Chikmagalur is a beautiful hill station which is located in Karnataka in the southwestern part. This place was presented as dowry to the younger daughter of the Chief of Sakrepatna, Rukmangada. Hence the term Chikmagalur literally means the town that belongs to the Younger daughter. The other part of the town was given in dowry to the elder daughter of Rukmangadas and that place is called Hiremagalur. This place is also called as the Coffee Land of Karnataka because it is believed that coffee was cultivated here for the first time. There is a tale associated to this that Baba Budan who is an Islamic Saint bought coffee seeds with him from Yemen to Chikmagalur and as a result, there is an entire range of mountains to the north of Chikmagalur that is named after him.


TRANSPORTATION AND BEST TIME TO VISIT THE PLACE


One can reach Chikmagalur by road with the help of buses. There are also taxis available to reach the hill station. One can also reach Chikmagalur by either passenger or express trains. The nearest railway station to Chikmagalur is Kadur. If not Kadur one can also get down at Birur or Tarikere and then take a bus or a taxi to reach Chikmagalur. The nearest airport to Chikmagalur is the Mangalore airport. The best time to visit this place is from the months of September to March which is the winter season.  Chikmagalur has pleasant weather throughout the year and hence one can also visit this place  at the start of the monsoon season. However it is  best to avoid visiting this place during the month of August because this place receives heavy rainfall then.

 


ACCOMMODATION AND FOOD


In terms of accommodation there are various hotels available at affordable prices such as the Crystal Inn, Hotel Blue Pearl Chikmagalur,  The Grand Krishna Luxury Hotel, Aadrika,Mountain Valley Chikmagalur,etc When it comes to the food here the popular cuisine here is the Malnad cuisine that is influenced by the variety of fruits and vegetables available in Western Ghats. Jackfruit dishes are a speciality of Malnad cuisine.The most popular and typical Malnad cuisine is the Pathrode. Other Malnad dishes include Moong Dal carrot salad,Pumpkin Idli,etc Akki Roti, Kakkadu, and many other food items prepared with coconut milk are some of the other local delicacies found here. The Banana Chips of this area are also extremely popular. For all the Coffee lovers the Malnad filter coffee is one of the best filter coffee that is found in South India.

 


PLACES TO VISIT


There are a number of places that one can visit at Chikmagalur. To begin with the Mullayanagiri Peak which is the highest peak in Karnataka is located at Chikmagalur. This park resembles a trekker's backyard. At the end of the trek on top of the peak there is a small temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Many devotees take up this trek to the temple and offer their prayers there. On this trek one also gets to see a lot of greenery and also points that offer a splendid view.

Another interesting place to visit in the Baba Budangiri  range is the Datta Peeta that has several mountain rises and is also a popular tourist destination. The mountain has got its name after the Muslim saint Baba Budan. At this place there are three caves where three Siddhas are buried. Siddhas refer to religious oracles. In these caves there is an annual ceremony that is held. One can also visit  the Sri Guru Dattatreya Bababudanswamy’s Darga which is an ancient institution. There also exists a cave  in the surrounding  which is believed to be made holy by Dattatreyaswamy. It is believed that he along with Hazrat Dada Hayath Mir Khalandar lived here and hence this place is considered to be a sacred place and people come here to offer their prayers. The first coffee plantation was grown on this mountain and there still exist many coffee plantations here.

For all the nature lovers the Kallathigiri waterfalls are a sight to behold. The mountains are a backdrop to this waterfall. There is a small temple in between the waterfall. It has some idols and stone structures and people come here to offer prayers. There is also a dense foliage here that has a trekking trail which lets you go all the way up to the start of the waterfall.

Another popular tourist destination here is the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. There is a large tiger population here and also the other flora and fauna found here are worth watching. The Bhadra river flows through this Sanctuary and hence this place is called as the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. Some of the trees that are found here are teak,rosewood, kindle,etc There are also approximately 250 species of birds here. One can even go on specialised bird expeditions here. There is also the Muthodi Wildlife Sanctuary which is popular for its wildlife Safari and one can even get to see tigers here. Thus for all the animal lovers this place is a must visit

The Hebbe falls is another interesting tourist destination blessed with scenic beauty. This is surrounded by greenery that consists of dense forests, thick foliage, flora and also hills. Spread across these falls are many coffee plantations. These falls are divided into two parts, the first part being the Dodda Hebbe and the Chikka Hebbe. The waterfall varies with regards to height at these parts. One can reach this waterfall through a 8km trek from Kemmangundi.

One should also visit a tea plantation at Chikmagalur. The plantation visit can be arranged by the accommodation where one is residing or one can also go there by themselves. Some of these plantations date right back to the British era. Today however they are a major part of the area's culture. These plantations are also a beautiful place for nature photography. If possible one should try and visit these tea plantations during monsoon where one is literally surrounded by the clouds which makes it a magnificent sight to behold.

It is said that life is like a camera and we should capture all the good memories. So if one wants to create good memories and have a perfect getaway Chikmagalur is indeed the perfect spot for that.


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