Located in the state of Karnataka, Chikmagalur is a beautiful town that attracts tourists to its verdant landscape and cool weather. Situated at an elevation of 1037 m, Chikmagalur is famous for its coffee and tea plantations, as well as cardamom, arecanut and pepper cultivation. The legend says that Chikmagalur was given away as a dowry gift by Rukmangada, a local Chief, to his younger daughter. Literally meaning the ‘younger daughter’s land’, Chikmagalur is a popular tourist destination. There is a story behind the fact that how Chikmagalur came to be known as the coffee land of India. The first coffee beans were brought to India from Yemen by a Muslim saint named Baba Budan after whom the Baba Budangiri range in Chikmagalur is named. Karnataka’s highest peak, the Mulliangiri peak, is near Chikmagalur. About 6 km from Chikmagalur, this 6050 ft peak is also famous for the temple found at the summit of the hill.

A small trek up a few stone steps takes you to the hill. On the way to the hill, the Sitalayanagiri Temple has a tank where the water neither increases nor decreases. The road to Mulliangiri is very narrow with steep cliffs. From the topmost point of the hill the Arabian Sea is visible on clear days. Dattatreya Peeth is a cave on the Baba Budangiri peak that is considered holy by both Hindus and Muslims. The Bhadra Tiger Reserve can also be visited from Chikmagalur. Jeep safaris can be arranged to the reserve on prior notice. Kemmangundi, also known as K.R. Hills after the Wodeyar King, Krishnaraja Wodeyar, is 60 km from Chikmagalur. Chikmagalur is well connected by road, air and rail. Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation buses run to Chikmagalur on a frequent basis from Bangalore and Mangalore. The nearest airport to Chikmagalur is Bajpe airport in Mangalore, 170 km from Chikmagalur. It takes around 3 hours from Mangalore to reach Chikmagalur. The nearest railway station is Kadur, 40 km from Chikmagalur. From Kadur it will take less than an hour to reach Chikmagalur. Chikmagalur remains pleasant throughout the year with summers extending from March to May. The best time to visit Chikmagalur is from September to May, when the climate is pleasant. One can also visit Chikmagalur during the rainy season as it brings to life the forests around it. A lot of waterfalls are found gushing down filling up the reservoirs that add beauty to Chikmagalur. Chikmagalur being the home to tall mountain ranges is also a trekkers’ paradise. A lot of home stays have come up in Chikmagalur. The traditional Coorgi houses called Mane have been converted into home stays where one can enjoy staying amongst coffee and tea plantations.

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