Chikmagalur itinerary

The Best 7-Day Offbeat Itinerary To Chikmagalur

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Chikmagalur is geographically enormous and glazing over the popular sights alone would be a three-day trip. However, to make Chikmagalur a surreal experience we recommend you extend your trip to explore the places that make Chikmagalur a place of wondrous sights. It has so much to offer, hidden and private waterfalls, secret trails known only to the locals, and so much more. 

For more details on Chikmagalur about the network, language spoken, timings, and best time to visit, you can read this Chikmagalur guide. The following itinerary will enable you to plan the perfect trip possible. We wrote this plan after visiting the place several times, it is arguably the most foolproof one possible.

  • Day 1, once you reach Chikmagalur, take a breather and gear up to explore. 
  • Day 2 & 3 are plans that start before daybreak.
  • Day 4 contains plans to explore the nearby taluk, located an hour from the town.
  • Days 5, 6, and 7 contain plans to explore the other offbeat taluks of the Chikmagalur district.

Twin’s Tip: Hire a two-wheeler for 4 days from Chikmagalur if you do not have a personal vehicle. We do not recommend relying on public transport as they are neither frequent nor well-connected.

Chikmagalur Itinerary

Day 1

Bandekla Gudda Viewpoint

Bandekla Gudda Viewpoint

A short hike on an offbeat path ensconced amidst coffee plantations will lead you to the Bandekla Gudda viewpoint. This is not a tourist hotspot and that alone makes this calm place worth visiting. Always be aware of your environment, as the terrain is muddy and slippery during the monsoons.

If you are using Google Maps to navigate, then do not enter the viewpoint as the destination. For the best hiking trail to this place, we recommend you search for Agalagandi homestay. From the homestay, it is a straight route up and we encourage you to ask the locals for directions should you find the trail to be confusing.

Mallandur sunset point (optional to visit) is a barren land, ideal for a picnic. It is a great open space and a popular spot among the locals during weekends and holidays.

The Muthodi Forest Safari

The safari ride starts from the Bhadra Tiger Reserve, Muthodi. Impressively, even the ride to the start point is enjoyable as it is great to drive with little to no traffic and great views on either side. We, unfortunately, could not make it to the safari, however, the safari is truly enjoyable, especially if you have kids, it is a great way to stimulate and inspire them to be more outdoorsy. However, be warned that the chances of spotting a tiger or other wild animals are rare and solely based on your luck and weather.

Ukkada Falls

Ukkada falls hiking guide

Ukkada Falls is the very definition of a hidden gem. A short hike on private property (permission not required) will take you to this spellbound waterfall. The falls are truly spectacular when you comprehend the height of their crest. Crossing a village, a stream, and walking on a hiking path full of leeches to reach the falls is an experience in itself. For more information on how to do the hike all by yourselves, read the Ukkada Falls hiking guide.

Hirekolale Lake

Hirekolale lake

The lake is the perfect conclusion to your first day. You can relax against the backdrop of imposing mountains and gaze at their clear reflection on the water. The sunset experience here is nothing short of a chef’s kiss.

If you fancy yourself as a coffee aficionado then, you can book several coffee plantation tours. If coffee does not suit your taste then we encourage you to take as many pictures as possible of the gorgeous landscapes as you hop from one place to another.

 

Day 2

Kemmangundi is the place to go on your second day. Day 2 is more of a weekend-esque plan, and we recommend you stick to the plan. For instance, weekends ensure that you don’t have to wait too long for the jeep ride to Hebbe Falls. You’ll be visiting places in Kemmangundi on day 2.

Note: Mark the places listed below on your Google Maps before you start. All of the places mentioned are geographically located in a no-network zone. These places are located close to each other and they can be navigated using the name boards on the side of the road. Start early to ensure you reach Hebbe Falls by 9:00 A.M.

