Things to do in Chikmagalur: Home to sprawling hills, stunning valleys, and coffee blossoms, Chickmagalur is commonly known as the coffee district of Karnataka. A calm, serene, full of scenic surprises, Chickmagalur is located in Baba Budangiri hills, and it’s a delight.
Chickmagalur’s landscape is covered by slopes of dark-leaved coffee. Here, you can sip some of the best coffee in the world, stay amidst the plantation at the homestay and visit treasures for a stunning experience. Chickmagalur has something for everyone. Trekking trails, coffee plantations, waterfalls, and wildlife all await you here.
- 1. Swarga Retreat :
- 2. Mullayanagiri Hills :
- 3. Coffee Estates :
- 4. Kemmanagundi :
- 5. Coffee Museum :
- 6. Hebbe Falls :
- 7. Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary :
- 8. Rafting in the Bhadra river :
- 9. Hoysala Temple :
- 10. Kalhatti falls :
- 11. Baba Budangiri :
- 12. Hirekolale Lake :
- 13. Lakya Dam :
- 14. Kadambi falls :
- 15. Jamalabad Fort :
- 16. Amrutheshwara Temple :
- 17. Jhari Falls :
- 18. Rock Garden :
- 19. Kudremukh National Park :
- 20. Chennakeshava Temple :
- 21. Kalasa :
- 22. Alekan Falls :
- 23. Yagachi Dam sports :
- 24. Ballalarayana Durga Fort :
- 25. Kyatanamakki Hills :
- 26. Z point :
- 27. Mahatma Gandhi Park :
- 28. Horanadu Annapoorneshwari Temple :
- 29. Kodandarama Temple
- 30. Ayyanakere Lake :
1. Swarga Retreat :
Swarga retreat also known as Ontimane, is based in such a spot that is surrounded by lush greenery and thick vegetation. Located on top of the Mullayangiri range, gives you the best view from the comfort of your room. The homestay is designed to cater to every need of the guests and help them form fond memories lasting a lifetime. This luxurious homestay also has an extensive range of indoor and outdoor activities. You can enjoy the views of the sun setting behind the breathtaking mountains from the homestay. This beautiful property is a vast expanse of vegetation providing a comfortable place to explore the mountains and spend some quality time with family and friends. The homestay also comprises of a swimming pool and a vast dining area with a river flowing at the bottom. You can also enjoy the bonfire nights along with some music. Mangalore International Airport is the nearest airport at a distance of 180Kms from the homestay. The property is located at a distance of 24Kms from Chickmagakur and is a must-visit when in Chickmagalur.
2. Mullayanagiri Hills :
Mullayanagiri is the highest peak in Karnataka falling under the ranges of the Western Ghats of Chickmagalur Taluk. The peak gets its name from a temple at the summit. The caves are accessible and not very deep. You can see the complete Western Ghats from the summit. It is one of the most popular trekking destinations in Karnataka as it’s fairly easy and the scenery is spectacular.
The 10Km long trek is famous for its low visibility, ridge walks, and unpredictable weather. The easy to moderate level of trek ensures people with little or even no trekking experience can complete it in a relatively effortless manner. The greenery and the soothing environment add to the appeal and the excitement of the trek motivate the people to reach the peak at the earliest. The biggest reward awaits at the summit, where the sight of the beauty surrounding them and the sunset often leaves them floored. The best time to visit is during the months of September to February. During this time, the weather is perfect and the beauty of the region is at its peak.
For adventure enthusiasts, this is one of the best Things to do in Chikmagalur , as it offers an opportunity to engage in activities like trekking, mountain biking, etc. Being the highest peak in Karnataka, it offers some interesting trails too.
3. Coffee Estates :
The first thing that comes to mind when we think of Chickmagalur is a mug of piping hot coffee, with the best kick! For coffee lovers, every day has to start with the perfect tasting coffee! And since we love coffee so much, why not explore where the unique taste really comes from?
Chickmagalur is the birthplace of coffee in India and is also known as ‘Coffee Land of Karnataka’. Almost all kinds of coffee are grown on these hills. If you love coffee, you should definitely pay a visit to the beautiful coffee gardens in Chickmagalur. This hill station of Karnataka has many scenic coffee gardens, where your love for the drink will only get deeper!
Taking a tour of the resplendent coffee plantations is one of the most essential things to do in Chickmagalur. Apart from reveling in the fresh aromatic smell of coffee beans and relaxing amidst the verdant green plantations, the estate owners arrange frequent tours where you can learn about the history of coffee and other details.
4. Kemmanagundi :
Kemmanagundi is a hill station in Tarikere taluk of Chickmagalur district in Karnataka. This was the summer retreat of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV and as a mark of respect to the king, it is also known as Sri Krishnarajendra Hill Station. Derives its name from three Kannada words – kempu(red), mannu(soil) and gundi(pit), – the place with red soil.
