Chikkamagaluru or Chikmagalur is a place with the best weather conditions and lush green hill stations. It is well-known for its miles and miles of coffee estate where high quality coffee seeds are produced. Tourists can enjoy their stay at any time of the year due to the cool weather. But October to May is the best time for visitors. The district has many holy spots, hill stations and temples built by ancient rulers. Many rivers originate from the hills of Chikkamagaluru district and flow all round the year.

Baba Budan Giri Hills
Baba Budan Giri Hills
According to legend, the town was given in dowry during the marriage of the younger daughter of Rukmangada, who was a chief of Sakrepatna. Old inscriptions reveal that the two places that belonged to the younger and elder daughter were known as Kiriya-muguli and Piriya-muguli respectively. But later the same towns got their names as Chikkamagaluru and Hiremagaluru. The name of the district and town has been recently changed to Chikkamagaluru by the state government.

At Chikkamagaluru tourists can enjoy the serene beauty of nature either at the wildlife sanctuaries or at the waterfalls. The district is covered with a hilly wet land, Malnad region. It has many lakes and rivers that make it an ideal tourist spot and a favorite weekend getaway for many. Enjoying lush greenery and waterfalls at the weekends is surely a great way to feel rejuvenated. Finding a place to stay in Chikkamagaluru district is very easy.

Chikmagalur is located in the south eastern part of Karnataka. It has wildlife sanctuaries and historical temples that attract a lot of tourists every year. The district boundaries stretch up to Tumakuru to the east, Hassan to the south, Chitradurga to the North east and Shivamogga to the North. Western Ghats acts like a boundary line in the west and separates it from Dakhina Kannada district. Dharmasthala, Arsikere, Tumakuru, Hassan and Bengaluru are the places easily accessible from Chikmagalur. There are a few luxury hotels in the district that provide good hospitality and service.

Magnificently sculpted temples were built by ancient rulers at this place. During 1000-1334CE the Hoysalas ruled the place with Halebid(formerly Dwarasamudra) in the present Hassan district as their capital. The rulers were called the Yadava Kings who had tremendous power after defeating the Chalukyas and rose to become the dominant rulers even over the Cholas and Pandyas in South India.

The Hoysalas ruled for more than two centuries and later in 1346, the whole of Hoysala kingdom passed into the hands of the Vijayanagara rulers when Harihara became the first ruler of Vijayanagara Empire. After the decisive battle at Rakkasa Tangadi(Talikot) in the year 1565, Adilshahis or Bahamani Sultans of Bijapur and later Mughal Emperors took over. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Chikkamagaluru became a land of controversy between the Keladi Nayakas of Shimoga and the Mysore Kingdom. Under Narasaraja Wodeyar I and Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar, the kingdom annexed large expanses of what is now southern Karnataka and parts of Tamil Nadu to become a powerful state in the southern Deccan.

Finally it was merged as an independent Mysore kingdom. Hyder Ali ruled Mysore between 1734 and 1766 and his son Tipu Sultan reigned from 1782 to 1799. A series of Anglo-Mysore wars were fought during the period. Two wars were fought between British and Hyder Ali and other two wars took place between the British and Tipu Sultan. The end of battle at Seringapatam (Srirangapatna) also marked the end of Mysore Kings and East India Company of the British became the lords of the Kingdom.

The region where Chikmagalur is located was known as Kadur during the British reign. Chikmagalur was the region of traveler's delight as beautiful white coffee blossoms dominated the hills and surroundings. The place gained more popularity and became the first place to cultivate coffee in India in 1670 AD. Muslim saint, Baba Budan had wrapped seven coffee bean seeds around his waist and got them out of Arabia through Mocha seaport of Yemen. He came to Chikmagalur and planted the seeds in his garden near a cave in Chandragiri. The Rulers of Mysore Krishna Wodeyar and Tipu Sultan both gave away rent free lands to farmers and established certain norms to grow coffee. With the encouragement from the British, coffee production and trade became a major occupation of Chikmagalur contributing to the Indian economy. 

Chikkamagaluru district has a geographical area of 7, The district is divided into 7 taluks namely Chikkamagaluru, Kadur, Tarikere, Mudigere, Koppa, Narasimharajapura and Sringeri. There are 7 taluks, 226 panchayats and 117 villages. The population as per 2011 census was 1,137,961 of which male and female were 566,622 and 571,339 respectively.

