Chikmagalur is a part of the Western Ghats, well known for its expansive coffee plantations. Located about 180 km from Bangalore, it is one of the most popular hill stations in Karnataka. There is a lot one can do in Chikmagalur, trekking being one of the major highlights of the destination.
Baba Budan Giri
Places of Interest in Chikmagalur
There are plenty of peaks in Chikmagalur which are ideal for trekking, Mullayanagiri is the highest of them all, with a height of almost 2000 meters above sea level. The trek to the top of the peak starts at Sarpadhari, which is about 15 km from the town centre. The trek to the top of Mullayanagiri is a moderately difficult trek, with serpentine paths. There are some caves midway from the base of the trek which can be explored. The top of the peak has a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. There are splendid views of the valley to be had from the top of Mullayanagiri. However, during winter months, it is often covered with thick mist which hampers visibility.
A short distance away from Mullayanagiri is the peak of Bababudanagiri. The peak is a part of the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary and can be reached on foot from Mullayanagiri. There are buses available too for Bababudanagiri. The peak is a pilgrimage centre and is dedicated to Baba Budana, who was believed to have magical healing powers.
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
Chikmagalur is blessed with verdant greenery, which makes it ideal for wildlife. There is the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary here, which is close to the Mullayanagiri peak. The wildlife reserve boasts of a sizeable population of tiger, apart from other animals such as Asiatic elephants, sloth bear etc. There are more than 250 species of birds to spot here too.
Activities to be done in Chikmagalur
Trekking is the highlight of Chikmagalur. There are several peaks in Chikmagalur where trekking is possible, Mullayanagiri and Bababudanagiri being two of the best options.
The Bhadra River flows through Chikmagalur, and is ideal for river rafting and kayaking. The activity that can be done depends on the time of the year, since the water level of the river fluctuates throughout the year. The months immediately after monsoon are best for rafting in Bhadra River.
The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary in Chikmagalur is ideal for a wildlife safari. Safari arrangements can be made from the office of the Forest Department. There are a lot of animals to be spotted in Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary including tigers, elephants, jackal, wild boar, mouse deer etc.
How to reach Chikmagalur
Chikmagalur does not have an airport. The closest airport to the destination is that of Mangalore, which is about 180 km away. There are taxis as well as buses available from Mangalore airport to Chikmagalur. However, the Mangalore airport is connected to a few Indian cities only. The Bangalore International Airport is located about 280 km from Chikmagalur and has regular flights from most major cities of India and abroad. There are taxis as well as buses available from Bangalore International Airport to Chikmagalur.
Chikmagalur does not have a railway station either. The closest station to the place is that of Mangalore. The Mangalore railway station is well connected to most cities in India, and there are regular buses as well as taxis available from here to Chikmagalur.
There are regular state transport buses available from Bangalore as well as Mangalore to Chikmagalur. There are standard buses as well as deluxe buses to choose from.
Best time to visit
If you are looking for adventure in Chikmagalur, you should completely avoid the monsoon months. The wildlife sanctuary is closed during the monsoon months, and trekking is dangerous too, since the place is infested with leeches.
The best time to visit Chikmagalur would be between the months of November to March, when the weather is right for trekking as well as other activities. However, if you are travelling during the winter months, make sure you carry warm clothing with you since the place experiences strong, chilly winds at that time of the year.