Kalathgiri Falls

Kalathgiri falls

On your way to Kemmangundi, we recommend you take a pit stop at Kalathgiri Falls. When you deviate from the main Chikmagalur road, you will initially notice the monumental height of the falls’ crest. However, as you approach it, the spectacular mirage starts to make more sense. The last crevice of the waterfalls is only visible near the temple.

Another perk of visiting these falls is that you do not need to go out of your way and hike additionally. It is right beside the parking lot. However, for the parking privileges, you will be charged Rs.10. 

If you started your trip late, this fall will have to be skipped.

Hebbe Falls

Full view of Hebbe Falls - Chikka Hebbe & Dodda Hebbe

If you, unfortunately, happen to arrive post 11:00 am, you’ll have to wait for hours for the jeeps that had left for their first trip. Trust us on this, there will always be a long waiting line near the entrance to visit this place and the line gets painfully longer with time. Common sense dictates we opt for this trip on the weekend, but the issue there is that the jeep won’t start unless there is full capacity, and you will be hard-pressed to find enough people to join you during weekdays.

Read this guide to know if the jeep ride to Hebbe Falls is worth it.

Also Yes! This is the most scaled waterfall in the Chikmagalur district and it is only a 2.30 hour round trip.

Z Point & Shanti Falls

Z point Chikmagalur

After being enthralled by the beautiful Hebbe Falls, gear up and embark on a brisk hike to Z-point. The Shanti waterfall can be visited en route. The water of Shanti Falls, being a freshwater spring, tastes incredibly good and it is an experience that should not be skipped. You are free to walk along the ridge line, wander as you wish, dance with the cool breeze, and do pretty much any activity that lets you express your joy of being one with nature. The best part is that you can do all of this against the amazing backdrop of valleys on one side and hills on the other.

Kemmangundi Rock Garden

Don’t be thrown off by the name, the rock garden among other things is home to a stellar viewpoint, a sunset point, and a play arena, all combined in a neatly packaged garden. Being frequent visitors, we were able to discern a lot of improvements that had been made by the government of Karnataka. The golden hour takes on a magical meaning at this place and the sunset view from this point is straight out of a fairy tale.

If you are bunked near the IG road or in Chikmagalur town, be aware that it will take more than an hour on your way back.

Day 3

Day 3 is a weekday-esque itinerary. The goal here is to soak in all the sights without having to deal with pesky crowds as the places in this plan are super popular among tourists.

For more information on the sights, timings, entry fees, and network availability check the Chikmagalur Guide

Mullayanagiri

Mullayanagiri temple

It is extremely emphasized that you get to the Mullayanagiri gate before 6 AM. Despite the fact that you are getting there before the gate opens, we can guarantee you that you will see more than a few cars already lined up before the gate.

Once the gate opens, park your vehicle and start your hike to the peak by climbing a couple of hundred steps. An amazing sunrise waits as your reward at the end. The wind is more than a little forceful, and perhaps a fraction gentler than a hurricane, so ensure you move carefully at the designated path. We also recommend that you wear weather-appropriate clothes to shield you from the cold breeze.

Do visit the temple honoring Lord Shiva and be sure to inspect the Nandi sculpture on the hilltop. If fortune decides to smile upon you, the mist covering the peak will disperse and you might get an opportunity to gawk at an epic sunrise from the tallest peak of Karnataka.

On your way back, do ensure you treat yourself to hot corn and Maggi. Their flavor is much more elevated when you huff them down while being tormented by cold weather.

Jhari Falls

Jhari falls or Buttermilk falls

After the sunrise, embark on a ride to the beautiful Jhari Falls. A short hike of about a kilometer on muddy terrain will lead to the majestic three-tiered Jhari more fondly referred to as the Buttermilk Waterfall. With its crest at about 40 feet high, these falls create an almost magical sight. The water is extremely cold yet it is very inviting. More importantly, the falls drop into a shallow pond that is very relaxing and the pond is shallow enough that it is accommodating for non-swimmers.

