Chikmagalur is a beautiful and quaint hill town located at a distance of 148 km from the port city of Mangalore, 178 km from Mysore and 240 km from the state’s capital Bangalore. Situated in the Deccan plateau, Chikmagalur belongs to the Malnad region of Karnataka and is also the place where the Western Ghats ascend. The luscious Yagachi River also flows from the surrounding hills of Chikmagalur. Since it is surrounded by so many hills, Chikmagalur is the favourite options for trekkers and adventure enthusiasts in Karnataka. We have hills like the famous Baba Budangiri hills, Kemmanagundi hills, Mullayanigiri hills right beside the town and many other hilly places that will add just the right amount of the spice of adventure to your short trip to this heavenly place.
The hill town of Chikmagalur stands at an elevation of 3,400 feet and is covered with coffee plantations for as far as your eyes can see. The vast expanse of tea and coffee plantations also makes this place look kind of amazing. Tourists frequent this place for the stunning architecture of its temples, the breathtaking beauty of its environs and for the adventure and thrill that this place can provide.
Chikmagalur and its history
The word “Chikmagalur”, in the local language, literally translates to the Land of the Younger Daughter. It was named so because the land was given in dowry to the youngest daughter of the famous and legendary chief of Sakrepatna, Rukmanagada. And yes, there also exists a Land of the Elder Daughter which is named Hiremagalur! Ancient inscriptions mention the two places as Kiriya-muguli and Piriya-Muguli. The antiquity of this small town can be gauged by the large number of ancient temples that narrate the stories of Chikmagalur buried in time.
The land and its stories also depict the unique and harmonious presence of different beliefs and communities bringing them all together. If Chikmagalur is a very pious location for the Hindus, it is equally significant for the Muslims from the point of view of religion.
Chikmagalur is also known as the Coffee land of Karnataka and it is believed that coffee plantation in India started with this place. According to the tales and facbles, a Muslim saint named Baba Budan brought the coffee seeds from Yemen to this place and started cultivating it here and that is how it all started and the entire region got covered with sheets of coffee plantation. It is after this saint that the Baba Budangiri hills is named. After a long time when British came to this place, they also contributed in the growth of the place and making Chikmagalur the Coffee land of Karnataka. The Central Coffee Research Institution is situated in Chikmagalur itself and you can go to explore whenever you want!
Chikmagalur has been the birth place of many intellectuals and freedom fighters, poets and politicians. A fun fact is that former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi once used to represent Chikmagalur in the Parliament of India.
Natural wonders in Chikmagalur
Chikmagalur is blessed with so many tourist attractions and not to miss waterfalls like Hanumanagundi Falls, Jhari waterfalls, Shankar Falls, Kadambi Falls, Kalhatti Falls, Manikyadhara falls and many more that are the favourite places for tourists and locals alike to enjoy splashes of waterfall with the sun overhead and having a great time with family. This kinds of holidays are the best- you get everybody you want with you, enjoy good food, enough sunshine, cause mischief with running in the water that is was a soothing and relaxing time is all about. You can lay all day and just observe the greens around you the rainbow created by the drops of shower of the waterfall that fall on you after hitting some rocks nearby and a clear sky above you, beats Maldives right? You don’t need expensive places to visit, spend boulders of money just to have two days of nice time and Chikmagalur makes you feel this way.
The number one adventure option for tourists, trekking, is something that you can best enjoy in Chikmagalur with so many options right in front of you. Remember? Chikmagalur is surrounded with a plethora of hills like the Baba Budangiri hills, Mullayanagiri hills, and Kemmanagundi which are witnessing increasing popularity these days because of the variety in fun activities that once can try in Chikmagalur like river rafting, trekking, nature walks, camping, and many more.
Temples in Chikmagalur
Chikmagalur is a heritage town with some of the most exquisite temples in the entire state of Karnataka situated here like the majestic Sharamba temple, Kodamba Ramaswamy Temple, Vidyashankara temple, Amruteshwar temple and the temple town of Belur nearby. This reminisce the artistic taste and excellence of our ancestors and the richness oozes out of these temples like nectar does from the flowers for the butterflies. there isn’t even any such thing as the prominent or the most common styles of architecture but one can see Hoysala, Vijayanagari, Dravidian, Chola, Chalukya styles and sometimes all of them blended together in these stunning places of worship. Devotees pour in from all over the country to worship especially in the prominent towns of Shringeri and Belur situated in Chikmagalur.
Chikmagalur is not only important for Hindu devotees but for muslims as well because of places like the Baba Budangiri hills and the Mmanikyadhara Falls. Baba Budangiri is famous among the Muslims because of the shrine of the Sufi saint Hazrat Dada Hayat Khalandar and Manikyadhara Falls because the saint landed a miracle there, the miracle being the Falls itself. The interesting part about both of these places is that they are valued equally by both the Hindus and the Muslims alike. The devotees make sure to also visit the caves of the Baba Budangiri where three siddhas are buried. The Manikyadhara falls also has a belief attached to it that if you leave a piece of your clothing after taking a dip in the falls then all your wishes would come true in life.
Chikmagalur is also famous for its most important parks Kudremukh National park and Bhadra Wildlife sanctuary and also the Mahatma Gandhi National Park which preserve a wide range of the precious wildlife of the region. These sanctuaries are a must-see when you visit Chikmagalur. With a wide variety of flora, fauna and avifauna, this place poses as first off destination for any nature lover and enthusiast.
Best time to visit Chikmagalur
Even though Chikmagalur is a hill town and literally any weather and climate would just do for people who are just too enthusiastic about their vacation, but there can be a couple of problems when you set off without considering the weather of Chikmagalur in your vacation. Chikmagalur can get a little too humid in summers as the mercury can hit really high during those days making tedious adventure activities like trekking and camping a little troublesome and the monsoons can be harsh on the terrains of Chikamaglur. Chikmagalur receives moderate to heavy rainfall and it can become a bit dangerous if you travel at that time when the roads and the terrains become extremely slippery. So, winter time and spring time are the best and you can enjoy all of your activities, even the ones that include water without any hassle and have a lot of fun.
So in a nutshell, Chikmagalur is a complete package which holds all the cards- whether you want a religious tour, a power-packed adventurous trip, a soothing relaxing time involving lots of interactions with the nature or just going about exploring the history of the place- all of these in just one trip. So wait no more and do visit this splendid location which just lift your spirits and keep them high till the time you think of another vacation.
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