Kemmanagundi offers a pleasant climate throughout the year. Its famous for its Hebbe falls and Kallaathi falls, Kemmanagundi is a perfect trekker’s delight. The famous trekking point is the Z point that offers a magnificent view of the lush plantations and mountains around. It is popular among tourists for trekking routes, mountain trails, and other things to do in chikmagalur
It is covered with coffee and tea plantations along with thick bamboo groves, which form a thick forest cover. The best time to visit is from September to May and should be avoided during monsoons. Kemmanagundi is well connected by local transport or private vehicles.
5. Coffee Museum :
A Turkish proverb says ” Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death and sweet as love”. Chickmagalur, one of the most loveliest places in India, is the true land of coffee. There is a whole coffee museum located in Chickmagalur.
Coffee Museum is an initiative by the Coffee Board of India. This museum offers many interesting aspects of coffee in terms of its history as well as tradition. The museum is located in a lush green place. The vibrant and colorful posters depict various information about Coffee. We also get to see a coffee map of India, which gives us an insight into the traditional areas where coffee is grown.
We get to see varieties of coffee seeds based on their regions, qualities, and other classification. The sample machines used in the coffee industry are also on display. Lined with pots on either side, don’t miss the coffee plant growing in one of the pots – the green berries are a sight to watch.
Located on the lower levels of the coffee museum, ‘Coffee Yatra’ welcomes you inside. This place is a revelation, taking you on a journey through the world on Indian coffee, this state-of-the-art museum gives your coffee knowledge a boost like no other.
The museum is an attempt to create a thematic display of the coffee history, processes like picking, drying, grinding along with the different varieties so that the visitors can get an understanding of the procedures and the trajectory of the beverage in the country. One floor is dedicated to a gallery with pictures and exhibits in clean glass cases and a vivid discription. There are short video presentations, which make the story of coffee easy to assimilate. There is also a laboratory where one can see the demonstration of grinding and other techniques used in coffee processing. This is shows by an in-house expert.
6. Hebbe Falls :
This waterfall is inside a coffee estate and gushes down from a height of 551ft. Hebbe falls is a beautiful gem that hides inside the Bhadra Tiger reserve in Chickmagalur. Falls are set amidst the dense forest and plenty of coffee plantation makes it gain a picturesque edge. Hebbe falls are formed by freshwater springs that are found on top of the mountain. You can spot water cascades down through the slippery black rocks.
The beautiful pool below the falls where you can swim all day long is a tourist attraction. Above all, the water here is believed to be infused with medicinal herbs, hence good for skin, so never miss an opportunity to take a dip! You need to trek through a steep narrow path inside the forest for 10km to reach the falls. If you don’t fancy hiking, then you can opt for adventurous and bumpy jeep rides through muddy tracks and coffee estates from the forest checkpoint.
Like every other place, Heeebbbbe falls is great to visit during the winter season, i.e from October to February. But, if you want to witness the falls at the maximum with mist surroundings, then head to this place in peak monsoon. Trekking is a bit risky during monsoon as the path will be slippery, and dangerous to swim as the water flow will be full-fledged, but the view will be fulfilling.
7. Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary :
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area and a tiger reserve as part of the Project Tiger, situated in Chickmagalur. Bhadra sanctuary has a wide range of flora and fauna and is a popular place for day outings. Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, located at a distance of 38Kms. Amidst the lofty hills of Hebbegiri, Bababudangiri and Mullayanagiri; lies Karnataka’s top tiger reserve across the lush green region of Bhadravathi. It is also called as Muthodi Sanctuary sometimes because it has two villages – Muthodi and Lakkavalli nearby.
The sanctuary is named after the Bhadra River which flows through the green and lush forest range. After the census was passed in 1974, the sanctuary was rebuilt as a wildlife sanctuary. Due to the ample tiger population in this region, this sanctuary was declared as the 25th Project Tiger reserve in the country. This sanctuary is located in the tropical forests of the Western Ghats in Chickmagalur.
Not just tigers, it is also rich in butterflies, birds, and wild animals. Some of them are species of elephant, tiger, panther, wild boar, and black kite. The butterflies found in the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary include – Yam fly, Tailed jay, blue pansy and crimson rose. The forest is a tropical dry and deciduous type in nature. The major trees that grow here are Teak and Rosewood. You can enjoy nature’s best flora and fauna here. With the help of guides and access to tourist jeeps, you can watch the famous Indian Tiger reserve from the nearest.
The best season to visit the sanctuary is between October and December. But the scenic beauty can be enjoyed throughout the year. The State Forest Department offers accommodation services to tourists.
8. Rafting in the Bhadra river :
As the rains last western ghats, the rivers flow wild in the deep gorges and become ideal for river rafting activities. River rafting is a popular adventure sport in Karnataka. Truly, it is an adventure lovers’ paradise, with many destinations for this adrenaline activity.
It provides a good opportunity for those experimenting with the sport for the first time and is also suitable for families and small groups. rafting is one of the best things to do here and the crystalline water facilitates good rafting routes. The river passes through some of the dense forest, Kudremukh National Park. On this amazing Bhadra river, you will experience a coveted lining of hills, which are covered with appealing vegetation.
