Places to visit near Kalasa, Kyathanamakki hill

Places To Visit Around Kalasa, Chikmagalur

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After trekking to the Kudremukh peak, we stayed and explored places near Kalasa the next day. To our surprise, the temple town of Kalasa situated on the banks of the river Badra amidst the western ghats offers inquisitive travelers an experience that is a mix of spirituality, culture, and untamed nature.

Kalasa is a taluk located in the Chikmagalur district of Karnataka. “Kalasa” in Sanskrit means “a pot that holds water.” This town is celebrated as the home of the 5 sacred water bodies called “Panchatheertha”.

Kalasa – Places To Visit

How To Reach?

By Air

The nearest airport to Kalasa is the Mangalore International Airport (Airport code: IXE, 111 Km). From there there are no direct buses available. You can book a cab and reach Kalasa by road.

By Train

The nearest railway station to Kalasa is the Chikmagalur railway station (Station Code: CMGR, 88 Km). Be advised that here the train frequency is low but there are not so frequent yet direct buses from Chikmagalur to Kalasa.

By Road

The best option to reach Kalasa is by boarding a direct bus from Bangalore or using a private vehicle. As the number of buses is limited to only 4, it is better to book at least 2 weeks in advance during the peak seasons.

From Chikmagalur and Horanadu, there are buses available. From Horanadu, you can hop on a shared auto and taxi to Kalasa.

Direct KSRTC buses are not available from any of these places – Mangalore, Udupi, and Mysore.

How To Roam Around?

The local buses are not frequent. Hopping between places by relying on public transport takes time.

The best option is to bring your vehicle or hire a jeep on a day-to-day basis which would cost you around Rs. 4500, depending on the seasons and demand. No two-wheeler rentals are available in Kalasa.

We hired a jeep and roamed for a day covering all the places near Kalasa. Here is the contact number of the jeep that we hired: 

Shivaraj – +91 9482544840, +91 9448688623 (speaks Kannada, Hindi, Tamil, Tulu, and Malayalam)

Note: OLA and Uber services are not available.

Where To Eat?

Usually, homestays provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner for visitors. Also, many restaurants are available in Kalasa.

Note: Door delivery services like Zomato and Swiggy are not available.

Where To Stay?

Homestays are pretty much available accommodation in Kalasa. Before booking, make sure to confirm the accessibility of the services listed below: 

  • Pick up and drop from the bus stand if you are using public transport – usually, they charge extra for this service.
  • Wifi & network availability
  • Hot water facility
  • Jeep to roam if needed

Note: Rather than booking on third-party platforms, we found that booking the rooms directly by calling the owner was much more nominal. You can search for desired homestays on Google and reach out to them directly.

We stayed in Kallu Kore homestay with a few of our other friends. The place was clean and the hospitality was great. Both veg and non-veg food with tea, coffee, and snacks were provided. Here are a few recommendations.

On our next visit, we stayed in the Horanadu devasthanam guesthouses. The price starts as low as Rs. 250 for two persons per night. You’ll also get free food at the temple premises. Make sure to pre-book as they are fully booked during weekends and holidays.

 

Best Time To Visit

From January to June, the weather is dry and Kudremukh National Park is closed to visitors. So, the best time to visit Kalasa is from July to December. Carry raincoats as the weather is unpredictable and frequented by rains. 

ATM Availability

There are a very limited number of ATMs available in Kalasa and the one available near the Horanadu temple tends to run out of cash quite often. Make use of debit/credit cards and online payments wherever possible.

As most people accept only cash in Kalasa and Horanadu areas, do ensure you carry sufficient cash. Moreover, the internet connection is also poor when moving out of town, and you cannot rely on UPI and other online payments.

Languages Spoken

Kannada is the native language spoken by the people of Kalasa. As the place is frequented by tourists, few people can converse in Hindi and English. 

Network Availability

All operators have good network coverage in Kalasa town. But in more interior places, Jio is the only reliable network with moderate to good connectivity.

