Trip to Chikmagalur : Land of hills and coffee

Recently on the long weekend for Republic day, we decided to head to Chikmagalur for a short vacation. This is something I love about Bangalore, there are amazing destinations nearby that long weekends can be really fun. We have been to Ooty, Coorg, Shivasamudram, etc. etc., and this time it was Chikmagalur.
How to go : As they say, the journey is more important than the destination. So we headed to Chikmagalur by our car Honda Amaze. The public transport is also quite comfortable, my friends generally go by bus, get down at the Chikmagalur bus stand and then hire a jeep for sightseeing. 

Route - 
Bangalore whitefield -> Yashwantpur -> Tumkur road -> Nelamangala -> Hassan -> Belur -> Chikmagalur
The road is very smooth - no potholes, most of it is 4 lane or 6 lane highway.. except the Belur to Chikmagalur. There are beautiful windmills on the way and it is really mesmerizing, especially in foggy winters. 
Total distance from Whitefield Bangalore to Chikmagalur ~250 Kms
Nice restaurant on the drive to Chikmagalur

We had targeted to start at 05AM, but as usual, we were lazy and got late in getting ready - so we left at 06AM, luckily we did not find any city traffic and smoothly crossed the city to reach highway. There are too many toll booths on the way which will charge you between Rs. 20/- to Rs.50/- -> The total toll charges one way were around Rs 150/-
But the good part is that the road is managed very well, it is smooth, 4 lane and no potholes. People drive at very high speeds, but we maintain our speed during the journey, which led us to a 5 hour drive.

Started at 06AM and reached Chikmagalur resort at 11.30 AM (including a short break for breakfast and coffee)
The road is not hilly until you reach Chikmagalur, so it is preferred to drive here.
Our Homestay - Kalarava
Where to Stay : Well, we researched a lot of options, there are some homestays which are really awesome, but unfortunately we did not get anything due to the long weekend, so we booked Kalarava Resort which is at the foothills of Chikamagalur. This is a nice place to hangout if you have a group.. fully wooden cottages and eco- feel. I will write a seperate post to review it in detail- but do note that this is away from the hills and there is a 6-7 kms drive to the hills.
Here is the link for that -

Places of Interest- All the places of visit are on the hill basically. Its all mountains peaks and valleys and if you are not comfortable driving on mountains then better to book a jeep. You will find lots of tourist jeeps in the city- book it for a full day and he will take you to all sighseeing. Typically they will charge around 2000-2500 Rs for this. You can try to bargain.
View from half-way to Mullayanagiri
Mullayanagiri- This is the highest peak of Karnataka - people say that if the weather is good, you can see Arabian see from here. The views are amazing from here, and it says that there was a saint called Mullappa swamy who did mediation here. The road is really narrow and there are moments when my heart skipped the beat while we were driving. There is no proper fencing on the ghats so you need to drive really carefully.
On the top there is a temple and a short trek to reach the peak. However, we were travelling with a small child and roads were very narrow at places, so we decided to go up to a limit, enjoyed the scenery and returned back.

Baba Budnagiri - This is another mountain peak but the roads are better so self drive is possible. The views from the hilltop are very good, but I do not know if it is worth that much a drive.
Buttermilk Falls
Buttermilk Falls: These falls were the most enjoyable for me. These are located inside a private property so you need to hire a jeep to go here. As soon as you reach here, there are so many jeeps standing here asking for money - typically they will charge around Rs600/- for one trip/one family. You need to bargain. The ride is extremely bumpy, so hold on to your kids and stuff. But the views and sounds of cold water splashing the rock makes it worth to come here. I personally enjoyed a lot, and we ended up spending more than an hour at this place.

On my way from Bangalore to Chikamagalur, there is a Channakeshwara Temple in Belur which is famous for its Hoysala architecture - We stopped to spend a couple of hours here - Amazing!! I will write a separate post for this.

There is a also the Halebidu temple, which is a 30Kms detour, but we decided to not take a detour, may be we go there next time.

All in all, the Chikmagalur trip was really fun !! But next we will plan better to stay at one of those famous Coffee Estate Homestays.


  1. Wow.Nice.
    Were you able to see the Arabian sea from Mullayanagiri?

    Sriram & Krithiga

  2. Beautiful place. Awesome pics.
    Loved the post.

  3. I too like that stone lady in chikmanglur.

  4. Your enhusiasm and joy came through your writing and pictures! Lovely!

  5. Hills and Coffee..both are my favourite :) lovely post..

  6. Thanks for sharing your experience. Definitely will be helpful when I plan my next trip towards Mangalore/Chikmagalore.

  7. This place is looking really nice and the the pic of stone lady is really fantastic. Buttermilk fall is amazing .

  8. Chikmagalur is a very famous and beautiful city. All pictures are very nice. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Good blog Sneh. You could cover Mudigere, a taluk located in Chikmagalur and is away from crowded place. This place is a true Malnad which receives heavy rainfall.

  10. beautiful place to visit do you know, Coffee was first introduced into India through the Chikmagalur district when the first coffee crop was grown in the Baba Budan Giri Hills. Same Day Taj Mahal Tour by Car

  11. Wow Really very nice.
    I would also like to share my experience of
    Everest Base Camp Trek . It was as amazing as it could be. I would also recommend everyone to atleast try out this trek once as it was once in a lifetime experience.

  12. This blog is super awesome and the pictures are great. Thanks for sharing your beautiful memories with us. Your blog reminds me my tour to Chikmagalur as I have visited this beautiful district. Recently I have got the best Ladakh Tour Packages and soon heading up to Ladakh. I will share my experience too.

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  16. Thank you for sharing your wonderful travel story with us. You have inspired me to book one of the Chikmagalur packagessoon. I hope to see more of your adventures in the future. Keep up the good work.