River Rafting at Bhadra river is considered one of the best scenic white water rafting sections of South India. It’s a mild river and rafting in the river Bhadra is smooth without any hassles to those who take to the water here. Villages, forests, and plantations situated on the banks of the river provide an excellent location for rafting, which passes through some thick jungles, is fun and exciting.
June to October is the best season to hit the rapids when the monsoons are in full swing, swelling the river to its most thrilling form. The Magudi to Balehole segment is the most popular and filled with ample rapids to maneuver. One can choose between day trips or longer rafting expeditions that may involve camping by the riverside. Once the rains have subsided and the water is calmer, the river is also conducive to kayaking trips.
9. Hoysala Temple :
Are you looking for a spiritual and thrilling gateway? Karnataka would just be the right option for you. The innumerable Hoysala temples make for a perfect excursion for a couple of days. Talk about the Hoysala Temples, and people think of Belur and Halebidu. But Karnataka has so much more to offer. Mounted on a raised platform, these Hoysala Temples are filled with innumerable sculptures made of soapstones all around Karnataka.
The famous Hoysala temple is located on the way to Chickmagalur from Bangalore. There are a number of Hoysala temples within a radius of 10km from here. The main temples are Belur and Halebidu, which were constructed during the 11th-13th century Hoysala regime. Though 92 temples were constructed, only 3 of them were carved and remain the most popular to date – Somnathpur, Belur, and Halebidu.
A pleasant break from the fatigued circuit of tourists, the Hoysala temple is for those who like tranquility. Almost 100 soapstone pillars greet you in the main hall, at the end of which lie three sanctums, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The idols of Narayana, Venugopala and Yoganarashimha, are the main highlights of the temple. The best time to visit the temple is between dawn to dusk and ensure you have a guide to explain the different nuances of architecture.
10. Kalhatti falls :
At a distance of 10km from Kemmangundi and 82km from Chickmagalur, Kalhatti falls is located in Kallattipura in Chickmagalur district. Also known as Kalhattagiri or Kalahasthi falls, it is one of the spectacular waterfalls and among the most picturesque places to visit in Chickmagalur.
The waterfall cascades down from a height of over 400ft through the Chandra Drona hills in front of the Veerabhadra Temple, which is the most common place visited near the falls. The presiding deity in the temple is Lord Shiva. It offers an excellent view of the surrounding valleys. The adjoining mountain is enriched with rare flora and fauna that can be experienced during the tour.
According to a legend, sage Agasthya had prayed for a long time at this place. The Veerabhadra temple is believed to be built in the Vijayanagara period. The entrance of the temple is adorned with carved elephants. The water cascades over these elephants and the devotees believe that this water has the power of curing diseases. Hence, the area adjacent to this waterfall is also a famous pilgrimage center. The annual festival of Lord Veerabhadra is organized here for three days during March/April, which attracts thousands of devotees.
Kalhatti Falls is a favorite spot for trekkers who carry out their treks on the adjoining hills and mountains. The trek is plain ascent and many routes are there to reach the top of the falls. There is a route adjacent to the falls but gets slippery during rains. An alternate route is through the coffee plantations which would require the services of a guide. October to March is the best time to visit this place.
11. Baba Budangiri :
Chickmagalur is truly the land of coffee in India. Baba Budangiri is the hill located in Chickmagalur, is the site where coffee was first introduced in India. Not only about coffee, but this beautiful site has more things to talk about
Baba Budangiri is a hill in the Chandra Drona Mountain range of the Western Ghats. It is located at a distance of 27kms from Mulayanagiri. Not only the regular tourists of Chickmagalur region but also Hindu devotees and Muslim devotees visit Baba Budangiri. The scenic beauty of the location attracts tourists. The spiritual value of the place is sacred to both Hindus and Muslims.
The site has numerous tombs at the entrance. Photography is strictly prohibited beyond this point. A site is a group of three big caves. In one cave, the tombs of Baba Budan is and three other Muslim saints are found. A mandap-like structure is made of sandalwood is found in the other cave. The devotees take sand from this cave as prasad. Visiting these caves is a unique and pleasant experience for sure. In addition, it also provides a spectacular view of the hills.
Baba Budangiri is an amazing trek making it an ideal weekend getaway. Together, the two mountains appear as a crescent moon, therefore called the Chandra Drona range. Trekking enthusiasts have a lot to look forward to. Trails through the dark forests of shola trees, rocky stretches, and miles of serene green grasslands on the rolling hills. Some of the highlights of this trek are walking on the Blade-ridge on the way to Mullayanagiri , camping and campfire in the forest, cave explorations and, stunning hillscape photography along the way. Blooming of the kurinji flowers in the low lying slopes of the Nilgiris is a rare seasonal attraction in these hills. The flowers blossom at the interval of 12yrs, in shades of blue, giving Nilgiri its name!
