The crowning jewel of the Western Ghats, Kodachadri is a beautiful mountain peak with thick grassy knolls and tall elevations. One of the most breathtakingly beautiful sight of this region, it has been declared as a natural heritage site by the Government of Karnataka and holds the distinction of being the 10th highest peak of the state. Kodachadri is the tall elevation behind the famous temple of Mookambika Devi in the region of Kollur.
The peak and the surrounding forests are home to several unique and endemic flora and fauna that makes it a richly endowed biodiversity hotspot. You can spot animals such as the Malabar Langur, Pied Hornbills and Indian Rocky python amongst others. On the Kodachadri peak, you can also spot several structures that date back to an era bygone as it has been a site of inhabitation for multiple periods in history. A trek to this stunning peak is highly recommended.
A small town hidden away beside the beautiful and sprawling reservoirs of the Shravathi river, Honnemaradu is a lush green town and is one of the offbeat tourist attractions of Shimoga. The backwaters of the Sharavati River run calmly by this sleepy little hamlet, covering an area of 50km×80 km.
The town also has a lake called Honnemaradu i.e. ‘Golden Lake’ which presents some of the most stunning views of sunrise and sunset. You can undertake hiking, boating, canoeing, kayaking and wind rafting along with several other travel groups who will be only too happy to arrange such activities for you.
3 JOG FALLS
The second highest waterfalls in India, the Jog falls cascades from a towering height of about 253ft and originate in the flows of the Sharavathi River. The Jog falls are one of the most stunning of all tourist destinations of Shivamogga. The Jog falls is actually constituted of four major and distinct falls i.e. Raja Falls. Roarer Falls, Rocket Falls and the Rani Falls.
You can also view the falls from the opposite side, after descending about 1400 stairs. Located in the Sagar Taluk, it is the most sought after tourist places near Shimoga. The region around the falls is covered by dense vegetation, which makes it a visual treat of nature and beautiful backdrop for photography lovers.
In the Theerthahalli Taluka of Shimoga, is the delightful abode of Kundadri hill, a solid rock structure with a Jain Temple at the top. Rising 3,200 feet above sea level, the Kundadri Hills is a cool destination that is a perfect spot to visit in any climate.
Secured in rich green woodlands, a trek to Kundadri is a heavenly experience which is also a holy place for Jains, furthermore a fine spot to do a touch of trekking and hiking, for adventure lovers. The hills are named after a Jain priest Kundakundacharya who is said to have performed a serious penance here. The seventeenth Century Jain Temple is particularly crowded during the season of Makara Sankranthi in January. Kundadri Hills being a pilgrimage destination, is well connected by road leading to the temple.
However, the area is best explored whilst trekking in the surrounding jungles. The trail can be a bit challenging at first but quickly becomes simpler and more rewarding as you take in the stunning scenery around you. You can spot several streams flowing merrily by as you take amble along merrily to the top.
Situated at around 14km from Shimoga, the Sakrebailu Elephant Camp is located on the Thirthahalli Road. The camp houses a number of elephants and is truly a sight of wondrous bewilderment. The elephants are all led by experienced Mahouts who bring them from the nearby forests to snack and play merrily in the Tunga river backwaters.
The camp is open from 8:30 to 11 in the morning. However, if you do want to see the elephants bathing, it is recommended that you reach this place before 9 in the morning. You can take a local bus or a taxi to arrive here.
If the devotion in you is calling you, then Keladi is a must visit. This temple town is located in the Sagar Taluk of Karnataka. This historic town is a relic of the Keladi rulers who were the feudals of the Vijayangara Empire. The main sight to visit in Keladi is the Rameshwara Temple, which is built up in the Hoysala and Dravida style. The temple, though of humble outdoors, houses a treasure trove of intricate carvings and revered deities inside.
The temple houses three deities, Lord Rameswara (Linga and Nandi), Lord Veerabhadra and Lord Ganesh. The pillars are stunningly carved with epic gods and goddesses as well as animals. At the ceiling you can find the legendary (imaginary) two headed bird called Garudabande.
7 DABBE FALLS
As is the case with the most beautiful sights in Shimoga, the Dabbe Falls greets the wary visitor with the most stunning sight of the waterfall gushing from the mountain precipice. The sere falls are located in the Hosagadde Village of the Shimoga District of Karnataka.
A part of the Sharavati valley, the stunning falls adorn the Western Ghats and are surrounded by jaw dropping natural beauty. The sound that the water makes as it drops down from a great height is an incredible sight. The trail that leads to the Dabbe falls, passes through a dense forest and the unpolluted atmosphere makes it a serene experience.
In the event that you are searching for a quiet break for a couple of days from the tumultuous city life, far from the swarmed and popularized attractions, then this is the spot for you.
Agumbe is among the spots that get high rainfall and is rightly called the Cherrapunji of South India. On the southern coasts of Karnataka is a rainforest that is beautiful in its serenity and the receding rainfall of August make it even more exhilarating.
It is here that you can see greens that you though would never exist! Home to numerous and diverse animal species, Agumbe also plays host to an amazing number of medicinal plants that are unique to this region. The formidable King Cobra has also made this lush woodland its home.
Located in the Sagar Taluk, Heggodu is a pristine village and is one of those tourist attractions of Shivamogga, that hold a little secret. It is one of the only towns that is blessed for being the location of NINASAM which is a cultural organisation that actively contributes to the world of drama, films and literature.
A visit to this town to witness the local dance troupes, theatre acts and art groups perform is surely warranted on your trip to Shimoga. In fact so famous is this little town, that artists from all over the world come here to contribute to the cause of local art and many more to attend the residential workshops. You can reach Heggodu from Hosangara via local transport or a taxi from Shimoga.
10 GUDAVI BIRD SANCTUARY
Gudavi Bird Sanctuary is extraordinary and situated amidst thick forests at a distance of 15 km on the Banavasi Road in Gudavi in Sorabtaluk of Shimoga district. Gudavi Bird Sanctuary is encompassed by rural fields on the west and north, and by wet deciduous forests on the east and south. The Gudavi Bird Sanctuary is spread over a territory of 0.73 sq km and offers various impeccable varieties of birds to explore and view.
Different species of birds move to Gudavi, for reproducing during the monsoon season. A characteristic lake and the trees offer asylum to these feathered creatures.
Guduvi is one of the 5 popular bird parks of Karnataka. As indicated by the overview done in 1993, it is informed that 191 assortments of winged creatures are found at Gudavi Bird Sanctuary. Some prominent birds that are found at Gudavi include White Pebis, Stone Bill, Egret, Cormorant, Snake fowl, Heron and so forth.
Ikkeri is a small historical place located at about 3km from Shimoga in the Sagar Taluk. The main attraction at Ikkeri is the Aghoreshwara Temple which was constructed by the Keladinayakas. The temple has been dedicated to Lord Shiva and is surrounded by a vast open space.
Located on a slightly higher elevation, the temple can be entered into via a small but splendid cubical that has been made out of granite. The image of the Nandi at the entrance of the temple is what grabs eyeballs because of its glassy finish. The surroundings of the temple are intricately carved reflecting the skill of the masters’ bygone!