When I told my mom that we were in Chikmagalur for Christmas, her first association with the place was “That was Indira Gandhi’s constituency !” Raebareli in Uttar Pradesh was always the stronghold of the Congress party and Indira Gandhi’s home constituency. But after the Emergency rule, she lost the elections from Raebareli in 1977 and chose Chikmagalur to contest for the MP seat in 1978. She won!
Her slogan was “Give your vote to your little daughter.”
Chikmagalur or Chikka+Magala+Ooru translates to “little daughter’s town” in Kannada and the story behind it says that many many years ago the land was given as dowry to the younger daughter of a legendary chief Rukmangada who ruled Sakrepatna. Another part of the land was bestowed on the elder daughter is known as Hiremagalur !!
Out hotel was on the highway and hence to reach the touristy places located in the surrounding hills, we had to drive through the town. Chikmagalur town is small but a busy place.
The hotel gave us a tourist guide map with the various places listed and we had to pick and choose as we were there only for 2 days. This is one of the delight points of the Gateway hotel !! Our itinerary read as follows:
1: 00 pm – Reach hotel & lunch
3:00 pm – Drive to Jhari or Dabdabe or Buttermilk Falls
5:00 pm – 👉Drive to Mullayangiri peak (Tallest peak of Karnataka) and back to hotel
6:30 am – 👉Nature Walk
11:00 am – Drive to Hirekolale lake and back to hotel for lunch
2:00 pm – Drive to Muthodi Forest
4:30 pm – Forest Safari at the Badra Tiger Reserve in the forest and back to hotel
The two days offered a glimpse into Chikmagalur, but we didn’t cover all the touristy places. A good four days will be needed to cover all the locations as they are spread out in different directions.
The places we missed include the Ayyan Kere lake, the second largest lake in Karnataka; the temples of Belur and Halebid, the capital city of the ancient Hoysala kingdom.
Our first drive was to get a glimpse of the Jhari or Dabdabe or Buttermilk Falls. The drive is fantastic !! There is a petrol bunk at the beginning of the climb, if you are running low. Once you leave the town behind, the world of trees welcome you !!
Majestic trees, pick your tree – teak, sandalwood and many many more….and most of them are surrounded by pepper vines. Surrounded by the forest, the temperature drops, you are definitely in paradise and climbing higher !! There are signs leading to several homestays along the way. The roads are curvy and you see the misty rolling green hills. You feel like in another world !!
The waterfalls are located in a private property and the approach road is a winding mud road. To reach the falls, you take jeeps that ferry you to and fro for a price of Rs. 700/- (two way). The waterfalls are a breathtaking sight !! It’s been so long since we have seen waterfalls !!
At the sight of water, people jump right in, the water must be freezing cold!! But it was not too crowded. We were not tempted, wet clothes !! It’s good to wear the mask while riding on the open jeeps; the wheels of the jeeps raise quite a dust storm and imagine wet clothes with a layer of red dust !?
Next stop for the day was Mullayangiri peak, but that’s another story !
Till nest post, take care !!