Shimoga, also known as Shivamogga is a city located in the Indian state of Karnataka. The name Shimoga is derived from the words ‘Shiv-Mukha’ which translates to ‘Face of Lord Shiva’. The city lying on the banks of river Tunga is the epitome of beauty. The place is renowned for its rich heritage, culture and mesmerizing beauty. Shimoga in Karnataka is an ideal getaway destination to enjoy nature in its full glory. This region is also termed as the “gateway to malnad” because it acts as a gateway to the hilly regions of the western ghats.
Adorned with natural and manmade gifts in the form of stunning waterfalls, majestic temples, alluring landscapes, lush green forests and rich biodiversity, Shimoga is a delightful treat for visitors. Bestowed with natural beauty, this offbeat hill station is a treasure of karnataka. Five major rivers namely Tunga, Sharavathi, Kumudavath, Tungabhadra and Varada flows through the city adding to the charm of the region. The land of Shimoga is very fertile due to the presence of numerous rivers and hence it is also called as the ‘rice bowl of Karnataka’. One can see swaying palm trees and endless paddy fields all across the region.
Shimoga is blessed with surreal natural beauty. However, Shimoga is not just about nature. Whether you are a wildlife lover, nature buff, history fanatic, adventure junkie or a seeker of spirituality, Shimoga has something for everyone. There are numerous pilgrimage sites, ancient heritage sites and wildlife sanctuaries spread all across the city. Tourists can also indulge in various fun activities including hiking, trekking, swimming and bird watching.
Owing to its proximity to numerous major cities and other popular tourist destination, Shimoga is frequented by travellers all over the year. The spellbinding beauty and endless list of popular tourist spots makes this place a perfect destination for your next vacation.
There are numerous tourist attractions located in and around Shimoga. Some of the popular tourist attractions that you must-visit during your trip are –
One of the most majestic and alluring falls in the world, Jog falls is among the most popular tourist attractions in and around Shimoga. The Jog falls cascade down rocky cliffs from a height of 253 meters making it the second highest waterfall in the country. Nestled between dense forests and blanketed with foamy clouds, the mesmerising beauty of the jog waterfalls is a sight to behold. Tourists can trek down to Watkins platform to enjoy the enchanting view of the jog falls or swim in the pool that is formed at the base. To increase the charm of this beautiful place, a laser light and musical show is also organised everyday between 7:00PM and 9:00PM.
Another popular attraction that you shouldn’t miss in kodachadri, a peak in the western ghats. Covered with lush greenery and numerous species of flora and fauna, kodachadri offers unparalleled views of sunrise and sunset from the top. The favourite spot for adventure seekers, the trek to the top of the peak takes you through dense forests, glittering waterfalls and charming landscapes. This peak lies in the Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary behind the famous Moola Mookambika Temple.
The pristine dabbe falls located amidst green surroundings with rich diversity of flora and fauna is a must-visit tourist spot in shimoga. The crystalline water gushes down the cliff from a height of 110 meters. The sound of the fall, serene landscapes and cool breeze will overwhelm your senses. The word “dabbe” translates to “steps” in the local language. The stunning trek to the foot of the stream through forests and beautiful surroundings attracts tourists from around the country throughout the year. The dabbe falls lies in the Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary is a delight for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts especially during monsoons.
Remember the town from the TV serial Malgudi days? Agumbe is a small tranquil village in shimoga surrounded by verdant hills and dense rainforests. This pretty town is full of amazing trekking trails and stunning waterfalls. The spellbinding views of the sunset over the Arabian Sea will delight you to the core. Agumbe is popularly known for Barkana waterfalls and gopalakrishna temple. Agumbe is titled “cherrapunji of south” because it receives the highest rainfall in southern India. If you are looking for a destination to spend some days in peace amidst the natural beauty, Agumbe is an ideal choice.
A haven for avid bird watchers, Gudavi Bird Sanctuary is home to around 48 species of migratory birds including white ibis, Indian shag, little grebe, little cormorant and others. The sanctuary is located on the banks of Gudvi lake and is spread across an area of about 0.75 sq km. The beauty and rich biodiversity of this place attracts tourists from near and far. The best time to visit the Gudavi Bird Sanctuary is between June and December. During this period, you can spot numerous species of birds. This sanctuary is one of the most visited tourist spots in shimoga.
A paradise for trekkers and nature buffs, Kundadri is a place of scenic beauty. Situated at an elevation of 3200 feet, this viewpoint offers breathtaking views of valleys and dense forests. Kundadri is perfect for trekking and also as a picnic spot making it a favourite destination for adventure enthusiasts. An ancient jain temple is also located atop the hill which attracts the followers of Jainism from around the country. The natural surroundings and peaceful ambiance makes kundadri an important tourist place in shimoga.
Ikkeri is a temple town, located near Shimoga. The town is famous for the Aghoreshwara Temple, a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Situated at the top of a hill, the divine atmosphere and views of the surroundings will leave you enchanted. It is a must to visit this temple while you are in and around Shimoga. Ikkeri with its ancient temples and shrines provides a much needed escape from the bustling towns.
Located in the town of madhugiri near shimoga, madhugiri fort is the second largest monolith in Asia. A monolith is a single rock or hill that has been shaped into a monument. The fort was built by the vijayanagar Dynasty and is renowned for its splendid architecture. The trek to the top of the hill to the fort will take around 2-3 hours but the views from the top is worth all the effort. You can see the intricate architecture of the fort throughout the trek. A morning trek to this fort can be an experience of a lifetime.
The town of Shimoga, karnataka is located at a distance of around 300 kilometers from Bangalore, and 193 kilometers from Mangalore. Because of its proximity to two major cities, it is frequented by thousands of tourists every year. The town can be reached conveniently either via railways, airways or roadways.
By Train: Shimoga has its own railway station by the name Shimoga Nagar Railway Station. The railway head is well connected to all the major cities of Karnataka and cities like Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad. You can take a bus or hire a taxi from outside the station to travel anywhere in Shimoga.
By Air: Shimoga is easily accessible by airways. If you wish to board a flight to reach there, the nearest international airport is the Mangalore airport at a distance of around 190 kilometers. Frequent flights from various national and international destinations land here. Another convenient airport to approach the city is the Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore situated around 323 kilometers away from the main town.
By road: This region can be easily approached by government-owned buses operating regularly between the major cities. There are numerous bus services from Bangalore, Mangalore, Maharashtra and other nearby cities to reach Shimoga.
Shimoga is visited by thousands of tourists throughout the year because of its pleasant weather. During summers, the temperature ranges from 23 degrees Celsius to 33 degree Celsius which can be uncomfortable for the tourists to enjoy the views and the biodiversity of the region. The best time to visit this beautiful place is during the winters from the month of October to February. This is the time when the weather is extremely soothing and adds to the beauty of this place. You can also plan a visit to shimoga during the monsoons because the rainfall enhances the beauty of the waterfalls and the forests. The captivating beauty of Shimoga during monsoons will capture your heart.
Shimoga with its pleasant weather, beautiful verdant hills, glittering waterfalls, bewitching views and countless places of tourist attraction has become a favourite destination for avid travellers. Shimoga offers something for everyone. If you are looking for a place to relax, rejuvenate and experience spirituality in the arms of nature, then shimoga is the best choice. So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip, book tickets and get ready to enjoy the enchanting beauty of this peaceful yet fascinating place.
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