Mullayyana Giri is the highest peak in Karnataka and is a must visit spot if you’re touring the Malenadu area (Shivamogga, Chikkamagalur, western ghats etc). Mullayanagiri is at 1930 meters above mean sea level, twice the altitude of Bangalore.
First thing that excited me about Mullayanagiri is the drive till top. We’d driven to Mullayana Giri during October 2011 in an Aria- that was my first visit and I wasn’t familiar with the territory then. It was evening time and was getting dark. The uphill drive was exhilarating. The last few kms were breath taking- the road was narrow, just enough for one car at a time. On our right was the deep valley- one wrong move and the entire vehicle would have slid off. Luckily for us, we didn’t have to encounter a face-to-face situation with a vehicle returning from opposite direction.
Not contended with the first visit, we made another visit this March, this time with enough time to spare. The drive was as good as earlier, but my familiarity with the turns ruined the thrill and suspense. Once on top, we spent more time exploring it. A small hike from parking lot took us to the peak- which had a Lord Shiva temple on top of it. Adjacent to the temple is also a police booth housing wireless relay station.
Mullayyana Giri is also an excellent trekking destination. One can trek to Kemmannugundi/Habbe falls, Baba Budan Giri or other nearby places from here. Readymade trails exist, but expect reduced tree cover during summer months and carry enough water. The destination is also an excellent choice for cycling. Roads are good and traffic is less. View is amazing.
Thankfully there’re no shops in Mullayyana giri selling cigarettes and other petty stuff. Probably for this reason, there’s very little littering and location remains clean. Hope it remains that way
Seethalallayyana Giri Matt is a stopover place 3 kms before Mullayanagiri. Bababudan Giri and Manikyadhara falls could be your next destination once you’re done exploring Mullayana Giri.