Beautifully nestled in the foothills of Mullayangiri ranges of Karnataka, Chikmagalur is a part of the Western Ghats of India. Known for picturesque landscapes, cascading falls, lush green forests spread across hills and valleys, Chikmagalur is the place for nature lovers. As you enter the region, don’t be surprised to find yourself floating in the aroma of the coffee, as Chikmagalur is known for one of the largest coffee plantations. It is a perfect destination for coffee lovers, who can take a walk through a coffee plantation or take a guided tour to the coffee estate. There is some wonderful homestay in the region overlooking scenic mountains or an aromatic coffee estate. Apart from that, Chikmagalur is also a very popular destination for its humbling peaks waiting to be conquered by the trekkers. There are exciting treks such as Mullayangiri Trek – the highest peak in Karnataka to witness the best sunrise, Kemmanagundi trek, and Baba Budangiri trek. It is thus one of the top favorite destinations for adventure seekers.

Let us look at some of the interesting things to do in Chikmagalur.

Top things to do in Chikmagalur

Kudremukh national park

Nestled in the midst of densely covered hills, Kudremukh national park is one of the most popular national parks known for scenic surroundings. Spread across 600 km sq, it is one of the well maintained national parks in Karnataka. Decorated with breathtakingly beautiful nature, mesmerizing peaks, and home to some of the best flora and fauna, Kudremukh is also known for scenic treks through grasslands. Kudremukh is the name is retained because this national park is also home to one of the highest peak of Karnataka– called Kudremukh peak that is situated at a height of 1894 meters above sea level. The name Kudremukh is referred to as the shape of the mountain that resembles Horse's face. Thus the literal translation of Kudremukh is ‘Horse face’.

Kudremukh is truly blessed with a picturesque location. The whole region is blessed with rolling hills covered in dense forest and enchanting meadows.  This mystic place is one of the most important hot-spot for bio-diversity. It is also the place for trekkers to conquer this beautiful hill through the scenic climb. Check out Varaha Parvatha near the Kudremukh mountain range, it comes under the UNESCO world heritage site.

Mullayangiri trek

Standing tall at a height of 1930 m above sea level, Mullayangiri is the highest peak of Karnataka. Nestled gloriously in the western ghats of India, it is one of the best mountain peaks overlooking lush green surrounding and a great platform for a magical sunrise. Located at a distance of 25 km from Chikmagalur, Mullayangiri is a popular trekking spot for adventure seekers across the country. The peak is often covered in mushy clouds and welcomes you will a chill breeze. It is considered to be one of the finest treks in Karnataka, offers enthralling experiences one could ever have. This popular trek takes 3 hours to complete. You will also come across a small temple dedicated lord Shiva on the hilltop.

Coffee Plantation

It’s all about coffee for some people. If you are one amongst them, Chikmagalur is the place for you. Taking a stroll amongst the coffee plantation is one of the most scintillating experiences in Chikmagalur. It is one of the best and must do things in Chikmagalur, as many estate managers provide an opportunity for tourists to explore the coffee plantation with a guide. You do not want to miss that, do you? While you are bound to be floating with the coffee aroma around, the best part of taking a walk through the plantation is, it relaxes every muscle in your body as you stroll amidst green plantations. Best time to visit the coffee plantation is from Mid-December to Mid-January. It is during this time, coffee beans are plucked and the best time to explore the plantation.

Baba Budangiri 

This beautiful range is the second highest peak in the region after Mullayangiri in Chikmagalur, Karnataka. Nestled in the Western Ghats of India is a renowned for its shrine to Sufi Saint Baba Budan. It is also known as the Dattagiri hill range, where one will come across a shrine dedicated to Hindu God Dattatreya. Baba Budangiri is thus a well-established pilgrim site for Hindus and Muslims, often flocked by tourists. Neela kurinji is one of the most unique features one can find in this peak; it is this unique species of flowers bloom on these hills once in every 12 years. Baba Budangiri is also one of the popular trekking and hiking spots for all the adventure lovers.

