Gangadikal trek

Complete Guide to Chikkamagaluru District (2024)

Discover the essence of Chikkamagaluru District with our comprehensive guide. Uncover hidden gems, iconic landmarks, and cultural treasures nestled within this captivating region. From the lush coffee plantations to the majestic peaks of the Western Ghats, immerse yourself in the natural beauty and rich heritage of Chikkamagaluru.

Explore enchanting homestays, indulge in delectable local cuisine, and embark on exhilarating adventures amidst breathtaking landscapes. Whether you seek tranquil retreats or adrenaline-fueled escapades, Chikkamagaluru District promises an unforgettable journey for every traveller. Unearth the wonders of this picturesque destination and create timeless memories in the heart of Karnataka.

Chikkamagaluru district holds a special place in my heart among the diverse regions of Karnataka. Its pleasant climate offers a refreshing retreat for those seeking respite from the sweltering summers of Bangalore. Renowned for its abundance of trekking trails, this region attracts many from the bustling IT hub of Bangalore, drawn by the allure of adventure amidst scenic landscapes.

PIN for later reference – Complete Guide to Chikkamagaluru District

Complete Guide to Chikkamagaluru District (2024)
PIN for later reference – Complete Guide to Chikkamagaluru District

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About Chikkamagaluru District

With its towering mountains, verdant national parks, and renowned coffee plantations, the Chikkamagaluru district beckons travellers to explore Karnataka’s natural splendour. Nestled within the Malnad sub-region, this district boasts a rich history and diverse landscapes. It holds the distinction of being the birthplace of Indian coffee cultivation, adding to its allure as a must-visit destination in Karnataka.

Chikkmagaluru district map
Chikkmagaluru District Map: Source: Unknown

The geographical features of Chikkamagaluru district are as captivating as they are varied, encompassing the majestic Western Ghats, the meandering Tunga and Bhadra Rivers, and the pristine Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. Additionally, the district is dotted with significant temples, adding a cultural dimension to its natural beauty.

The name “Chikkamagaluru” originates in the city of the same name, translating to “young daughter’s town” in Kannada. Legend has it that the town was bestowed as a dowry upon the younger daughter of Rukmangada, the chief of Sakrepatna, lending a romantic charm to its etymology.


While Chikkamagaluru enjoys pleasant weather year-round, the period following the monsoon season, from September to May, is particularly enchanting. During this time, the forests and mountains adorn themselves with lush greenery, offering a picturesque backdrop for exploration. With cool temperatures prevailing, it’s the perfect time to immerse oneself in the natural wonders of Chikkamagaluru district.

About Chikkamagaluru City

Chikkamagaluru, nestled within its eponymous district, sits snugly at the base of the iconic Mullayanagiri peak in the Western Ghats. Blessed with idyllic weather year-round, this city offers a welcome escape from the summer heat, particularly for weekenders from Bangalore.

Mullayanagiri proudly claims the title of the highest peak in Karnataka, adding to the allure of Chikkamagaluru’s picturesque landscape.


Things To Do in Chikkamagaluru District


Comprising seven taluks and housing 213 towns and villages, the Chikkamagaluru district boasts a rich tapestry of communities. The district pulsates with life and vitality, with a population exceeding 120,000 per the 2013 census. The villages, with their raw, unspoiled beauty, are steeped in history and imbued with distinctive character, offering visitors a glimpse into Karnataka’s cultural heritage.

Trekking at Kudremukha National Park

Kudremukha National Park is a beloved haven for trekkers, boasting an array of majestic mountains and captivating trails. Adventure enthusiasts flock to this destination to explore its scenic beauty and challenging routes.

Among the standout trekking trails are the iconic Mullayangiri peak, the revered Baba Budangiri, the enchanting Kemmangundi, the lofty Kudremukha peak, the awe-inspiring Narasimha Parvatha, and the invigorating Gangadikal treks. Each trail promises breathtaking vistas and unforgettable experiences amidst the pristine wilderness of Kudremukha National Park.

Important Note: Trekking enthusiasts planning to explore these trails must obtain permission from the respective forest officials beforehand. This ensures compliance with regulations and promotes responsible trekking practices within the pristine environs of Kudremukha National Park.

Mullayangiri Peak

Mullayangiri stands tall as the loftiest peak in Karnataka, reaching an impressive altitude of 1925 meters as part of the Chandra Dhrona hill ranges. Offering a less crowded and offbeat trekking experience, the journey to Mullayangiri Peak begins and ends at Sarpadhari.

