One of the most beautiful hill stations in Karnataka, Chikkamagaluru is situated in the foothills of the Mullayangiri Range and is famously known as the ‘Coffee Land of Karnataka’. With plenty of coffee plantations, Chikkamagaluru’s air is filled with a perpetual fragrance of coffee. Apart from coffee production, it is popular for its lush green forests, tranquil environment, and tall mountains. Chikkamagaluru is a quick getaway destination for the people of Karnataka and is a very popular tourist attraction.
Chikkamagaluru is mainly all about its coffee as it is the largest producer of coffee in the country. So if you love coffee and as well as nature, taking a walk through coffee plantations in the city is a thing you should definitely check off from your bucket list. Most of these coffee estates provide homestays right within the estates and also allow visitors to take guided tours through the plantations, so one can literally wake up to the smell of coffee in the air and end their day with the same.
Chikkamagaluru has some incredible trekking trails to offer, such as the Baba Budangiri trek, the Mullayangiri trek, and the Kemmanagundi trek. Mullayangiri is the best place to get a perfect view of the sun rising from behind the mountains and is the highest peak in all of Karnataka.
The winter months of September to March are the best time to visit Chikkamagaluru. The weather here remains pleasant throughout the year and the early monsoon season is also a good time to visit Chikamagalur. However, we would suggest avoiding the place in August as it receives heavy precipitation during that month.
When the first crop of coffee was grown in the Baba Budangiri range in 1670 AD, Coffee was introduced into India through the Chikkamagaluru district. According to the legends, the saint Baba Budan traveled through the seaport of Mocha, Yemen where he discovered coffee while going on his pilgrimage to Mecca. He wrapped seven coffee beans around his stomach and got them out of Arabia to introduce their taste to India. He planted the beans in the hills of Chikkamagaluru after returning from Arabia.
Baba Budangiri is a mountain range popular for housing the shrine of Hazrat Dada Hayat Khalandar, a Sufi Saint. It is also a famous trek from Chikkamagaluru. The 5 hours trail starts from Sarpadhari and is 9 kilometers long. The rare Neel Kurinji flowers bloom here after 12 years of time.
Known for its nature's raw beauty and peaceful ambiance, Mullayanagiri is the highest peak of Karnataka. It is a part of the Baba Budangiri Ranges and is a famous trekking point from Chikkamagaluru. Mountain biking is a popular adventure activity to do here.
Spread over the districts of Shimoga and Chikkamagaluru, the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is situated 38 km west of the Chikkamagaluru town in Karnataka and covers a vast area of over 490 sq. km. The view of the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary looks like a scene right out of a movie as it is surrounded by hills of the Western Ghats on all sides.
The Kudremukh National Park is famous for trekking and bird watching and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Home to around 200 species of avifauna, Kudremukh Peak requires a permit from the forest ranger to trek. Kudremukh National Park is considered as one of the best places to visit in Karnataka.
One of the most essential things to do in Chikkamagaluru is taking a tour of the resplendent coffee plantations. Aside from relaxing amidst the verdant green plantations and reveling in the fresh aromatic smell of coffee beans, the estates’ owners provide frequent tours where you can learn about coffee and its history.
Chikkamagaluru is well connected via regular bus, cab services, and a wide network of roads. The nearest airbase to Chikkamagaluru is Mangalore Airport. It has a dedicated railway station in its vicinity. Here’s how to reach Chikkamagaluru via different modes of transport.
By Air - Mangalore airport is the nearest airbase to Chikkamagaluru. To cover the remaining distance, you can take or hire a taxi to reach Chikkamagaluru.
By Road - Chikkamagaluru is well-connected via a wide network of roads with major cities like Chennai, Mangalore, and Bangalore. You can find several buses plying to your destination from these cities. Taxis are easily available from nearby cities.
By Train - Chikkamagaluru has a dedicated railway station but is not well-connected. Hence, the second nearest railway station is in Kadur. Buses and taxis are easily available to cover the remaining distance.
Travel Tip - Although the weather in Chikkamagaluru remains pleasant throughout the year, it rains heavily during the month of August, and hence, we would recommend that you avoid the place during that month.