12. Hirekolale Lake :
At a distance of 10km from Chickmagalur, and 50km from Kemmanagundi, Hirekolale lake is a beautiful manmade lake in Chickmagalur. It is one of the well-known, beautiful tourist attractions in Chickmagalur. Surrounded by high mountains, this beautiful lake is awe-striking for every spectator and is a must include the place in Chickmagalur.
The Hirekolale Lake is encompassed with gorgeous surroundings and offers a serene retreat for people coming with their family and friends wishing to have a great time. It also offers the most fascinating views of the landscape. It also offers the most fascinating views during sunsets and is a delight for photography lovers. The famous hills of Mullayanagiri can be viewed from here.
Hirekolale lake is a beautiful expanse of cool water flanked by shrubs that carry delicate white flowers, and a walkway bridge extending a quarter into the lake’s length. Scenic and charming, much like the little town of Chickmagalur itself, the Hirekolale lake and its surrounding areas make for a perfect [icnic spot; the water sparkle like a jewel during sunset!
The lake is pristine and well maintained, thanks to the residents of Hirekolale and the local bodies. Hirekolale Lake is one of the sightseeing points with a kind of jetty. This place is great to visit during the monsoon, particularly between September to March.
13. Lakya Dam :
The Lakya Dam is a check dam built across the river Lakya, a tributary of the Lakya river. The dam was constructed by Kudremukh Iron Ore Company. The dam is situated in a protected forest area inside Kudremukh National Park in Chickmagalur. The dam was built with the objective to collect silt and other waste materials from the mining industries situated beyond Kudremukh.
The construction was completed in the year 1994. The main utility of the dam is that it prevents the contamination of the water flowing further due to the pollution added by the waste by the mining operations. The dam also acts as a source of irrigation of agricultural lands around the place. As the dam is situated in the forest area, it is open for public visits only during the permitted hours.
Lakya dam stands on the outskirts of the town. Set against a backdrop of hilly landscapes, graceful rivers, and evergreen forests, the Lakya dam is surrounded by mesmerizing beauty. The place is ideal for family outings. An evening walk near the dam offers a wonderful experience as visitors can witness the brilliant view of the setting sun across the river.
the dam area also offers some of the most splendid views of Kudremukh forest area. The place is a huge attraction for locals and tourists throughout the year.
14. Kadambi falls :
Kadambi Falls is a seasonal waterfall that is located within the Kudremukh range of Western Ghats. White water gushed down through the rocks from a height of 30ft and forms a pool at the foot of the falls. This fall is set amidst nature with a lot of greenery in the form of trees, shrubs, creepers bordering it.
Kadambi falls is right next to Sringeri and Kudremukh main road and it is clearly visible from the bridge nearby. As and when you are driving through this route, the sound of white water slides down and droplets sprinkling all over the bridge will make any individual spare a minute and watch this beauty. However, if you wish to get closer to the falls, you can park your vehicle on the bridge and hike down from the other side. The path may seem a little tricky. A few hops and jump across slippery rocks and woods will lead you to the bottom of the falls.
During monsoons, as the rivers run free and wild, Kadabi falls and the region around it comes alive. So, the best time to visit this place will be during monsoons.
15. Jamalabad Fort :
Located on top of a gigantic hill, Jamalabad Fort was built by Tipu Sulthan in 1794, in loving memory of his mother. It is said that Tipu Sulthan was impressed by the beauty and strength of the Rockhill and its surroundings, thereby, compelling him to build a fort within its boundaries. You can reach the fort by climbing 1800 steps which were cut out from the granite hill. Even though the fort is in a deteriorating condition today, there are still several remains of the fort that can be explored.
Jamalabad fort has a small tank and remains of a cannon which still attracts tourists. After the 4th Mysore War, this beautiful fort was captured by the British Army. Today we can only find the remains of the fort. Since its discovery and popularity among travelers, it has been a perfect trekking destination with an altitude of 1700ft. The specialty of the fort lies in its surroundings which fascinate the trekkers and nature lovers due to the presence of thick green vegetation around it.
The fort was formerly called Narashimha Gadda, which refers to the granite hill on which the fort is built. February to May is the ideal time to visit this fort. Nothing much of the fortifications remain, but hints of the fort wall with parapets are visible.
16. Amrutheshwara Temple :
Amrutheshwara Temple is located in the city of Amruthapura, 67km north of Chickmagalur in Chickmagalur district, Karnataka. The temple was built by Amrutheshwara Dandanayaka, under a Hoysala King.
The emergence of Hoysala also coincided with the spread of this design philosophy that can be seen to this day in the state of Karnataka. One of Karnataka’s most famous sculptors was Mallitamma, and it is believed to have started his artistic career in Amruthapura, suggesting the beginning of a golden architectural era.
The main deity of the temple is Lord Shiva and the Shivalinga in the temple is a 300-year-old idol brought from Kandikevale river in Nepal. SharadaDevi’s idol sits next to the Shivalinga. Many important rituals are performed here. The temple is located in a quiet place near the Bhadra river reservoir. This 12th century structure was built following various distinctive features of Hoysala architecture. many experts describe this temple as part of the ancient Hoysala style of architecture.
