Two days in Chikkamagaluru: what can you see and do?

Chikkamagaluru is one of the most popular getaways in Karnataka, India. Touted as one of the most scenic places in the Deccan plateau, this town is surrounded by some amazing lakes and mountains. 


Chikmagalur is home to the tallest peak in Karnataka


We've got some interesting details for you at the bottom of the article, on how you can plan your Chikkamagaluru experience (with coupons for discounted stay and budgeting ideas). But first, here's a few places to see and things to do in town:


1. Hirekolale Lake:

A perfect place to visit in the early mornings, Hirekolale Lake is surrounded by endless coffee plantations. In fact, it is very easy to just think that it's a beautiful lake in the middle of a thick forest, until you notice the reservoir equipment! 

Expect to spend about an hour or two here - but go in the mornings, when it isn't crowded, for the best experience!


Paved road till the reservoir wall, yet no vehicles come inside


The station at the centre of the lake, is a wonderful photospot


2. Ayyanakere Lake:

This happens to be the most incredible lake in Chikkamagaluru, particularly at sunset. Surrounded by forested mountains on three sides, it has a very beautiful location, even though it is very close to the town. The colors that form the evening palette made us forget that we were in India - almost looks Alpine!

Tip: go there in the evening, around 5 pm and enjoy the peace and calm. Snack on some spiced puffed rice (Bhel puri) from the local vendors and pick up your jaw as the sun sets and you see this! 


Isn't it postcard like?


Late afternoons well spent at the Sunset Lake!


3. Madagadakere Lake:

Another vast water body nestled in between farmlands and mountains, is the Madagadakere Lake. This one does take a little bit of effort to get to, but is usually deserted. There are a few spots where you can hang out by the shores of the lake. The best time to go is in the early mornings or in the late afternoons.

Expect to spend an hour there.




The map markers for all the three lakes listed above are here:

Hirekolale LakeAyyanakere LakeMadagadakere Lake
4. Mullayanagiri Mountain:
The Mullayanagiri Peak is the tallest in Karnataka and is quite iconic, in the State's heritage. In fact, the mountains can be seen from quite a distance and has some unique shape to itself as well. The peak is under an hour's drive from the town and visitors can drive all the way to the summit and park at the public lot. There are 4x4s that ferry tourists to the peak, upto the walking trail. The walk to the tip, which also has a beautiful shrine there, is about 20 minutes long, and the views are very overwhelming.
The Highest Peak in Karnataka, beautiful isn't it?
The deity at the hill-top Temple


The surreal stretch of mountain land


And of course, humans aren't the only visitors here!


Expect to spend about INR 400 for a roundtrip 4x4 ride to the summit - this cost is for the whole jeep, which can seat at least 6 people - so if you are alone, try and fit into a group so that you can split the fare. Expect to spend about three hours in this experience. There are many pick and drop services available to and from the town - so ask your host to get a cheap ride.


Other places in the vicinity include:

  • BabaBudangiri, another mountain in the same range - you can trek there from Mullayanagiri and it only takes a few hours. Best done at sunrise. It is also considerd very holy and is a pilgrimage spot for Hindus and Muslims alike!
  • Waterfalls such as Hebbe and Kalhatti, are usually best to visit during the rainy season. But watch out for leeches as they are very common around the falls.


Where to stay in Chikkamagaluru: 

  • Stay in one of the numerous coffee estates that have homestays within (these generally have inclusive meal plans with the room rental)
  • Stay in a regular hotel in town - there are many on R G Road, the centre of town, and its very easy to commute and shop
  • Stay at one of the premium hostels like Zostel - they may be outside town, but are pretty good!
  • Take advantage of our exclusive "Friends of Backpacksters" discount here


What to eat:

  • Breakfast: New Circle Lunch Home - its a tiny cafe on R G Road - see this
  • Lunch/dinner: Mysore Foodz - serves the most amazing local thalis in a rustic setup - see this
                Siri Cafe - picturesque cafe on the way to the mountains, good for a quick pitstop for snacks and drinks - see this


Getting to Chikkamagaluru:

  • Roadtripping? YES! It is a 5.5 hour drive from Bangalore and a 5 hour drive from Mangalore and the roads are quite good, especially through Hassan
  • There are many direct buses from Bangalore to Chikkamagaluru bus station - trains ply only to Kadur or Hassan which are at least 40 kms away.

Getting around town is not too hard, there are innumerable tuktuks, and taxis there and usually seek an honest fare. About INR 2,500 (USD 35) for one day's driving around is a common price, for local sightseeing, per vehicle.


Drives through forests to blue mountains? This is the path!


What are you waiting for? Plan your getaway now.




Of course, if you have any questions don't hesitate to hit us up here, and we'd be glad to help!


Go Back