Places To Visit

1. Kudremukh Peak

Kudremukh Peak view - last stretch of the trek

Kudremukh is every trekking enthusiast’s dream. It is the second-highest peak in Karnataka. The fresh air and water streams inside the dense forests make the hike very rejuvenating. Numerous green beds litter the mountains in different shades of green with the mist playing hide and seek is a visual treat, that has no substitute. 

As the terrain is steep, you have to be very careful while climbing up and descending. A guide is mandatory for this trek, without whom you are denied entry.

  • Difficulty level: Moderate to Difficult
  • Trek distance: 22 Km in total (Two way)
  • Summit altitude: 1894 m
  • Best time to visit: July to December
  • Guide charges: Rs. 1000 for 8 persons
  • Entry fee: Rs. 575 per person for Indians
  • Restroom: Only available ones are at the forest check post office
  • Parking: Available near the forest check post

Note: The Kudremukh National Park is entirely and strictly a plastic-free zone. Every bag is searched and all the plastics are removed at the forest check post.

Read more for the complete hiking guide on Kudremukh Peak. Additionally, you can also trek to Nethravathi Peak.

2. Duggapan Katte

Known mostly by the locals, it is a viewpoint overlooking the entire town of Kalasa. For the best views, go during the golden/twilight hours. As the place is deserted, it is safer to go in a group.

  • Distance from Kalasa: 600 m
  • Entry fee: Free
  • Timing: No restrictions. But it is recommended you not visit when it is dark
  • Restroom: Not Available
  • Parking facilities: Available

3. Samse Tea Estate

Tea estates of Kalasa, Chikmagalur

Along the main road of Kalasa, you can see the Samse Ganapathi temple amidst the tea plantation. Park your vehicles alongside the road, take a walk, and ensure you memorialize the beauty of this place by indiscriminately clicking pictures of the beautiful tea estate, which is open to tourists. Opposite the tea plantations, a tea shop sells tea and coffee powders and also serves tea and refreshments.

Since Chikmagalur prides itself on being the land of coffee, you can spot only a few tea estates in the region.

  • Distance from Kalasa: 7.6 Km
  • Entry fee: Free
  • Timing: 6 AM – 6 PM
  • Restroom: Not Available
  • Parking facilities: No dedicated vehicle parking. However, you can park alongside the road

4. Soormane Falls

Soormane falls
Pic captured in the month of JUNE

There are two ways to reach the waterfall. One is via private property (allowed if you are visiting by jeep with local drivers) and the other is a 300 m short walk that will take you to the waterfall. The most unique thing about this place is that you will be able to go behind the waterfall. This opportunity alone makes this place a must-visit when you are on the Kalasa or Kudremukh trek.

  • Distance from Kalasa: 5.8 Km
  • Entry fee: Rs. 30 per person
  • Best time to visit: July to December
  • Timing: 6 AM – 6 PM
  • Restroom: Not Available
  • Changing rooms: Not available
  • Parking facilities: Available

5. Kalasa Hanging Bridge

Kalasa hanging bridge

Situated just 3 Km away from Kalasa, this long hanging bridge has been built on the river Bhadra and it is one of the prime tourist spots in the region. With lush greenery on either side of the banks and the Bhadra river flowing in between, the bridge looks like something out of a fairy tale. The bridge is reliably strong and it connects to a private farm on the other side of the river.

  • Distance from Kalasa: 1.5 Km
  • Entry fee: Free
  • Timing: 6 AM – 6 PM
  • Restroom: Not Available
  • Parking facilities: Available

6. Sri Kalaseshwara Swamy Trek

Famous festivals like Shivarathri, Girija Kalyana (wedding of Shiva and Parvathi), and Kalasa car festival (Rathotsava), honoring Lord Shiva, are celebrated here with unbridled enthusiasm every year. The Kalaseshwara Swamy temple is considered to be a Dakshina Kashi. Check the temple’s official website to learn more about this famous temple. You can also learn more about the history of this famous place from the inscriptions and information boards inside the architecturally wondrous temple premises.

