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About Baba Budangiri, Chikmagalur


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To the north of Chikkamagalur district of Karnataka, lies the Baba Budan Range of the Western Ghats of India. Baba Budangiri is a mountain in the Baba Budan Range and is renowned for its shrine to the Sufi Saint, Hazrat Dada Hayat Khalandar (also known as Baba Budan). This is a famous pilgrim site for both Hindus and Muslims and is often flocked by travellers. This famous mountain range is also known as Dattagiri Hill Range, as the shrine here is believed to be associated with Hindu God Guru Dattatreya. This mountain range proudly exhibits one of the highest mountain peaks, with altitude lying between that of the Himalayas and the Nilgiris. Legend has it that via the Chikamagalur district, coffee was first brought into India when the coffee crop was grown in Baba Budangiri Hills by Sufi Baba Budan during 1670 AD.

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In ancient time, Baba Budangiri Range was also called the Chandra Drona Parvatha. The Baba Budangiri Range includes- Mullayanagiri (height is 1930 meters or 6317 feet) and Dattagiri/ Baba Budangiri, (height 1895 meters); which are the highest peaks of the state of Karnataka. Collectively these peaks are named Chandradrona Parvatha Shreni due to their naturally formed shape of a crescent moon. Mullayanagiri (or Mullayangiri/Mullainagiri) is the highest peak in this Baba Budangiri Range. Kurinji is the unique species of flowers which bloom in these hills once every 12 years to witness which people from all over the world come down to this place.

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Baba Budangiri Hills are famous for their unique forest range in addition to hiking and trekking. Mullayanagari and Baba Budangiri have an amazing trekking trail in between. In addition to this, all the adventure lovers can hike through the forest to see the ancient shrine of Deviramma Betta. Sitalayanna Giri offers picturesque views of the surrounding mountain ranges. The most well-known trekking trails include- Baba Budangiri to Mullayanagri of 12 km, Budangiri to Gaalikere of 4 km, Budangiri to Manikyadhara Falls of 7 km, and from Attigudi Junction to Baba Budangiri of 6 km.

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This renowned shrine is named after the saint Baba Budan, who is equally revered by both the Muslims and the Hindus. The origin of this shrine appears to be a fusion of the reverence of various saints over a span of centuries, namely- Dada Hayath (Abdul Azeez Macci, Sufi Baba Budan and Dattatreya), who is considered as an incarnation of the Hindu Lord Shiva (or Brahma or Vishnu). Its religious status has been a controversial issue due to its status as a blended shrine.

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According to the ancient records, Abdul Azeez Macci (popularly known as Dada Hayath) was considered to be a direct disciple of the Prophet. He was hence sent to India from Saudi Arabia in the 11th century to spread the message of peace and Islam, with the true spirit of Sufism. On the other hand, Dattatreya originated later in developing a combined culture by synthesising Shaivite, Vaishnavite and the Sufi cultures together. Baba Budan was considered to be an incarnation of Dattatreya and hence, are considered interchangeable.

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This famous and enthralling trek starts from Mullayanagiri, which is the highest peak of Karnataka and ends at the Baba Budangiri peak, which is the second highest peak of Karnataka. The trekking trail joining the two peaks forms a great trekking route. The starting point of the trek is known as 'Sarpadhari', which means a path shaped like a snake in Kannada. The total trek distance is about 9 kilometres and takes about 5 hours for a group of enthusiastic and energetic trekkers to cover it. The route of this trek is easily available on the net, or you can just follow the white marks on the rocks and ridges on the way to reach your destination. Manikhyadhara Waterfall serves as the perfect camping spot and offers an alluring aura nestled in the laps of nature.

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There are a plethora of attractive places nearby to indulge in some recreations activities and enjoy some peaceful time with your family and loved ones. Some of those major tourist spots, which are undoubtedly not worth missing, are-

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Caves

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Located in the close vicinity, three caves are believed to be sanctified by the three Siddhas that contain their icons and tombs (gaddiges). An annual fair (Jatra) is also organised to honour them every year. There is also another spot located nearby which adds to the number of visitors here. Seethala, which contains a Mutt and the dual shrine temple of Seethala-Mallikarjuna.

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Waterfalls

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At a short distance, you can spot three waterfalls here known as Gada Theertha, Nallikayi Theertha and Kamana Theertha. These are located near Attigundi. According to Hindu Mythology, Gada Theertha was created by Bheema, the Pandava Prince to quench his mother's thirst while on an exile, using his gada. There is also another notion believed from the ancient times about Nallikayi Theertha. It is supposedly believed that the ones, who take a bath in the Nalliyaki Theertha formed by Manikya Dhara Waterfall, will surely leave one item of clothing here.

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Manikya Dhara Waterfall is located near Kemmangundi in the Chikkamagalur district. It is one of the major attractions of Baba Budangiri and hence attracts lots of Muslim and Hindus. It is located about 40 kilometres from Chikkamagalur district.

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Lake

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Galikere Lake can be easily accessed by taking a walk of about two kilometres near the temple. One more distinctive feature here is the unique range of mountain flowers known as 'Kurinji' blossoms in this hilly area once in about 12 years. The last time this mesmerising spectacle happened was in 2006, so it is believed to be repeated in the year 2018.

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The perfect time to pay a visit here is from September to March since the temperature remains pleasant during this time and pretty much enjoyable.

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Places to visit in Chikmagalur

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