The oldest parts of the Amrutheshwara temple are the porch, the sanctum, and the Navaranga, and more were built as time went on. The wide hall is one of the important parts of the Hoysala-style temple. The mantapa of the Amrutheshwara temple consists of several impressive pillars, ornate and lathe-turned. The open and closed mantapa consists of various interior ceiling structures with elaborate floral designs. The square is located under the superstructure of the pilgrim peak. The top of the Amrutheshwara temple is decorated with intricate carvings of demon faces and towers.
In one of the temple’s towers, the symbol of Hoysala, the Sala battling a lion, can be found. At the Sukhanasi Tower, visitors can also find a large panel depicting Shiva slaying Gajasura. The relief on the temple wall gives visitors a look at important Hindu beliefs and stones that defined the spiritual learnings of the Hoysala dynasty.
17. Jhari Falls :
Jhari falls is a 2 tier waterfall that is tucked within the dense forests and coffee plantations of Western Ghats. Silky water tumbles down the natural step-like structure formed by rocks from a height of 50-70m. The spring that originates on top of the mountain flows down the Jhari falls.
A tiny natural pool at the bottom of the falls is well suited to play around and relax and beat the heat. Moreover, if you are an adventure junky, then try to head to the second tier of the waterfall which is 30m above. This is a tricky path and hence will not find a lot of people attempting it.
When you look at these waters from close quarters, it appears like a thin line of water cascading down, hence it is also popularly known as ‘Buttermilk falls’. Locals here also call it ‘Dabdabe falls’. This is one of the popular falls in Chickmagalur and is visited by thousands of travelers every year.
This waterfall is hooked in one corner of a coffee plantation, be prepared for a hike of 3km from the parking lot. Steep muddy roads amidst the lush green forest and coffee plantations will lead you to the foot of the waterfall.
As one of the top Chickmagalur tourist places, visitors often struggle to find out which is the best time to visit the Jhari falls. As it turns out, the post-monsoon period, and especially the mid-monsoon time is the best time to visit Jhari waterfalls. This means that the preferable months are from August to January, while the best is from September to December.
18. Rock Garden :
Rock Garden is a part of Kudremukh region and is perched on the peaks of Kemmanagundi. The rock garden has pathways carved out of rock. The garden is one of a kind and its paths have been carved out from the rocks. Serving as a budding ground for a wide variety of flowers, the garden gives a closer view of the majestic mountains. One can also cherish an epic sunset view from here. The charisma of this horse-faced town promises to make your visit an enjoyable one. The garden is famous for enchanting sunset views, lush green pasture, and plains.
The Rock garden is home to multitudes of flowers of various species of flora, amongst the pathways carved out of rocks here. It is an ideal spot for any nature lover to enjoy the feeling of spending an evening amongst nature and for a spectacular view of the sunset. Tourists can also see the Bhadra Reservoir from one end of the Rock Garden. The ideal time to visit this garden is in the evening at the time of sunset.
19. Kudremukh National Park :
Life is too short for waking up to the four walls of your room. Real happiness is when the sun wakes you up to flock with the early birds, attend nature’s course and laugh along with the blooming flowers. Discover the treasures of nature and you will surely end up discovering a new version of yourself.
Surrounded by lush greenery and magnificent hills, the Kudremukh National Park has a temperature climate with temperatures mostly ranging from 25’C to 19’C, which makes it a perfect place to visit throughout the year. However, if you wish to make the most of your holiday there, the best time is to go between October and May as the park can be witnessed in all its glory. Also, if the sole motive of your trip is wildlife spotting and getting those ideal photographs, the perfect time to plan your trip is between December and February.
The Nation park of Kudremukh is a nature’s paradise, especially for trekkers. It has numerous tracks that pass through the hills and are perfect to hike on if all you wish for is some adventure. Though, you’d need to take permission from the Range Officers if you wish to indulge in trekking in the park.
Of all the attractions in the Kudremukh National Park, the Kadambi Waterfalls and the Hanumagundi Waterfalls are the most popular and unique things to see. The water gushing down the rocks amidst the green hills and trees is undoubtedly the easiest way to add bliss to your trip.
The park houses a variety of fauna like tiger, leopard, wild dog, and more. Apart from this, there are also 200 species of birds in the park, which you would spot easily if you have got a keen eye and a love for bird watching.
Apart from wildlife and waterfalls, the National park is also surrounded by rich coffee and tea plantations on its northern and eastern boundaries. Walking amidst them or just sitting and witnessing their sheer beauty is nothing less than a treat for both your eyes and camera.
20. Chennakeshava Temple :
Belur is a small town in Karnataka, situated on the banks of the Yagachi River, amidst lush surroundings. Also known as Velapura, it is an ancient and important town. The capital city of the Hoysalas, the rulers of the 10th-14th century. They are known for their beautiful temple architecture, for example, the Chennakeshava Temple, and were great patronage of art, literature, and religion.
The Hoysalas were primarily from a region called Malenadu in the Western Ghats, known for being well versed in warfare techniques. By the 13th century, they were ruling most parts of Karnataka, minor parts of Tamil Nadu, and some parts of Western Andra Pradesh and Telangana.
The Hoysala period is considered as a golden period of the region for its influence on art, architecture, literature, and region and in the development in South India. They ruled from the city of Belur as their capital. They are remembered today primarily for the brilliant Hoysala Architecture.
Chennakeshava temple is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. The temple is locally referred to as Kalasagar for its breathtaking carvings and fine sculptures. The beauty is so expensive that one can feel life inside these non-living stone structures. The temple in Belur was built by Vishnuvardhan in 1117AD. It took 103 years for the three generations of the royal family to complete this architectural masterpiece. It is said that over 1000 artists were involved in creating this wonder on stone.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu knows as Chennakeshava, which means beautiful (chenna) and Vishnu (Keshava). The huge temple is enclosed in a walled structure. There are two entrances to the temple. The one from the east has a huge five-storeyed Gopuram. The main entrance was destroyed by the invaders from Delhi Sultanate which was later restored during the Vijayanagar Empire.
The bottom part of the Gopuram is made of hard stone while the top is made of brick and mortar. It is richly decorated with figures of Gods and Goddesses. There are two structures on the topmost corners in the shape of cow’s horns, hence the name Gopuram, and between the two horns are five golden Kalashas or pots. The main temple is a unique star-shaped structure set on a raised platform called Jagati.
21. Kalasa :
Kalsa, the temple town of Karnataka, is a must-visit. There are many temple towns in Karnataka, associated with events from centuries ago, providing a glimpse into the spiritual soul of the region.
These revered sites also showcase the architectural heritage of Southern India which boasts so many styles and design philosophies, representing the many dynasties and cultures that have inhabited the land. One of these temple towns is Kalasa, located in the picturesque Chickmagalur district in Karnataka close to the famous peak of Kudremukh.
Sitting on the banks of river Bhadra, the main attraction of Kalasa town is the Kalseshwara Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. The main tower of the temple is one of the defining features of the town as piligrims from all over the country come to offer prayers throughout the year. The town is surrounded by the scenic Western Ghats, from where its lifeline, The Bhadra River originates.
It is believed that when Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi married in the Himalayas, the attendance of the entire pantheon of deities caused a change in the earth’s rotation. Lord Shiva requested Sage Agasthya to travel south and balance the shift of the earth, promising him that he would be able to witness the wedding from where he resides. The town is believed to be the place where Agasthya resided during the wedding. The marriage is celebrated by devotees to this date.
The temple is located on a hillock, close to the river and its main features include a soapstone shrine, that was built in the Hoysala sculpture style. When looked at from afar, the temple dome resembles a pot.
22. Alekan Falls :
Alekan falls is another hidden beauty of Western Ghats. It is located at a distance of 18km from Charmadi in Karnataka, and 4km from Kottegehara. This falls is located right next to the road and is very easy to spot. This falls turns out to be absolutely gorgeous. Lying amidst thick green trees, the falls majestically come down 90ft creating a long-lasting visual impression. Since its close proximity to the road, this falls is visited by visitors of all kinds; adventurists who admire the mere beauty of nature can find the toughest route through the thick forests and the noise-making and polluting environment kind of visitors too. However, as the falls are not so famous, and are not a popular ‘tourist destination’, these falls remain unheard of by many.
The Alekan Falls is visible from the main road to Charmadi. While some people choose to see the waterfall as they drive by, others may want to step down and get a closer look at the water gushing down. A narrow mud path connects the main road to the base of the waterfall.
During the monsoons, the path can be a little slippery, and tourists are advised to proceed with caution. The water pools at the base of the waterfall and entire tourists take a dip. However, the currents can be quite high especially in the monsoons. It may be a better idea to sit by the side of the waterfall. The waterfall is particularly beautiful during early mornings and late evenings when the hills are covered by a light mist.
23. Yagachi Dam sports :
At a distance of 2.5km from the Belur Bus stand, Yagachi Dam is an earthen gravity dam in Chickmagalur, Karnataka. Famous for its water sports, the dam is one of the beautiful dams in Karnataka and also one of the popular places to visit in Chickmagalur.
The Yagachi Dam is built in 2001 across the River Yagachu, a tributary of River Kaveri. The length of the dam is 1280m and the height of 26m. Situated at an altitude of 965ft, the dam was constructed with an objective to harness water resources for agricultural purposes and to meet the demand for drinking water in the town. The natural beauty of the landscape mesmerizes the tourists. The flock in large numbers to enjoy the beauty of the dam and the surrounding areas. The place is perfect to spend time away from city life. The cool breeze of the dam rejuvenates the mind and body.
Recently, Yagachi Water Adventure Sports Centre was set up in the backwaters of this dam to attract more tourists. They can indulge in various water sports like banana boats, jet skiing, kayaking, etc.
