you are tired of working all week and are seriously contemplating
a break, there are places around Bangalore which can be an ideal retreat.
If you have a little more than a day on your hands, consider a retreat
in Chikmagalur. Known as the 'coffee land of Karnataka", Chikmagalur
is a fascinating destination that will keep you enthralled.
How to reach Chikmagalur
This enchanting destination of Karnataka is located about 260 km from
Bangalore. There are no railway stations or airports in Chikmagalur.
The nearest airport to the place is the Mangalore airport, which is
about 160 km away. Thus, the only way to reach Chikmagalur is by bus
or driving your own vehicle. There are regular buses available from
Bangalore to Chikmagalur, and you should take about 5 hours to reach
You can find buses from Mangalore and Mysore as well, if you are coming
from that route. But there is nothing more joyful than biking to Chikmagalur.
The journey may be a little long but you get to explore the natural
beauty along the way, which is just amazing.
The adventure that lies ahead of you
Chikmagalur is much more than the coffee plantations. There is a lot
you can do in Chikmagalur, which makes the destination a prefect break
from work. Trekking in Chikmagalur is an activity you must indulge
in. The highest peak of the destination is Mullayangiri, which has
a height of almost 2000 meters above sea level.
The trek starts from Sarpadhari, which is about 15 km from the centre
of the town. If you have your own vehicle, you can always drive down
to the place. Else, there are buses available too to Sarpadhari after
will find the trek to the top of Mullayangiri moderately difficult,
which means with a little bit of effort, you can easily scale the
heights. What keeps you going are the many delights that you come
across on your way. There is lush greenery around which is a treat
for the eyes; and around half way to the trek, there are caves to
be explored. You can travel quite a distance in these caves, which
have all sorts of interesting folklores associated with them.
If you keep trekking, with the occasional stop in between, you should
reach the top of Mullayangiri in about 4-5 hours. The top of the peak
has a small temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. But the highlight
is the views you get from the top of the peak. If you are trekking
in winters though, you may not get clear views of the valley below
because the Chikmagalur experiences thick mist during the winter season.
That's why, you are better off taking this trek during the months
of September to November or between the months of March and May.
For trekking purposes, you must avoid the monsoon months. The place
is infested with leeches during that time and the trek becomes much
There is wildlife too
few km away from Mullayanagiri is the Bababudanagiri peak. The peak
lies in the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary and presents another trekking
opportunity in Chikmagalur. Of course, you could always take a wildlife
safari in the Bhadra Wildlife Reserve. You can spot various species
of animals, including tigers, which are high density here. The lush
greenery of the place also makes for a nice camping opportunity.
While camping inside the forest is not allowed, you could always camp
close to it. The Bhadra River flows through the forest. If you are
a water sports fan, you can always indulge in a bit of kayaking or
rafting in the river, depending on the water levels. The time immediately
after the monsoon is ideal for a rafting adventure in the river, although
you would have to fight the leeches while camping.
time to visit
The best time to visit Chikmagalur would be during the spring season,
in the months of February to May. During that time of the year, the
visibility is good and there is not much rainfall either, which makes
it great for trekking as well camping. If you are visiting during
the winter months though, you would be well advised to carry a warm
jacket with you, since Mullayanagiri can experience strong, chilly
winds during the winter season.