Whenever we think of going on a vacation, our immediate expectations are a place which reenergizes us and gives us relaxation. Unfortunately, the popular tourist spots in India offers none of them. It is not the fault of anyone as these spots have been commercialized so much that no matter at what time you go during the year; you will always get a rush. However, there is a place in the Western Ghats which can find you the peace you have been looking for your entire life. The name of the place is Shivamogga (until a few years back it was called Shimoga). This place is the gateway to the Western Ghats and can be hailed as the cultural capital of the state of Karnataka. In this article, I would tell you all you need to know about Shimoga so that you can plan your vacation accordingly.
Shimoga – The Face Of Shiva In The Western Ghats
1. About the place
Shimoga is located at a distance of around 250 kilometres from the city of Bangalore. This region is considered one of the most fertile areas in the state. The reason is that five major rivers flow through Shimoga which has made it earn the name of the bread basket of Karnataka. It receives an ample amount of rainfall which because of the Sahyadri range which helps in maintaining its fertility. It is said that nobody would get bored in a place like Shimoga. The reason is that it has different activities for different sets of people. If you are an aged person then you can think of visiting temples in the area, if you are young then you can go trekking or sight-seeing. Overall, no matter what your age is you would enjoy at this place.
2. How to reach Shimoga?
Since Shimoga is a popular tourist spot in the state it is well connected by air, train and road. If you are planning to come by air then you would need to book your tickets to Mangalore airport which is located at a distance of about 200 kilometres. If you are coming by railways then you should reach Mysore or Bangalore first, from here you could book your tickets directly to Shimoga Station. However, if you like somewhere in the northern direction then you would need to book your tickets till Birur Junction which is the closest station located near Shimoga. If you are coming via road then you can take the NH-206. If you are planning to come here from Bangalore then you would come across many KSRTC buses which would drop you here.
3. Best Time To Visit
Generally, people avoid going on vacations during the monsoon season. However, Shimoga is an exception to this rule. In fact, if you are planning to go to this place and want to witness the actual beauty then you need to visit this place during the rainy season. The best time to visit Shimoga would be from July to January. You don’t need to worry about your lodging; there are plenty of hotels and resorts which would ensure that you have a great time here. It is considered to be an ideal place for camping before leaving for other destinations so don’t miss out on this place.
4. Best Places To Visit
The best part about visiting Shimoga is that many other places are located nearby like Agumbe which is famous for its waterfalls. As a matter of fact, Shimoga is considered to be the perfect place as a base camp before going to other places. Here are the best places to Visit in the area:
a) Jog Falls
I don’t think that there is any person alive who doesn’t like seeing waterfalls. Jog falls is not just an ordinary fall, in fact, it is the largest waterfall in India located at a height of 253 feet. Getting to the viewpoint of this fall is also a challenge because you would need to climb 1400 stairs. The origin of this waterfall is from the Sharavathi River and it is surrounded by greenery on all 4 sides making it look magnificent. These falls are a combination of 4 falls namely Roarer falls, Rocket Falls, Raja falls and Rani falls. If you want to experience nature in its most natural form then there can’t be a better place than Jog Falls.
Do you remember wallpapers of Windows XP? A structure in the middle of greenery? Kundadri looks just like those amazing wallpapers. It is located at a height of 3,000 feet and on top of this hill you would find a rock structure. A Jain temple is also built here which attracts millions of pilgrims throughout the year. You can either decide to trek to this place or take the road. Since it is located at such a height the trek would be a little difficult but as you move forward you would be seeing amazing views which would make you forget the pain. It is located in Theerthahalli and has been named after Kundakunda Archarga, who was a Jain Priest.
If you are an animal lover then you would love this place. Imagine baby elephants playing in the water and the mother elephants making an attempt to feed them. Wouldn’t it be an amazing sight? You can get this experience at Sakrebailu. In order to get here, you would need to get up early in the morning as this place is open from 8 am to 11 am. You wouldn’t face any problem in reaching this place. Buses and cars for rent can easily be arranged from Shimoga.
If you are going to Shimoga and do not visit this place then you would be missing out on a big thing on your trip. This is the 10th highest peak in Karnataka. Imagine a peak surrounded by forests, animals and unique plants, wouldn’t it be a great sight to behold? You can expect to see a lot of langurs and even the rock python. You can even take the trek at this place; the best part about the trek is you would be coming across century-old structures which are an amazing thing to witness.
I don’t know for some reason Honnemaradu is the most underrated place in Shimoga. If you want to experience a place which is still unfiltered by the activity of humans then Honnemaradu is the perfect place for you. There is a lake located at this place which gives you an amazing view of the sunset and sunrise. This is one of the places which acts as a perfect fit for everyone. People of all ages would enjoy at this place. If you are into adventure sports then you can try activities like rafting, canoeing and kayaking.
As I said, in the beginning, Shimoga is one of the few places which can be enjoyed by everyone. In most of the places, a certain age group always get bored but Shimoga is an exception to this. A relaxing and peaceful vacation that is what Shimoga offers you. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and leave for Shimoga right now!