|Jog Falls||Sited in the close proximity with the Sagara Town at the approximate distance of 104 kilometers to the northwest of Shimoga City|
|Tyavarekoppa Lion and Tiger Safari||Parked along the Shimoga Sagar National Highway No. 69 at the distance of about 10 kilometers from Shimoga|
|Gudavi Bird Sanctuary||Located at Gudavi about 16 kilometers away from the Sorab Town along the Banavasi Road|
|Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary||Situated on the Shimoga Thirthahalli Road about 32 kilometers away from the periphery of Shimoga|
|Elephant Training Camp- Sakrebailu||Located about 14 kilometers away from Shimoga on the Shimoga Thirthahalli Road|
|Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary||Positioned about 102 kilometers to the west of Shimoga adjacent the Sagara Town|
|Bhadra Dam||Located about 31 kilometers away from Shimoga in the immediacy with Lakkavalli Village of the Tarikere Taluk in Chikkamagaluru District|
|Gajanur Dam||Built over the Tunga River that pours through the Gajanur Village|
|Shivappa Nayak Palace||Parked along the Kote Road on the banks of the river Tunga just 2 kilometers away from the city center|
|Sigandhur Chowdeshwari Temple||Positioned at the approximate distance of 111 kilometers from the Shimoga City|
|Guddekal Temple||Located just 4 kilometers from Shimoga|
|Sacred Heart Church||Stationed in the vicinity of Loyola English High School|
|Nagara||Sited at the distance of 82 kilometers from the downtown Shimoga City|
|Sringeri||Nestled on the sacrosanct banks of the river Tunga and stationed at the distance of about 114 kilometers from Shimoga|
|Agumbe||Falls under the Malnad Region of the state of Karnataka|
|Bhadravathi||Located just 20 kilometers to the southeast of Shimoga|
|Koodli||Positioned about 16.5 kilometers to the northeast of Shimoga|
|Honnemaradu||Located just 15 kilometers away from Sagara|
|Kemmannagundi||Located about 68 kilometers away from Shimoga|
|Humcha||Stationed about 57 kilometers from Shimoga towards the western periphery of the Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary|
The Jog Falls of Shimoga District sited in the close proximity with the Sagara Town at the approximate distance of 104 kilometers to the northwest of Shimoga City is one of the most gargantuan and whopping water cascades of India that is honored to be the second highest plunge waterfall of the country after the Nohkalikai Falls of Meghalaya. Also reckoned by its different sobriquets i.e. ‘Gerusoppe Falls’, ‘Gersoppa Falls’ and ‘Jogada Falls’, the Jog Falls; the most sought after tourist attraction around Shimoga is a segmented cataract that is formed by the watercourse of the Sharavathi River. At the Jog Falls the water shoots down from the elevation of 1600 feet above the MSL and the total height of the Jog Falls measures about 829 feet.
The four separate segments of the Jog Falls are bestowed upon four distinct appellations videlicet Raja Fall, Roarer Fall, Rocket Fall and Rani Fall. The Raja Fall dives down from the height of 830 feet and drops in a singular unbroken colonnade whereas the Roarer Fall plunges into a humongous chasm and then vigorously accelerates downwards at the angle of 45° to merge into the Raja Fall. The Rocket Fall deluges earthwards in the sequence of jets while the Rani Fall placidly glides over the mountainous tableland in a smooth stratum of foam. An array of 1500 Steps have been constructed by the Karnataka Tourism Department which commence at the vantage point of the Jog Falls and terminate at the base of a cliff from where the Jog Falls can be perceived from the reverse side.
Tyavarekoppa Lion and Tiger Safari
The Tyavarekoppa Lion and Tiger Safari parked along the Shimoga Sagar National Highway No. 69 at the distance of about 10 kilometers from Shimoga is a popular nature & wildlife tourist spot and a much loved picnic destination & weekend getaway from Shimoga where wild animals spontaneously wandering around their fenced natural habitat can be observed from close quarters. Occupying an all-embracing expanse of 200 hectares, the Tyavarekoppa Lion and Tiger Safari of Shimoga was established in 1988 AD and presently it is managed and maintained by the Forest Department of the Karnataka State Government.
