About Baba Budangiri
Bababudangiri is an amazing trek in the mountains of Chikmagalur, located at a distance of 250 km from Bangalore, making it ideal for a weekend getaway. Starting on the hiking trail from Sarpadhari (alternatively from Attinagundi), you can see the peaks of Budangiri (1895 m) and Mullayanagiri (1930 m) looming at a distance. Together, the two mountains appear like a crescent moon, therefore known as the Chandra Drona Range.
Trekking enthusiasts have a lot to look forward to on the Budangiri hike. Trails snake through dark forests of shola trees, occasional moraine-filled rocky stretches, and miles of serene green grasslands on the rolling hills. Come on this trek to take in all the spectacular vistas of the enclosing slopes of the Nilgiri Hills, try your luck at spotting wildlife when crossing through the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, and test your stamina at negotiating a few steep inclines.
Some of the highlights on this trek are- walking on the Blade Ridge on the way to Mullayanagiri, camping and campfire in the forest clearings, ancient cave explorations, and stunning hillscape photography from several viewpoints along the way. Blooming of the kurinji flowers in the low lying slopes of the Nilgiris is a rare seasonal attraction in these parts of the hills.
The flowers blossom at an interval of every 12 years, cloaking the entire vicinity in shades of blue, giving the Nilgiri hills its name! The Budangiri mountain is also an important pilgrimage for Hindus and Muslims for the legacy of the Sufi saint Baba Budan and the hindu deity Dattatreya.
Baba Budangiri Temple/Mosque
The Baba Budangiri shrine is important to both Hindus and Muslims. You will find the grave of Baba Budan- the Sufi saint, after trekking to the flat top of hill. From the Dargah of the islamic saint, a stairwell rises up to the Dattatreya Caves- believed to be inhabited by the hindu deity Dattatreya Swami.
Fascinating stories associated with these mythical figures circulate among pilgrims here. The Islamic saint is known to have been sent by the Prophet Muhamamd to India and the deity Dattatreya is believed to be the embodiment of Brahma-Vishnu-Maheshwar.
You will be thrilled to hear about a peculiar connection between coffee plantations in the Nilgiri Hills and the Sufi saint coming from faraway Middle-east. Legend has it, the saint had returned from his Hajj to Mecca with seven raw cocoa beans which he planted in the soils of these mountainsides!
A sweeping view of the Chikmagalur valley from the shrine can be found down below. 3 km ahead of the religious site, the Manikyadhara Falls is another brilliantly scenic place that you can check out.
Baba Budangiri Trek
The Baba Budangiri trek has two viable flag-off points, the trailhead at Sarpadhari and the one at Attigundi. Going by any of the routes, trekkers will first reach the Mullayanagiri mountain-- the highest peak in Karnataka and furthering from here to Baba Budangiri.
The trail will demand you to carefully negotiate steep uphill stretches and walking on a moraine-filled ravine. The block cliffs of Mullayanagiri soon comes into sight after crossing Sarpadhari, surrounded by thickets of shola trees.
The enthusiastic shutterbug in you has to jump to life on finding the striking contrast of resplendent green forests, and grasslands against the black rocked cliffs on this trail. Upon reaching the mountain-top, you will be greeted with a spellbinding birds-eye view of the valley lying below.
How to Reach Baba Budangiri
Image Credit: Dinesh Valke
Nearest Airport- The Mangalore International Airport is the closest airport to Budangiri, located 110 km from Chikmagalur. From Mangalore, taxis can be hired to Chikmagalur, or you can get on one of the frequently plying buses to Chikmagalur town. Alternatively, you can arrive in the state at Bangalore airport and find your way to Chikmagalur by bus or hired cabs on a 5 hour road trip.
By Bus from Chikmagalur- There are private-run direct buses plying between Chikmagalur to Baba Budan Giri run by SMS Travels, on the BabaBudangiri Road or Thippanahalli Estate Road. The first morning bus leaves at 7 am, and the last at evening 5 pm. Busses are scheduled at 3 hour intervals during the day.