Covering a total distance of 4 kilometers one way, trekkers can anticipate spending approximately 3 to 4 hours navigating the challenging terrain. With a difficulty grade classified as hard, this trek promises adventurers a thrilling and rewarding expedition amidst the stunning landscapes of Mullayangiri.

  • Starting and Finishing Points: Sarpadhari.
  • Total Distance: 4 kilometres one way.
  • Time Required: 3 to 4 hours one way.
  • Grade: Hard.

Baba Budangiri Peak

Renowned for its significance as both a Hindu and Muslim religious site, Baba Budangiri peak stands proudly amidst the majestic Western Ghats. Rising to an elevation of 1890 meters, the trek to Baba Budangiri is revered for its breathtaking vistas and serene ambiance. Situated between Mullayangiri and Baba Budangiri, the trekking trail offers a captivating journey through nature’s splendor.

Embarking from the Shiva temple on Mullayangiri peak, trekkers can anticipate a total distance of 9 kilometers one way, with an estimated duration of 5 to 6 hours. Classified as moderate in difficulty, this trek ensures an enjoyable yet challenging experience for adventurers.

  • Starting and Finishing Points: Shiva temple on Mullayangiri Peak.
  • Total Distance: 9 kilometres one way.
  • Time Required: 5 to 6 hours one way.
  • Grade: Moderate.

It’s advisable to trek in a group, as the region is known to be inhabited by wild animals such as leopards. Safety in numbers ensures a memorable and secure trekking expedition amidst the pristine wilderness of Baba Budangiri.

Kemmangundi Peak

Nestled within Tarikere taluk, Kemmangundi emerges as a charming hill station, once favored as a summer sanctuary by Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. The crown jewel of this destination is the picturesque Kemmangundi peak, standing proudly at an elevation of 1863 meters. Renowned for its cascading waterfalls, tranquil dams, and captivating landscapes, Kemmangundi beckons travelers seeking solace amidst nature’s embrace.

The trek to Kemmangundi peak commences and concludes at the hill station itself, with several starting and finishing points available for trekkers to choose from. Spanning a total distance of 5 kilometers one way, adventurers can anticipate spending approximately 2 to 3 hours navigating the scenic trail. Classified as moderate in difficulty, this trek promises a delightful blend of challenge and serenity amidst the enchanting surroundings of Kemmangundi.

  • Starting and Finishing Points: Kemmangundi. Note: There are many starting and finishing points to the trek.
  • Total Distance: 5 kilometres one way.
  • Time Required: 2 to 3 hours one way.
  • Grade: Moderate.

Kudremukha Trek

Standing proudly as the second-highest mountain in Karnataka and the third-highest in the Western Ghats, the Kudremukha Peak entices adventurers with its towering presence. Rising to an impressive height of 1892 meters, the trek to Kudremukha peak ranks among the region’s most popular trekking trails.

Commencing and concluding at Mullodi village, this trek offers a rewarding journey through lush greenery and breathtaking vistas. With a total distance of 18 to 20 kilometers for the round trip, trekkers can expect to spend approximately 5 to 6 hours traversing the picturesque terrain. Classified as easy to moderate in difficulty, the trek to Kudremukha peak promises an exhilarating yet accessible experience for all levels of enthusiasts.

  • Starting and Finishing Points: Mullodi village.
  • Total Distance: 18 to 20 kilometres return.
  • Time Required: 5 to 6 hours return.
  • Grade: Easy to Moderate.

Narasimha Parvatha Trek

Embark on an off-the-beaten-path adventure with the Narasimha Parvatha Trek, tucked away within the scenic landscapes of Kudremukha National Park. Towering at an elevation of 1150 meters, this trek leads to the highest peak in Agumbe, offering unparalleled views of the surrounding terrain.

The journey begins at Malandur, Agumbe, and concludes at Kigga, Chikkamangaluru, spanning a total distance of 21 kilometers one way. Adventurers should anticipate spending approximately 9 to 10 hours navigating the challenging trail. Classified as hard in difficulty, the Narasimha Parvatha trek promises a thrilling and rewarding experience for seasoned trekkers seeking an adrenaline-fueled adventure amidst nature’s splendour.