Shrouded by the dense blanket of the extravagant deciduous vegetation, the Tyavarekoppa Reserve proffers safe haven to Lions, Tigers, Leopards, Fox, Sambhar, Deer, Sloth Bear, Black Buck, different species of local as well as migratory birds and other diversified Kingdom Animalia. Sightseeing safari rides are regularly conducted by the Forest Department here in the well shielded vehicles wherein the tourists can enjoy a trip through the internal niches of the sanctuary. Aside from the Jungle Safari, additional attractions of the Tyavarekoppa Reserve include a well upheld zoo and a children’s park.
Kids can amuse themselves by visiting the animal cages inside the zoo where bears, panthers, crocodiles, peacocks and many other animals are sheltered. The Tyavarekoppa Lion and Tiger Safari remains open for the public from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm all days of week except for the Tuesdays.
Gudavi Bird Sanctuary
The Gudavi Bird Sanctuary of Shimoga District located at Gudavi about 16 kilometers away from the Sorab Town along the Banavasi Road is one of the five topmost bird sanctuaries of the state of Karnataka where nearly 217 distinct species of birds from different 48 families are domiciled under a secured refuge. Covering the overall area of 0.74 square kilometers and nestling the charismatic Gudavi Lake in its bosom, this bird asylum wrapped up in the emerald green veil of the verdant vegetation delineates an absolutely stimulating and intriguing scenic vista in its self. Different species of birds immigrate to the Gudavi Bird Sanctuary from far-off regions of the world in their individual breeding periods. The common birds typically sighted in the Gudavi Bird Sanctuary include Grey Heron, Night Heron, Indian Pond Heron, Jungle Fowl, Waterfowl, Little Cormorant, Black Headed Crane, White Headed Crane, Darter, Indian Shag, Bittern, Brahminy Kite, Pariah Kite, Little Grebe, White Ibis, and many others. A watching tower has been installed inside the premises of the bird sanctuary at a strategic spot from where the birds could be observed from the close quarters.
The multi-colored population of avifauna jovially seating around the Gudavi Lake, flapping their wings and enjoying the invigorating baths in the fresh lake waters or the migratory birds hovering over the lagoon in the early morning hours and resting under the sylvan shade of the woods in the lazy afternoons is certainly a delightful and the most enchanting sight to behold. The bird watchers and the photographers can spend hours in the Gudavi Bird Sanctuary watching the birds through their binoculars and clicking the pictures of the most graceful gestures of these feathered creatures.
June to October is the best time of the year for paying a visit to the Gudavi Bird Sanctuary. It remains open from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary
The Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary situated on the Shimoga Thirthahalli Road about 32 kilometers away from the periphery of Shimoga is a miniature conservation area that is cradled on a tiny river island of the Tunga River. Considered a division of the Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary, the Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary is a protected retreat where thousands of local and migratory birds differing in their species, colors, shapes and sizes find shelter. Spread over the total sweep of about 1.14 acres and enclosed by thick verdurous timber, the Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary of the Malnad Region is predominantly commended for its population of the most beautiful migratory birds like egret, cormorant, darter, snake-bird and many others. During the peak season i.e. July to October, the Tunga Island is brimming with more than 5,000 migratory birds.
An observation tower has been built inside the sanctuary from where the best of the prospects of these gorgeous beings bathing in the scintillating waters of the Tunga River, basking in the early morning sunlight and darting over the riverbed can be perceived. At dawn and dusk the entire ambience is filled with the heterogeneous chirping of thousands of birds. These days the Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary is growing more and more popular as an ideal picnic spot and the perfect weekend getaway from Shimoga. Furthermore, the Tunga Island also offers exciting adventure activities such as hiking, trekking and overnight camping. Karnataka Forest Department also provides boating facilities here. August is the best time of the year for visiting the Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary.
