Are you not tired of the constant grind that you are in every day? Well, you deserve a break- spend a few days nestled amidst the glory of Mother Nature. If you want a calm, relaxing, and rejuvenating vacation, we know just the place for you! Take some time off, and plan a trip to Chikmagalur- a small hill station in southwestern Karnataka, filled with aromatic coffee estates, and blessed with cascading ranges of the Western Ghats, the constant hymns of the magnificent waterfalls, and the sprawling lush green forests! Your mind, body, and soul will thank you for the tranquil break!
Before setting off for your trip, get to know a little about the places of interest and the ones you absolutely cannot afford to miss!
Situated among the gorgeous Kemmanagundi Hills, this 168 meters high cascading waterfall is a wonder to look at! It is divided into two parts, namely, the Dodda Hebbe and the Chikka Hebbe.Once you traverse the slightly tedious route to reach the falls, you will be amazed at the beauty that this place offers. You can even take a dip in the cool and clear waters of the fall. Presently, biologists have deemed this site a marvel, owing to the numerous medicinal herbs found here. The Hebbe Falls opens at 6 am and closes at 6 pm, so you can visit anytime in between!
To get a bird’s eye view of the whole of Chikmagalur, you ought to pay a visit to the highest peak in Karnataka- Mullayanagiri. You and your family can go on a trekking, hiking, or mountain biking adventure here! Once you reach the summit, situated at an altitude of 1950 meters, you will find a quaint temple dedicated to a seer named Mullapa Swamy. It will take you about 4 hours to tour the Mullayanagiri, and you will have to pay Rs. 250-300 at the Forest Department Checkpost.
A part of the Dattatreya Peeta range of the Western Ghats, the Baba Budangiri is another picturesque peak in Chikmagalur. This peak attracts tourists not only because it is beautiful but also due to its ethnic significance- you will find a famous shrine here that bears importance among Hindus, Muslims, as well as Parsis. This 1895 meter high peak is open to visitors every day from 8 am to 5 pm, and September to early March is the best time to come here!
If you want to visit an almost paradise-like place while in Chikmagalur, you must not miss out on the heavenly Kallthagiri Falls. You can take millions of pictures at the Z Point and the Rock Garden- both of which are part of the venue. You can even go hiking or trekking around the falls and enjoy the view! The venue is open from 7 am to 6 pm and will take you about 3 hours for the complete trip!
Chikmagalur is filled with a variety of gorgeous waterfalls. The Manikyadhara Falls, located at a distance of 7 kms from Baba Budangiri Dattatreya Peetha, is a real marvel! Even during the warm summer days, the water of this waterfall remains as cool as ever! This tourist spot is open all year round, but the best time to visit this place is between October and April.
If you like to spend time among flora and fauna of every place you visit, you should definitely spend some time at the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary! You would find wild boars to tigers and everything in between here! It was also declared as the 25th Project Tiger of India in 1998. The sanctuary is open from 6:30 am to 6 pm every day, and you would have to pay Rs 400 as a Safari fee.
This dam was built on one of the significant rivers of India- the Bhadra Dam. It is a scenic place that connects you to various picnic and tourist spots like Mullayanagiri and Kudremukh. You can spend about an hour on this dam, click Instagrammable pictures, and take in the concrete view! You can come here anytime between 10 am and 4 pm, and no entry fee is required.
The temple dedicated to Annapoorani- the goddess of food, on the banks of the river Bhadra, called the Hornadu Annapoorneshwari temple, is a must-visit when you are in Chikmagalur. Nestled amidst the lush greenery that the Western Ghats offer, the temple provides a serene escape from your busy life. The temple is open to the public from 6:30 am to 9 pm every day, but try to pay a visit during the prayer sessions - the atmosphere is exceptional then!
Would you like to visit a place surrounded by lush greenery, magnificent mountains, and enchanting waterfalls? Then Kudremukh is the right choice for you! It is a quaint spot, perfect for a day trip with your friends or family, and it makes for a pleasant getaway from the crowded city life. You can avail of the Kudremukh Peak Trek experience or explore the Kudremukh National Park.