Hebbe falls

Hebbe falls is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Chikmagalur. It is one of the glorious looking waterfalls especially during the monsoon when the gushing waterfall takes a plunge from a humbling height. Surrounded by lush green forest and aromatic coffee plantation and spice gardens, Hebbe falls is a must visit place in Chikmagalur. Situated at 10 km from Kemmangundi, Hebbe fall gushes off in two phases; one being Big falls also known as Dodda Hebbe and Small Fall also known as Chikka Hebbe. One can take a forest approved vehicle to reach the falls or just trek from Kemmangundi to reach the falls. However, during the rainy season, the route is filled with leeches, one must be very careful and fully covered while trekking to Hebbe falls.

Kalhatti Falls

Kalhatti is a popular cascading fall with the locals, as the waterfalls have its own legend and few mentions in myths. It is said that a renowned sage meditated by the waterfalls and thus the waterfall has healing powers of its own. This beautiful waterfall is located at a distance of 50 km from Chikmagalur. You will also come across a small temple here, where locals offer their prayer. One can climb down the slippery rocks leading to the refreshing waters of gushing fall.

Staying in Homestays in Chikmagalur

Chikmagalur is one of the most beautiful destinations in Karnataka that is known for some fantastic homestays. These homestays are located in some of the most scenic spots overlooking lush green hill ranges, or a beautiful coffee and spice plantations. Let us look at some of the most beautiful and popular homestays you should consider on your trip to Chikmagalur.

Coffee Bean Homestay

This beautiful heritage homestay is a 100-year-old bungalow nestled in the lush green hills of Westen Ghats. Located at a distance of 20 km from Chikmagalur, Coffee bean homestay is situated at a height of 3900 ft, surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful hills.

Approximate Cost: starting from 2750/- per person per night

Address: Chandrabetta Estate, Malandur Post, Chikmagalur – 577130 Karnataka

Ranga Taana Homestay

Ranga Taana is a quaint homestay that gives an opportunity to stay amidst coffee estate and spice plantation. It is a fantastic place for people who are looking for a stay, especially in nature. Situated in the adjoining hills of Kemmangundi, Ranga Taana is a perfect place for you.

Approximate Cost: starting from 2400/- per person per night

Address: Ranganatha Estate(Hosa Thota), Doopadh khan, Thanige Byle Post, Tarikere Taluk, Chikmagalur, Karnataka-577129

Valley of Birds homestay

This beautiful homestay is a simple farmhouse with basic amenities, nestled in the foothills of Kemmangundi, Chikmagalur. Beautiful places in a scenic valley, Valley of birds homestay is a perfect place for a fantastic holiday with family. There is an instant rejuvenation when stepped into this homestay. The most noticeable thing about this homestay is the sapota plantation and also the fact that Bhadra wildlife sanctuary is just 500 meters away from this homestay.

Approximate Cost: starting from 2500/- per person per night

Address: Tanigebyle Post, Tarikere Taluk, Chickmagalur District, Karnataka – 577 129

Thippanahalli homestay

This fascinating bungalow is as old as 230 years, which is now converted into a beautiful homestay. Thippanahalli homestay is the place to experience heritage home, the family which is looking after the homestay are fifth and sixth generation Coffee planters, who know everything about coffee and the region. It will be an interesting stay where one can get an interactive session regarding coffee plantation

Approximate Cost: starting from 2800/- per person per night

Address: 160, Thippanahalli Estate, Chikmagalur, Karnataka 577130

Best time to visit – October to February

Located in the southern part of India, Chikmagalur is a mesmerizing hill town of Karnataka. It is one of the few hill stations in south of India, that is frequented by tourists in the hot summers (March to May). It is one of the few hill stations that can be visited throughout the year. The most charming month to visit Chikmagalur is during the monsoon (June to September); it is during this season the whole region is covered in lush greenery with gushing rivers and breathtakingly beautiful waterfall taking plunge from humbling heights. Winters (October to February) can be considered to be the best time to visit Chikmagalur. The weather is absolutely pleasant and refreshing to visit the mountains and witness beautiful mountains and valley views.

How to reach

Chikmagalur is one of the most beautiful hill stations in Karnataka that is still under-explored. This beautiful hilly district is one of the few places in the South of India that is well connected by road. There are several state-own buses plying from major cities such as Bangalore, Mangalore, Udupi, and Hubli. The nearest airport to Chikmagalur is Mangalore airport (150 km) and Bangalore international Airport (244 km). From the airport, one can hire a cab or take a bus to Chikmagalur. The nearest railway junction to Chikmagalur is the Mangalore railway junction (150 km), from where one can hire a cab or board a bus to Chikmagalur.