Elephant Training Camp- Sakrebailu
The Elephant Training Camp of Sakrebailu located about 14 kilometers away from Shimoga on the Shimoga Thirthahalli Road is an elephant cantonment where the wild elephants are tamed and trained for lifting logs and other physical work by the professional and experienced Mahouts. If you pay a visit to the Sakrebailu Camp in the early morning hours, you will be lucky to witness the fascinating spectacle of elephants bathing, playing in the Tunga Backwaters and graciously receiving snacks from their Mahouts. The Elephant Training Camp of Sakrebailu can be visited from 8:30 am to 11:00 am.
Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary
The Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary, also reckoned by its moniker; the ‘Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary’ is a wildlife conservation area that provides a protected home to numerous species of endangered mammals, birds and reptiles of Indian Subcontinent. Positioned about 102 kilometers to the west of Shimoga adjacent the Sagara Town and occupying a significant portion of the Sharavathi River Basin the Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over an extensive stretch of 431.23 square kilometers. Enveloped with thick evergreen and semi-evergreen forests and harboring the well-known Linganamakki Reservoir in its heart this nature preserve is divided into three sections i.e. the core zone, the buffer zone and the tourism zone. Existing as a wildlife sanctuary since 20th April 1972, this secured sanctum yields a safe refuge to Lion-Tailed Macaque; one of the most endangered species of India and many other mammals including tiger, black panther, leopard, jackal, wild dog, sambar, spotted deer, mouse deer, barking deer, sloth bear, wild pig, Malabar giant squirrel, common langur, bonnet macaque, porcupine, pangolin, otter, etc. Reptiles like python, king cobra, crocodile, monitor lizard, rat snake, etc. and birds like paradise flycatcher, hornbill, blue-throated barbet, racket-tailed drongo, lorikeets, Indian lories etc. are also spotted in this sanctuary in abundance.
The Bhadra Dam located about 31 kilometers away from Shimoga in the immediacy with Lakkavalli Village of the Tarikere Taluk in Chikkamagaluru District is a majestic water reservoir of the state of Karnataka that is constructed over the tributary of the Tungabhadra; the Bhadra River. Measuring about 59.13 meters in its height and 1708 meters in its length, the Bhadra Dam built at the total expenditure of 520 crore rupees is a multipurpose reservoir that bears the capacity of storing 71.50 billion cubic feet of water at a time. The Bhadra Dam mainly provides water for irrigation purposes, hydro power generation, drinking and industrial use. Opaquely canopied with both dry and moist deciduous forests and affluent in its flora and fauna, the surrounding terrain of the Bhadra Dam as well as the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary furnishes various species of wildlife including Leopards, Painted Bush Quail, Jungle Fowl, Red Spurfowl, Southern Green Imperial Pigeon, Hill Myna, Black Woodpecker, Malabar Parakeet, Emerald Dove, Common Otter, Smooth Indian Otter, Gaurs, Marsh crocodiles, Monitor Lizards, and many others with a safeguarded haven to dwell in. Except for its rich fauna and its captivating scenic splendor, the Bhadra Dam is also well-known for the exciting water sports such as sailing, kayaking, water cycling, water trampoline, sport fishing, etc availed here. The Sakrebailu Elephants Camp and Tyavarekoppa Lion and Tiger Safari are the other close by attractions from the Bhadra Dam.
The Gajanur Dam built over the Tunga River that pours through the Gajanur Village is a grandiose water reservoir to be found just 10 kilometers away from the downtown Shimoga. Established by MCC (Mysore Construction Co.), the Gajanur Dam measures approximately 770 meters in its total length out of which around 334 meters are covered by its long spillway. The Gajanur Dam operates as a source of drinking water for the Gajanur Village and the adjoining region and it also supplies water for the irrigation purposes. Overflowing with the bounteous banquet of flamboyant natural scenery, the Gajanur Dam is an idyllic weekend destination and a classic picnicking spot for the visitors as well as the residents of Shimoga. An elephant training camp sited close to the Gajanur Dam is also a must visit tourist attraction nearby.
