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Chikmagalur District

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Chikmagalur District

Chikkamagaluru is a district in the Indian state of Karnataka. Chikkamagaluru is where coffee was first cultivated in India . The mountains here which are a part of the Western Ghats are the source of rivers like Tunga and Bhadra. Chikkamagaluru district also contains Mullayanagiri; which is the highest peak in Karnataka. It is also a tourist's paradise containing hill stations like Kemmanagundi and Kudremukh and waterfalls like Manikyadhara and Kallathigiri. Chikkamagaluru district has a rich history as is seen in the Hoysala temple at Amrithapura. Wildlife enthusiasts would be interested in the Kudremukh National Park and Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary present in this district. More »



Places to see

Hill stations

Kemmangundi : 55 km north from Chikkamagaluru town is Kemmangundi, a scenic hill station on the Baba Budan Giri range of hills. Kemmangundi is also known as K.R. Hills after the Wodeyar King, Krishnaraja Wodeyar, who had made it his favourite summer camp. Kemmangundi, at a height of 1,434 meters, is surrounded by thick forests and a salubrious climate through out the year. It is surrounded by the Baba Budan Giri range and blessed with silver cascades of mountain streams and lush vegetation. Its beautifully laid out ornamental gardens and enchanting mountain and valley views are a treat to the eye. Spectacular sunsets are a must see from various locations in the district, even from the Raj Bhavan. For the adventurous, Kemmangundi offers many peaks to scale and intricate jungle paths to explore. This place has a beautiful rose garden and other attractions. There is a place called Z-point at about 10 minutes walk from this main place which gives a nice arial view of the Shola grass lands of the Western Ghats .

Kudremukh and Kudremukh National Park : 95 km southwest of Chikkamagaluru town is Kudremukh range (in Kannada Kudure = horse and mukha = face), so named because of the unique shape of the Kudremukh peak. Overlooking the Arabian Sea , the broad hills are chained to one another with deep valley & steep precipices. Situated at 1,894.3 meters above sea level, Kudremukh is rich in iron ore deposits. The Kudremukh Iron Ore Company conducts mining operations, benefaction and transportation of the ore as slurry through pipelines to the port at Panambur near Mangalore.

Mullayanagiri : Mullayanagiri is part of the Baba Budan Giri Hill Ranges here. It stands 1930 meters tall and is the tallest peak in Karnataka. Its height is famous mostly for watching sunsets from. It is 16 km from Chikkamagaluru town. Driving to Mullayanagiri is worth taking a risk. On the way is Sitalayanagiri where the water in the Shiva temple neither increases nor decreases. The road to Mullayanagiri is very narrow with a views from steep cliffs. Driving to the peak is not possible and includes a trek up the hill from the half way point. There is a small temple on top of the hill. From the topmost point of the hill the Arabian Sea is visible on clear days. The small hillock in the temple compound is the highest point in Karnataka. The narrow road to the temple makes two way traffic immpossible. It is a great trekking spot in Karnataka.

The highest point in the district and in Karnataka is Mullaiyanagiri which rises to 1926.7 meters above the sea level and is situated towards the south of the range. It is one of the loftiest mountains between the Himalayas and the Nilgiris. Another lofty peak is the kudremukh signifying ‘horse face' mountain. It is called so because of its such appearance from the sea. It is a well known landmark for navigators on that coast. It is 1895.6 meters high. Next to this is Baba-Budangiri 1895.3 meters. Near it are the sources of the Veda and the Avati rivers. The conspicuous conical peak on the outer verge of the eastern face is Devirammanagudda. Near the north-east angle is situated Kallahattigiri which is 1877.3 meters in height. On the north-east of the mountains is the Hebbe Falls of a stream which runs into the Bhadra river. On the Baba-Budan mountain, there is a noted shrine known as Sri Guru Dattatreya Peeta also called and recognized as Guru Dattatreya Baba-Budan Swami's Dargha which is highly venerated by both Hindus and Muslims. Ballalarayana Durga is a fortified hill in the western ghats. It is 1506.7 meters high and is situated in 13 degree 8' north west angle of the Mudigere taluk. The fortifications here were erected by the Hoysalas. It was an important stronghold of the rulers in the past.