  • Starting Point: Malandur, Agumbe.
  • Finishing Point: Kigga, Chikkamangaluru.
  • Total Distance: 21 kilometres one way.
  • Time Required: 9 to 10 hours one way.
  • Grade: Hard.
Ascend at Narasimha Parvatha trek
Ascend at Narasimha Parvatha trek

Gangadikal Trek

Nestled among the thirteen peaks of Kudremukha National Park lies the hidden gem of Gangadikal Peak. Offering a tranquil escape from the bustling trails, this trek remains one of Karnataka’s least explored paths.

Embark on your journey from a starting point located approximately 4 to 5 kilometers from the forest checkpoint, immersing yourself in the untouched beauty of the wilderness. The round trip covers a total distance of 8 kilometers, with an estimated duration of 4 to 5 hours.

  • Starting and Finishing Points: 4 to 5 kilometres from the forest checkpoint.
  • Total Distance: 8 kilometres return.
  • Time Required: 4 to 5 hours return.
  • Grade: Easy to Moderate.

Rated as easy to moderate in difficulty, the trek to Gangadikal peak welcomes adventurers of all skill levels to discover its serene landscapes and panoramic views.

Gangadikal trek
Gangadikal Trek

Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary

Established in 1974, Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary stands as a revered sanctuary and protected tiger reserve in Karnataka. Named after the majestic Bhadra River that flows through its heart, this sanctuary is a haven for diverse flora and fauna.

Home to approximately 33 tigers, Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary also shelters a plethora of other fascinating creatures, including elephants, jackals, jungle cats, leopards, and giant squirrels. Encompassing lush forests and serene water bodies, the sanctuary provides a vital habitat for these species to thrive in their natural environment.

Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary

Hoysala Temples

During their illustrious reign from the 10th to the 14th century, the Hoysala dynasty left an indelible mark on Karnataka’s architectural landscape. Their legacy is epitomized by the magnificent temples they commissioned, showcasing intricate craftsmanship and architectural brilliance.

Among the most renowned Hoysala temples are the Chennakeshava temple in Belur and Hoysaleswara temple in Halebidu. Situated on the border of Chikkamagaluru and Hassan districts, these temples stand as timeless testaments to the Hoysala dynasty’s artistic and cultural prowess.

Weekend trip to Belur and Halebidu
Weekend trip to Belur and Halebidu


Where there are mountains, cascading waterfalls inevitably follow, and Chikkamagaluru district boasts an impressive array of these natural wonders. With a reputation for its breathtaking waterfalls, the district is said to be adorned with approximately 35 such marvels.

Among the notable cascades are the enchanting Hebbe, Jhari, Kalhatti, and Manikyadhara waterfalls, each offering visitors a glimpse of nature’s splendor and providing a refreshing retreat amidst the rugged terrain of Chikkamagaluru.

Ballalarayana Durga Fort

Dating back to the 12th century, the Ballalarayana Durga fort stands as a testament to ancient architectural grandeur atop a rugged hill. This ruined stronghold, steeped in history, was commissioned by the wife of Veera Ballala I, the illustrious King of the Hoysala dynasty. Today, it remains a captivating destination for trekkers seeking to explore its atmospheric ruins and unravel its storied past.

Embark on an adventure with our guide to trekking to the Ballalarayana Durga Fort, where every step leads to a journey through time and heritage.

Lakes and Dams

Lakya Dam

The Lakya Dam, situated on the Lakya River, a tributary of the Bhadra River, stands as a vital infrastructure completed in 1994. This dam serves the crucial purpose of collecting silt and other mining waste materials, ensuring the effective management of resources and environmental conservation in the region.

Bhadra Dam

The Bhadra Dam, located on the Bhadra River, a tributary of the Tungabhadra River, stands as a remarkable feat of engineering commissioned in 1965. Designed by the esteemed Sir M V Visveshvaraya, this monumental structure plays a pivotal role in water resource management and irrigation, contributing significantly to the region’s development and prosperity.

Sringeri (Sri Sharadambe) Temple

The Sringeri Temple, an ancient and revered site in Karnataka, stands as one of the oldest and most historically significant temples in the region. Devoted to Goddess Sharadambe, this sacred sanctuary has stood the test of time, bearing witness to centuries of devotion and spirituality. Dominating the skyline is the majestic Rajagopuram, soaring to a height of 127 feet, a testament to the temple’s architectural splendor and grandeur.

In addition to the renowned Sringeri Temple, the town is also home to other notable religious sites, including the Sri Vidyashankara Temple and the Sri Malahanikareshwara Temple, each adding to the spiritual allure and cultural richness of Sringeri.

Where to Stay in Chikkamagaluru?