Shared Jeep: Several hikers choose to leave from Chikmagalur to Attigundi- the base camp of the Budangiri trek, by shared jeeps leaving from the Chikmagalur bus stand.
Best Time to Visit Baba Budangiri
March to April is the best time to visit the region since this is the primary flowering season in these hills. The trek route remains open throughout the year, except the monsoons from mid-June to the end of July, any time is a good time to trek to Baba BudanGiri! The most favorable months are
March to April- The average minimum temperature during these months remains around 24 °C and while the maximum is 35 °C. There are sporadic light showers in the afternoon, otherwise the days are mostly bright and sunny. At every 12 years, the fabled kurinji flowers bloom along the slopes during these summer months.
December to mid-February- The average minimum temperature may drop to 20 °C during the night, though the days remain cool but sunny. The mist-enveloped mornings only adds to the wintry charm!
What Not to Miss at Baba Budangiri
Attractions near Baba Budangiri
Standing at an altitude of 1930 m, Mullayanagiri is the highest of the peaks in the Baba Budangiri hills of the Western Ghats. You will be passing right by Mullayanagiri on your way to the BaBa Budan shrine, overlooking a vast panorama of resplendent grasslands, and rugged cliffs as far as the vision goes.
One of the 35 amazing waterfalls in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, the Hebbe Falls is known for its enchanting beauty. You can find medicinal herbs growing in shrubs along the waters, easily making it a must-visit place in Chikmagalur for biologists and botanists.
Kemmangundi is a serenity-filled hill-station perfect for a summer retreat. Lush forests, gurgling mountain streams, and well-kept gardens in the city by the Royal Horticultural Society of Karnataka makes Kemmangundi a perfect stop for a night near Baba Budan.
Glistening amidst massive mountains, the lake in alluring site for nature lovers. Especially at sunset, the saffron and vermillion of the sky create magical reflections in the waters, making the place a slice out of paradise. A drive to Hirekolale Lake can be accommodated on the day you are trekking to Baba Budan itself!
Also known as the Buttermilk Falls, this nature site is located at a distance of 12 km from Baba Budangiri. Surrounded by thick forests and coffee plantations, this falls is fed by several mountain springs. Stop by the waters to cool off and swim in the pool as sunlight plays through the foliage overhead.
Other Essential Information About Baba Budangiri
Image Credit: Dinesh Valke
1. Location: The area is administered under the Chikmagalur district of the state of Karnataka. Chikmagalur is a cherished spot for nature tourism and adventure, marked for the beauty and blissfulness in the lap of the Western Ghats mountains.
2. Mobile Connectivity: You can find sporadic mobile connectivity all through the trek up to the shrines of Baba Budan. However, it is best to finish with all important calls before trekking onward from Sarpadhari- the base camp village.
3. Places to Eat: All good eateries on the roadway to Baba Budangiri are located at a 10-11 km radius of the starting point. Check in at Coffee Barn Cafe- located on KM Road for a hot cup of that special Budangiri coffee. For a delectable and mildly flavorsome South-indian breakfast or lunch, stop by the Town Canteen on the Rathnagiri Road.
Tips for visiting Baba Budangiri
1. Pack in light warm clothing, though heavy layered clothing will not be necessary.
2. Carry your raincoat since brief showers are common, especially in the summers.
3. Do not schedule your onward journey from Chikmagalur to Budangiri by public transport at night. Viable transport by bus or shared jeeps are hard to find after 5 pm.
4. Attigundi is the base camp for Baba Budan Giri peak hike. Shared jeep from Chikmagalur to the town will charge 20-30 rupees.
5. Prepare well before the trek as the fairly high altitude and the rough-hewn trails starting from Mullayanagiri to Baba Budan could be challenging for an uninitiated trekker.