SEETHAL GIRI One will reach the Seethal Giri on the way to Mullain Giri, which is the highest peak. Seethala Mallappana Kanive to the left side is said to have been hallowed by Sidha Seethalaya and contains a Matha and the dual shrine temple of Seethala-Mallikarjuna .

Datta peeta (Baba Budan Giri): To the north of Chikkamagaluru town is the Baba Budan Giri Range or Chandra Drona Parvatha as it was known in the ancient times, which has one of the highest mountain peaks between the Himalayas and the Nilgiris. The peak takes its name from the Muslim saint, Baba Budan, who resided here more than 150 years ago.

The old name of Baba-Budan Giri range of hills is Chandra-Drona Parvata. This is the highest range on Karnataka tableland, and is about 28KM north of chikmagalur town. This chain has horse-shoe like form with its opening to the north-west. Baba-Budan Giri, which is also called as Vayu Parvata, Marut-Shaila, Galipooje Parvata or Jalamelgiri, is 1,895 metres in height. It has given its name to the whole range also. Near it are the sources of rivers Veda and Avati. The conspicuous conical peak on the outer verge of the eastern face is Deveeramma-Gudda (hill). A beacon is lighted here during the Deepavali festival which can be seen at chikmagalur. Formerly, these vast wilds had several varieties of game from the elephant and bison downwards. The advance of Coffee plantation forced them to remoter and more secluded spots. The Baba-Budan mountain range was the cradle of cultivation of coffee in southern India . The slopes of the entire range as also the southern part of the forest-bound Jagara valley are occupied by coffee gardens. The first European coffee plantation opened by Mr.Cannon in 1830 (i.e., about 150 years ago) is to the south of Baba-Budan Giri with the other early estates. The puranic name of the Chandra-Drona, which means the crater of the moon, appears appropriate to this range as it is of crescent or horse-shoe shape. The range derives its present name, i.e, Baba-Budan Giri from a Muslim saint called Baba-Budan who took up his residence on of the southern slopes. He is stated to have reared coffee from the seeds he secured from yemen .

Waterfalls

Manikyadhara Falls is a waterfall near the famous pilgrim centre Baba Budan Giri Dattatreya Peetha where water spills down like small pearls giving the visitors a memorable shower bath.

Kallathigiri Falls : Just 10 km away from Kemmangundi is Kallahathigiri falls, also known as Kalahasti falls. Water cascades down from the top of the Chandra Drona hill from a height of 122 meters amidst fascinating scenery. There is an old Veerabhadra temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, constructed in a gap between rocks. This temple can be approached after crossing the waterfall.

Kalhattipura is 20 KM south of Tarikere town. This is the nearest village to Kalhattigiri, a peak which is 1,877 metres (6,155 ft) in height. There is shrine of Kattina Choudeshvari on Kalhattigere. Two roads pass along the eastern face from Chikmagalur to Tarikere,one over the summit and other at a lower level near Kalhattipura, there is a waterfall known as Kalahasti falls or Kalhatti falls which is about 10 km from Kemmangundi. Water here cascades down from a height of 122 meters amidst fascinating natural scenery. It is said that this place had one of the Hermitages of sage Agastya. A legend associates him with the deity Veerabhadra for whom there is a temple here constructed in a gap between rocks. This temple is said to have been built during the Vijayanagara times. From outside, it looks like a cave temple. In front of it there are figures of three elephants carvedin rock. Passing over the heads of these figures, the water of the falls rushes down. The pilgrims bathe in this water and worship at the temple. An annual jatra of Veerabhadra is held for three days in April-May. About a km from these temple, there is a spot called Jakkerupundi which has a pond named Ganga , teertha which is surrounded by a group of beehives. There is a travelers bungalow here maintained by the Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel works of Bhadravati.

Hebbe Falls : This beautiful waterfall is over 10 km away from the famous hill station, Kemmangundi. Here water streams down from a height of 168 meters in two stages to form Dodda Hebbe ( Big Falls ) and Chikka Hebbe ( Small Falls ).

