Unwind yourself from the mundane daily routine of life, and plan a trip to the lush green forests of Chikmagalur. Wake up with a steaming cup of strong coffee amidst the green hills and beautiful waterfalls. But before you pack your bags, run a short background check about the place so that you do not miss out on any attraction! When you decide to venture and spend some time at a new place, it is always advisable to know a few things before your travel. So, here is everything you need to know about Chikmagalur- a peaceful hill station in Karnataka!
Chikmagalur: At a glance
Chikkamagaluru or Chikmagalur is a charming hilly district in Karnataka, on the foothills of the Mullayanagiri range. Over time it has become one of the favourite tourist spots in the state, and rightly so!
Historically speaking, the Hoysala dynasty that ruled a significant part of the Indian Subcontinent between 1110 A.D. and 1326 A.D spent their initial days in the region presently called Chikmagalur. Legend says the tiger immortalised in the Hoysala crest was killed by Sala- the founder of the dynasty, in a place currently known as Angadi in the Mudigere Taluk in Chikmagalur. Veera Ballala II built even the Amriteshwara temple at Amrithapura in Tarikere Taluk.
This scenic holiday destination in Karnataka is the source of the rivers Tunga and Bhadra, and this is the land where coffee was first cultivated in India. It is well connected to all the eminent cities by roadways and railways and is presently well-known as the hotspot for education, trade, and commerce!
Chikmagalur: Why is it called so?
Almost every place of prominence has a story behind its name- and so does this hill station! The origin of the name of Chikmagalur takes one back to one of the many legends that surround this place. The name ‘Chikmagalur’ is derived from ‘Chikkamagala Uru,’ (a Kanada word), which literally translates to ‘the town of the younger daughter’.
This little village in southwestern Karnataka is claimed to have been given as a dowry to the younger daughter of Sakkarepatna's legendary king, King Rukmangada. Since then, the town has been referred to as 'Chikkamagaluru' or 'Chikmagalur.'
The language of Chikmagalur
Chikmagalur is a melting pot of culture and ethnicity- and the various types of temples and other places of worship, dedicated to numerous deities, bear testimony to this fact! Of the few languages spoken in this district, the most popular one is Kannada- about 72.74% of the total population of Chikmagalur is fluent in this language. The other lesser-known languages spoken by the rest of the people are Urdu and Tulu. Even as tourists who are not familiar with these languages, you can survive here. Most of the tourist guides and other business-owning people converse in English with the tourists who frequent this place!
What makes Chikmagalur a famous holiday destination?
Chikmagalur stands out amongst so many other beautiful places, not just for one simple reason! Here are a few of the things that make Chikmagalur such a famous tourist spot:
The pleasant weather
The weather in Chikmagalur is pleasant and favourable throughout the year, which attracts several tourists all year round. It is the perfect place for a getaway, mainly because it is never too hot or cold here!
The coffee plantations
Filter coffee is presently a rage all over India- people are ready to stand in lines in front of cafes that sell authentic filter coffee! The origin of coffee in India has a lot to do with this little hill station at the foothills of the Western Ghats. It is commonly said, a Muslim saint named Baba Budan was the first to discover coffee while he crossed the seaport of Mocha, Yemen, on his way to Mecca. The aroma of the seeds tempted him so much that he brought back seven coffee beans to India. The first coffee crop in India was grown in 1670 in the Baba Budan Giri Hills. Later, with help from the British, the coffee industry flourished in India and became the primary source of employment in Chikmagalur. Today, Chikmagalur is popularly called ‘the coffee land of Karnataka’.
The stunning landscape
Whether you like waterfalls or magnificent hills, you can see them all at Chikmagalur. It houses the highest peak of Karnataka- the Mullayanagiri peak, which is 2000m high and gives you a spectacular view of the entire hill station! The place is adorned with numerous waterfalls- one among them being the Kalhatti Falls, about 400 feet in length! If you want to witness mother nature in all its glory, you ought to visit Chikmagalur once!
Chikmagalur is quite famous for the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary that houses every species of fauna you might come across in southwestern Karnataka! Tiger, leopards, wild boars- you name it, you will find it here! Thus it is the perfect spot for budding wildlife photographers.
When should you visit Chikmagalur?
One of the best things about Chikmagalur is the pleasant climate throughout the year. The monsoons bring out a spark in the lush greenery that this place offers. The summers and winters are pretty enjoyable as well. But if you have to pinpoint, the best time to visit this delightful hill station is between October to March.
What to wear when in Chikmagalur?
Owing to the lovely weather, you can wear absolutely anything while touring in Chikmagalur. During summers, breezy cotton apparels are perfect. If you are planning for a winter trip, be sure to carry light woollen clothes.
Special cuisines to taste at Chikmagalur:
If you are a foodie, you must have a list of speciality foods you ought to try whenever you visit a particular place! When you plan a trip to Chikmagalur, there are a few delicacies that you should not miss out on- the first, of course, being the famous filter coffee. The taste, the flavour, and the aroma will make you fall in love with it! You should also try the local Pathrode or Patravadi. Do not miss out on the appetising Halasina Kayi Pappad or Jackfruit Pappad, Akki Roti, Cheenikayi Kadubu or Pumpkin Idlis too!
Is it safe to visit Chikmagalur at present?
The Pandemic has taken the fun out of vacations. There are too many rules and regulations to adhere to if you want a safe trip. As the number of Covid cases goes down, you can hop back on your travel plans! Chikmagalur is a safe place, where tourist flow has once again started. Always check out the following before you start your journey in these trying times:
● Carry a Covid-19 negative certificate.
● Get both doses of the Covid vaccine, and keep that certificate with you.
● Wear a mask at all times, whenever you are out in public.
● For domestic tourists, if you have no symptoms of Covid, there is no need for quarantine.
As we get back to our everyday lives, it is essential to follow the restrictions so that the country can come out of this pandemic faster and for good. Do not plan a trip anywhere if you are not fully vaccinated yet.
How to go to Chikmagalur?
Chikmagalur is well connected to all the major cities of Karnataka via several roads and railways. You can reach Chikmagalur via road, or rail, or even air. If you plan to travel by road, you can book a bus from Bangalore, Mysore, or Bangalore. Depending on where you board the bus, it will take about 4 to 6 hours to reach Chikmagalur.
There are several train routes you can avail of based on where you stay or which is more comfortable for you. The two airports closest to Chikmagalur are Mangalore and Bangalore. You can book a flight to either of these airports and then take a bus or private taxi to reach Chikmagalur.
How far is Chikmagalur from Bangalore?
Bangalore and Chikmagalur are not too far for travel. It is separated by a distance of about 243kms by road and 201kms by air. You can drive through NH75, NH73, or NH48 to reach Chikmagalur from Bangalore if you like long drives. Each of these routes is agreeable, smooth, and scenic. You will have a good time on the journey as well!
Now that you have familiarized yourself with what to expect in Chikmagalur, it is time to pack the bags and finalise the dates! If you are optimistic about this trip, you can leave the rest on us. We will take care of all the formalities so that you can enjoy your vacation in the best possible manner! You can just forget your worries and trust us!