Important artefacts unearthed: Haluru near Anuvanahalli in Tarikere taluk is 128km from Chikkamagaluru. Recently, some 800 antique pieces of Satavahana period (230 BC – 220 AD) were found during excavation at an archaeological site in the region. Satavahanas were followers of Buddhism. They ruled the Deccan plateau region. Many Roman & Satavahana period coins were found as excavation went on for 4 months. The artefacts are displayed at university museum at Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion.

Tools and microliths between 1500 BC and 1200 BC were unearthed. It was a clear indication that there was continuous human settlement near the site excavated. Neolithic period related 20 polished stone axes, stone pots and iron antiquities were found in the area. Different size and shapes of stone weights, small vessels of terracotta and stone, point towards the importance of the region which might have been a well-known herbal medicine manufacturing centre. 

Mullayanagiri is the highest mountain peak in Karnataka state. It is located 12km away from Chikkamagaluru. The road is extremely narrow with a breathtaking view from steep cliffs. On the way there is a holy spot Sitalayanagiri. The water at the Shiva temple is always very stable.
Adi Shaktyatmaka Shri Annapurneshwari Temple
Adi Shaktyatmaka Shri Annapurneshwari Temple

Adi-Shaktyatmaka Shri Annapoorneshwari temple is 100 km southwest of Chikkamagaluru. It is an ancient temple which has been renovated recently. With the installation of the new idol of goddess Adi Shakti, the temple got its new name. Formerly it was called Horanadu Annapoorneshwari temple. The place is visited all round the year by pilgrims who get the facility of free boarding and lodging. 

Baba Budan Giri hill range lies to the north of Chikkamagaluru town. It was known as Chandra Drona Parvatha during the historical times. It is one of the highest mountain peaks between the Himalayan range and the Nilgiri hills. The peak got its name from the Muslim saint, Baba Budan who was residing on the hills more than 150 years ago.

Kudremukh National Park is spread over and covers parts of the thick hilly forests of Chikkamagaluru, Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts. Kudremukh National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which has a top priority for tiger conservation. It is 6th tiger reserve in the country approved by the NTCA( National Tiger Conservation Authority). Kudremukh or Kudremukha is a Kannada word which means Horse Face, the highest hill top at 1892 metres.

The Kudremukh Park has four ranges namely Kudremukh, Kerekatte, Kalasa and Shivamogga. Rivers Nethravathi,Tunga and Bhadra originate from the hills. Lord Varaha statue is at a height of six feet and inside an ancient cave. The temple of goddess Sri Bhagavathi is found at the place. Many tourists and pilgrims are attracted to see the spot. 

The avifauna (bird variety) includes more than 180 species of birds of which 8 species are endemic to the Western Ghats. The park has birds like the mountain imperial pigeon, Malabar whistling thrush, Orange-headed Thrush, Malabar trogon, White-cheeked Barbet, White-throated Kingfisher etc.

The region is home to over 2,500 types of floral plants, 400 plants of medicinal value, 180 species of edible plants, 70 orchid species and 750 species of mushrooms.

The park has a large mammal species that are rarely found in the other wildlife reserves. The threatened small mammals are Lion-tailed macaque, Malabar civet and Small flying squirrel. The endangered larger mammal species include tiger, leopard, mouse deer, malabar giant squirrel and four-horned antelope, dhole, sloth bear, spotted deer, Asiatic elephant, gaur, sambar and mount jack. About 54 species of reptiles and 34 species of amphibians are known to occur in this reserve, including highly threatened species like the Flying snake, King cobra, Flying lizard, shield tail snakes, Forest cane turtle, Travancore tortoise and several endemic frogs. The aquatic insect species are very rich in this reserve and highest recorded in the Western Ghats area.

There are pilgrimage centers near the Park like Sringeri Sharada Peetam and Adi-Shaktyatmaka Shri Horanadu Annapoorneshwari Temple and Gangamoola.

