A Small Hike and a Soothing Afternoon

It was the month of February. The pandemic was already in the air, just that we didn’t know much about it.  The world at large wasn’t much affected till then. I received a call from a friend who informed that he had taken a sabbatical and planned to go to his hometown in Kalimpong. And, that he wanted to spend some time travelling in the North East. Back then neither he nor I had any idea that God had other plans and his sabbatical would not serve its due purpose. Before leaving Bangalore, he wished to go for a day hike somewhere in the outskirts of the city.

Achalu Betta

The following weekend, we were on our way towards Achalu Betta. Another friend had joined in and so it was the three of us. Achalu Betta, also known as Muneshwarana Betta, is a small hillock located in a sleepy village known as Achalu (‘Betta’ is a Kannada word meaning Hill). Just about 57 Km from Bangalore, this village has a temple that’s situated on the hilltop. The temple is dedicated to Lord Muneshwara, a form of Lord Shiva.

Pic 1: A ‘Nandi‘ idol at the hilltop overlooks the village.

Once we reached the village, it took us a little while to figure out the way up the hill. We could see a portion of the temple and a set of stairs going up but we had no intention of taking the stairs. There were not many people around to ask for help and not knowing the local language was another handicap. After a little deliberation, we did manage to find a trail that would take us up. A little more than an hour and we were up after a steady climb of about 3Km. The sun was shining bright making it a little tiring but the lovely panoramic view of the surroundings terrain more than made up for it. Also, there was nobody other than the three of us. It couldn’t have been better.

Pic 2: A villager with his bullock cart going towards the cultivation field located closeby.


After a quick lunch somewhere in a roadside eatery, we went towards Muthathi, a settlement located about 100 Km. from Bangalore.  Muthathi is situated on the banks of River Cauvery and remains surrounded by a dense forest, which is part of the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary. As the car speeded towards the sanctuary, the surroundings gave way to a fresh and verdant green. Tall trees of various kinds lined up both sides of the road against a backdrop of low lying green hills. Needless to say that it was an enthralling drive with dense jungle on both sides of a neat and well-paved straight road.

But the peace and tranquility of this stretch didn’t last very long. Soon we reached the riverfront only to encounter a chaotic situation. Hordes of people were all over the place cooking, eating, and merry making. They looked like people from the nearby areas. Though there were families and children, the crowd didn’t feel very decent. Feeling awkward and out of place, we left the place. We got to know only later that it was a festival day for the local people.

Pic 3: The calm and serene River Cauvery, though the water level was low at that time.
Pic 4: Another picture of the soothing river water.

A little ahead, we found a quiet place by the river. Excited, we parked the car and headed out to the river. Locating a nice spot, we opened our shoes, dipped out feet into the cool and soothing river water. In less than 10 min, a forest guard appeared from nowhere asking us to leave immediately. Apparently people are allowed only in the picnic spot that we had just left behind. Our attempts to convince him went in vain and we had to leave.

Pic 5: My friend goes scouting for a place deep enough to swim.
Pic 6: The afternoon was hot but the water was cool and this place had fishes swimming all over.

Further ahead we located a place that looked like a government guest house. Eager to spend more time in the river, my friend promptly went in to seek permission. He was told prior booking was mandatory. However, a little bit of convincing worked in this case and they allowed us to spend time beside the river though it was chargeable.

Once again, it was just the three of us. We had the soft flowing Cauvery just to ourselves. We spent a leisurely afternoon. While I chose a flat rock and sat there dipping my feet, both my friends swam around in the water. The afternoon slipped by as tiny fishes nibbled at my toes and soles. Evening descended sooner than we thought and it was time to leave for Bangalore.

Pic 7: The three musketeers in one frame!

Author: neelstoria

Traveling, Gardening, Trekking, Hiking, Storytelling, Writing, Nature, Outdoors, Yoga, DIY

23 thoughts on “A Small Hike and a Soothing Afternoon”

  1. Sounds like a lovely day. It is a bit of a bother when guards are insistent, but having seen how much damage is done to nature by random picnickers, I’m not really annoyed by people doing their job. Charging to sit by the river is something I would find more bothersome (hope they at least pick up trash and clean the place).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Totally agree with you. In fact, this week I happened to be at the same spot once again. There were no picnickers this time but the amount of trash all around was shocking. More so, considering no other picnics would have happened this year. So, they did not pick up the trash and clean it up afterall.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a nice place as long as you can stay away from the crowd and find a suitable place to sit besides the river. Happened to be there again last week, the water level was much higher. We did find a quiet spot to sit a while and all along remained wary about a forest guard discovering us. But of course you must go and experience the river for yourself.


  2. Looks like an interesting day out. This must have been your first hike near Bangalore? I have been to Cauvery WS a couple of years ago. I’m not sure if this falls in the same route or some other approach.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This wasn’t the first hike, Arvind. I have done tow others. Haven’t written about those yet. One recently and another about 4 years back. That was Cauvery Water Front. It’s the same place I guess.


  3. It’s so nice to read about the world before the Pandemic changed our lives. Beautiful pictures and such a vivid description of the day 🙂
    Despite my best efforts, I could only manage a handful of hikes during my short stint in Bangalore. There are so many Bettas spread all around the city that I missed visiting, including this one. Hoping to make amends someday and I’ll count on you to help me with prioritising the better ones 🙂
    Until then, stay safe and keep sharing more experiences, Neel! Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I absolutely can help you with finding those bettas to climb. Though I don’t have a lot of knowledge but can surely connect you with a friend who knows all such places. And, know what…..I did another one in the 1st week of Dec. Will write about it soon.
      Thanks for reading. 🙂
      And, apologies for the delayed response. Been really caught up. Sending good wishes your way for the new year.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: