Don’t you simply love the aroma of fresh morning coffee? Now, imagine that aroma all around in the air perpetually. No, it isn’t a fantasy world but India’s very own coffee land Chikmagalur!
Tucked in the foothills of the Mullyangiri range, lies the charming city of Chikmagalur. The land of coffee as it is often called attracts thousands of tourists every year for its verdant valleys and green vistas. If you are in Bangalore, Chikmagalur must be high on your weekend bucket list. Planning for some adventure with friends or looking for a serene family getaway – Chikmagalur has something for everyone.
A tiny town in Karnataka, Chikmagalur, besides producing almost all the Indian coffee you have had in your entire life, is also famous for being a quaint getaway for busy city folks. However, don’t mistake it to be a sleepy town as there is a lot you can do here. Taking walk in the coffee plantations and being content all the time seems to be the favorite pastime of travelers visiting Chikmagalur. The name means ‘the land of younger daughter’ and is derived from the fact Chikmagalur was given as a dowry to the youngest daughter of Rukmangada, the legendary chief of Sakharayapattana.
If you are planning to visit this coffee- heaven, these are the experience you must take:
1. Baba Budangiri Hills-
It was Baba Budan who smuggled five beans of coffee from Mecca and planted them across the hills of Chikmagalur. The place where his tomb is present is now known as Baba Budangiri, and it is an accessible trek location. People from all religions visit the shrine.
The locals call it Datta Peeta and the official name from the peak is Chandra Drona Parvatha. The region has a spectacular view especially from the top of the hill. Mullayanagiri is the highest peak in this region and is one of the most adventurous trekking spots.
Mullayangiri enjoys the reputation of being the highest peak in Karnataka. Standing at the height of 2000 meters above sea level, it has lovely challenging scenic trails of lush grasslands and a panoramic view of the city making it a favorite amongst trekkers. The base of the trek is located 12 km from Chikmagalur, and it is the highest mountain between the Himalayas and the Nilgiris. Many come here to enjoy camping, mountain biking, and nature walks. The top of the peak also has a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva which is visited by several devotees.
3. Hirekolale Lake-
Hirekolale Lake is an exquisite man-made lake 10 km from Chikmagalur. The highlight of the lake is the stunning sight of it during sunset as it sparkles in the vivid hues of saffron shade reflected by the radiance of the setting sun giving it an almost ethereal appearance. One of the popular attractions, it warrants a visit for its impressive beauty.
One 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.
It is recommended to carry some food and water here, as there are no restaurants until a few kilometers from the lake. This lake is located in Chikmagalur.
Once a summer retreat center of the Royal Family, Kemmangundi is a fabulous hill station located in Tarikere Taluk at the height of 1400 meters above sea level against the breathtaking backdrop of the Baba Budan hills. The hill offers a splendid panoramic view of the mountains, hills, and valleys. A number of resorts and homestays have come up around this area offering a peaceful retreat from the hustle-bustle of city life. This place is also known as Sri Krishnarajendra Hill Station.
5. Hebbe Falls-
The serene Western Ghats is famous for many waterfalls as it is a monsoon rich region. Among these lovely torrents, Hebbe Falls is one of the most gorgeous cascading from a height of 550 feet and is an interesting sight to behold. You can reach this waterfall via an arduous 8 km trek from Kemmangundi through a steep and narrow path. The route is full of enchanting greenery that includes gorgeous flora and fauna. The whole region is surrounded by coffee plantations that give a very nice scenic touch to the area.
6. Z – Point–
Z – Point is one of those places, which are off the radar and still relatively unscathed by the problems of the population. At a distance of 5 km from Kemmanagundi, 67 km from Chikmagalur, and 1 km from Shanti Falls, Z Point is a wonderful trekking spot and one of the prime places to visit in Kemmanagundi. 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.
7. Kalhatti Falls-
The Kalhatti Falls is where nature wraps you in its charm. Over here you experience the elements of nature as pure, refreshing, and charming as they come. The magnetism of this waterfall is evident when you see it at close quarters. The surrounding regions of the falls are revitalizing. It makes for a refreshing round of nature walks. There is so much possible here and it is one of the best places to visit in Chikmagalur. You are in nature’s most verdant backyard. Located near Kemmanagundi, the Kalhatti Falls have all the blessings of nature. They are located in a pristine environment. The backdrop is numerous mountains and dense foliage.
You visit this place to make a pilgrimage of relaxation and fun. This is the best place for such activities amongst places to visit in Chikmagalur. There is a small temple in the vicinity. This temple is sandwiched in the waterfalls. The temple has idols and stone structures. Throughout the year, devotees visit this place and offer their prayers here.
No matter how many days you spend in Chikmagalur, one trip is never enough. Sooner or later, the memories of the city’s beauty will overwhelm you and you will find yourself packing your bags to refresh those memories.
Have you been to Chikmagalur? What was your experience? Do let me know in the comments.
Till then- KEEP TRAVELLING. KEEP WANDERING.