Filled with exciting sports and complete fun, the Yagachi Sports park allows everyone to relax their mind. A perfect place to get into the water and enjoy boating, water skiing, and many other exciting games that will automatically create an adrenaline rush in your body. Present inside the Yagachi dam, the very first of its kind in India, the Yagachi water sports park is filled with excitement and safety at every point. If you are looking for a water sports or adventures tour you must include Yagachi Dam in your Chickmagalur tour.
This sports park is specially designed to attract tourists to indulge themselves in these exciting sports and to feel the craze and adventure in their veins. It has been very much popular among the visitors for the cleanliness and the infrastructure of the park. The Yagachi water sports park timings are from 7:00 AM to 6:30 PM.
24. Ballalarayana Durga Fort :
Ballalarayana Durga is a fort that is tucked up on the mountain amidst the western ghats region of Chickmagalur. The vantage point at 1509m above sea level, hosts the best panoramic view of the valley, streams, and mountains. Abobe all, here, you can literally walk through the misty clouds and experience it. However, be prepared to undertake an intense trek through the dense forests and grasslands to reach the fort.
As you step into the fort area, you will be able to notice a blend of mystery and history prevailing to date.one of the best things to do in chikmagalur, You can see a small byre at the center and a fort wall which is built together across the edge of the hills. Besides this, you can comfortably watch the golden hues of the sun running down the horizon and creating a magical aura in nature. Ballalarayana hills were home to a majestic fort built by the wife of Veera Ballala I of the Hoysala Dynasty. This fort was built Dravida style architecture during the 12th century. It has a rich history and a cultural significance attached to it. However, as of now, only the remains of the fort are to be seen.
Avoid putting up a tent near the fort as the place is windy and the soil is hard soil. Apart from this, the fort is home to cattle, that attract leopards. You can camp near Bandaje Arbi falls which is considered to be safe and is a 5km trek from the fort.
25. Kyatanamakki Hills :
Kyatanamakki hill station is located near Horanadu of Chickmagalur district, Karnataka. While people often go on treks to Kodachadri and other hills nearby, not many are aware of Kyayanamaki hills which is just 4km away from the base. If you want to experience the thrill of driving on these roads, you can hire a jeep at the location. The journey is breathtaking with lush green forests, muddy roads, hidden waterfalls and the smell of the forest adds to it all. one of the best Things to do in Chikmagalur
The top of the hill offers a 360 view of the valleys and the clouds below. You can start your journey after lunch, and catch the mesmerizing sunset at the top and start back immediately for tea at the Kegalur Tea Estate. The path can be treacherous, so if you are not sure about driving, you can ask for a local driver. The friendly locals will guide you.
4X4 jeep is best suited for the terrain, as well as a good ground clearance motorcycle.One of the best things to do in chikmagalur, It would be almost impossible to go through the terrain if it rains heavily as the water will start flowing through the grooves formed by the movement of the jeeps.
26. Z point :
At a distance of 5km from Kemmangundi, 67km from Chickmagalur, and 1km from Shanthi Falls, Z Point is a wonderful trekking spot and one of the prime places to visit in Kemmangundi.
Z point is a beautiful spot with deep valleys all around amidst thick green surroundings. The cool breeze on the peak mesmerizes visitors. It is one of the best short treks in Karnataka with beautiful views of nature and valleys.
The 3km trekking trail to Z Point starts from Kemmangundi Raj Bhavan and runs through a thick forest. Shanti Waterfalls is situated en route to the Z Point. The trek is relatively easy till Shanti Hills and gets a little tough afterward. The later part of the trek runs through a narrow path with deep gorges and steep hills. The trek route provides breathtaking views of the hills of Kemmangundi. One of the best things to do in chikmagalur,The wide and beautiful grasslands provide a unique setting to the slopes.
The Z Point is a beautiful sunset and sunrise point. The trek from Raj Bhavan to Z point usually takes 1 hour. Considering it to be a must-visit place, it offers exquisite view of the Western Ghats and creates enthusiasm for all the adventure lovers out there. Apart from having beautiful surroundings and lush valleys, the trek is challenging. Z Point, known for deep ravines, offers amazing views of Kemmangundi. When you visit Chickmagalur, Z Point is counted among the most picturesque Things to do in Chikmagalur.
The place leaves you mesmerized with nature around and gives a calm and serene feeling. The place is situated at a height of 1500m above sea level. Among the people who love trekking, this place is well known for its thrilling trek which also provides you with wonderful views around and makes it worth visiting.one of the best things to do in chikmagalur, A path of the trek is surrounded by steep hills and has a thin pathway adding to the adventurous streak.
27. Mahatma Gandhi Park :
Also known as Rathnagiri Bore, Mahatma Gandhi Park is a beautiful park located along with the site of Mullayanagiri in the backdrop,one of the best things to do in chikmagalur. Once regarded as an open forest, this site was converted into a beautiful garden and now attracts a number of people of all ages to relax and rejuvenate in a natural serene ambiance.
