Chikmagalur is a hill town which is next to Mullayanagari, Karnataka’s highest peak. Chikmagalur stands at a height of over 3400 mts above sea-level and this hill station has become a popular tourist destination. This being amongst forest areas, fresh cool wind and fresh water is always in abundance.
One of the best places to visit in Chikmagalur is Kemmanagundi. The Kemmanagundi village is situated in the Bhadra forest. The Z point trek is a well-known trek which is done on the northern side of the Mullayanagiri hills. Z point trekking is popular because of the hill’s shape. On this trek, you will be passing many waterfalls. You will be a witness of the beauty of the Western Ghats.
Kemmanagundi got its name from a combination of 3 words – Kempu, Mannu and Gundi. It means a pit of red soil and it’s a reference to the soil bed here which is good for coffee plantations and some other crops. Kemmangundi falls under Chikmagalur district of Karnataka. This quaint hill station is located in Tarikere Taluk. Waterfalls, streams and greenery of the Baba Budan Giri range encircle this town. Mountain views, beautiful gardens and valleys make a trip to Kemmanagundi special.
Kemmanagundi is also referred to as Karnataka’s Ooty because of its vegetation, mountains and waterfalls. It is at a height of 1434 meters above the sea level and is in the lap of Chikmagalur. It’s calm environment has also earned it the name of ‘Queen of Hills’. The weather remains comfortably cool throughout the year. It does not get more than 28 degree celsius even during summer. Earlier the hill was also known as Chandra Drona Parvatha and it was believed that medicinal plants grew there.
When in Chikmagalur, people love to go on treks. The weather helps too because expectedly it gets quite cold in winter, but there is sporadic rainfall during monsoon and the temperature during summer remains pleasant too. Kemmanagundi z-point trek offers some of the best views. One has to enter from Mullyannagari range. Along with walking trips, jeep rides, safari visits and picnics by the Kemmangundi Falls are popular too. If you want to explore only Kemmanagundi, these are the places to visit or things to do:
Let us know a little about Mullayangiri too, as both Jhari Falls and Hebbe Waterfalls/Kemmangundi Falls, which we will see, comes under Mullayanagiri trek. If you have ever thought about searching ‘HighestPointKarnataka’ on Google, know that it is the Mullayanagiri peak and is at a height of 6330 feet. Apart from Hebbe Falls, the other famous waterfalls here are:
Mullayanagari is Karnataka’s highest peak, so we will definitely not miss trekking to the highest point. Karnataka has few good trekking places but this trek is something different. One has to cross four hundred and fifty steps to reach a cave. Muappa Swamy, who was a holy man is believed to have meditated here. The cave is a shelter for bats now. If you start the trek from Sarpadhari, you will reach the summit in about three hours after trekking across approximately 3.5 kilometers.
It is advisable to start the trek very early in the morning. You will be able to enjoy the glorious early morning sunlight and the superb views the peak will offer. You will be able to stay longer till your heart’s content. For people who are new to trekking, they need to be careful during the first half of the trek. A steep climb is needed on a ground which is sixty or more degrees tilted, so that’s an almost vertical climb. Any time between September to February is the best time to go for this trek because the weather also remains at its best. The lowest the temperature gets is 14 degrees and the highest it gets is 32 degrees celsius. The flora and fauna during this period is also at its best.
The Jhari waterfalls is also a must-visit place to visit in Chikmagalur but it is 21 kms away from the main city. This waterfall is also known as the ‘Buttermilk Falls’. We will also visit this fall. Various coffee plantations and green forests are all around this waterfall. As mentioned earlier, the water falling from the falls form a natural pool at the lower part. You can have a good time swimming and playing in the water with your fellow travellers. You must visit the Jhari Falls in your Chikmagalur trip to refresh your tired mind and soul.It can be a bit difficult to pinpoint and say which is the best time to visit this waterfall but mid-monsoon can be said to be the ideal time. September to December is the best period but you will not miss out on anything if you come in August or January too.