  • Distance from Kalasa: 150 m
  • Entry fee: Free
  • Timings: 6 AM – 6 PM
  • Restroom: Available
  •  Parking space: Available

7. Amba Theertha

Amba Theertha - Kalasa

This water body is one of the sacred waters of the Panchatheertha. The location is incredibly scenic with the flowing river of Bhadra against the backdrop of the stoic and permanent mountains. You also get to see local fishermen getting their catch of the day.

Be very careful in these places as the rocks are very slippery even in the summer when there is less water flow. Multiple avoidable deaths have been reported here every year.

  • Distance from Kalasa: 3.5 Km
  • Entry fee: Free
  • Timings: 6 AM – 6 PM
  • Restroom: Not available
  •  Parking space: Available
  • Shops nearby: None

8. Annapurneshwari Temple

Horanadu Annapurneshwari temple

The Horanadu temple or Annapurneshwari temple is a very famous temple that is home to a golden idol honoring the goddess of food. There is a firm belief among the folk that the devotees who come here never had to face food scarcity in their lives. To the credit of this faith, free food is served every day to devotees.

In terms of traditions, men have to remove their shirts while entering the temple. Given the reverence this temple commands and the importance it holds for its devotees, ensure that you respect the traditions and dress modestly.

  • Distance from Kalasa: 8.5 Km.
  • Entry fee: Free.
  • Darshan timing: 6 AM – 9:30 PM.
  • Prasad Bhojan timings: Breakfast – 7:30 AM to 8:30 AM, Lunch – 1 PM to 2:30 PM, Dinner – 8 PM to 9:30 PM.
  •  eHundi: Available.
  • Bathrooms and toilets: Available, and they are cleaned every day.
  • Parking facilities: Available.
  • Shops nearby: Many shops are there near the temple.
  • Accommodation: There are rooms available for you to refresh for a few hours or stay for the night.

Note: Photography and videography inside the temple are strictly prohibited. Do not incur the disrespect of the devotees for a picture.

9. Kyatanamakki Hill View

Kyatanamakki view point

The Kyatanamakki Hill is a hidden gem that has been unmarred by civilization. Found in the Kalasa region of Chikmagalur. The 180° view of the evergreen mountains as far as the horizon stretches is so arresting to the eyes. This place is very relaxing and we loved the moments we spent there. You can watch both sunrise and sunset from here.

From the forest check post, you can only travel by either walking or a 4×4 WD Jeep. The terrain is so slippery, steep with rocks and sand, that it makes it next to impossible to use any other form of transport. You can hire these jeeps near the forest check post. You have to walk uphill for 15 – 30 minutes to reach the top from where the jeep drops you. If you are planning to walk up from the checkpost, it would approximately take 1 hour.

The path to the left along the ridge takes you to a different view which no words can do justice to and you should just see it for yourselves, to truly appreciate the view. Needless to say, visit this viewpoint on your visit to Kalasa or the Kudremukh trek.

  • Distance from Kalasa: 16 Km
  • Entry fee: Rs. 50 per person, collected at the forest check post.
  • Jeep charges: Rs. 2000 for 8 persons
  • Timing: 5 AM – 6 PM. The last entry is at 5 PM.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trek time: 15 min walk uphill will take you to the top.
  • Tent stay/Camping: Not allowed.
  • Restroom: Not Available.
  • Parking facilities: Available at the foothills.
  • Shops nearby: One shop with refreshments available near the forest check post.

If you are planning for the Kudremukh trek, do ensure you visit the nearby places.

The Kyathanamakki Gaali Gudda viewpoint, Elaneeru Falls, and Soormane waterfalls were so worth it. If you are planning to visit Chikmagalur, we have written a separate blog covering all the places. We have also written comprehensive guides on several other treks. Do check them out. For more places and hidden gems, keep an eye on our blogs and follow us on social media channels.

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