Nature Tourism In Chikmagalur District
At a short distance from Guru Dattatreya Bababudanswaamy's Darga are the three famous waterfalls with epic associations - Gada Theertha, Kamana Theertha, and Nellikayi Theertha. Gada theertha according to a myth was created by the Pandavas prince Bheema with his 'gada', to quench the thirst of his mother during their exile. Pilgrims, who bathe in the Nellikayi Theertha formed by Manikya Dhara Waterfall, leave behind one item of their clothing as per a local belief.
55 kms north from Chikmagalur town on the Baba Budan range is the scenic hill station of Kemmannugundi called K.R hills, after the Wodeyar king Krishna raja Wodeyar - IV who made it his favourite summer camp. Situated at a height of 1434 meters and surrounded by thick green forests, K.R Hills makes an ideal health resort. Beautifully laid out ornamental gardens, salubrious climate throughout the year and the panoramic view of mountains and valleys are just a few of the attractions.
Situated close to the Kemmengudi hill resort are the Kallathagiri water falls. It is a picturesque site, as the water here cascades down from a height of 122 metres amidst fascinating scenery. A legend associates this place with sage Agastya and the local temple in a gap between rocks, is attributed to the Vijayanagara times.
Just 8 kms away from Kemmannugundi is Hebbe falls where water gushes down from a height of 168 meters in two stages.
The district with dense tropical evergreen forests interspersed with lush grassy slopes is endowed with a rich and varied fauna, abundantly seen at the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, 38 kms north - west of Chikmagalur town. The sanctuary surrounded by hills has the tributaries of the Bhadra River flowing through it. The western border of the sanctuary abuts the back waters of the Bhadra Reservoir which has a catchment area of 1,968 kms surrounded by scenic hills and steep slopes. A diverse and exciting range in wild life is found here - bison, elephant, tiger, panther, sambar, spotted deer, wild beer, porcupine, birds like the peacock, parrot, partridge, pigeon, etc. and reptiles such as cobra, python etc. All these wild beasts can be viewed while driving along the 150 km long roads maintained inside the sanctuary.
Leisure Tourism In Chikmagalur District
Kalasa, the old Agrahara settlement, 92 kms south - west of Chikmagalur and situated on the banks of the Bhadra river, is surrounded by lofty hills of the Western Ghats mountain range and is looked upon as one of the pancha-kshetras on the banks of the Bhadra. Close by are the pancha theerthas, the five sacred ponds. On a small hillock here is the Kalaseshwara temple dedicated to Ishwara, with a Kshetrapala shrine of soap stone nearby. The Madhawacharya Bande, a large boulder at one of the theerthas here, is supposed to have been placed by Shri Madhavacharya the founder of the Dwaita School of philosophy. A statue of this Acharya is carved on the upper portion of the rock.
18 kms north-east of Chikmagalur town, the ancient tank of Ayyankere is believed to have been constructed by Rukmangada Raya a chief of Sakrepatna. Renovated later in 1156 A.D. during the Hoysala times, this large tank situated at the eastern base of the Baba-Budan range provides irrigation facilities to about 1,560 hectares of land. On a hillock here is the Prasanna Balleshvara shrine with Hoysala sculptures of Ganapati, Surya, Krishna, Ambika, etc.
Angadi which means a market place or shop is 18 km south of Mudigere Town. This place has been identified as Sasakapura or Sosevur which was the original home of Hoyasalas who rose to great power in South India. The shrine here has pillars of granite with cylindrical shafts and hemispherical mouldings. Three other ruined temples were dedicated to Lord Keshava, Lord Veerabhadra, and Lord Mallikarjuna.
These are therefore the various places of leisure tourism in the Chikmagalur district which are well-worth a visit.