The rugged and spectacular hill station of Chikmagalur is filled with natural wonders and is the perfect destination for you if you are planning for a serene and adventurous getaway. Here, I have compiled some recommendations to include on your list of places to visit in Chikmagalur.
You can read about the homestay where I stayed here: Nesting Grounds Homestay, Chikmagalur
- A Trek to Mullayanagiri:
Chikmagalur has gained a lot of popularity amongst travelers for its lush green surroundings and particularly the green mountains. The adventurous backpackers would simply love the twists and trails of the highest peak in Chikmagalur and yes you guessed it right, it is Mullayanagiri. The ideal season for an exploration is from September to February. Situated at 6,330 feet high, a trek to the top is highly recommended with a gorgeous view of the gorging valley, streams, and the waterfalls. Another loved tourist attraction is Kemmangudi, located 53 kilometers away from Chikmagalur knows for its ranges and beautiful flora. The hill is home to the Z point and you cannot miss the view of the sunrise from the top. The climatic conditions there are ideal for the cultivation of roses and the scenic rose garden with so many different varieties grow here and the place has full support from the Government and is being maintained the Department of Horticulture. Being the highest peak in Karnataka, Mullayanagiri should definitely be included in your places to visit in Chikmagalur.
You can read my detailed post about Mullayanagiri here : Trek to Mullayanagiri
- Coffee Plantations
As you enter the hill station, you will spot many coffee and spice gardens and not only this it has to its credit the Coffee Research Station in Balehonnur. This Research Institute is one of its kind in the Asian subcontinent and is spread across a massive area of 130.94 hectares. The hills in Chikmagalur produce the best coffee beans and you can buy some and even taste freshly brewed coffee. If you don’t want to include coffee plantations on your places to visit in Chikmagalur list, you can opt for a coffee plantation stay only.
- The falling streams at Hebbe Falls:
Hebbe falls are located about 10 kilometers away from Kemmangudi and are a truly an enthralling experience. The falls have a height of 551 feet and known to be situated in a coffee estate. Tourists can either trek or hire a jeep and opt for a jungle trek with a stop at these waterfalls. Kalhatti falls are located in the same area and offer a view of an old mythological town. A small temple is located nearby and the gorgeous falls are highly loved for the trek trail and splendid view. When I visited Chikmagalur, Hebbe falls was the best attraction out of all the places to visit in Chikmagalur on my list.
- A Wilderness Trip Kudremukh National Park:
Chikmagalur is noted for its rich flora and fauna and the Kudremukh National Park absolutely proves it. The national park is located amidst the Western Ghats, around 1800 meters above sea level and 96 kilometers from the town of Chikmagalur. The forested sanctuary has been conserving wild species of tigers, leopard, bears, barking deer and extremely rich flora. The nature reserve here makes Kundremukh a must visit attraction out of all the places to visit in Chikmagalur.
- Visiting the temples
Chikmagalur has something for everyone, be it adventure lovers, luxurious travelers, children, food enthusiasts or the religious audience especially our senior citizens. Few temples with grand architecture and beauty constructed in the eighth century. Sringeri Sharada Peetha was built by Adi Shankaracharya and this place has historical importance. This serene temple is built along the Tunga River and is a vast religious place which attracts many thousands of tourists every year. Amruteshvara temple, Vidyasankara temple, Annapurneshwari temple are few other places you must see. These temples make a good addition to the places to visit in Chikmagalur.
6. Quad Bike Riding at Dirt Mania
Chikmagalur might not have a lot of adventure activities like Coorg. But, Chikmagalur sure does have this Quad Bike ride organized by Dirt Mania. The location of this activity is not very far from Chikmagalur town and is nestled amidst bountiful flavors of nature. If you are an adventure enthusiast and want to experience the torque building up under your seat, you should definitely include Dirt Mania locaiton in your places to visit in Chikmagalur.
Baba Budangiri Hills are famous for its diverse forest range and is a pilgrimage spot for both Hindus as well as Muslims. This Baba Budangiri is also called as Datta Peeta Hill Range and also a most preferred place by the tourist for hiking and trekking. Mullayanagiri along with Dattagiri are the two well known mountain ranges in this region. These hills have stunning graves and are situated 25 km at the north of Chikmagalur. Adventure freak can hike across the forest to visit the historic temple of Deviramma Betta. The highest peak in the Baba Budan Giri Hills is the Mullayanagiri, which is at 1,930 meters altitude. Interesting fact of this place is that the 1st coffee gardening in the country was carried out on the slopes of this hills in 1670 AD. Tourist can think of walking along the coffee plantations, during the months of March and April which are considered the flowering seasons. You can club this attraction with Mullayanagiri in your list of places to visit in Chikmagalur.
