Places of Interest / Chikmagalur District
Situated in the south-west part of Karnataka, Chickmagalur is carved against a mountainous canvas of Malnad region. According to local legend, it is said that the town was given as a dowry to the younger daughter of Rukmangada. Hence the name, which literally means 'Small daughter's town'. Full of coffee estates and unspoiled beauty, the town enjoys the salubrious climate. There are also venerated monuments and temples all around the region along with other places of interest.
Originally the capital of the Hoysala kings, Belur is today famous for its Keshava temple built by Vishnuvardhana. Situated 38 kms from Hassan, the artistic greatness of this temple attracts large crowds of visitors from all parts of the world. The charm of the sculptures, the variety of ornamental details and minute, delicate carvings on the pillars and panels, doorways and ceilings should be seen to be appreciated
Also known as Dwarasamudra, this famous historical site is located is 15 kms from Belur. It was once the seat of Hoysala Empire. Like Belur, there are two famous temples here - Hoysaleshwara and Shanteshwara, both dedicated to Shiva. The star shaped temples stand unrivalled in the region, for sheer magnitude of plan and exuberance in carving. On the outer walls are carved innumerable figures and groups, rising from basement and following its contours. Kedareshwara temple is another temple worthy of visit. There are a few Jain Basadis in this area with exquisite sculptured pillars and ceilings.
Baba Budanagiri / Datta Peeta
The Chandradrona Parvatha, also known as Baba Budan Giri, is located 30 kms from Chikmagalur. Standing 1895 metres high, the loftiest point of the range is Mullainagiri, at 1926 metres. The three caves here said to have been sanctified by the three Siddhas contain their icons and Gaddiges (tombs). An annual festival is held in their honour. A becon lighted during Deepavali can be seen at Chikmagalur. The peak takes the name from the Muslim saint, Baba Budan, who took up his residence here more than 200 years ago and reared coffee from the seeds he brought from Arabia. Nearby are the three famous water- falls with epic associations - Gada Teertha, Kamana Teertha and Nellikati Teertha. The Manikyadhara water fall is a popular place of picnic.
Situated in the Baba Budan Hills is a cave shrine venerated by Hindus and Muslims alike and is the place of penance attributed to Dattatreya. An annual celebration takes place in December along with the Urs when thousands of piligrims participate with great fervor. A laterite cave here is believed to have been sanctified by the residence of Dattatreya Swamy as well as Hazrat Dada Hayat Mir Khalandar.
Bhadra Wild Life Sanctuary
Located 38 kms from Chikmagalur, this area surrounded by hills and tributaries of Bhadra river has been converted into a wild life sanctuary. Several types of forest animals can be seen in the sanctuary. A long road has been made to drive through the forest for viewing the wild life.
The Adi Satyatmaka Annapurneshwari temple is located 100 kms from Chickmagalur. A popular place of pilgrimage, the temple attracts many devotees every day. A consecrated Sri Chakra was installed in the form of a Koorma and accompanied by Adishesha carved in stone.
Kudremukh National Park
Overlooking the Arabian Sea this wildlife sanctuary gets its name because of a prominent peak shaped like the face of a horse. Located 95 kms from Chikmagalur, the Kudremukh township is a beautiful place with excellent guest houses. The national park harabours various wildlife like deer, sambar, bison, leopard, tiger etc. There are excellent trekking routes and also a camping spot managed by the forest department.
Located 90 kms from Chikmagalur, Shringeri is situated on the left bank of River Tunga. This is one of the four Peethas set up by Adi Shankaracharya for the propagation of Hindu philosophy over 2000 years ago. There are several temples here of which the Sharada temple is said to have been established by Shankaracharya himself. The Pontiff and his disciples stay here. There is also a Hoysala temple dedicated to Vidya Shankara. It several specimens of beautiful sculpture. A small 14th century temple of Janardhana is attributed to the Vijayanagar period. Sringeri also has an old Jain Basadi dedicated to Parswanatha Teerthankara. There is a Sanskrit college where pupils are trained on the ancient Gurukala system in Vedanta and other spiritual subjects. The Mutt has an excellent guest house and choultries for the pilgrims and visitors