home stay in Mudigere called Nesting Grounds in a cab. It was a bumpy ride through Coffee Plantations. Nesting Grounds is owned by Mr.Nandu and is located amidst 50 acres of his coffee plantation in a hill.
|A View of our guest house|
The guest house given to us had a dining area and a hall in the floor level and two bedrooms with attached bathroom and a hall in the below floor level. The house has a beautiful view through the windows.
|Lovely view from the house|
The house is well maintained and every minute detail is taken care with utmost care. There is a television and other indoor games option to pass the time. But we spent our time exploring the plantation.
|Relaxing area and sunset view point!|
|TV room and Play area|
|One of our Bedrooms|
Immediately upon arrival we had our lunch prepared by Mr.Parameswar. It was a mix of Malnad cuisine and typical south Indian cuisine like Chicken Briyani. It was a tasty lunch. Post lunch we went on a long walk on the hills. It was coffee harvesting season and we could see workers bringing the collected beans to the storage area. We have seen a beautiful sunset from the house, tasting our evening coffee. Once the place is dark, we spent our time inside the house playing carom and business. And when it was time for dinner, Parameswar brought tasty chicken gravy made in Malnad style, roti, rice, rasam and other items. The dinner was very delicious. The place was so dark and calm in the night. And the night was reasonably cold. We had a good sleep in our rooms.
|Way to the hills!|
|A Scenic View|
|Tall & age old trees everywhere..|
|Its Green, Green & Green|
|Beautiful sunset from the house|
The second day of our Chikmagaluru trip started with a guided tour inside the Coffee plantation by Mr.Nandu. He showed us many varieties of trees and enlightened us about history of Coffee, its life cycle and challenges of coffee plantations. We were accompanied and guarded by Nandu’s 7 dogs.
|On a early morning walk.|
|A walk through steep hill, full of coffee plants|
|Coffee and some pepper around|
|Wild Jack fruit tree|
After coming back to the house, we had our breakfast. Akki roti with vegetable kurma, appam with coconut chutney, bread, butter and jam filled our tummy. We had special coffee after our breakfast. The house offered us a pleasant stay and wonderful hospitality by Nandu and his team. And Nandu offered us complimentary coffee powder. And we also tasted the local made wines from banana, pedal leaves, ginger and coffee. We chose to buy a bottle of banana wine. We didn’t want to leave the place. But due to time constraints, we decided to leave and begin our sightseeing around Chikmagaluru.
|Bye Bye to Coffee plantations..|
We directly headed to Mullayangiri hills. It is the highest peak in South India. The road leads to the hill top offered wonderful view of Chikmagaluru hills.
|Way full of view points|
Reaching the peak involves around 700m of trek through the steps. The sight from the peak is mind blowing and one could get a 360 degree view of the hills. There is a small temple-mutt in top of the hill. It is a must visit place in Chikmagaluru.
|Small Trek on the hills|
|Way to the top of the hills|
|Temple at the hill peak|
|View from the top|
|View of the other side of the peak|
The roads to Hebbey Falls was closed by Forest department. So we headed to baba budangiri. There is a shrine named after sufi saint Baba Budan. There is an interesting story for naming the mountains after him. Coffee was originated in Ethiopia and Spread in Yemen in Arabia. Arabians strictly controlled the coffee trade and traded only the roasted beans or powder. But Baba Budan while coming back to India after his holy travel to Mecca brought 7 coffee beans to India and sowed it in the Chikmagaluru Mountains. And that’s the beginning of Coffee plantations in India. We visited the shrine, which is actually inside a cave. And the rocks are coated with sandal. So the entire place was gave a divinely feel.
|White clouds covering Green Mountains|
There is a small falls called Manikyadhara falls around 4 km from the Baba Budan shrine. The place offered beautiful view of western ghats. There were dozen shops selling snacks, herbs and local produces. Visitors have to be little careful with the monkeys near the falls.
|The mountains says that we, humans are so small in front of them!|
After Manikyadhara falls we directly headed to chikmagaluru with few stoppings in between.
|Its a treat to eyes..|
|On the way back..|
We had a quick dinner and taken last bus to Shringeri. We couldn’t cover many places like Kemmangudi, Cofee musuem and couldn’t dine at Hotel Mayura as we planned due to time shortage and leaving those places for our next visit to Chikmagaluru.
Bye Bye Chikmagaluru.. Lets meet again..