Mullayanagiri, the highest peak in Karnataka is located in Chikmagalur is 1,930 meters high and is frequented by avid trekkers. Chikamagalur is about 244 kilometers and it is a four and a half hour drive from the city. So, you can either drive down and make it a road trip or just take an overnight bus to Chikmagalur. It is part of the Baba Budangiri Range and it is believed that Mulappa Swamy, a saint, used to meditate in the tomb at the peak. Hence, it is called Mullayanagiri. The duration of the trek is about three hours and an easy to moderate level trek.
The starting point of the trek is Sarpadhari which is about 15 kilometers from Chikmagalur. The stone-strewn pathway then opens out to a rocky stairway that you can climb. While you huff and puff your way to the top, you’ll find plenty to marvel at. The hill is covered in unspoiled greenery and you can spot colourful flowers and shrubbery peeking at you. The terrain also features plenty of shrines, many of them dedicated to Nandi, and there’s a prominent temple at the peak too. Feel free to look into caves and gorges along the way, although we don’t recommend that you explore them. The best time to trek Mullayangiri is from September to April and if you want to witness the beauty of Western Ghats at its best then head there from June to September.
You can go one step further and trek further to Baba Budangiri which is about 10 kilometers from Mullayanagiri. Make sure to carry water bottles, snacks and raincoats as there’s very little access to amenities on the peak. Do carry a warm jacket because it tends to get chilly as you make your ascent. You will also need a permit from the local forest department to make the trek.