To Jhari Falls from Baba Budangiri – The Jhari Falls is at a distance of 12 kms from Baba Budangiri and is located at Attigundi. This waterfall is an important part of Chikmagalur tourism because it is one of the most serene and tranquil places you will ever visit. The sweet sound of the water acts as a natural relaxant and is really harmonious. You will arrive at this waterfall by going on a high sloping road through coffee plantations. These coffee plantations are mostly private properties and it can be a little hard to find a parking spot if you go by car. At a distance of 4 kms from the Jhari Falls, there is a parking area. Nevertheless, jeeps are available from Baba Budangiri which you can hire on your trip. One jeep can accommodate six people, so you can share a jeep with fellow travellers. In that case you will need to pay around six hundred rupees.
Hebbe Falls is located at a distance of 10 kms from Kemmanagundi and falls under Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. As you move towards this waterfall, you find yourself passing by coffee estates. Visitors can take a jeep to the falls or reach by walking.The landscape view that you see here is very cinematic. This waterfall is an important waterfall out of the 35 found in Karnataka and while it falls, it gets divided into two parts – Dodda Hebbe meaning big falls and Chikka Hebbe meaning small falls. It has a height of about 551 feet. Try visiting Hebbe Falls when you come to Kemmanagundi. Tourists coming to the hill station mostly always visit this beautiful waterfall. This is one of the most popular spots in Chikmagalur for adventure and nature lovers. You can also hire a car to come here from Kemmanagundi, even taxis are available. For a jeep, you have to pay around 3000-3500 rupees.
If you love to trek, you can do that on the hills nearby. Experienced trekkers like to visit this waterfall by trekking right from Tarikere even if it takes them one whole day to reach Kemmanagundi. The 35 km trekking route with its flora and fauna and coffee estates makes it worth. The sound of Hebbe Falls is so powerful that it is audible from forests and from anywhere little distant from it. But if you are planning a visit during monsoon, trekking is not really recommended as the ground and rocks turn slippery. Medicinal herbs and plants which are not easily found anywhere else can be found in the forest surrounding the waterfall. These are known to cure many diseases or help in improving the condition of patients. This is a place which holds the interest of people who are into botany.
Spending time around Hebbe Falls – The Hebbe Falls have coffee plantations all around them and they make the area look totally insta-worthy photos. You can trek in the surrounding areas. If you are lucky, you might be able to spot animals like elephants or deer! Close to the waterfall, there are a few small ponds which you can visit. You can also go see the Chowdeshwari Maha Sakthi Devathe temple. Religious-minded people come here to pray and take holy baths. During the morning, the hills and the forest region gets covered with thick fog. In the monsoon, the fog worsens the visibility.When you are, do not forget to view the sunset from Kemmanagundi Hills.
When visiting Kemmanagundi, Z Point shouldn’t be missed. It is an exceptionally good viewpoint. After trekking for about half an hour on a steep slope, you will be reaching here.The trek starts from Raj Bhavan and the peak is great for sunset viewing. You will have to cover 2.5 kms while trekking uphill from Kemmanagundi.There might be snakes and the roads can be slippery too, so you need to be careful as you walk here. The petrichor and the twittering of the birds will make you realise how nice it is to be able to be in the lap of nature. You will be completely cut off from chaotic city life. For a jeep ride to Z Point, it will cost you 600 rupees and for entering you will have to pay 100 rupees at the checkpost. If the jeep ride seems costly to you, you can walk it. You will be allowed to be here from 6 am to 6 pm. Try to reach there as early in the morning as possible, so that you can clearly enjoy the breathtaking views minus the crowd. The journey by car to Kemmangundi will also be exceptional as the roads look picturesque early morning with greenery all around. Your jeep will ultimately move through curved narrow roads and green coffee plantations, making the ride adventurous.