Chikkamagaluru offers a plethora of accommodation options, ranging from cozy homestays to luxurious hotels and resorts, each nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of lush greenery and sprawling coffee plantations.

Strelitzia Villas

Strelitzia Villas stands out as one of the finest and most luxurious homestays I’ve experienced in Chikkamagaluru. Nestled amidst lush plantations, it offers a serene and idyllic retreat surrounded by verdant greenery.

Review of Strelitzia Villas

Strelitzia Villas, Best Homestay in Chikmagalur Chikkamagaluru

Bella Homestay

I’ve had the pleasure of staying at Bella Homestay on several occasions. The owners are incredibly warm and attentive, making it a welcoming haven for solo travelers or those exploring with friends.

While the accommodations are simple, especially in the dormitories where I’ve stayed, the overall experience is comfortable and conducive to connecting with fellow travelers.

Bella Homestay Kudremukha
Bella Homestay Kudremukha

Guddadamane Homestay

Guddadamane Homestay stands out as one of the most charming accommodations in Chikkamagaluru. With its rich history dating back 150 years, the homestay exudes an authentic old-world charm that captivates visitors. Nestled within an expansive estate, it offers a serene and picturesque setting for a memorable stay.

Click here to check for prices on the Agoda website

The warmth and hospitality of the family running the homestay add to the overall experience, making guests feel right at home. Additionally, the delicious home-cooked meals served here are a delightful highlight, adding to the allure of Guddadamane Homestay as a truly enchanting retreat in the heart of Chikkamagaluru.

The River Tern Lodge by Jungle Lodges

Certainly, The River Term Lodge by Jungle Lodges stands out as the premier accommodation choice in Chikkamagaluru. Among its exceptional properties, the River Tern Lodge in Tarikere taluk shines as a spectacular retreat. Poised on the edge of the picturesque Bhadra reservoir, this lodge offers unparalleled views and a truly immersive nature experience.

Click here to check for availability on the Agoda website

Please note that while Jungle Lodges provides an exceptional stay, it is worth mentioning that it is also the most luxurious and consequently, the most expensive option compared to the other two homestays mentioned.

Hoysala Village Resort

Hoysala Village Resort is a serene retreat that blends traditional charm with modern amenities. The resort features comfortable accommodation options ranging from cozy cottages to spacious rooms, all designed to provide a relaxing stay.

Click here to check for prices on the Agoda webiste

Hoysala Village Resort also boasts a range of recreational activities and facilities to keep guests entertained. From swimming pools and indoor games to nature walks and cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Additionally, the resort offers delicious dining options, serving both traditional local cuisine and international dishes to cater to diverse tastes.

How to Get to Chikkamagaluru?

By Road

Chikkamagaluru is approximately 250 kilometers away from Bangalore, with a road journey typically spanning around 5 hours. It’s important to note that some of the roads en route traverse through mountainous terrain, particularly in the ghat sections. These roads may pose challenges and are best navigated by experienced drivers.

By Public Transport

  • Buses – The bus is convenient, with frequent overnight services connecting Bangalore to various parts of the Chikkamagaluru district. For a reliable journey, it’s advisable to opt for government-operated buses, which are less likely to be cancelled. Keep updated with the latest bus schedules and information by referring to the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) website.
  • Trains – Another transportation option is the train service between Bangalore and Chikkamagaluru. The journey typically takes around 4 to 5 hours. For detailed train schedules and bookings, you can visit the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website.

Is Chikkamagaluru District and City Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

Karnataka is generally considered safe for solo female travelers, and exploring the region independently can be a rewarding experience. However, it’s important to exercise caution, particularly when trekking. Some trails can be isolated and remote, with potential wildlife encounters. Therefore, it’s advisable to avoid trekking alone and opt for group excursions whenever possible. Additionally, remain vigilant at all times, especially after dark, to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.

Closing Notes

The Chikkamagaluru district indeed stands out as one of Karnataka’s most breathtaking regions, boasting truly awe-inspiring landscapes. Exploring these sights, if not all, should definitely be on your itinerary when visiting Karnataka.

Let me know by writing to me at on how many of these spectacular sightseeing places you’ve had the chance to experience!

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Complete Guide to Chikkamagaluru District (2024)
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    PIN for later reference – Complete Guide to Chikkamagaluru District

    PIN for later reference - Chikkamagaluru district, a complete guide
    PIN for later reference – Complete Guide to Chikkamagaluru District