What to See
Temples & Churches: The Kodandarama Temple is protected by the State and is one of the most fascinating of all monuments. Created as a blend of Hoysala and Dravidian styles of architecture, images of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana are placed in the inner sanctum. Smaller shrines are located within, which have idols of other gods and goddesses, including Lakshmi, Hanuman, Garuda and Ganapati. The temple is particularly active during the annual jathra festival held in February and March. St. Joseph's Cathedral is one of the prime attractions of Chikmagalur known for its eye-catching shell-shaped portico.
Sringeri: This highly-revered spot was established by Adi Shankaracharya and is home to two of the most popular temples. The Sharadamba Temple is dedicated to Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of learning and wisdom. Earlier constructed in wood, the temple was ravaged by fire, and thereafter constructed in Dravidian style. The Vidyashankara Temple was built by the founders of Vijanagara Empire and combines Hoysala and Vijayanagara style of architecture. The alcoves of the temple are carved with Jain, Buddhist and Hindu mythological characters. The main sanctum has 12 pillars dedicated to the 12 zodiac signs. Highlight of this hall is the fact that the sun falls on the respective pillars according to the months. Another place worth visiting here is the Sri Sringeri Sharada Peetham, which was established by Sri Adi Shankaracharya as a centre of learning and spiritualism.
Amruthapura: Located north of Chikmagalur town, Amruthapura is known for the beautiful Amrutheshwara Temple, built in Hoysala style. The temple is flanked by coconut trees and showcases circular carvings in the outer walls. The temple has a single vimana (spire) and a large open mandapa. The main sanctum is square and is richly adorned with carvings of demons. The temple’s most enduring feature are the rows of pillars that support the ceiling in the inner sanctum. Also watch the floral designs on the ceilings and the panels depicting carvings from Hindu epics including those from Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Horanadu: Located almost 100 kms from Chikmagalur, Horanadu is located amidst picturesque forests and valleys. This tiny temple town is known for the Annapoorneshwari Temple, which has an idol of the beautiful goddess made in gold. An interesting feature of this temple is the practice of providing a three course meal to everyone who visits it. This temple symbolizes the faith that anyone visiting it would never have shortage of food. Note that all men visiting the temple are required to remove their shirts and cover their shoulders with a towel or shawl.
Baba Budan Range: En route from Chikmagalur before you reach Kemmannagundi, Baba Budangiri Peak is one of the highest in Karnataka. It is considered holy by both Muslims and Hindus and is believed that coffee was introduced to India by the Muslim saint, Baba Budan who in the 16th century smuggled in seven coffee beans in his belt from West Asia and planted them here. This is also one of the most frequented trekking spots. The highest spot in this hill is Mullaiyangiri, which houses 3 caves sanctified by 3 sages and containing their tombs. The top of the peak also houses a temple and provides views of the Arabian Sea on clear days. It is not possible to drive to the top of the hill, though you can attempt to trek the distance.
Kemmanagundi: This is one of the most scenic spots on the Baba Budan Range, located almost 58 kms from Chikmagalur. This scenic hill station is best explored by trekking and spectacular sunsets and well-maintained gardens are a must-watch here. Among the several attractions here, Raj Bhavan is a guest house offering spectacular views of the surrounding areas, especially the sunset. The Z Point is accessible by a 30 minute trek and is another vantage point to catch spectacular views of the neighbouring areas. The Rose Garden is a paradise for horticulturists and is the site of a large variety of roses cultivated and maintained by the Horticultural Department. The Hebbe Falls are located away from the Raj Bhavan and are particularly impressive for the streams that cascade down 168 meters in two stages – Dodda Hebbe and Chikka Hebbe. The Kallathi Falls are also beautiful, with the water gushing down 122 meters. There is also an old Veerabhadra Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, constructed in a gap between rocks which can be approached after crossing the waterfall.
Kudremukha: Located almost 95 kms from Chikmagalur, this range derives its name from its horse-face shape. The entire range is a series of continuous hills connected to each other by valleys and precipices. Kudremukh is truly a trekker’s paradise and leaves much to be discovered with its numerous caves and excellent trekking routes. Don’t miss the sunrise from the lush green slopes! The hills are also the site of the Kudremukh National Park, which houses animals like tigers, leopards, wild dogs, gaurs, wild pig and lion-tailed macaque. However, remember that owing to the dense forest growth, sightings of animals require considerable patience! Also located nearby are the Hanumana Gundi Waterfalls, which at a height of 100 ft is definitely a pretty picture. Another famous and visited waterfall is the Manikyadhara Falls, which is sacred to both Hindus and Muslims.
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary: Located 38 km north-west of Chikmagalur town, Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is almost entirely surrounded by hills and has the tributaries of the Bhadra River flowing through it. The uniqueness of the sanctuary stems from the huge variety of butterflies. The sanctuary is also a great place to spot the Indian bison, elephants, tiger, spotted deer, birds and reptiles such as cobra and python. More than 250 species of bird life, many of which are unique to the Western Ghats, are also spotted here.
Note - October to February is best time to visit this sanctuary
Top Hotels in Chikmagalur
Top Landmarks in Chikmagalur
- Hotels Near Shri Sharadamba Temple Shringeri
- Hotels Near Kemmanagundi Hills
- Hotels Near Ksrtc Bus Stand
- Hotels Near Baba Budan Giri
- Hotels Near Bhadra Wild Life Sanctuary