At a distance of about 8km from the hill station Kemmannagundi, there is Hebbe waterfalls. Here the water rushes down from a height of about 168 meters in two stages. While the larger of the two stages is called Dodda Hebbe Falls , the other is known as Chikka Hebbe Falls . The water of this falls joins the Bhadra river. The state Government has drawn up a comprehensive and ambitious programme to develop facilities near this Hebbe Falls to cope up with the increasing number of tourists.

Shanti Falls : This is a beautiful waterfall on the way to Z-Point in Kemmangundi.

Hanumana Gundi Falls : Located 32 km. from the Kalasa, the waterfall has water falling on to Natural rock formations from a height of more than 100 feet (30 m).

Kadambi Falls : This is a waterfall located in the Kudremukh National Park .

Temple towns

Sringeri: 90 km west of Chikkamagaluru town is Sringeri situated on the banks of Tunga, a Vedic Peetha established by Sri Adi Shankara, the exponent of the Advaita philosophy in 9th Century A.D. It is famous for Vidyashankara Temple originally constructed by the Hoysalas and later completed by the founders of the Vijayanagar Empire and Sharada temple, an early 20th. century addition. In the Vidya Shankara shrine, there are 12 zodiac pillars, which are so constructed that the rays of the sun fall on the pillar corresponding to the month.

Horanadu: Horanadu is 100 km southwest of Chikkamagaluru and has an ancient Annapoorneshwari Temple , which has been renovated recently. With the installation of the new image of Adi Shakti, now the temple is called Adi-Shaktyatmaka Shri Annapoorneshwari. The place attracts lots of pilgrims who are provided free boarding and lodging by the temple.

Hornadu, 68 km north west of Mudigere town and 8 km north west of Kalasa, is situated in the midst of enchanting natural scenery and is surrounded by small hills. A stone inscription as also a copperplate epigraph, both of 1675 A.D. found here record grant of funds and land respectively, by Venkatadri Nayaka, son of Krishnappa Nayaka, to provide for certain services in the temple of Annapuraneshvari of this place which was then called Horinad. The second record further states that a dandige umbali was also granted to Jatanna Heggde as he was entirely dependent upon his service of the palace. Recently, the old dilapidated temple of Annapurneshvari was renovated and was mostly reconstructed as a spacious one. A new image of Adi Shakti was also installed. Now the temple is called as that of Adi Shaktyatmaka Shri Annapurneshvari. A consecrated Shrichakra was put in the ground on which the new foundation was laid in the form of a korma, which is bounded by Adi Shesha in stone. The image of the goddess has a prabhavali which embody the form of Adi Shesha. On the outer wall of the temple, some Vedic and Upanishadic sayings have been carved. Pilgrims visiting the temple are provided with free boarding and lodging. An annual jatra of this temple is held for one day during March/April. There is an old jaina basadi in the village.

Kalasa: Kalasa is 92 km southwest of Chikkamagaluru and situated on the banks of the river Bhadra. It is surrounded by lofty hills of the Western Ghats and is looked upon as one of the pancha-kshetras on the banks of the Bhadra. Close by are the pancha theerthas, the five sacred ponds. On a small hillock here is the Kalaseshwara temple in dedicated to Ishwara, with a Kshetrapala shrine of soap stone in Hoysala style nearby. The Madhawacharya bande, a large boulder at one of the theerthas here, is supposed to have been placed by Shri Madhawacharya the founder of the Dvaita school of philosophy. A statue of this acharya is carved on the upper portion of the rock.

Kalasa , and old agrahara settlement, also called Mavinakere and Kalasapuri is the headquaters of the hobli of the same name, 60 km west of Mudigere town. It is situated on the right bank of the river Bhadra in a valley surrounded by lofty hills of the western Ghats range and at the southern base of an imposing hill called Mertibetta of Kalasa. The Bhadra flows here in three directions and has made the place a peninsula. Very near to the Bhadra, there are pancha teerthas called Kotiteertha, Rudrateertha, Ambuteertha, Nagateertha and Vaisishtthateertha. Kalasa is looked upon as one of the pancha-kshetras situated on the banks of the Bhadra river, the three of the other four which are also in this district, being Khandya in chikmagalur taluk, Hebbe in Narasimharajapura taluk and somapura in Tarikere taluk and fifth one being Kudli in Shimoga district. According to the Tungabhadra Kanda of skandapurana, Mitra and Varuna, two rishi brothers, did penance at the place, facing some temptations. A legend says that from a kalasa consecrated by Indra and his associates, the renowned sage Agastya was born, and hence, he was called Kumbhodbhava or Kumbhasambhava and that this Agastya had his hermitage on the bank of the Bhadra here.