8. Sharadamba Temple:
The Sharadamba Temple is one the famous worship places in the Chikmagalur district and it was built in the modern Dravidian style of architecture. This temple has a gopuram at the entrance of the temple along with a broadly covered path for ‘pradikshina’. This temple is dedicated to the Goddess Sharada Parameswari. Goddess Sharada Parameswari is considered as the Goddess of Knowledge and houses a deity image. The temple is believed to be constructed during Adi Shankaracharya’s time. It is said that it had a deity image of the goddess during that period which was made out of sandalwood. In the 14th century, Vidyaranya replaced the sandalwood statue with stone and gold image. The current structure is built keeping in mind the traditional South Indian style. To appreciate the architecture and beauty of this temple, you need to include this in your list of places to visit in Chikmagalur.
Also Read : My 1st Chikmagalur visit
Kemangundi hill station is situated in the Tarikere Taluk. This hill station is located at an altitude of 1400 meters and it is also called as the Sri Krishnarajendra Hill Station. Kemmangundi was visited by the Kings as a summer retreat center. Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV started thus trend during his era of visiting this place in the summer season. At first, when Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV visited this place, he was overwhelmed by viewing the outstanding Baba Budan Hills in the background. He was enthused to construct a resort at this place. Later he donated over this resort to the Government of Karnataka as an act of generosity. The gardens which are present at this location are designed to excellence. Neighboring the Kemmangundi are the splendid hills, mountains, and valleys. Out of many places to visit in Chikmagalur and around, Kemmanagudi can be a good option as an offbeat destination.
10. Kalhatti Falls:
The Kalahatti Falls is on of the main tourist destination in this region which is situated at a distance around 10 km from Kemmangundi. Kalhatti Falls are 122 m high and one can witness the stunning background. Kalhtatti Falls is also commonly known as Kallathigiri Falls or Kalahasthi Falls. Near the falls, there is an ancient temple which is said to be built during the period of Vijayanagar Empire and is situated within the rocks. It is believed that the temple and waterfall have a traditional connection with the Maharishi Agastya. The famous Hindu Saint – Maharishi Agastya prayed at this place for a long duration. The kalahatti falls, however, is not the best of attraction in Chikmagalur. If you have a bit of ticht schedule, you can skip this from including in your places to visit in Chikmagalur.
- Bhadra Dam & Wildlife Sanctuary
The Bhadra Dam is constructed on the river of Bhadra and is used for the irrigation purpose. The dam is full of its water capacity between the months of June and November. This dam is a source of producing electricity for the villages nearby in this area. Various tourists spots are around this dam which can be visited. One can think of visiting the local villages in this area to experience the tradition and culture. Backwaters of this dam flow into the forest reserve. One can get to see a wide variety of wildlife like crocodiles, deer on the banks of the River Bhadra. Few interesting birds visit the river seasonally. The perfect way to witness the wildlife, flora, and fauna in this area is by going for jeep safari. You can club this attraction along with the Bhadra wildlife sanctuary mentioned below in your places to visit in Chikmagalur.
The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is located at an altitude hill ranging from 750 meters to 2,100 meters above sea level. The wildlife sanctuary is sited among semi-evergreen forests of the Western Ghats and is a territory of a vast diversity of flora and fauna. This sanctuary covers an area of 490 sq. km and it was declared as a the Jagara Valley Game Natural Reserve in 1951. In 1974, this reserve was renamed with Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. Additionally, in 1998 it was also declared as the 25th Project Tiger of the country. This sanctuary is named after a perennial river ‘Bhadra’ which flows via this area. The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is a home to various animals like gaur, bison, leopard, tiger, elephant, sambar, deer, chital, muntjac and porcupine. A wide range of birds is also spotted like an emerald dove, great black woodpecker, southern green imperial pigeon, Malabar parakeet and hill myna. if you are a nature lover, including this attraction in your places to visit in Chikmagalur is recommended.
- Sringeri Sharada Peetha:
The Sringeri Sharada Peetha is also known as the Dakshinamnaya Sharada Peetham. This is one Mutt among the 4 Hindu Advaita Mutts. The Mutt has a distinctive philosophy and all the mutts were proven by Adi Shankaracharya. The Mutt is also known as Jagadguru and he plans all the activities which are hosted here and is granted with all the rights to make any decision. This temple is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra River in Chikmagalur district. His place is assumed to be authorized with knowledge and perception. Goddess Sharada’s carving is present at the Sringeri Sharada Peetha and is considered as the goddess of wisdom and knowledge. The Sringeri Sharada Peetha is situated in the classy lush green mountains surroundings. The mountain ranges of Sahyadri can be seen overlooking the Peetha. You can include this attraction in your places to visit in Chikmagalur for the views and religious importance.