If you are coming to Kemmanagundi z point on a vehicle, there are two places where you can park it. There is a place where security guards would stop you and would want you to walk till the peak. The other parking spot is near the garden maintained by the horticultural department. This spot is a lot closer to the top. Somewhere in between these two spots is the real starting point of the Z Point trekking peak trail. Because it is more convenient, people park their cars more at the second spot. If you are a trekker, leave your vehicle at the first starting spot to avoid the jam.
But be informed that no jeep will drop you exactly at Z Point. They will drop you halfway and you cannot avoid walking. Jeeps might ask you for as high as 800 rupees but if you are good at bargaining, you can bring it down to 500 rupees. If you are an avid trekker, avoid the jeep. Yes there might be leeches, so stay covered and carry salt. Even if you encounter rainfall, the muddy roads should not deter you in any way. The rain only helps in making the trail look gorgeous as you will be crossing.
The trail is the same for walking and for jeeps till about halfway and then the real adventurous trek starts. With a valley on one side, the trail gets narrower. The more you trek towards the peak, the stronger the winds get. The jaw dropping scenes when you trek to the peak will make you feel proud of your endeavour. Spend time looking at all the floating clouds and mountains around you!
The Z Point trekking is still not very popular but it will reward you with an unforgettable experience. If you have been thirsting for an adventurous trek where the trail might look even a bit scary, this is it for you. This is especially during rainy days. Come here during winter and the trekking will be a lot easier and also enjoyable.
During our trek to Z Point, we will come across Shanti Falls. It falls right in the middle of the trekking route and is about 900 meters from the starting point of the trail.This falls is located in a very quiet area and visitors come here on their bikes too. The water is fresh and can be used for drinking while trekking. It offers a good view too. The best time to visit this waterfall is monsoon or post monsoon. After February, the water may start drying up a little but one thing is consistent, the water will be cold throughout the year and might also dry up completely during summer. This waterfall is smaller than most other waterfalls but it is still not advisable to bathe here. You should not spend a lot of time here if you want to get the mountain view from the Z Point peak. The trekking route gets slippery from here and you need to be extra cautious. This mini waterfall will give a much desired break from trekking., so soak your legs, have a drink, take a small rest and move ahead!
So when you want a small trip which includes a trekking experience and also a jeep ride to see a waterfall, book this package for an unforgettable weekend trip.
6 pm - Meet with fellow travellers, introduce ourselves & start our bus journey
7 am - Arrive at base city and freshen up quickly. We should look good in those photos!
8 am - Breakfast in Karnataka style and start heading towards the z-point base.
11 am - Start Z-point trekking after reaching base. We’ll keep our mobiles in waterproof pouches to keep them protected from rain but we will use it to click some lovely photos on our way! The cold water of Shanti falls will greet us on our way. We will reach the viewpoint in some time.
2 pm - It’s time to refuel ourselves with lunch, so we start to return to base.
3 pm - Arrive at base and go to lunch place
3.30 pm - Though a little late, we’ll enjoy lunch and head towards our accommodation in Chikmagalur.
6 pm - Arrive at our stay
7 pm - Get fresh and ready for dinner at a local restaurant. Early dinner coz early to bed and early to rise tomorrow!
Accomodation in dorms with proper washrooms and comfortable beds.
4.35 am - Wake up & freshen up!
5.30 pm - Get in a car and head towards Mullayanagiri peak.
7 am - Reach Mullayanagari peak, look around and click pictures.
8 am - Start moving towards the base of Jhari Falls.
9 am - Arrive at Jhari Falls base and reach Jhari Falls by taking a jeep ride.
10 am - Reach there, enjoy the waterfalls, click more photos and head back.
11 am - Head towards base city to board your train.
1 pm - Lunch on the way. In case we don’t have enough time, we will get it parcelled.
4 pm - Get on our train to Hyderabad
8 am - Arrive at Hyderabad, say your goodbyes!