A Brewing experience

Far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, lies this calm and serene place,Kemmanagundi.

About the place

Kemmanangundi is a great place to get away to at any time of the year – summer, winter and even the monsoons, a season that can be quite spectacular, with waterfalls gushing over and the trees on the hills wearing a sparkly rain-washed look. Driving up to Kemmanagundi, you are greeted by pleasing mountain scenery. The landscape is lush with forests and waterfalls that tumble down the rock face. One can find lots of walking trail through the woods that lead you to untrodden paths and quiet glens, where you can picnic, ramble and commune with nature.

This hill resort in the Baba Budan Hills was once the summer retreat of the Maharaja of Mysore, the Wodeyar King Krishnaraje Wodeyar IV, after whom the hill station is also named the K.R. Hill Station (KRHS).

Also it is believed that this was the place where Baba Budan planted the coffee seeds that he got from Afghanistan. One can find lot of coffee plantations as one drives up from Tarikere to Kemmanagundi.

Getting there: Kemmanagundi is 260 km from Bangalore, 225 km from Mangalore (the closest airport), and 55 km from Chikmaglur. Trains halt at Tarakere, the nearest railhead. State Transport buses come to Kemmanagundi from Bangalore, but the most convenient way to get here is to drive. Take the State highway 48 via Kunigal, Hassan , Chikamagalur. The roads are good with occassional rough patch. Once past Chikamagalur, the ascent starts. The roads are not that great,narrow at places but then the scenery is awesome since this route leads you through the Baba Budan Giri range. Its a good idea to avoid this route during the rainy season. Make sure your vehicle is sturdy and brakes are in good condition. I was glad/surprised that my Wagon handled it pretty well..

You would come across Sunflower fields on this route, where you can stop by and get your camera out:-)

The other route (the not-so-scenic) to kemmangundi is via Tarikere. Take the NH206 all the way thru Arsikere, Birur and Tarikere. After Tarikere, the ascent begins, but this is not a steep one as compared to the chikamagalur one. Roads are motorable here.

Best time: Kemmanagundi is pleasant throughout the year. As any other hill station summer is peak tourist season, while the crowds thin during the monsoons, making it a great time to be here.

Accommodation: The Horticulture Department’s Guest House is the most popular place to stay. Make sure you carry enough food supplies as the food in this place is not great and there aren’t any eateries around. Alternatively, you can stay at neighbouring Chikmaglur and Shimoga, which have a range of budget and deluxe hotels.

Places to see: Kemmanagundi is more a place to lie/sit back and relax. There aren’t many places to visit/see here. If you are a avid hiker (or somewhere close to it), you can visit Z-point.

Z-point is about 8 kms from the guest house. You can take your vehicle upto Shanti Falls, which is 2 odd kms from the guest house. The rest of the journey to the Z-point has to be covered by foot. Make sure you have good shoes (Chappals are a strict no-no) as the path gets tougher and trickier as u ascend. Its also a good idea to do this trek early in the day when there is lot of light and remember, it gets dark in the hills sooner.:-)

Hebbe Falls is worth a visit. You cannot drive down in your vehicle, so you need to take the Jeep (available at the horticultural society’s guest house), for a charge (Rs. 400-500).

At the top of the KRHS is the Raj Bhavan, from where you can have a panaromic view. Its a nice picnic spot with nice lawns.

Apart from that , there is a Rock Garden, which is a decent place to roam around, but dont expect too much.

So, the bottom line is that, if you want to come here to see places, 1 day is sufficient. On the other hand, if you want to relax and be close to nature, you can stay on for a longer time.

As always, buzz me if you need more information on this, and dont forget to leave a comment/suggestion about this write-up

Ciao,

7 Comments

  • Manish khamesra says:

    So we will be travelling a lot of offbeat places around Banagalore with you. Looking forward to more such write-ups and virtual Ghumakkari.

  • nandanjha says:

    virtual ghumakkari ;), good.

    Car-thick – very info-ful story. short, precise and complete.

  • Sonika says:

    I was at kemmanagundi about 2 years back. We had not booked Raj Bhavan guest house in advance. So ended up in some rooms which are bit less scenic than raj bhavan ones.. but it was fun trip none the less. We trekked on to top of mountains.. near some falls.. not hebbe.. it was on other side…
    Hebbe was amazing.. especially coz we were the only ones….

    Info you have provided it quite thorough… Nice work

  • backpakker says:

    been up to chickmagalur several times …and as a kid, been there once…your travelogue is tempting me to go there again ..

  • Roopesh says:

    Kemmanagudi, chikmaglur and surrounding places are very pretty. I was fortunate to trip across Chikmaglur, Kemmangudi and further onto Sringeri, Agumbe, Udupi. We stayed in Chikmaglur for 2 days. The best was 2.5 hours trek to top of Mullayangiri peak from place called Sarpadari. Chikmaglur is home of Coffee in India. ABC Coffee, parent company of Cafe Coffee Day is also situated here. But on going west towards Udupi, we encounter tea plantations as well.

  • suhas says:

    hi , am suhas here , we frnds of 22 members have planned to leave to kemmangundi , mullayanagiri and baba budangiri on 2nd october 2009 by morning 5 from bangalore , so please help me and give me a clear itenary , as i don’t konw the places , and make me cover max places , but we should leave on 3rd evening at any cost , so the time limit is less ,
    waiting for ur reply

    thanking u

    regards
    suhas

    • Karthik says:

      Hi Suhas,

      How are u planning to go?
      where would u be staying?

      There is nothing much to see as such. If you want to go up the peak in Muliyangiri, there are jeeps available. Or if you want to trek, there is a path (the jeep guys can tell u where this is). Ihope you have made reservation for accomodation in advance,

      From Chikamagalur, you can go up to Kemmangundi via Baba Budan Giri. The roads are narrow, but the scenic beauty is awesome. You may want to check with the Horticultural society in Kemmanagundi for reservation. Also , there is a counter in Lalbagh (bangalore) where you can reserve accomodation.

      Please revert if you need further assistance.

      K

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.