- Manikyadhara Falls:
The Manikyadhara Falls are situated in the area of the Baba Budan Giri Hills. The Manikyadhara Falls is a most preferred place by the tourist. This waterfall is a peaceful spot where you can spend some quality time with you loved ones. Around the region of Manikyadhara Falls, there are various extraordinary trekking trails. Near the falls there is open space present here you set your tents and plan a camping. The Manikyadhara Falls are situated in the Shola Forest. Over the year you get to see the waterfalls here with an amazing background and lush green scenery.
Long back Saint Hazrat Dada Hayath Mir Khalandar had visited this area with his four followers in the search of water. When they didn’t find water, all of them prayed to God to help them and the next moment their prayers were fulfilled nd waterfall poured down. This is the only reason why Manikyadhara Falls are considered as a holy place by many local people. The tourists who visit here also offers silent prayers to Saint Hazrat Dada Hayath Mir Khaddar. The local people bath in this water as they believe this water has divine healing powers. The exciting feature of this waterfall is that the temperature of the water here during in the summer season is quite cold.
You can club this waterfall with Baba Budangiri which is mentioned above. These two attractions can add a good flavor to your list of places to visit in Chikmagalur.
- Kadambi Falls:
The Kadambi Falls attracts the essence and mood of Chikmagalur as this area it is full of naturalistic wonders. At this place, you get to witness the purest elements of nature when you feel the pristine waters touching your skin. The Kadambi Falls is a favorite tourist destination and enthralled by local and international visitors. The Kadambi Falls are situated in the Kudremukh National Park. Kudremukh is a famous hill station in the Chikmagalur district. This place has mineral deposits and is mostly known for its iron ore mining than its national park. After your visit to the Kadambi Falls, one can think of visiting the Rajendra Hills which is situated in its neighborhood. The falls are enclosed by coffee plantations and is a peaceful place for relaxing, camping and trekking. If you are a fan of waterfalls, you can include this in your places to visit in Chikmagalur.
- Z Point:
Z point is one more exciting place which needs to be visited. This place is situated at an altitude so for reaching here to need to trek up. The sunrise and sunset view from the Z point is totally eye catchy. The Z point is again close to Kemmanagudi. This sunset view point is also one of the recommended places to visit in Chikmagalur.
- Ballalarayanadurga hill:
The Ballalarayanadurga hill is surrounded by scenic lands and visiting this hill creates a perfect adventure for the local as well as international travelers. Visit it with your families, couples or friends you can certainly spend enjoyable moments and is an ideal place for tourists.
- Amruteshvara Temple:
The Amruteshvara Temple is situated in Amruthapura town which is 67 km far from Chikmagalur. This temple was constructed in 1196 under the rule of Hoysala King, Veera Ballala II. It was named after the lead architect ‘Amrutheshwara Dandanyaka’. The Amruteshvara Temple contains a large open mandapa (hall), a vimana (shrine) of Eka Kuta design and a closed mandapa connecting to the open hall. One of the tourist attractions of this temple is rows of admirable lathe turned pillars which support the ceiling of the mandapa. The inner ceiling of the mandapa is engraved with floral designs. The south wall is engraved with the scenes from the ‘Ramayana’ in a rare anti-clockwise way. On the side of the wall that is on the north side, it illustrates the life of Lord Krishna and various scenes from Mahabharata in a clockwise manner.
- Sri Parsawanath Tirthankara Jain Temple:
The Sri Paraswanath Tirthankara Temple is a Jain pilgrimage place located in Sringeri. This temple is devoted to the 23 rd Tirthankara ‘Sri Paraswanath Tirthankara’. The architecture of this temple displays a combination of both Jain and South Indian cultures. This pilgrimage place is visited by many devotees and tourist as well. There are some caves which were used by the Jain saints to meditate, are near the temple but in an abandoned situation. The temple also has a mandapa which by easily reached by climbing some steps. The temple is mostly visited for its attractive locations, as it is located in the background of the Western Ghats and the Tunga River. The Sri Paraswanath Tirthankara Jain Temple can be visited on any day, but no offerings can be done. Tourist can also visit the Adi Shankara Temple, Sarada Temple, and Sringeri Mutt after visiting Sri Parsawanath Tirthankara Temple.
I hope you liked my recommendations. Please let me know if you have any suggestions to add. If you have visited Chikmagalur, let me know how was your experience and which attractions did you visit!