The village has some mounds covering ruins which indicate the existence of a large town in former times. It was included in the principality of the Santaras of Humcha who later shifted their capital to Kalasa and Sisugali in this district and then to Keravase and Karkala in Daksina Kannada district where they were known as Bhairarasa Wodeyars. They have left here several inscriptions. They speak of the place as the headquaters of an administrative division called Kalasa Saviraseeme. The place has a temple dedicated to Ishvara called kalashvara and Agastyeshvara. Which is a state protected monument. The temple is said to have been originally got constructed by a chief named Shrutabindu “ In order to atone for the sin of slaying animals in the chase”.

Amritapura: 67 km north of Chikkamagaluru, Amrithapura is known for the Amritheshwara temple built in 1196 A.D by Amriteshwara Dandanayaka, a general of the Hoysala ruler Veera Ballala II. Delicacy of touch, originality of design and fine features have made this temple one of the notable structures of the Hoysala period.

Belavadi: Located 29 km southeast of Chikkamagaluru town on the Chikkamagaluru-Javagal road and 10 km north west of Halebidu, Belavadi is famous for Ornate temple of Veeranarayana . Belavadi is also famous for the temple of 'Udbhava Ganapathi'.

Black Gold-The smell of a 10,000 year old architectural genius. Rows of dark, luminant pillars clutching onto the 4-corners. A spark of tingling sensation & a throwback to the olden days of the Maharajas & Queens as thy finger feels this pure rock in black. The shade of a banyan tree & a gush of cool air within. You can beat the Almighty Sun at hide & seek if you are here.

Belavadi, also known as Ekachakranagara is a village. It is famous for the ornate Viranarayana temple built by the Hoysalas. It is located 29 km southeast of Chikmagalur town on the Chikmagalur-Javagal highway and 10 km north west of Halebidu. It is located at a very convenient distance from the famous temple towns of Belur and Halebidu and a visit to this quiet town is a rewarding experience.

BALEHONNUR 45 kms. to the north-west of the Chickmagalur town is another celebrated pontifical seat of the district. Shrimad Jagadguru Rambhapuri Veerasimhasana Mahasamstana Peeta. This Veerashaiva matta with mythical connections to Ramba, celestial dancer, as also to the giant Rambasura, is one of the five great panchacharya mathas. The Veerabadra temple attached to the matha has sturdy metallic images of Veerabhadra and Bhadrakali.

Where to Stay : Mandal Panchayath Guest House

Kodandarama temple: The temple of Kodandarama , which is a state-protected monumenr, stands in the south-east of the village. It seems to have been constructed in three stage. This temple is a structure in the Hoysala style, so far as the garbhagriha and sukanasi are concerned, the remaining portions being subsequent additions in the Dravidian style. The present navagraha is of the 14th century A.D., while the mukhamanatapa (porch) may be of the 16th century A.D. The outer walls of the garbhgriha and vestibule are raised on a square basement which consists of six cornices. The outer walls of the navagraha and mukhamantapa are built of brick and mortar. The projection of the vestibule appears to be of the 17th century. In the garbhagriha on a common Hanuman pedestal measuring 0.487 metre (1 ½ feet) height, there are images of Kodandarama (i.e., Rama with bow), sita, who is on the right, and lakshmana on the left. The figure of Rama is 1.37 meters (4 ½ feet) tall. Rama and Lakshmana on the left. The figure of Rama is 1.37 meters (4 ½) tall. Rama and Lakshmana both carry arrows in their right hands and strung bows in their left hands. These images appear to be of a later date, and not Hoysala. According to the sthalapurana, proud Parashurama was subdued at this place by Lord Ramachandra, and as per the request of the former to show him the scene of his (Rama's) marriage, the latter took here Sita to his right and Lakshmana to his left. The processional metallic image of the temple has the form of Janardhana with Shridevi and Bhudevi on the two sides.

