Popularly known as the ‘Coffee Land of Karnataka’, Chikmagalur is situated in the foothills of the Mullayangiri Range and is one of the most beautiful hill stations in Karnataka. This place welcomes you with fresh oxygen and lush greenery making it a perfect weekend getaway for people living in Bangalore.
Apart from its fascinating beauty and verdant landscape, it is home to different cultures and religions. When translated the world Chikmagalur in English, it means ‘Young Daughter’s Town’. It was believed that this place was given as a dowry to the younger daughter of a legendary chief, Rukmangada, who ruled Sakrepatna.
Boasting of vast expanses of coffee plantations, vantage points, and enormous natural beauty, this destination is considered to be one of the most scenic places that maintains a pleasant weather throughout the year. Whether you are an adventure lover or just want to relax and unwind yourself, Chikmagalur has something for everyone.
How to reach?
Chikmagalur is well connected by road and regular buses and cabs services are available to and from Bangalore.
Mangalore Airport, which is located around 113 km away, is the nearest airport to Chikmagalur. The airport is well-connected to flights from Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and other major Indian cities. You can hire a prepaid taxi from the airport for Chikmagalur.
The city does not have a railway station, so the nearest railway station is located in Kadur, at a distance of about 40 km. You can take a taxi from Kadur railway station for Chikmagalur.
Best time to visit Chikmagalur
The best time to visit Chikmagalur is from the months of September to March which are the winter months. With pleasant weather throughout the year, the start of the monsoon season (Early July) is also a good time to visit Chikmagalur. However, the place must be avoided in August for it receives heavy rainfall during that month.
Things to do in Chikmagalur
No trip to Chikmagalur is complete without spending some time at the vast coffee plantations here. Most of the Chikmagalur resorts are situated in the backdrop of coffee plantations, so you wouldn’t have to travel miles to smell fresh coffee beans. Stroll around the area and take in the beauty of the place while you are there.
For the adventurous ones, do not miss rafting in the outskirts of river Bhadra. Many Chikmagalur resort and home stays offer rafting activities. Trained instructors and well-maintained equipment’s are available, so you won’t have to worry about your safety. The best time to do rafting is from June to October when the water level of the river rises.
Then there’s trekking in Mullayanagiri, which is the highest peak in Karnataka standing at a height of 6,330 feet.
The starting point of this 4 km trek is Sarpadhari which is a steep trail. One can also engage in other thrilling activities here such as mountain biking and road biking. This place is perfect for those looking for solitude as well as visitors with an adventurous streak.
To the north of Chikmagalur, lies the Baba Budangiri Range of the Western Ghats of India, the second highest peak in Karnataka. It is believed that Baba Budan was the first person to bring coffee seeds to this region when we returned from Mecca.
This place is famous for its unique forest range in addition to hiking and trekking. In addition to this, all the adventure lovers can hike through the forest to see the ancient shrine of Deviramma Betta.
Pay a visit to the famous Hebbe Falls located approximately 10 km away from Kemmangundi. The water here plummets from 551 feet height. Divided into two stages i.e. Dodda Hebe and Chikka Hebbe, this fall is known for its beauty and serenity. The water of this waterfall comprises medicinal herbs offering healing qualities, thus attracting a large number of tourists to come and take a dip here.
Besides Hebbe Falls, Chikmagalur is blessed with other waterfalls such as Alekan Falls, Kallathigiri Falls, Jhari Falls and Kadambi Falls which you can explore. Soaking your feet into the cold water or taking a dip in these waterfalls is the most refreshing thing you will do in Chikmagalur.
Enjoy a jeep safari at Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary as it is one of the most exhilarating experiences that you can ever get.
This place is home to an array of flora and fauna and has a tiger reserve as well. It also gives you the opportunity to explore exotic species including sloth bear, gaur, barking deer, tigers, and so on. In addition, it is home to more than 250 bird species as well. The sparkling Bhadra River passes through this sanctuary; hence giving it its name, Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary.
Lastly, don’t miss the famous Kudremukh trek, which is among the most adventurous treks here and is a real treat for adrenaline junkies.
Kudremukh is the third highest peak in Karnataka where you hike through the dense jungles and rocky paths, basking in the scenic view of the surrounding hills. It takes about 9 to 10 hours to complete the trek. Make sure you take a guide with you, so that you don’t miss the path.
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