GnR Orange Point

A slight detour from the main road near the hotel C.N.R. will get you to the GnR Orange Point. Now this place is the very definition of a hidden gem, a secret place that we would have more than loved to keep as a secret. But the beauty of this place is so inspiring that being secretive about this other-worldly place is an impossibility. Known to very few people, this viewpoint atop the hills and ensconced by clouds offers a heart-touching perspective about the many wonders of nature. This place should be at the top of your do-not-miss list. 

Honnamana Halla Falls

Honnammana Halla falls

A few km away from the Jhari Falls and a straight journey on the Baba Bhudangiri road, you will come across another waterfall right alongside the road. Ensure you make a pitstop here and gaze in helpless wonder at how the water effortlessly glides down the steps. There is also a Hindu temple near the waterfall, that you can pop in should you fancy.

Dattapeeta Temple

Datta Peeta cave temple

Ride for a few kilometers on the well-laid hairpin roads while being mesmerized by the scenic mountains of the Western Ghats, and you’ll reach Dattapeeta. You can park your vehicles near the shops at this place.

Dattapeeta can be best described as a one-of-a-kind Muslim-Hindu temple. The temples are situated next to each other inside the same cave, boldly embracing the secular nature of the country. The cave has water dripping in its inner walls, and it is painted in yellow sandalwood once a year. The fragrance is unmistakable and it will most certainly more than tingle your respiratory senses. The priest happened to be a very kind soul and we were entertained with an elaborate story from him about the existence of the Sufi Saint Baba Budan, and the reason why the entire hill is named after him. 

During heavy rainfall, this cave temple is closed to visitors as water tends to clog the place.

Garikere

Garikere

Garikere is the very picture of serenity, it is a fenced lake that defines stillness. You can stretch your travel-weary limbs for some time near the waters and walk alongside the fence. This lake also has a temple beside it.

You’ll have to return to Dattapeeta from here via the same route you arrived.

Manikya Dhara Falls

Manikya Dhara Falls

Choosing the other side of the forked road from the Dattapeeta will direct you to the Manikya Dhara Falls. However, on your way to the falls, you will be delightfully distracted by the beautiful Chandra Drona Lake. If you happen to own a two-wheeler, you can throttle slowly on the muddy terrain. If not, the only other alternative is hiring a jeep opposite the Dattapeeta temple as the road is not good at a couple of places en route.

Access to the viewpoint and the waterfall will cost you an entry fee of Rs. 5. The water is said to have medicinal properties, and you will also find shops nearby selling some medicines aimed at boosting health. Be warned that numerous notorious monkeys can be found near the waterfalls.

Day 4

Mudigere is a nearby town known for hiking Ettina Bhuja, and exploring it is the best way to spend your fourth day. As there are no rentals found in Mudigere town, you’ll have to take your vehicle to hike to the Ettina Bhuja and visit the nearby places.

The places to visit near Mudigere are not usually crowded and you will most certainly enjoy every one of them.

Day 5, 6 & Day 7

Kalasa is home to two epic hiking adventures including Kudremukh and Nethravathi peaks. If you are planning to complete both the treks on your trip, plan accordingly as they consume a whole day each. On the remaining day, you can explore the places near Kalasa.

Frequent buses are available from both Mudigere and Kalasa to Chikmagalur, and no two-wheeler rentals are available in Kalasa. We also found that the Jeep rates are also comparatively higher. You have the option of using public transport for the first 2 days when you are hiking. On the third day, you can hire a jeep or auto on a pro-rata basis.

Dharmasthala temple

If possible we recommend that you further extend your trip and visit the Dharmasthala Devasthanam on your eighth day. From here you can comfortably and contently ride back home after having explored the most scenic places in the state.

We hope you’ll find this guide to be useful. If you have followed the same itinerary, or have any suggestions to better the itinerary do tell us in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.

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