In the prakara (enclosed) of the temple, there are small shrines containing the figures of Yoganarasimha. Vedanta Deshika, Sugriva, Muddukrishna, Madhava, Ramanujacharya, some Alwars, etc. Yoganarismha is called so because he is shown in the posture of meditation. It is a fine figure which is 1.06 meters high (31/2 feet), having a prabhavali on which the 10 incarnations are sculptured. But after Rama, Balarama, believed to be incarnation of Shesha, and Ramanuja is also described as Shesha's incarnation. The imag of Madhava, which is 1.37 meters (4 ½ feet) in height with four hands, is of the pre-Hoysala style, resembling Badami Chalukya workmanship. While its right lower hand has a short round staff, the left lower is placed on the waist. The outer-walls of the garbhagriha and sukanasi have, besides pilasters and turrets, two rows of figures representing mostly Vishnu and his forms such as Hayagriva, Narasimha, Lakshminarayana, Venugopola, Kaliya-Mardana and Govardhanadhari. There are also figures of Lakshmi, Hunaman, Garuda Ganapati. A jatra of Kodandarama temple is held for one day about February of every year. The temple has a fine pond nearby which is now dry.

Tegur At a distance of about 7km from the Chikmagalur town, there is Tegur. Tegur is famous for Hunuman(Anjaneya) Temple . This temple was rebuilt in the year 1988. In this temple Anjaneya has three hands and the third hand is called " Abhaya Hastha ". The temple is managed by the tegur people.

Mattavara: Mattavara, 5km south-west of Chikmagalur town, has an ancient Parshvanatha basadi which, according to an epigraph was visited by the Hoysala king Vinayaditya about the middle of the 11th century A.D. Another Jaina epigraph of about 1120 A.D. calls the place as Mattaooru. A later inscription of 1148 A.D. mentions the place as Mattavara. To the north of the basadi, there is a dilapidated Shiva temple with a ruined shrine to the north-east in which stands a fine figureof Bhairava about 1.2 meters high. Its body is split across by a stroke of lighting. In its right lower hand, there is an elegantly carved sword held across the body. There are also shrines of Anjaneya, Deveeramma and Choudeshvari. An annual jatra of the Chaudeshvari is held for two days during September – October. The old Gazetteer records that a large number of cromlechs with pieces of pottery and some spears were found in the Government plantation to the south-west of the village.

Wildlife

Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary .Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary: Occupying 495 km². of wildlife sanctuary and Project tiger reserve, this region is an important watershed of the Tungabhadra river. The huge reservoir here is the main water supply to several districts in the rain shadow regions of south Karnataka. The forests here are rich in Bamboo and birds species unique to both the Malabar and Sahyadri ranges.

There is a wild life sanctuary in the district named “ The Bhadra Wild Life Sanctuary”. It covers an area of 492 square km and is divided into two wings called Muttodi wing and Lakkavalli wing. The Muttodi wing was previously called “The Jagara Valley Wild Life Sanctuary”. It has animals of various types such as bison, elephant, tiger, panther, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, wild boar, porcupine, bear, wild dog, black and brown monkeys. Birds like pea-cock, wild-fowl, parrot,partridge, pigeon etc.. and reptiles such as cobra, python and other kinds of snakes. The sanctuary has good forests with lofty trees such as teak, rosewood, sandal-wood, beete, hone, nandi,mathi, etc. As the sanctuary is surrounded by hills, a number of tributaries of the Bhadra river flow inside the sanctuary. Fodder is also available in plenty. The wild life here has a favourable climate throughtout the year. The special feature of the location of this sanctuary is that its western border abuts the backwater of the Bhadra reservoir. There are 150 km of roads inside the sanctuary maintained by the Wild Life Preservation Sub-division. The visitor can enjoy the sight of the wild animals either by walk or in a vehicle. The forest department is maintaining lodges at Kesave, Kemmannagundi, Sukalhatti and Kowlapur.