Shivappa Nayak Palace
The Shivappa Nayak Palace of Shimoga parked along the Kote Road on the banks of the river Tunga just 2 kilometers away from the city center is a royal alcazar dating back to 16th century AD that was established under the benefaction of a great sovereign from the Keladi Dynasty; King Shivappa Nayak. Originally covering an all-encompassing sweep of 200 acres, the entire Shivappa Nayak Palace could not outlive the test of time and despoils of wars, however, the Durbar Hall of the palace comprising the total expanse of 10 acres still stands upright, haughtily singing the sagas of the bygone glory of the Nayak Kings.
Supported by ornamentally carved wooden pillars and roofed by Mangalore Tiles this regal mansion is exclusively built out of rosewood and teakwood. An elaborately crafted wooden flight of stairs leads one to the first floor of the palace where a projected wooden balcony elegantly garlanding the central section offers a splendid outlook of the surrounding panorama. The pilasters of the Shivappa Nayak Palace outstandingly bejeweled with dazzling floral motifs and dexterously framed arches grant the whole structure an utterly impressive countenance.
The architectural fashion of the Shivappa Nayak Palace featuring the amalgamation of the elements of both Rajput and Mughal style eloquently manifests the Indo Saracenic Structural Design and fluently reveals the artistic adroitness achieved by the artisans during the long-gone eras. Presently, the Shivappa Nayak Palace has been converted to a heritage museum by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). A wide range of ancient statues, stone carved sculptures, idols dating back to the Keladi epoch, manuscripts written in Thalegari script and many other vestiges of yesteryears are put up on display in this museum. There is no entry fee for visiting the Shivappa Nayak Palace.
Sigandhur Chowdeshwari Temple
Sigandhur positioned at the approximate distance of 111 kilometers from the Shimoga City is a tiny hamlet that is settled upon a small island cuddled in the lap of the Linganamakki Reservoir in the Sagara Taluk of the Shimoga District. The Sigandhur Chowdeshwari Temple is a 300 years old Hindu shrine that is dedicated to the Mother Goddess; ‘Mata Chowdeshwari’. Also worshipped by the monikers ‘Goddess Sigandureshwari’ and ‘Goddess Chaudamma’, the Goddess Chowdeshwari is locally extolled as the deity who protects her devotees against robbery and theft.
Believed to be consecrated by Sheshappa; an ardent devotee of Mata Chowdeshwari who was apparently instructed by the Mother Goddess Herself about erecting a temple in her honor, the Sigandhur Chowdeshwari Temple is exceptionally crowded with the deluge of devotees on the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti when the shrine celebrates its yearly festival. As per the prevailing belief, if you want to guard your property from the thieves, all you have to do is install a board in front of your land reading “Shri Deviya Rakshane Ide” meaning ‘This is safeguarded by the Goddess’. This board is sold at the Mata Chowdeshwari Temple.
It is also believed that the land disputes get solved by the grace of Goddess Chowdeshwari and the lost belongings are also found after paying homage at the Sigandhur Temple. Private busses frequently ply between Sagara and Sigandur. These buses will drop you at the point from where the ferry services to and from the temple island are operated. To reach the Sigandhur Temple tourists can avail the barges or boats and cross the Linganamakki Reservoir.
The Guddekal Temple located just 4 kilometers from Shimoga en route Holehonnur in the proximity with the Old Train Station is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Balasubramanya; the child manifestation of Lord Subramanya. Lord Subramanya, also worshipped by several other appellations such as Lord Murugan and Lord Kartikeyan, Dhandapany and Skanda is the elder son of Lord Shiva who is believed to be the commander of the heavenly army of the Gods. The devotees of Lord Murugan believe that if you pray at the feet of Lord Balasubramanya of Guddekal, all your desires are fulfilled and all your dreams come true. The Guddekal Temple is always cram packed with the devotees who would be fulfilling their vows in many peculiar ways like getting arrows pierced through your cheeks and tongues and other such physical tortures.
