Five friends had camped the previous night at the banks of the river Cauvery at Talakad and had spent the morning exploring the underground temples of Talakad.
We had lunch at a rustic looking hotel and then proceeded towards Male Mahadeshwara betta ( MM Hills). The roads were a butt breaker as anticipated, but once we hit the winding ghat roads, the aura of the picturesque surroundings took over.
Male Mahadeshwara hills is located in the Chamarajnagar district of Karnataka and borders the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. This entire terrain was once the hideout of the sandalwood brigand, Verappan.
We kept meandering through the extremely beautiful countryside till we arrived at a very remote village. We parked our vehicles here and started trekking uphill with all our camping gear.
The idea was to find a flat piece of land deep within the forested hills that would end up being our camp ground for the night. After an hour of steep trekking, we found ourselves a great flat with a phenomenal view.
Upon reaching the flat, we unpacked and started pitching in our tents. The evening was setting in quickly and hence we rushed in to collect our share of firewood that would keep us warm through the night.
What followed next was typical with our camping trips. A ripping, raging and roaring camp fire, a tribal dance around the camp fire and hot sumptuous noodles cooked over the fire.
Post dinner, the group enjoyed sipping into their respective beverages while staring at the brilliant star lit sky.
It was just before midnight when the wind speed picked up and the temperatures started dropping. This is when all of us decided to turn ourselves into the comforts of our warm sleeping bags.
Morning was a relaxed affair. I woke up to the smell of noodles and toast. By the time we had finished breakfast, the sun had risen quite high in the sky, though it was just 8 AM.
Shortly, we had packed up all our stuff and started our descent towards our vehicles. Descent was quick. We spent some time exploring the village and after getting directions from the locals, we proceeded towards the Male Mahadeshwara temple.
A 30 minute drive took us to the Shiva Temple that makes this place famous. The entire place was swarming with people. Upon reaching the temple, we found out that it was festive season. We offered our prayers at the temple, admired the colourful shops around and then readied ourselves to get back on the road.
A very peaceful experience for us at the Male Mahadeshwara Hills!!