Kudremukh National Park : The Kudremukh National Park (latitudinal range 13°01'00" to 13°29'17" N, longitudinal range 75°00'55' to 75°25'00" E) is the largest declared Wildlife Protected Area (600 km²) of a tropical wet evergreen type of forest in the Western Ghats. The Western Ghats is one of the twenty-five hot spots identified for bio-diversity conservation in the world. Kudremukh National Park comes under the Global Tiger Conservation Priority-I, under the format developed jointly by Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and World Wide Fund-USA.

Lake

AYYANAKERE 18 kms north-east of Chikmagalur town, this ancient tank is believed to have been constructed by Rukmangada Raya a chief of Sakrepatna. Rennovated later in 1156 A.D. during the Hoysala times, This large tank situated at the eastern base of the Baba-Budan range provides irrigation facilities to about 1,560 hectares of land. On a hillock here is the Prasanna Balleshvara shrine with Hoysala sculptures of Ganapathi, Surya, Krishna , Ambika, etc.

Ayyanakere (T.Kadur), a large lake called also as Dodda Madagadakere, is to the west of Sakrepatna. It is surrounded by high hills and is at the base of the Baba-Budan hill range. This magnificent and delightful reservoir has been formed by embanking the perennial Gaurihalla stream at the foot of shakunagiri hill. Its outflowing waters are called the Veda, a stream, which unites after a short course, with the Avati, another stream near Kadur. The joint stream formed thereby is called Vedavati river. The waterholding area of the tank is 189 hectares. It can store water upto 420 M.Cft. The water of this tank can irrigate 1,574 hectares of land.

A legend attributed the construction of this tank to one Rukmanada Raya Who is said to have been a chief of Sakrepatna long ago. It is stated to have been renovated later in 1156 A.D. during the time of the Hoysala king Narasimha with the assistance of the local chiefs. There is a Prasanna-Balleshvara shrine on a hillock towards the centre of embankment. There are found a few Hoysala sculptures of Ganapati. Surya, Keshava, ambika, etc, lying near this shrine which contains as Ishvaralinga. According to a tradition, later the bund of this tank was breaching repeatedly and was causing a grave problem whereupon the local chief sought the help of saint Nirvanaswami who had come there. When certain constructional remedies were carried out as per the suggestions of the saint, the serious problem was solved.

Hirekolale

Tough to imagine such a crystal calm lake being the source of the gushing cascades. Acres of water, the natural habitat of aquamarine lives. Thoughts of the soul, mind & brain at the 'sangam' of an eternal view & the skies almost look-alikes of the blue water. The sound of a million pearl drops with the swaying trees on their knees to sip the cool water. An artistic feel to the wavy falls and green dots with a 7 size paint brush on the hilly meadow. The magic of colour & freshness quenching the hirst of dry eyes. Scintillating..!

Angadi (Mudigere)

Angadi which means a market place or shop is 18 km south of Mudigere Town .  This place has been identified as Sasakapura or Sosevur which was the original home of Hoyasalas who rose to great power in South India . The shrine here has pillars of granite with cylindrical shafts and hemi spherical mouldings.  Three other ruined temples were dedicated to Keshava, Veerabhadra, and Mallikarjuna.

MAHATHMA GANDHI PARK ( 'RATHNAGIRI BORE' )

A small hillock, locally called 'Rathnagiri Bore' located on the northern side of Chikmaglur town has become a 'Star of Attarction' to the local people on almost all evening outgoings and weekend holidays. Located on a vital spot, it gives the most beautiful sight of 'Mullayanagiri' on the back drop with ever-changing natural scenario. Clouds and fog playing around the top of the hill, is really the most wanted place for visitors of all ages. 'Rathnagiri Bore' - a small hillock used only by the morning joggers has now been converted into a small but beautiful garden called Mahathma Gandhi Park . It has two entry gates, one for convenience of the walkers and the other main gate for those who can reach by vehicles. The Garden has beautifully designed pathways, steps and lush green lawn on ether sides with variety of colorful flower plants and ornamental plants. There is a water body flowing down from the top of the hill to the fountain point designed to draw the attention of the walkers. The noise of the flowing water is an experience to the young children. The colour lights in and around of the garden adds to the beauty of the flowing water.

