Chickmagalur ( Karnataka , South India)
Chickmagalur is regarded as tourist destination of Karnataka with immense natural beauty and historical assets. Situated in the south west part of Karnataka, it is carved against a mountainous canvas of Malnad region. According to local legend, it is said that the town was given as a dowry to the younger daughter of Rukmangada. Full of coffee estates and unspoilt beauty, the town enjoys salubrious climate and has venerated monuments and temples all round the region. There are many interesting tourist destinations in and around Chickmagalur.
Amrithapura: Amrithapura, situated 67 kms from Chickmagalur, is famous for a Hoysala temple of 1196 A.D. The temple is dedicated to Amritheshawara and garners lot of interest for a splendid specimen with many panels of beautifully sculptured figures. Sompura on the banks of river Bhadra nearby is one of the Pancha Kshetras.
Ayyanakere: 18 kms from Chickmagalur, Ayyanakere is home to a large tank, believed to have been constructed by Rukmangada Raya, a local chieftain in 1156.
Baba Budan Hills: The Baba Budan hills range, 1895 metres high, lies 30 kms from Chickmagalur and is called as the Chandradrona Parvatha. The loftiest point of the range is Mullaianagiri which is 1926 metres high. The three caves here said to have been sanctified by the three Siddhas contain their icons and Gaddiges (tombs). An annual festival is held in their honour. A becon lighted during Deepavali can be seen at Chikmagalur. The peak takes the name from the Muslim saint, Baba Budan, who took up his residence here more than 200 years ago and reared coffee from the seeds he brought from Arabia. Nearby are the three famous waterfalls with epic associations-Gada Teertha, Kamana Teertha and Nellikayi Teertha. The Manikyadhara water fall is a popular place of picnic.
Belvadi: Situated 25 kms from Chickmagalur, Belvadi prides on having a Hoyasala temple with superb sculpture and a shrine dedicated to Veeranarayana.
Bhadra Wild Life Sanctuary: Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary lies about 40 kms from Chickmagalur. An area surrounded by hills and tributaries of Bhadra river has been converted into a wildlife sanctuary. Several types of forest animals can be seen in the sanctuary. A long road has been made to drive through the forest for viewing the wild life.
Dattatreya Peetha: Dattatreya Peetha is about 35 kms from Chickmagalur. Situated in the Baba Budan Hills is a cave shrine venerated by Hindus and Muslims alike as the place of penance attributed to Dattatreya. An annual celebration takes place in December along with the Urs when thousands of pilgrims participate with great fervour. A laterite cave here is believed to have been sanctified by the residence of Dattatreya Swamy as well as Hazrat Dada Hayat Mir Khalandar.
Gangamula: Gangamula is located 110 kms away from Chickmagalur and attracts tourists who enjoy natural beauty. On the hills is a place said to be the origin of rivers Tunga, Bhadra and Netravathi. Surrounded by natural scenery, it is a wonderful place for picnic and holidaying. A shrine for goddess Bhagavathi and Varaha are the chief attractions.
Horanadu: Located about 100 kms from Chickmagalur, the Adi Satyatmaka Annapurneshwari temple is a popular place of pilgrimage which attracts many devotees every day. A consecrated Sri Chakra was installed in the form of a Koorma which is shrouded by Adisesha carved in stone.
Kalasa: 95 kms from Chickmagalur, an old Agrahara on the banks of river Bhadra has the ancient temple of Kalaseshwara and a monolith boulder called Madhvacharya Bande, with a sculpture of the saint on it.
Kemmannugundi: 56 kms from Chickmagalur, Kemmannugundi is situated at a height of 1434 metres and surrounded by green forests. This scenic hill station is also called as Krishna Raja Hills. It is an ideal health resort, with beautiful laid out ornamental gardens, salubrious climate throughout the year and panoramic view of mountains and valleys. There are two waterfalls known as Kalhattagiri and Hebbe waterfalls in this region. An annual festival held here attracts a large number of pilgrims from the surrounding villages.
Khandya: Located 43 kms from Chickmagalur, Khandya is one of the Pancha Kshetras (five sacred places). It is situated on the banks of Bhadra river with an ancient Shiva temple. Hundreds of devotees assemble here during Mahashivarathri celebrations.
Kudremukh: Located 95 kms from Chickmagalur, Kudremukh is known for its rich mineral ores. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, it gets this name because of its shape of the face of a horse. The iron ore in this region is being mined and the concentrate is transported through huge pipes to Mangalore for export. A beautiful township with excellent guest houses has been developed in this place.
Marle: Only at 12 kms from Chickmagalur, Marle is another place of antiquity noted for the Vishnu temple dedicated to Chennakeshava.
How to reach Chickmagalur:
Chikmagalur and all the places around can be easily reached by good roads. Convenient buses operate from Bangalore, Shimoga, Mangalore, and many other places to all these places of interest. Good accommodation is available in all these places for overnight stay. Taxis and auto-rickshaws can be hired for local travel.