Sacred Heart Church
The Sacred Heart Church of Shimoga stationed in the vicinity of Loyola English High School and Mary Immaculate Girls’ High School close to SH 57 just 1.5 kilometers away from the heart of the city is a catholic cathedral vitally distinguished in this temple town for its unrivaled historical magnitude and its unsurpassed architectural grandeur. Covering the total stretch of 18000 square feet and exceedingly praised for its astonishing architectural splendor, this gargantuan tabernacle of Shimoga bears the privilege of being the second largest church in India. The capacious prayer hall of the Sacred Heart Church boasts of its massive capacity of accommodating 5000 people at a time. Architectured in fabulous Roman and Gothic orders, this Christian place of worship is preeminently applauded for its staggering effigy of Lord Jesus Christ.
Previously acknowledged by the epithet ‘Bidanoor’ and glorified as the last capital of the Keladi Rulers of Karnataka, the present day Nagara is a small township of Shimoga District that is sited at the distance of 82 kilometers from the downtown Shimoga City. Some of the worth mentioning tourist attractions of Nagara include the Nayak Fort, Shivappa Nayak Palace, Neelakantheshwar Temple, Gudde Venkataramana Swamy Temple, Devaganga Tank, etc.
Sringeri, nestled on the sacrosanct banks of the river Tunga and stationed at the distance of about 114 kilometers from Shimoga, is a hilly settlement and a Taluk place of the Chikmagalur District where Adi Shankaracharya established his first Matha in 8th century AD. The township derives its name from the epithet of a neighboring precipice; Rishyashringa-Giri where Sage Vibhandaka and his son Rishyashringa resided in a hermitage during the Ramayana period. As per the prevalent legend, Adi Shankara while walking along the Tunga Riverbanks spotted a cobra sheltering a frog under the umbrella of his upraised hood.
Astounded by this fantastic occurrence, Shankaracharya founded his cardinal Matha here and resided at Sringeri for approximately 12 years. Sringeri, exalted amongst the Hindus as a blessed pilgrim destination draws thousands of pilgrims every year. Except for the ‘Sringeri Sharada Peeta’ (the Adi Shankara Matha) other worth visiting tourist attractions of the town include Vidyashankara Temple, Sharadamba Temple and the famous Zodiac Pillars. The Sharadamba Temple is dedicated to Goddess Sharada i.e. Goddess Saraswati; the deity of knowledge and learning.
The Vidyashankara Temple christened after its founder Vidyaranya; the patron sage of Harihara and Bukka is principally reckoned for its impressive fusion of Vijayanagara and Hoysala orders of architectonics. Other noteworthy architectural attributes of the Vidyashankara Temple include the Hindu, Jain and Buddhist mythological sculptures found here and the archaic inscriptions discovered here those mainly refer to the erstwhile Vijayanagara Emperors.
Agumbe, a dandy little township of the Thirthahalli Taluk which falls under the Malnad Region of the state of Karnataka is one of the wettest locations of the Indian terra firma that receives about 7640 mm of the annual precipitation; second only to Cherrapunji. Parked about 93 kilometers to the southwest of Shimoga and perched at the elevation of 826 meters above the sea level, Agumbe the ‘Cherrapunji of the South’ receives exceptionally heavy rainfall, the highest ever being 4508 mm which was gathered in August 1946 in a single month. The forests of Agumbe are now proclaimed the ‘World Heritage Site’. The Agumbe Rainforest Research Station of Agumbe happens to be the only permanent Rainforest Research Station of India. Some of the must visit tourist attractions near Agumbe include Barkana Falls, Kunchikal Falls, Onake Abbi Falls, Koodlu Theertha Falls, Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary, Jogigundi, Sunset Point, Agumbe Medicinal Plants Conservation Area, etc. Agumbe provides a safe shelter to assorted wildlife species such as King Cobra, Flying Lizard, Tiger, Leopard, Lion Tailed Macaque, Indian Gaur, Sambhar, Hornbills, Dhole, Cane Turtles, Atlas Moth and many other birds and amphibians. The well known TV Series ‘Malgudi Days’ plotted on the novel by R K Narayan was filmed at Agumbe.
