A travel Guide to Chikmagalur
Chikmagalur is a western district in the state of Karnataka. Over time, this small place has come to be a very popular tourist destination. Chikmagalur, India, is known for its aromatic coffee and is called ‘Coffee Land of Karnataka’. The district is located at the foothills of the Mullayanagiri ranges, and the Chikmagalur mountains are the source of rivers like Tunga and Bhadra.
Apart from its stunning hills and gorgeous waterfalls, there are many Chikmagalur tourist attractions that give a reason to tourists coming here year in and year out. It has a rich history and is home to many temples, which see devotees coming from all parts of the country. There are many reserves and sanctuaries that house a variety of flora and fauna. With a lot of scope in terms of tourism, the place sees a huge influx of tourists during peak season, which makes most hotels in Chikmagalur overflow with people.
Chikmagalur tours show the underlying culture and heritage of this otherwise modern city.
Places to visit in Chikmagalur
It is one of the most-visited and well-known Chikmagalur attractions. Standing tall at around 1950 metres, it is the tallest peak in the state of Karnataka. It is a favourite amongst trekkers as the area provides a good enough route for the activity. Right at the peak is a beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Many devotees scale the mountain just to catch a glimpse of this holy spot. Located around 12 km away from Chikmagalur, this journey will surely be worth the hassle. The spring season is the best time to visit these hills as the environment and the view are stunning.
2. Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
It is a Tiger Reserve project located 38 km away, in the northwest of Chikmagalur. The River Bhadra flows through the sanctuary and hence is named after the gorgeous river. An estimated total of 33 tigers can be found here, along with leopards, wild boars, and many rare species like the Malabar Giant Squirrel. One of the main attractions inside is a giant teak tree called Jagara, which is around 300 years old. The sanctuary is open for visitors from 6:30 am and 8:30 am and 4 pm and 6 pm. This reserve is surely one of the important places in Chikmagalur tourism and must be visited.
3. Sringeri Sharada Peetham
Placed on the banks of Tunga, the Sringeri Sharada Peetham is the first of many Advait Mathas in the city of Chikmagalur. It was established by Adi Shankaracharya, who was spellbound by the natural beauty of the region. There is a legend that says he had seen a cobra providing shade to a pregnant frog. Moved by this act of kindness, he went to build this sacred place. To date, the Sharada Peetham is overseen by the unbroken chain of Acharyas who have been able to maintain the principles of the Sanatana Dharma. The diminutive town of Sringeri adds to the tourist charm of the area due to its many historical stories and other temples. All this combines into one of the popular Chikmagalur tourist places.
4. Baba Budangiri
Another popular trekking destination, Baba Budangiri, known as Chandra Drona Parvatha, falls under the major Chikmagalur attractions. This grand mountain is famous for a shrine built in memory of Hazrat Dada Hayat Khalandar. The most astonishing and heartwarming facts about this shrine are that it is a pilgrimage spot for Hindus and Muslims. There are also three stunning caves located here where several festivals are held every year. Apart from the holy and historical aspect of the mountain, it is scenic and picturesque, which make for perfect snapshots.
5. Hebbe Falls
Another one of the popular Chikmagalur tourist places is these amazing waterfalls. It is located near the popular hill station of Kemmangundi and tourists often come here to witness the many natural wonders. Surrounded by coffee plantations, the smell of the beans is bound to cross paths with you while strolling amongst these magical falls. There are many cab services that bring you here, while some prefer trekking to the falls to experience nature at its finest.
Things to do in Chikmagalur
Along with the many places to see, here are some things to do in Chikmagalur.
Visit a coffee plantation
Chikmagalur travel guide takes one through the multiple coffee plantations in the state. Rumoured to be the first place where coffee was made, it would be a waste not to visit one of the several coffee plantations while in Chikmagalur. Most of these estates are stay-in plantations, where accommodation facilities are available for tourists to spend a few days amongst the fragrant coffee. Many privately owned estates organise tours, allowing visitors to walk through these fascinating plantations.
Rafting through the Bhadra
All adventure seekers must try rafting through the waters of the Bhadra river. This has become a popular activity in Chikmagalur tourism. There are trained instructors who will guide at every step of the way, so safety is not in question. Many hotels provide such rafting activities to their guests. From June to October, the water level of the river is quite good and conducive for rafting.
Trek through the Kudremukh
The Kundremukh mountain is the second highest peak in Chikmagalur. While the lush green stretches of land may be aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, a trek through them can be a pin to your legs. But the trek enthusiasts love a good challenge and hence it being amongst the Chikmagalur attractions. Children and Elderly people are advised not to try out this particular activity as it takes close to 9-10 hours to complete this 9.5 km long trek.
Witness the Neelakurinji bloom
This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. The Neelakurinji flowers bloom once every 12 years, in the months of April and May. When in full bloom, they cover the entire hillside in a purplish-blue hue. You can enquire beforehand if these unique flowers are in bloom or not. This is one of the true beauty of Chikmagalur tourism.
Best time to visit Chikmagalur
The monsoons are certainly not the best season to visit Chikmagalur. It receives heavy rainfall between June and September. Tourist activities can not be done in this weather. During summers, although the temperature increases, it tends to stay below 35 degrees. The winters see very pleasant and cool weather, with temperatures ranging from 14 to 32 degrees.
Hence the best time to visit Chikmagalur would be between September and May, which is perfect for tourists to come and revel in the grandeur of the city.
How to reach Chikmagalur
You need not worry about how to reach Chikmagalur because there are a few convenient ways to travel here.
By Air: The Mangalore airport is closest to the city (113 km). Tourists can board flights to Mangalore, from where you can take a taxi to Chikmagalur. One can board on flights from Bangalore and Hubli.
By Rail: There is no direct train to Chikmagalur. The nearest railway stations are in Birur, Kadur, and Tarikere.
By Road: Chikmagalur is well-connected to neighbouring cities like Koppa, Sringeri, and Kadur through two National Highways.
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