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Popularly known as coffee capital of Karnataka, Chikmagalur is a small town tucked away in the beautiful Baba Budan hill range on the Western Ghats. Chikmagalur is located at the southwestern part of Karnataka. Nestled in lush green surroundings, Chikmagalur has glorious temples, awesome peaks, soothing waterfalls, wildlife and dotted by rivers like Bhadra, Hemavathi, Tunga and Netravathi. This place is a feast for the senses and could be a perfect weekend getaway where all the tourist spots are within a couple of hours drive from the main town.
The origin of the name Chikmagalur has an interesting tale attached to it. Chikmagalur literally means 'the town of younger daughter' and history reveals that this town was given as dowry (Part of the traditional Indian practice of offering some largesse to the bride) to the younger daughter of Rukmangada, chieftain of a place called Sakrepatna, hence the name Chikmagalur.
Chikmagalur located at a height of about 1000 m (3100 ft) above sea level in the Western Ghat - is one of the many hill stations dotting the landscape of Karnataka, north of Hassan. There is a beautiful hill station called as Kemmangundi about 55 km from Chikmagalur. It is situated in the Baba Budan range of hills at a height of 1434 meters above sea level. Charmed by the serene surroundings and picturesque location Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV of Mysore made this place a summer resort and eventually handed it over to the state government of Karnataka. Hence it is also known as Krishnarajendra Hill Station or K.R. Hills. If there is one place that should not be missed by visitors, it is a spectacular rose garden maintained by horticulture department of Kemmangundi. This place is surrounded by enchanting mountains and watching the sunset from some of the peaks will leave you with a blissful experience.
From Kemmangundi, you just have to travel 10 km further and you will reach the heavenly Kallathigiri waterfalls. The gushing sound of the water falling on to the rocks is sure to mesmerize the visitors. Visit Veerabhadraswamy temple situated near the waterfalls, a temple dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva.
There is a magnificent Kudremukh hill range located 95 km south west of Chikmagalur. It is named so because of the interesting shape of the Kudremukh Peak. The mountain peaks here resemble the shape of the horse face. Kudremukh is still undiscovered by the travel enthusiasts and is a trekker's paradise. This place has amazing greenery and abundant flora and fauna coupled with excellent weather. Some of the places of interest in and around Kudremukh are Lakya dam, Radha Krishna temple and Gangamoola hill (the source of the three main rivers namely Tunga, Bhadra and Nethravathi)
Baba Budan Giri range, located 20km north to the Chikmagalur is a mountain towering 1895m high. The unique feature of this hill is that it has a pilgrimage center called Inam Dattatreya Peetha where both Muslim Sufi saint Baba Budan and Hindu God Guru Dattatreya are worshipped at the same place. This place is revered by both the communities equally. In these ranges, Muslim Saint Baba Budan cultivated coffee for the first time after bringing the seeds from Yemen and hence these mountain ranges are named after him. A Manikyadhara waterfall near Baba Budan Giri Dattatreya Peetha is a 'must visit' place where water flow is more gentle and soothing.
The range has one of the highest mountain peaks called Mullayangiri with a height of 1930 m (6317 ft.), which ranks next to the Nilgiris in height. It is the tallest peak in Karnataka and this peak provides a breathtaking view of the Arabian Sea.
Built in the Hoyasala and Dravidian style of architecture, Kodanda Ramaswamy Temple dedicated to the Hindu God Rama, in Chikmagalur is a popular place of worship and visited by the devotees throughout the year. You can see the annual jathra festival if you visit around February - March. Do not miss the shell shaped portico at the St. Joseph's Cathedral.
Rathnagiri Bore, a tiny hillock in the town of Chikmagalur is a popular tourist spot because of the panoramic view it offers of the Mullayanagiri peak. A beautiful park has been developed here to attract visitors and is named as Mahatama Gandhi Park.
Bhadra wildlife Sanctuary is situated about 38 km from Chikmagalur main town and is known for its large tiger population. Set in an area of 500 km, this wild life sanctuary is home to different species of animals and birds. State government of Karnataka has set up a resort called Rivertern lodge within the sanctuary region and those who love the challenges of forest can avail the safari rides offered by the resort.
Accommodation at Chikmagalur:
Chikmagalur offers wide range of resorts, hotels and home stays to suit all budgets. Most of these facilities are set amidst beautiful coffee plantations at the backdrop of high mountains and lush green forests. The Serai, Kalgreen Valley Resort, Taj Garden Retreat, Tex Woods, Winter Greens, Silent Valley Resort are some of the renowned resorts that attract tourists to enjoy the beauty of Chikmagalur.
Getting to Chikmagalur
Air: The nearest airports are Mangalore (180kms) and Bangalore (275kms). From here you can take a taxi to Chikmagalur.
Rail: The nearest railway station is Kadur, which is situated 40kms away from Chikmagalur main town.