Kemmanagundi is a hill station located at the north of the Chikmagalur town. Surrounded with thick forests, it is at a distance of 55km from the town and on the Baba Budan Giri hill range. It is a secluded hill which is surrounded by extensive coffee estates, waterfalls and attractive gardens. Hill range has the name K R Hills from Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the ancient Mysore ruler. It was the royal summer retreat during the hot weather season. It is popular as the Ooty of Karnataka. Kuvempu, the Kannada poet, described the hills as the land of everlasting spring season. The place is 1,434m high above sea level. Z-point is a location at about 10 minutes of walk from the main place. Tourists enjoy the view of picturesque landscapes of the Western Ghats and Shola grasslands. It is maintained by the Horticulture Department of Karnataka. Nearby destinations are Shankar Sholapradesha, Horse way, Jagara Valley and pass, Rock Garden, Veerabhadreshwara Temple, Kallahatti Falls, Shanthi Falls, Muthodi game sanctuary and Bhadra reservoir. Kemmanagundi is one of the top most trekking destinations in the state.

Rock Garden is developed by the Karnataka Horticulture Department. Colorful rose garden as well as the Orchid house along with several exotic plant species is of botanical significance. The garden is home to rare species of flowers and plants. Streaming water at the Bhadra Reservoir is an attraction seen from rock garden. 

Manikyadhara falls is near Kemmanagundi 25km from district headquarters.
Hebbe falls is 8km from Kemmanagundi. Water gushes down from 168 meters height and falls in 2 stages and forms Dodda Hebbe (bigger) and Chikka Hebbe (smaller).
Kallathigiri or Kalhatti falls is 10km from Kemmanagundi. Water streams down from top at a height of 122 meters from Chandra Drona hill. An ancient temple of Lord Veerabhadra stands amidst the gap of two rocks. Temple belongs to the period of the Vijayanagara Empire.  According to legend, the temple has links with Hindu mythological sage Agastya.
Shanthi falls is 2km from Kemmanagundi. It is on the way to Z point.
Sirimane falls is 5km from Kigga, 12km from Sringeri and 100km from district headquarters.
Hanumangundi or Suthanabbi falls is 126km from district headquarters and 80km from Mangaluru.
Kadambi falls is 119km from district headquarters and 86km from Mangaluru.
These are some of the magnificent waterfalls located in the district. All the waterfall locations are good holiday pastime and weekend getaway places.

Hotels and Resorts:

The Serai Chikmagalur
Mugthihalli Post, K M Road
Chikmagalur - 577 133
Tel: +91 8262 224 903 / 14
Mob: +91 94835 24903

Gateway Hotel
K.M. Road
Opp. Pavitravana
Chikmagalur - 577102
Tel: +91 8262 660 660

S K Regency
Beside Aashirvada Hospital
Rathnagiri Road
Chikmagalur - 577 101
Mob: +91 98800 24435

The Grand Krishna
Narasingha Roa Road
Chikmagalur - 577101
Tel: +91 8262 233546

Suprabha Residency
Kalasa Horanadu Road
Kalasa - 577124
Chikmagalur district
Tel: 82632 74155

Home Stays:

The last Resort
Glendale Farms
Ballavara Kallathipura P.O
Tarikere Taluk
Chikmagalur - 577 129
Mob: +91 78290 26617

Ozone Valley
Denton Khan Estate 'C'
Chikmagalur - 577 137
Mob: +91 94489 71207 / 73537 06047

DM Villa
Dr. Nandakumar & family
Dwarkamai, A-59
2nd Stage CDA Layout
Kalyananagar, Chikmagalur - 577 102        
Mob: +91 77606 08584, +91 95914 61117          

Devigiri Homestay
Devigiri Estate, Hosa Road
Near NH 57, Arasinaguppe
Chikmagalur - 577 131
Mob: +91 94488 17524

Navilubetta homestay
Mudigere taluk, Devarunda
Chikmagalur - 577 132
Mob: +91 97434 83700

Greendale Estate
Pandravalli Post
Chikmagalur - 577 101
Tel: +91 98440 77937

Things to Buy: Vegetables, food grains and coffee.
Nearest Airport: Mangaluru International Airport - 156km and Bengaluru International Airport - 264km.
Distance to: Bengaluru - 243km, Mangaluru - 152km, Mysuru - 177km, Hassan - 61km, Shivamogga - 98km.
Nearest Sea Port: Mangalore - 156km

Chikkamagaluru is a good honeymoon destination for newly married couples and a heaven for trekkers.

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