While on a trip to Chikmagalur, travellers must visit Baba Budan Giri Hills that is renowned for its forest range. This site, otherwise known as Dattagiri Hill Range (Inam Dattatreya Peetha), lies at an elevation of 1895 m.
It is located at a distance of about 28 km from the town and is a pilgrimage spot for Hindus as well as Muslims. Due to this, the site has been named after Hindu God Guru Dattatreya and Muslim Saint Baba Budan.
Travellers planning trip to Baba Budan Giri can explore three caves that are believed to have been sanctified by three siddhas. Sheethala is another renowned attraction located in proximity of the site, which includes dual shrine site of Seethala-Mallikarjuna and a Mutt.
If time permits, travellers can explore the Manikvadhara waterfall that is mere 1 km away from the place. Baba Budan Giri is perfect for tourists who are interested in undertaking activities like hiking and trekking. There are two popular mountain ranges of this region, namely Mullayanagiri (highest peak of the site with an altitude of 1930 m) and Dattagiri.
If lucky, then people may get the chance to view 'Kurinji', a mountain flower that blooms once in every 12 years. The site is ideal choice for people who wish to undertake bird-watching.
If time allows, then travellers passing through Chikmagalur should explore Mullayangiri Range that is the highest peak in Karnataka. This range lies in the Western Ghats, in the Baba Budan Giri. Mullayanagiri Range is situated at an elevation of 1930 m above sea level.
From the Himalayas to Nilgiris, the Mullayanagiri has been recorded as the highest peak, just behind Chembra, Banaura and Vellari Mala peaks. The temperature of this site ranges from 20°C to 25°C. In order to reach the top of Mullayangiri Range, travellers can commence their trekking from Sarpadaari.
Upon reaching the top, tourists can visit a temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Apart from trekking, people can undertake other adventure-based activities like road biking and mountain biking.
If time allows, then travellers can choose to explore Manikyadhara Falls that is situated 40 km from Chikmagalur town in the vicinity of Baba Budan Giri Hills on the route towards Kemmannugundi. This waterfall, lying at the centre of the Shola Forest, is considered as a holy site by Hindus as well as Muslims.
Manikyadhara, which literally means a string of pearls, is the ideal site for people who are looking for a peaceful and scenic atmosphere. According to local belief, Saint Hazrat Dada Hayath Mir Khalandar and 4 of his disciples came to this site in order to quench their thirst.
After a long wait, their prayers were answered when they received water from Manikyadhara Falls that originated from the mountains. The water of this falls is regarded as sacred as locals believe that it has some properties that can cure skin ailments.
Upon reaching the site, tourists can visit nearby local shops that sell herbal medicines for various kinds of diseases.
If time permits, travellers can visit Muthodi Forest Camp, which is considered the most popular section of Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. This site is situated at a distance of 32 km from Chikmagalur town. Tanigebylu, Lakkavalli and Hebbee are other parts of the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary.
Upon reaching the Muthodi Forest Camp, the tourists would get the chance to view different species of animals, namely tigers, sambhar, elephants, spotted deers and gaurs, to mention a few. A number of bird species can also be spotted by visitors at Muthodi Forest Camp.
Tourists can choose to participate in the nature camp that is organised here by the Forest Department. Tents and wooden cottages are available for tourists who wish to stay overnight.
Tourists on a trip to Chikmagalur are advised to visit the Central Coffee Research Institution (CCRI) that was established in the year 1915. CCRI was set up at Koppa Laboratory in order to solve the problem of leaf diseases that affected the coffee plant.
The institution covers an area of 130 hectares, wherein 80.26 hectares is dedicated just to plantation. 28.94 hectares of the planted area is taken by Robusta coffee and 51.32 hectares by Arabica. After some time, the laboratory was converted to a full-time experimental station for solving issues relating with coffee plants, seeds and cultivation.
In 1925, Government of Mysore decided to rename the centre as 'Mysore Coffee Experimental Station'. This institution has started selling diversified crops like areca and pepper. A check dam is also an important feature of the CCRI, which is used for maintaining the right amount of water. The Central Coffee Research Institution includes a nursery, buildings, roads and expansion lands.
Upon reaching the institution, tourists will find material imported from Ethiopia and wide range of germplasm. People can also see an advanced laboratory and a library that includes books and periodicals on plantation of coffee crops.
Travellers on a trip to Chikmagalur are advised to visit Ayyanakere Lake, situated 20 km from the town. The lake lies in the Malnad region, amidst calm and beautiful surroundings and is the second largest lake in Karnataka. It was created in the 12th century in order to maintain the fertility of the area.
A pyramid-shaped peak that is located in the vicinity of the reservoir is renowned among tourists. Upon reaching the destination, tourists get a chance to watch the beautiful view of sunrise and sunset. This site acts as an ideal place for tourists who are interested in recreational activities such as camping and fishing.
Tourists who are planning to visit this site can also explore nearby Shakhuni Ranganatha Temple. Ayyanakere Lake is used for irrigation purposes by farmers of nearby regions. According to figures, this lake provides irrigation facility to 21,560 hectares of land.
While on a trip to Chikmagalur, travellers can explore Amrutheshwara Temple that is situated 67 km to the North of the town, if time permits. This pilgrimage site was constructed in the year 1196, under the rule of Veera Ballala II (Hoysala King). The temple has been named after its architect, Amrutheshwara Dandanayaka.
Amrutheshwara Temple includes a vimana (shrine) of ekakuta design, a wide open mantapa (hall) and a closed mantapa that connects with an open hall. The closed mantapa has 9 bays with a porch while the open mantapa has 29 bays.
Upon visiting the site, devotees would notice that the temple is embellished with sculptures of Kirthimukhas (demon faces). The main attraction of Amrutheshwara Tempe is the series of glistening lathe turned pillars that are supporting the mantapa ceiling. On closer observation, people will see that inner ceiling of the mantapa is adorned with carvings of floral patterns.
The open mantapa consists of 140 panels that display Hindu mythological characters. The North side of the wall showcases important events of Mahabharata and the life of Lord Krishna. Moreover, events from the epic Ramayana have been displayed in an anti-clockwise manner on the south side of the wall.
Tourists can also explore Bhadra River Dam that is located in vicinity of the Amrutheshwara Temple.
Travellers on a trip to Chikmagalur can visit Kodandarama or Kondada Ramaswamy Temple, which is popular for its annual festival (jatra) organised during the month of February. This heritage monument was completed in three phases. Kodanda Ramaswamy Temple represents the Hoysala architectural style, while the Sukanasi and Garbhagriha epitomise the Dravidian artwork. Upon reaching this pilgrimage site, tourists will spot a dry pond near the temple.
The entrance of Kodanda Ramaswamy Temple was developed in the 17th century. Its Mukhamanatapa was built during the 16th century; whereas, the Navagraha was created in the 14th century. Devotees would notice a common Hanuman pedestal in the Garbhagriha, which has figures of Lord Rama, Laxman and Sita.
An enclosed region of the temple, called prakara, has images of Muddukrishna, Yoganarasimha, Ramanujacharya, Deshika, Sugriva, Vedanta and Madhava. All these figures belong to Chalukya and the pre-Hoysala period. On closer observation, tourists can view the Vishnu scriptures in all forms, namely Narasimha, Venugopala, Kaliya-Mardana, Hayagriva, Govardhan Dhari and Lakshminarayana on the exteriors of Sukanasi and Garbhagriha.