How do I get to Chikmagalur?
By road: The drive from Bangalore to Chikamagalur will take about 5.5 hours on NH75. The journey is scenic and you will get a glimpse of Indian villages and small towns. It is also reasonably well-connected to Chennai, with the drive being around 10 hours.
By bus: Travel by bus is very convenient, especially from Bangalore. KSRTC buses leave from Kempegowda Bus Stand (Majestic Bus Stand), while private buses have many boarding points in the city.
By train: Trains from Bangalore to Chikmagalur Railway Station ply everyday from the Yesvantpur Station in Bangalore.
By air: Chikmagalur is a small town, so there is no airport. The nearest airport is in Mangalore about 4.5 hours away. This airport is well-connected to Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai and other major cities. You can hire a taxi, or take a bus from Mangalore to reach Chikmagalur.
How do I get around in Chikmagalur?
Though it's most convenient to travel around Chikmagalur if you have your own car, the hilly terrain in Chikmagalur is great for hiking. But if you're not into that idea, you can also travel by the local buses. It is a cheap and convenient option. Most hotels have cab services you can make use of to get around town. You can also travel by jeep, which is an experience by itself!
When's the best time to visit?
The best time to visit Chikmagalur is from September to March. The weather is pleasant and comfortable and perfect for sightseeing. The region receives heavy rainfall during the monsoon, and though it gets very pretty during this season, the rains may hamper sightseeing.
What are the main attractions in Chikmagalur?
Known for its natural beauty, Chikmagalur consists of many insanely amazing places to feast your eyes on! Jhari Waterfalls offers a mesmerising view of flowing white waters pouring down from gorgeous, blackish-brown, sedimented rocks. The Hanuman Gundi Falls, is a lovely sight, as its pearlish white waters, while cascading down from ebony-like rocks, create beautifully intricate patterns that you can't take your eyes off from. Visit the Hirekolale Lake where its bluish-green crystal waters, mimicking the natural colours of the azure skies and the emerald trees, will simply take your breath away. Mullayanagiri is the highest peak in Karnataka. It is one of the best places to embark on an exciting trek. Kudremukh National Park also makes for a fun trek. Here, you can go on a safari and try and spot wildlife like wild dogs, tiger, leopard, gaur, and more! The Central Coffee Research Institute is an interesting and an educational place, as you can get to know about the rich history of coffee. They also show the processes involved in converting a coffee bean to a coffee drink. It even has a laboratory showcasing the various varieties of coffee.
What can I do in Chikmagalur?
Since the region grows coffee, ask owners of coffee plantations if you could explore their estate. You might even pick up a thing or two about coffee culture in Chikmagalur! A hill town that it is, Chikmagalur has great hikes and treks for tourists up for a little adventure! Visit the many waterfalls this town has to offer. Around the hills of Chikmagalur, flows river Bhadra. An outdoor adventure company called 'Capture' offers river rafting, which is a fun experience for sporty visitors.
What to eat and where?
The cuisine in Chikmagalur is the "Malenadu" or the Malnad cuisine; it is known for the use of rich spices for a flavourful feast! Akki Roti, and kakadu are popular dishes here. The staple dish in this town is rice and fish curry. Being a town in a south Indian state, south Indian food is available everywhere - Town Canteen in known for its dosas, and Food Palace is a favourite for traditional south Indian dishes. Banana chips are one of the favorite snacks here. Since the town is known for its coffee plantations, you must try a mug of freshly brewed coffee!
What to take back from Chikmagalur?
No journey is complete without buying that special something from the place that you visited, just so that you could cherish those memories long after you have made a pleasant trip to your favourite destination. At Chikmagalur, you can take back home some aromatic variety of coffee like Panduranga, Arabica and Vanilla Coffee. Also famous for its pleasingly fragrant sandalwood, you can buy some sandalwood perfume, and also some beautifully carved artifacts made from coffee wood. You can also get your hands on some fine rich vanilla and spicy pepper, that you can use in your cooking to remind you of your trip to Chikmagalur!