26 May 2012
It was only recently that I came to know about Mandalpatti. The movie “Gaalipata” was shot there increasing the popularity of the place. Breathtaking views, vast grasslands and dense forests make this area spectacular. And Government has made it easily accessible.
I and Sankara with our families had come to a home stay near Mandalpatti. I had heard that the roads were in bad condition. But recently it has been given a facelift. Hence we dropped the plan of hiring a Jeep but instead took our vehicle. The complete stretch is not tarred and at some places crushed stones were just put on the road. At one place our Innova had no space to go ahead. We had to get down and make these stone mountains flatter to allow the vehicle!! We sincerely hoped that there would be no rains as the entire road would turn slushy making the drive impossible.
After few km of dust filled uphill road, we hit a tar road. A wide opening is seen on the right side with some great views. Two Jeep loads of people who arrived before were all running from one place to other!! Looked like they were excited. Kids were equally thrilled and started climbing a hill nearby with cool breeze accelerating their spirits.
Moments later the jeep people were all gone. Apparently Mandalpatti was still few km ahead. With their exit the place fell into silence.
After sometime we decide to move ahead. Kids are reluctant with come back after we promise better places ahead. Indeed the road further was a treat for our eyes. It meandered though grasslands something similar that I had seen in Bababudangiri – Kemmangundi road.
Last stretch was bit difficult where we had to drive on a rocky path. After that stretch we reached end of the road. Ahead was forest department Office. The area falls under Pushpagiri wildlife reserve hence require permission from forest department to proceed further. Forest department has built a view point on top of the hill.
Again kids were first to climb the hill to reach the view point. Needless to say that the place was beautiful. One needs to experience it.
If you want to visit this place, go as soon as possible. The good roads constructed will open the floodgate of people. With people comes the litter. The place is already turning into a garbage dump. In no time, drunkards will get the news and come to destroy the sanity of this place. Looking at places like Kodachadri and Jogfalls the hope of “responsible tourism” does not fit into this land.