Nestled amidst the extensive Western Ghats, the hill town of Chikmagalur is one of the best places in Karnataka for a tranquil retreat. Lush green mountains, picturesque trekking trails, cascading waterfalls, and mystical temples. This never-ending list of best places to visit in Chikmagalur will lure you to plan a vacation amidst the calm, and serene hills of Karnataka. If you want to escape into nature, then there is no better place than the verdant hills of Chikmaglur. Breath salubrious air and enjoy picturesque landscapes.
Mullayanagiri, located at a distance of 16 Km from Chikmagalur is a part of the Baba Budan Giri Hill ranges. It stands 1930 meters tall rewarded as the tallest peak in Karnataka state. Enroute, you can see Sitalayanagiri where the water inside the Shiva temple neither raises nor decreases. The way to Mullayanagiri is very narrow that has views from steep cliffs. Driving towards the peak is not possible and you will have to trek up the hill from the midway point. From the highest point of the hill, you can view the Arabian Sea on clear days. The small hillock in the temple compound is the highest point in Karnataka. It is a great trekking spot in Karnataka.
Hebbe Falls is accessed from Kemmangundi which is located 8 km from this hill station. The falls are surrounded by astonishing greenery. Dense forests, thick foliage, rich flora, and hills encompass this region. Coffee plantations are sprawled across the expanses around the falls. Descending from a height of 168 meters, the falls are divided into two stages – Called Dodda Hebbe and Chikka Hebbe, the waterfall varies in height at these two regions. This water is also believed to contain medicinal herbs that have gained the attention of numerous biologists and scientists.
Sringeri Sharada Peetham
Nestled amongst the backdrop of the exquisite Malnad Hills on the banks of River Tunga and established by Sri Adi Shankaracharya, Sringeri Sharada Peetham is named after the great Rishi Rishyashringa. The prime deity of the temple is Sharadhamba Devi. Adi Shankaracharya initially placed a sandalwood idol of the deity here which later developed into this huge beautiful place of worship and an important pilgrim place. This beautiful place showcases the past and the present through a beautiful architecture that it is blended in.
Baba Budangiri (Datta Peeta)
Guru Dattatreya Bababudanswamy Darga is situated on the Baba Budan Giri is the Inam Dattatreya Peetha venerated by the Hindus and the Muslims alike. A laterite cave here is believed to have been sanctified by the residence of Dattatreya Swami as well as Hazrat Dada Hayat Mir Khalander. The worship here is conducted by a fakir and the annual fair or urs is attended by both Hindus and Muslims with great fervors.
Kemmangundi: a picturesque hill station located at a distance of 55 Km from Chikmagalur on the Baba Budan Giri range of hills, at a height of 1,434 meters, is surrounded by thick forests as well as an enjoyable climate throughout the year. Its beautifully laid out attractive gardens and charming mountain and valley views are a pleasure to the eye. Spectacular sunsets are a must see from different places in the district. For those adventurous, Kemmangundi provides a lot of peaks to climb and difficult jungle paths to discover. This place has a beautiful rose garden as well as other points of interest. There is a spot known as Z-point at about 10 minutes walk from this main location.
Kallathigiri Falls is located at a distance of 10 km from Kemmangundi. Over here you experience the elements of nature as pure, refreshing and charming as they come. Water cascades down from the top of the Chandra Drona hill from a height of 122 meters amidst breathtaking scenery. You can find an old Veerabhadra temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, built in a gap between rocks. This temple can be approached after crossing the waterfall.
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is 38 km north-west of Chikmagalur town. The sanctuary is surrounded by Mullayanagiri, Hebbe Giri, Gange Giri, and Baba Budan Giri hills and has the tributaries of the Bhadra river flowing through it. The various wildlife can be found in this sanctuary like Gaur, Elephants, Tiger, Leopard, Sambar, Chital spotted deer, Boar, Porcupine, Muntjac, birds like the Peacock, Parrot, Partridge, Pigeon, Munia and Bee eaters, and reptiles such as King Cobras and Indian Rock Pythons.
Kudremukh range lies at a distance of 95 km towards the southwest of Chikmagalur Town. Kudremukh literally means Face of Horse (in Kannada Kudure = horse and Mukha = face), so named for the reason that it has unique shape of the Kudremukh peak. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, the broad hills are linked to each other with deep valley and steep precipices. Situated at an altitude of 1,894.3 meters above sea level, Kudremukh is rich in iron ore deposits.
With a height of about 30 feet, the waterfall is situated midst dense Forest offering great views of Baba Budangiri Hills. Locally known as Nellikayi Theertha, this waterfall is considered as a holy site by Hindus as well as Muslims. Manikya Dhara, which literally means a string of pearls, is the ideal site for people looking for a peaceful and scenic atmosphere.
People believe that bathing in this fall can cure various ailments. The specialty of the fall is that it does not get drained during the summer.
Considered as one of the best trek points not just in Chikmagalur but in Karnataka, Z Point is enchanting views of the western ghats. Z point stands at an elevation of 1400 meters and getting to the top is a short trek of 3 kilometers. The walk is a pretty thrilling one but comes at the cost of scenic views of lush green valleys.
Kemmagundi Raj Bhavan is the start point of this adventurous trek to Z point which also provides the best sunrise as well as sunset skies. Moreover, Shanti waterfalls are enroute the top, so tourists can stop by to take a dip into the chilly waters of this fall.
One of the most popular tourist places in Chikmagalur, Jhari waterfalls is also known as buttermilk falls. The falls are surrounded by dense forest area and coffee plantations that together make for an outstanding view. In the lower area of this waterfall, a pool offers opportunities for tourists to get drenched! It is located Near Mullayanagiri, Baba Budangiri, near Attigundi, Chikmagalur.
Away from the city hustle, Hirekolale lake is nestled amidst the hills and coffee plantations of Chikmagalur.
Here, tourists can sit by the lake and enjoy views of the beautiful sun setting in between the surrounding hills. The lake is built with the purpose of providing water to the town of Chikmagalur and thus holds great importance.
Sri Annapoorneswari Temple is situated on the banks of River Bhadra and is also known as Sri Kshethra Horanadu. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Annapoorneswari, one of the incarnations of Goddess Durga. Nestled amidst the natural bounties of the Western Ghats, this temple is one of the best Chikmagalur sightseeing places where one can meditate for hours, amidst a serene, and peaceful environment.
Sri Veeranarayana Temple
Belavadi is situated at a distance of 29 km from the town of Chikmagalur. A scenic village which is surrounded by green lands, trees, and tons of lush greenery makes it a perfect place for one to relax at. The village of Belavadi is believed to have a lot of historical significance due to the presence of the Veer Narayana temple which was constructed by the Hoysalas and for the legend of Belavadi Mallamma who was a fearless warrior and queen who fought against Shivaji, the Maratha King thereby winning his admiration in the 17th century AD.