Blessed with endless rows of multi-hued flowers and ornamental plants, the park houses various attractions such as a lotus pond, a children-cross bridge, an amphitheater, a greenhouse, a toy train, and a telescopic viewpoint that together make it a wonderful natural recreational destination for kids as well as adults. This park has two entry points, one for the walkers and the other for vehicles. Moreover, the park has a wide suite of charming hued flowers and ornamental plants. This park is quite big with a musical fountain and a train ride, which will make you remember your childhood days.
28. Horanadu Annapoorneshwari Temple :
Annapoorneshwari Temple is situated on the banks of Bhadra River in Horanadu, Chickmagalur district, Karnataka. The temple is located in the picturesque surroundings of Western Ghats. Annapoorneshwari is the Hindu Goddess of food and nourishment. The uniqueness of the temple is that everyone who visits is served a meal and can take shelter within the temple premises.
The temple is also called “Sri Kshetra Horanadu” or Sri Annapoorneshwari Temple. It is believed that several centuries back, the idol in the temple was consecrated by Agasthya Maharshi. The entire structure has a conventional South Indian style. More than 400 devotees can be accommodated in the Mandapam and the dining hall can contain 900 guests at a time.
The presiding deity is Goddess Annapoorneshwari seen in a standing posture. This golden idol of the Goddess was installed by Sri Adi Shankaracharya. The other deities enshrined within the temple are Prasanna Ganapathi, Sree Naga Sannidhi, Hanuman, and the Navagrahas. The temple is surrounded by lush green forests, coffee and tea plantations, and the valleys of the Western Ghats. The family of Dharmakarthu priests started puja and other rituals 400 years ago and the same family is servicing since then.
The temple has a grand gopuram, richly decorated with sculptures of different Gods and Goddesses. A flight of steps leads to the entrance of the temple. The temple has a slanting roof with red tiles, commonly seen in Malnad region. The ceiling of the temple is richly adorned with various carvings. Two big brass statues of lions adorn the entrance. The main idol is surrounded by pillars on three sides. It is made of gold and adorned with jewelry and silk clothes. The upper two hands hold the shanka and chakra. Diyas are lighted on both sides of the idol.
29. Kodandarama Temple
Kodandarama is the main deity of this temple, who is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Lord Rama and his brother Lakshmana are depicted holding arrows. All the idols appear to be walking towards the viewer looking at the placement of their feet. The sculptor has carved intricately, the crown, jewelry, and positions. Goddess Sita is standing to his right and Lakshman to his left.
The temple is protected and appears to be constructed in three stages, with its garbhagudi and sukhanasi structures in the Hoysala style. The remaining portions are additions in Dravidian style. The outer walls are raised on a square basement which consists of six cornices. The projection of the vestibule appears to be of the 17th century.
According to the Puranas, proud Purushothama was subdued by Hiremagalur by Rama. Purushothama requested Rama to show him the scene of his marriage. Therefore Sita stands to Rama’s right side and Lakshmana to his left, as per the Hindu marriage ceremonies. Perhaps, this is the only temple where Sita and Lakshmana are positioned like this, as popular renderings of the trio depict Sita to Rama’s left.
This temple of Lord Rama is said to be constructed on the exact spot where he crowned Sugriva as the new king. The uniqueness of the temple lies in its sanctum. Unlike other Lord Rama temples, where Lord Hanuman is depicted in a bowing position in front of him, here devotees can witness Sugriva bowning in front. The whole temple is a beautiful amalgam of the Hoysala, and the Dravidian style of architecture. Rama Navami is a major festival that is celebrated here enthusiastically.One of the best things to do in chikmagalur
30. Ayyanakere Lake :
The second-biggest lake in Karnataka, Ayyanakere, is located 20km away from Chickmagalur. After you have watched the sunrise at Mullayanagiri peak and descended to Chickmagalur, you should visit the lake in the evening to relax and watch the sunset. If you are too mesmarised by the sunset to leave, you can also set up a camp alongside the lake for the night. one of the best things to do in chikmagalur
Words cannot describe the beauty of this place. You need to experience this by visiting the site on your own. If you visit this place during the monsoon, happiness will double up. The conical-shaped peak at the backdrop, the sunrise or the sunset, the ocean-sized water body, giant trees on the banks, and the clouds kissing the hills makes it a view worth watching. The lake is a historic site. It was created by a Chieftain of Sakrepatna, Rukmangada Raya by name. In the 12th century, the lake was renovated by the Hoysalas. The lake is a blessing for the farmers of the region as it maintains the fertility of thousands of acres of land.
The vivid and magnanimous lake of Ayyanakere is a perfect example of a calm and aesthetic tourist hot-spot. This lake is one such spot that deserves to on the priority list of Things to do in Chikmagalur: Home to sprawling hills, stunning valleys, and coffee blossoms, Chickmagalur is commonly known as the coffee district of…. Despite the lack of publicity, the peaceful ambience of the lake makes it more travel-worthy.