If ancient mythology and architecture fascinate you, paying a visit to one of the most ancient temples of India is a must! The 12th-century temple named Sri Veera Narayana Temple was built by the kings of the famed Hoysala dynasty. It houses three shrines or ‘trikuta,’ all dedicated to three different avatars of Vishnu- Veera Narayana, Narasimha, and Gopal Krishna. The temple gates open to the public every day at 8 am and close at 7:30 pm.
Want to spend a quiet and relaxed time during your stay at Chikmagalur? Head over to the man-made wonder that is the Hirekolake Lake. It is surrounded by stunning mountain peaks and serves as the perfect sunset viewing spot! The place does not have an entry fee and is open from 6 am to 6 pm. Shutterbugs, don’t forget your cameras when you visit the lake!
Belur is a small town in Chikmagalur, a treasure trove of ancient temples, monuments, and holy shrines. It was the erstwhile capital of the Hoysala dynasty. Situated on the banks of the Yagachi River, this quaint town filled with several architectural wonders offers quite a few tourist attractions. This historically significant town is also the house of the Chennakesava Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Another town near Chikmagalur which is steeped in history is Halebidu. You will find admirable proof of Hoysala architecture by touring the beautiful Hindu and Jain temples. It is located about 15 kilometers from Belur.
Did you know, Chikmagalur is said to be the place where coffee was first introduced in India? On his way to Mecca, a Muslim saint named Baba Budan came across coffee and smuggled seven beans through the Yemeni port in Mocha. After coming back, he produced the first coffee crops in Chikmagalur. To know more about coffee, and taste some fine concoctions, pay a visit to the Coffee Museum. It is closed on weekends, but opens from 10 am to 7 pm on weekdays. It requires a Rs 20 entry fee.
Another great way to bask in the aroma of coffee, and experience its making and cultivation, is by booking a Chikmagalur coffee estate tour. Coffee experts will walk you around the estate for hours, while explaining the interesting points about coffee! This is one tour you will never forget in your life!
Chikmagalur Tea Plantations
Chikmagalur also houses several tea plantation estates that date back to the British era. To witness the process of plucking tea leaves and learn more about exotic teas, you ought to spend some time at the plantation estates. If you are a tea connoisseur, these must be on your checklist!
If you like trekking and swimming, then the Hanumana Gundi Falls will allow you to explore both options! The waterfall starts from 22 meters above sea level, and continues for about 996 meters creating a deep trench! The sight is so beautiful- it is hard to take your eyes away from the waterfall and its surroundings.
The Sharadamba Temple is a holy shrine dedicated to Goddess Sharadamba. It is located in a charming, hill-town pilgrim site named Sringeri. You will find several other beautiful temples in Sringeri, dedicated to numerous deities. This town was also home to the first-ever ‘matha’ established by the famed seer Sri Adi Shankara. If you are an inherently religious person, you will love a trip to Sringeri.
If you like visiting serene, secluded, and lesser-known places, then you will love spending time at the stunning Kadambi Falls. The tourist crowds have not yet discovered it, which makes the place all the more special! You can even have a picnic with your loved ones here.
Lakes are the perfect spot for winter afternoon picnics! If you want ot enjoy one with your family, head over to Ayyanakere Lake. It is surrounded by tranquil and pleasing scenery and is open from morning to evening!
Kavikal Gandi View Point
If you like clicking pictures of scenic landscapes, you are in for a treat! The Kavikal Gandi View Point offers the perfect spot wherefrom your eyes can take in the majestic views that nature offers. It is near Baba Budangiri and remains open all day long!
Trek or ride your bike to the Kyathanamakki point for a fun and exciting trip to this point! The place is filled with captivating green rolling hills, and several waterfalls, and streams. This spot is open to the public from 9 am to 4 pm.
When in Chikmagalur, the Kodandarama Temple is a must-visit for every history buff. This place has mythical significance, as it is dedicated to Lord Rama and his brother Lakshmana, and the architecture is worth the travel! The temple is open from 5 am to 12 pm and once again from 4 pm to 9 pm.