Chikmagalur, or Chikkamangaluru,
is a must see for any nature enthusiast and coffee drinker living or visiting
Bangalore. In Kannada, Chikkamangaluru literally means “The town of the younger
daughter”, and is widely known as “The Land of Coffee” for its incredible
coffee plantations. In fact, Chikmagalur was the first place to cultivate
coffee plantations in all of India!
Regardless of how you like to travel, Chikmagalur offers tons to see and do. Do you like trekking? Chikmagalur is home to the tallest peak in Karnataka! Do you like temples? Make sure to check out Sringeri. Do you want to relax by the lake? Camp out by the river and go fishing, or check out some amazing waterfalls! Relax one day, go on an adventure another; Chikmagalur can tame the desires of any type of traveler.
Rent a car from Zoom and arrive in Chikmagalur with ease! If you are driving from Bangalore to Chikmagalur, the fastest route is via Hassan, on NH 48. The road is in decent condition, but some parts are still under construction. The other option is to reach via Tumkur and Arsikere/Kadur. This road is in great condition up until Arsikere, but is littered with potholes the rest of the way.
Rent an SUV if you have a big group and crave the nature and trekking Chikmagalur has to offer, or rent a sedan such as the Vento and relax by the lake.
If you don't own a car or don't want to take your own car, then Zoom has several options for you to consider:
Hatchback : Take our Ford Figo ZXI for flexibility in your travels. Whether you want to hike or visit temples, the Figo gives you freedom to explore Chikmagalur however you want.
Sedans : Zoom with Volkswagen Vento or BMW 320d if you want to ride around Chikmagalur in style. These cars are great if you have a small group or are with your significant other.
SUV : If trekking is what you crave, the mighty Scorpio is all yours to explore the unexplored. No need to worry about steep uphill climbs or rough terrain, the Scorpio can handle it all. The Scorpio is especially good if you are with a large group of people.
All Zoom cars come with the following: -
- All-inclusive tariff which includes fuel, comprehensive insurance and taxes.
- A 3G enabled tablet, which makes navigation a breeze.
- No deposit required to Zoom off.
In order to get the
most out of your experience, rent a car from Zoom so that you have the freedom
to explore Chikmagalur as you please. No need to negotiate with rickshaw
drivers or walk for miles, you can drive however and wherever you want.
Here are my three favorite destinations from Chikmagalur:
Drive from Kaimara to Kemmanagundi: If you are looking for a truly unforgettable experience, take the drive from Kaimara to Kemmanagundi. Along the way you will pass Mullayyanagiri, the highest point in South Karnataka, Bababudangiri, Kemmannagundi, Devirammanabetta, and Manikyadhaara. These are all of the sights that you would want to see anyway, so drive on your own and explore at your own pace!
Hebbe Waterfalls: roughly 10km away from Kemmanagundi, these waterfalls are a must see for any tourist visiting Chikmagalur. The waterfalls lie inside a coffee plantation and are accessible by walk or four-wheeler. It is 551 feet high, and breaks into two separate waterfalls known as Dodda Hebbe (Big Falls) and Chikka Hebbe (Small Falls).
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary: Are you an animal lover? Specifically Tigers!? Make sure to visit this incredible tiger reserve located 38km northwest of Chikmagalur. An estimated 33 tigers can be found in Bhadra, but elephants, black leopards, and more than 7 different types of mammals exist here as well. Over 120 different plant species can also be found here. The perfect place for a day trip, this wildlife sanctuary can’t be missed or overlooked when planning a trip to Chikmagalur.
Insiders Tip: If you truly crave adventure look into whitewater rafting and kayaking!
The best time to visit is September to May, but Chikmagalur can be visited year round because of it’s relatively cool climate. Visit after monsoon season for more powerful waterfalls!