Shivgiri Trails, Your very own tiger den

Shivgiri is located above Yemmedoddi village in the hoggarekangri Hills, north of the Babu Budanagiri Hills in Kadur taluk of Chikmagalur District. At the Shivgiri Trails in Chikmagalur District the tigers make their way through rich red berries that sprout from the hundreds of coffee plants grow around this over 100 year old estate. I was amazed to see the estate beautifully located atop a remote hill bang in the middle of a tiger reserve in the forests of Yemmedoddi. I felt lonely and left out, however reveled wonderfully in that state. As I drove up the winding mud road, which offers a spine tingling view of the valleys and the forested hills, I noticed that the place is so isolated that nobody except those connected with the estate ever more around in the area.

Shivgiri to me was what god made to make the trekking community happy, disappear into the greenery and don't return till evening. Omkariah was our knowledgeable guide here. Out trek to Doddabale Siddaragudda was the first thing, which we did. It is a peak to the back of the guesthouse, 5500 ft high. To reach it we had to wend our way through the coffee beans in estate and then through the forest. All along the route, we found droppings of one or the other animal, which was an evidence enough of their happy existence there. The walk was slightly tiresome because of the upward slant of the terrain. When we make it to the top, there cannot be too many sights to behold. I was smothered by the winds that blow cold all the day and at night it can elevate almost physically, if the person is not careful enough to find a grip himself. To the south was the awesome views of the Bhadra River and Lakeville Dam, to the west are the tiny village of the Yemmedoddi, the Baba Budanagiri hill ranges and Madagadakere, a large lake. According to the legend the lakes fills up because of a magic rain, however the locals insist that it is the winds that fills up the lakes, bringing with them tiny droplets of water that the eyes cannot see.

You can hear the birds call over the forest in Shivgiri, from inside branches, from high up in the air, from within the valleys and everywhere. We had armed ourselves with a pair of binoculars and catched a host of them like woodpeckers, finches, sunbirds, mynahs, barbets, babblers and many more.

The Yemmedoddi forests were once favored hunting grounds of the British. They used aim at tigers, wild boars etc. But most of the animals have survived in spite of the old guns. Shivgiri has it tigers even today. My guide and his friends, who have here forever, have counted some of 10 of them, panthers too show up from time to time and they have been even seen walking on the mud road leading up the hill. There are sloth bears, mouse deers and many more. There are many natural caves and a few of them have for long been the house of tigers and panthers.

There was a small Lord Shiva temple, which according to the locals was 400 years old and has a very strong deity.

Shivgiri Trails has a packed price of Rs. 1500 per person per night including stay meals and a trek for 2 days and 1 night.

Distance:-

Road Chikkamagaluru district is not known for well maintained roads. The poor state of the roads has hampered development of this district to some extent; more so because of the absence of even a good rail network in this district. The total length of roads in this district is 7264 km. There are only two National Highways that pass through this district. The National Highway NH-13 ( Sholapur to Mangalore) passes through the towns of Koppa and Sringeri where as the National Highway NH-206 ( Bangalore to Honnavar) passes through the towns of Kadur, Birur and Tarikere. There is a proposal to upgrade the existing state highways Tarikere-Belur, Sringeri-Hassan & Kadur-Mangalore to national highway status.

Rail The Kadur and Tarikere taluks have railway lines passing through them. The total length of railway line passing through the district is 91 km of which 51 km is in Kadur taluk and 40 km is in Tarikere taluk. Birur station is a major junction in this district where the railway line from Bangalore bifurcates, with one line going towards Hubli and the other towards Shimoga. The district headquarters, Chikkamagaluru city does not have a railway station which is one of the reasons for the isolation of Chikkamagaluru city from the rest of the state. A new line is being laid between Kadur and Sakleshpur in Hassan district which should pass through Chikkamagaluru city.

Air Chikkamagaluru district does not have an airport. Airports at Mangalore, Bangalore and Hubli can be used as an alternative. However, there are plans to develop an airport near Marle village about 10 km from Chikkamagaluru city.

When to go:-
 
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Where to stay :-
 
       
     
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