Road: Frequent buses ply from Bangalore to Chikmagalur; alternatively you can hire a cab to reach the place.
South India Travel - Information on South India Travel
South India Tour - Grand Canyon of Asia
Karnataka Tourism - Land of exquisite architecture in Temples and History
Pattadakal - Ceremonial site of the early Western Chalukyan kings
Bandipur National Park - Paradise for wildlife.
Bannerghatta National Park - Animals in their natural habitat.
Jog Falls - highest waterfalls in India
Qutb Shahi Tombs - Persian and Indian architectural style
Fort St Angelo Kannur - 500 year old European built Fort
Bekal Fort - Old Fort near Kasargod
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary - Jagaru Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary - Sharavathi Valley
Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary - Sanctuary near Kannur
Coorg - The Scotland of the East
Kudremukh - Face of a Horse overlooking the Arabian Sea
Santa Cruz Basilica Cochin - 500 year old Basilica near the Arabian sea
Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours - Tallest Church in Asia and the biggest Church in India
St. Andrews Basilica Allepey - Fair skinned Father of Miracles
Basilica of Our Lady of Vallarpadam - Basilica in an Island
Velankanni Basilica - Lady of Health Shrine near the Bay of Bengal
Our Lady of Ports Cathedral Ernakulam - Cochin boasts of 4 Basilicas
St. George Basilica Angamaly - Basilica for a Roman Soldier who slayed Dragons
St. Mary Queen of Peace Basilica Trivandrum - Syrian Malankara Church
Holy Redeemer Basilica Trichi - Mother of Perpetual Help
Poondi Madha Basilica - Lady of Lourdes
St. Mary's Basilica Bangalore - Miraculous statue of Our Lady
Basilica of Our Lady of Snows Tuticorin - Miraculous Statue of our Lady of Snow
Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus - Eglise De Sacre Coeur
Santhome Basilica - Houses the relic of St.Thomas
Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption - St.Mary's Church
Divine Retreat Center Chalakudy - Potta Ashram
Church of Our Lady of Angels - 400 year old Church
Basilica of Our Lady of Snows Pallippuram - 500 year old Basilica
St.Lawrence Basilica in Attur - Miracles in Attur
Maria Bambina Church - Marian Devotion
Holy Rosary Basilica Karumathampatty - New Basilica near Coimbatore
Basilica of Our Lady of Health in Harihar - Velankanni of Karnataka
Basilica of St. Anthony - Basilica of St.Anthony of Padua
Infant Jesus Shrine - Roman Catholic Shrine in India
Chikmagalur Trekking - Heady mix of Coffee and Waterfalls
Kodachadri Hills - Mountain Peak in Shimoga
Kabini Resort - Forest retreat a few hours from Bangalore and Mysore.
Kemmanagundi - Undulating meadows, gurgling brooks, rolling mist
Hampi - Evokes visions of poetry in stone
Mangalore - A triangular city with a summit to the South.
Mysore Palace - City basking in the glory of past Kings
Hyderabad Travel - City of Nizams
Vishakapatnam - Serene lakes, Cool beaches
Golconda Fort - Military Architecture
Charminar - Qutb Shahi Dynasty
Kodaikanal - South India's better known hill stations
Kerala Tourism - God's own Country
Alappuzha - Palm fringed canals, lazy lagoons and water locked towns.
Kumarakom Backwaters - Idllyic relaxed backwater setting
Mattanchery Palace - Palace in Kochi
Munnar - Emerald green tea estates.
Silent Valley - Sairandhrivanam, meaning forest in the valley.
Wayanad wildlife sanctuary - Holiday Resorts, Ayurvedic Rejuvenation centers and more.
Poovar Island - Holiday in Poovar
Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary - Highest peak in Karnataka
Cochin Travel - Gateway to God's own Country
Belur Hoysala Temples - Poetry in Stone
Chola Temples - Revisit the past glory of the mighty Cholas
Madurai Meenakshi Temple - One of the Biggest temples
Tirupati temple - Lord of the 7 Hills
Rameshwaram Temple - Sethu Yathra
Swamimalai Temple - The Son who taught his Father
Guruvayur Temple - Bhuloka Vaikunta
Sabarimala Temple - Makara Jyothi
Padmanabha swamy Temple - Ananthasayanam
Thiruvannamalai temple - Padal PetraSthalam
Saradamba Temple Sringeri - Sringeri Temples
Ranganatha Swami Temple - Largest Temple in the World
Udupi Krishna Temple - Kanakanakindi
Vaitheeswaran Koil - Prime center for naadi shastra
Sripuram Golden Temple - Temple of Gold
Srikalahasti Temple - Kailas of the South
Kanchipuram Temple - Ancient Pallava built Temple
Palani Temple - Temple dedicated to Tamil God
Thiruchendur Murugan Temple - Part of the 6 Abodes of Murugan