Next morning (May 10th), we were up and ready by 8:00 AM. Akki and I drove to Surabhi hotel in town to have our morning tea. We were served breakfast at the homestay. At around 9:00 AM, we left to Mandalpatti. Mandalpatti is a hill station close to Madekeri town. When you are driving from Somwarpet you need to take a right towards Abbi falls and then the routes to Mandalpatti and Abbi falls diverge like a letter Y. Here you shall find several jeeps for rent that take you to the top. They charge you Rs1400 from this point. For about 9 kilometres from here there are paved roads which lead you up to the gates to the summit. You could find a few jeeps to rent here too. That might work out cheaper but not sure if they are always available. Then begins a bumpy ride on the hill.
Seems like this path once had paved roads and now the jeep owners, for their bread and butter, do not encourage the Government to re-pave them. A visit after the rains would be very beautiful here but anyways, Western Ghats are evergreen forest and thus we got a pleasant view even at this time.
At the forest office, we pay an entry fee of Rs 25 per person. The trail behind the office leads you to the summit. This place gained popularity after a Kannada film called "Gaalipata" was shot here. Now it attracts a crowd of tourists year round. The summit was terribly crowded when we arrived.
We lingered there for a while until most of them left and enjoyed the view for a while before deciding to return.
On our way back, we made a quick stop at Abbi falls which was again very crowded. You are not allowed to walk down to the water but are only supposed to view it from a hanging bridge; so there is nothing much to do here apart from some photography.