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Located in Karnataka, Chikmagalur is a treasure trove of natural beauty. With magnificent mountain ranges, mighty falls, and lush green forests, Chikmagalur trekking is on the bucket list of every adventure lover. Nestled in the lap of the Nilgiris, it is a hill station that offers plenty to all kinds of tourists.
Nearest Airport: Mangalore
How to reach: by road
Famous for: Hill station, Highest Peak, Coffee plantations, Waterfalls and temples
Best time to Visit: November to May
Mullayyanagiri, Hirekolale Lake,
Kalhatti Falls, Baba Budangiri Temple/Mosque,
Coffee Plantation, Coffee Museum Chikmagalur,
Jhari Waterfalls, Hanuman Gundi Waterfalls,
Shankar Falls, Kadambi Falls
Chikmagalur is believed to have been offered as dowry to the youngest daughter of Rukmangada, the chief of Sakrepatna. Hence, the meaning of its name translates to ‘younger daughter’s town.’
Its establishment dates back to the medieval era. The ‘Hoysalas’ ruled the town for almost two centuries before the reign passed on to Hyder Ali and later by Tipu Sultan, the legendary ruler of Mysore.
Chikmagalur has a rich cultural heritage and takes great pride in its art and dance forms. Be it classical dance forms like Bharatanatyam or folk dances like Dollu Kunitha or Veragaese Kunitha; the town nurtures one and all.
There are plenty of fairs and festivals in Chikmagalur, with Diwali and Navratri being the most widely celebrated ones. Kailash fair is also held with much pomp and show.
Places of Interest in Chikmagalur:
Mullayanagiri - Karnataka’s Highest peak, Mullayanagiri, is a favorite among nature lovers and adventure buffs. Standing tall at 1950 meters, the summit offers mesmerizing panoramic views of nature. With mountain biking and trekking opportunities, it is an adventure lover’s utopia.
Hirekolale Lake - Hirekolale is an artificial lake surrounded by high mountains. Bordered by pine forests and overlooking the mighty Mullayanagiri, the scenic environment that envelopes the lake is breathtakingly beautiful.
Kalhatti Falls - The grand Kalhatti falls is one of the famous places to visit in Chikmagalur. Trekkers can walk to the falls via unpaved roads and even enjoy a bath. The place, housing the Veerabhadra temple built during the Vijayanagara era, is of historical importance as well.
Baba Budangiri - Besides being an important pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Muslims, Baba Budangiri is a trekker’s delight. Lined with forest trails, and overlooking a splendid view of the valley beneath, the mountain features on the itinerary of every Chikmagalur trek.
Coffee Plantations - A walk through India’s coffee kingdom is a unique experience that Chikmagalur trekkers treasure for a lifetime.
Chikmagalur’s Coffee Museum - A visit to the Coffee Museum is a dream come true for coffee lovers. The museum acquaints you with your favorite drink by providing a detailed description of the processes of the plantation.
Jhari Waterfalls - The Jhari falls exuberates natural splendor. Surrounded by tea and coffee plantations, the waterfall is nestled away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Trekkers can take a dip into the pool or enjoy the comforts of the Jhari resort Chikmagalur.
Hanuman Gundi Waterfalls - Hanuman Gundi falls, due to its sheer magnificence, attracts visitors from all over India. Bathing in the pool while water is pouring down over you from a hundred-feet height is a mesmerizing prospect for trekkers and adventure lovers.
Shankar Falls - At the Shankar falls, milky white water, rushing over a bed of boulders, and spraying white foam all around is a scene that makes every tourist’s heart jump with joy.
Kadambi Falls - Located inside the Kudremukh National Park, the Kadambi falls, covered with greenery on all sides, is a wonderful place to spend some quality time. The beauty of the falls is unparalleled during monsoon.
Nearby attractions from Chikmagalur:
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary - The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a variety of flora and fauna where you would get to see tigers, leopards, elephants, Macaques, cobras, and other species of birds, animals, and reptiles.
Hassan - Known mainly for the exquisite architecture of its temples, Hassan is a major tourist attraction in Karnataka. It is also well connected to Chikmagalur.
Belur and Halebeedu - Belur is an important tourist attraction owing to the magnificent sculptures housed and embossed into the walls of its temples. - Like Belur, Halebeedu is also known for its magnificent, ancient temples. The most famous temple in Halebeedu is the Hoysaleswara temple
Belavadi - This small village houses two of the most famous temples in the state. The Sri Veeranarayana temple, built out of soapstone, will leave you awestruck, thanks to the splendid Hoysala architecture it puts on display.
Hebbe Falls - With its magical view, the road to Hebbe falls is a delight for trekkers as natural beauty is littered all around the trail. The Hebbe falls also form a natural jacuzzi that has therapeutic properties.
Agumbe - A trek through the forests of Agumbe, also known as the Cherapunji of the South, will fill your heart with joy. This scenic location offers splendid sunset views and provides a mesmerizing vantage point to the countryside.
Kudremukh - Famous for its pristine natural beauty and rich biodiversity, the Kudremukh mountain range is a trekkers’ paradise. During the trek, you get to experience some of the most beautiful panoramic views that will remain etched in your heart for a long time. Also, the Kudremukh National park is home to a wide variety of plants, animals, and birds.
Other attractions in Chikmagalur:
Blooming of Neelakurinji flowers - Blooming once every 12 years, Neelakurinji flowers are a source of attraction in a Chikmagalur trek. When they bloom, these purple-blue wildflowers cover entire hillsides providing the onlookers a beautiful view.
Treks - With multiple trails overlooking some of the most stunning natural views in the country, Chikmagalur is thronged by trekkers from all over the country, round the year. The trail from the Baba Budan range to Mullayanagiri is a favorite of many.
Food - The local cuisine in Chikmagalur is the ‘Malanadu’ cuisine. Dishes in this part of India are known for their richness and the variety of spices that go into them. Kakadu and Akki roti are famous dishes of Chikmagalur, while the ‘Nendranga’ chips (banana chips) are also renowned.
Shopping - If you want to take back a piece of Chikmagalur’s famous art and crafts or sandalwood, or perfumes, then you will find several local shops around the coffee plantation. Also, you can take back a jar of top-quality coffee from the plantations, or select from the diverse range of spices they have to offer.
Where to stay in Chikmagalur:
Chikmagalur resorts make your experience in this green paradise even more beautiful. Various resorts offer a tranquil atmosphere to relax after a long day of trekking, offering delicious food of local cuisine and a chance to stay amidst the picturesque beauty of the waterfalls.
The Serai Resort, Chikmagalur - Located on a hillock, the Serai luxury resort will enhance your Chikmagalur trek experience. The resort is close to the trail to Mullayanagiri and offers great views of the mountain peak. It also organizes walks through the coffee plantations.
The Gateway, Chikmagalur - The colonial-styled cottages of this luxury resort set on the slopes of the Sahyadri Range take you a step closer to nature. Ayurveda massage sessions are a specialty of this resort.
Java Rain Resort - With its spa facilities, complimentary Mullayanagiri trip, and excellent views of Karnataka’s highest peak, Java Rain resort tops the charts when it comes to luxury resorts in Chikmagalur.
Trivik Hotel and Resorts - Trivik Hotel and Resort is encompassed by a coffee plantation and faces the majestic Mullayanagiri peak. The scenic views offered by the resort clubbed with its excellent facilities, is the perfect choice for spending a vacation at Chikmagalur.