Escape the City Rush

Take a break from the monotonous city life of Bangalore and set out on an adventurous road trip. Journey 273 km to the verdant hill station of Chikmagalur, nestled amidst the mystical ranges of Western Ghats. Driving through winding ghat roads and coffee valleys promises to unveil nature’s bounty along an unforgettable route. With attractions ranging from waterfalls and wildlife to viewpoints, old temples and local cuisine, Chikmagalur has something in store for all explorers. Chikmagalur tour packages from Bangalore offers you to create some unforgettable memories from your travel journey.

Traverse Through Scenic Ghats

Commence the trip preferrably early morning to avoid traffic out of the city. Drive via the Bangalore-Mangalore highway or NH-75 that slices through dense forests of Charmadi Ghat. The 90 km forest stretch is a biodiversity hotspot brimming with exotic plants, colourful butterflies and singing exotic birds along the periphery. Stop at viewpoints to absorb panoramic valley views in 360 degrees as Kolli Hills and Pushpagiri peaks line the horizon.

Deviate near Mangalore towards Kottigehara as you enter Chikmagalur district. Scenic roads and breathtaking vistas unmask around every bend to make it tempting to hit the brakes for a snapshot. Experience temperature gradually dip as elevation increases towards Chikmagalur town. Drive over bridges across gurgling Bhadra river snaking through lush green valleys. Would not it be an ideal halt to stretch your legs and tuck into some light snacks?

Arrive at Chikmagalur Town

By late afternoon you reach the sleepy town of Chikmagalur. Check into comfortable lodges or private estates at scenic locations granting access to attractions nearby. Explore the town’s select restaurants enjoying delicious vegetarian thalis or nonveg spicy cuisine. Savor local delicacies like akki otti (rice roti), khara pongal and North Karnataka style jolada rotti if you have an adventurous palate.

If time allows before nightfall, make your way to Chikmagalur’s two popular temples – Trikutchagiri hill temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and the ancient Veera Narayana temple. Both these sacred sites date back centuries and are revered by locals making a pitstop worthwhile. Offer devotional prayers for blessings on the trip ahead before unwinding with some homely food and rest.

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Set Off on Nature Trails

Start your second day with a visit to the renowned 1250 acre Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. A Project Tiger Reserve, it is home to tigers, leopards, elephants besides a variety of deer and reptile species. The lush habitat nurtures over 120 bird species like the Malabar trogon, jungle quail and grey hornbills. Hire local guides to explore fascinating forest trails for better chances of watching wildlife in action.

Post an adventurous safari, explore surrounding coffee plantations and dense woods. Next in lne is Kemmannagundi with its splendid Rose Garden in full bloom contrasting scenic hills around. The cascading Z point waterfall by the Central Nursery makes a photogenic visit. Drive through misty tea and spice plantations towards Baba Budan Giri Hills to sense a mysterious chill. Chikmaglur quite literally has something for every nature lover.

Hidden Watery Wonders

No trip to Chikmagalur is complete without visiting Hirekolale lake with its serene backwaters and boathouse. Take a romantic paddle boat ride by twilight and discover the lone Sringeri temple on an island in the centre. The sight of hills reflecting the lake against golden skies is uniquely mesmerizing in its aura.

Lose track of time revelling amidst fascinating museum exhibits at the Mullayanagiri Peak. As the highest point of Karnataka, be enthralled by aerial views of the mighty Arabian Sea to the West and the ridges of Charmadi Ghats. Mark your presence with mountain names etched atop all around from a bygone era.

With the abundance of attractions to cover, extend your trip to an extra day if possible. A visit to Jhari waterfall cascading through verdant hills will make the effort worthwhile. Not to forget, one can avail volunteer tourism trips working directly with local communities in Chikmagalur. Opportunities for nature interpretation walks, medicinal plantation visits and even curating digital galleries await. Such meaningful engagement leaves you with more than fond memories and refreshing perspectives beyond horizons!

Time To Return Reluctantly

If time constrains persist against your willingness, commence return journey thoughtfully. Ensure light snacks are packed for those hunger pangs and sufficient water along the way. Stop at select attractions you may have missed visiting earlier along the route. The return drive through serpentine roads glancing at misty peaks and tropical foliage makes you ponder. Ponder over the abundance of scenic spots the Western Ghats bless that need conservation for posterity.

Though reluctant to return initially, most explorers do so with expanded visions. They carry fond memories of moments spent reveling in nature’s lap and enthusing over discoveries. There emerges a resolve to venture out more often into nature’s hidden expanses beyond busy cities. And promote sustainable travel for such treasured destinations to thrive for generations to come.

As we soaked in the lush green abundance surrounded by the ambience of pure mountain air, cool sunshine and lyrical streams, your souls will feel refreshed and reconnected with nature. The Western Ghats radiate sublime beauty, health and joy for those who take the time to traverse through these ‘fortress hills’.