Bhadravathi located just 20 kilometers to the southeast of Shimoga is an industrial township of the Shimoga District where two grand factories of Southern India viz. Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Plant and Mysore Paper Mills Limited are located. Cradled on the banks of the river Bhadra and enclosed by the Bhadravathi Reservoir and Bhadravathi Wildlife Sanctuary to its south, Bhadravathi will soon be developed as a twin metropolitan of Shimoga. Bhadravathi is predominantly famed amongst the devotees and the tourists for its 13th century Lakshmi Narasimha Temple erected under the patronage of a Hoysala King Maharaja Veera Narasimha. Several idols of Lord Sri Krishna, Lord Purushottama, Lord Ganesha, Lord Narasimha and Goddess Sharadamba are enshrined in the Lakshmi Narasimha Temple of Bhadravathi. Goddess Halladammadevi Temple of Bhadravathi sited right in the center of the city is the largest shrine of the Malnad Region. Other must visit tourist spots of Bhadravathi include a Jain Basidi, the largest Shiva Idol, Gondhi, Kudli, Sunnadahalli and Shankar-Sharada Mathas and so on.
Koodli positioned about 16.5 kilometers to the northeast of Shimoga is a tiny rural settlement snuggled down at the site where the two river courses of the Tunga and Bhadra rivers coalesce and then flow together as the Tungabhadra River. Acknowledged for its immense historical and religious magnitude and endowed with prodigious natural beauty Koodli is primarily celebrated for its Sangameswarar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Sri Chitamani Narasimha Swamy Temple dedicated to Lord Narasimha; the 4th incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The Chitamani Narasimha Swamy Temple of Koodli is believed to be established by Sri Prahlada himself. Moreover, the Shankara Matha and the Arya Akshobhya Thirtha Matha are two worth visiting historical Mathas of Koodli.
‘Honnemaradu’ is a Kannada word which literally means the ‘the abode of the golden sand’. Located just 15 kilometers away from Sagara en route the world famous Jog Falls Honnemaradu is a peachy forested hamlet that is explicitly distinguished for its pristine natural splendor and the thrilling adventure opportunities it proffers. Balanced atop a thickly timbered hill overlooking the Linganamakki Reservoir (Honnemaradu Lake), Honnemaradu is one of the most cherished vacation getaways of the Shimoga District where a wide range of adventure enterprises and numerous unwinding activities engage the visitors of all ages and tastes. This paradise of the adventure aficionados also beckons myriads of campers who can go camping at the small lake island reposed in the bosom of the Honnemaradu Lake and spend a night under the covering of the star lit sky. Not only that, Honnemaradu is also a safeguarded asylum of thousands of multihued birds and vivid butterflies where bird watchers can expend hours together observing the dainty hustle of the butterflies and the delightful proceedings of the gorgeous birds. Witnessing the most extravagant cavalcade of sunrise and sunset at Honnemaradu is absolutely an absorbing experience. And to top that, Honnemaradu is also the Promised Land for those who want to enjoy the galvanizing water sports such as kayaking and boating.
Kemmannagundi located about 68 kilometers away from Shimoga is an angelic hamlet and an ethereal hill station of the Chikkamagaluru District where the King Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV; the sovereign of the princely state of Mysore used to seek refuge during summer to avoid the scorching heat of the Indian plains. Also popularly known as ‘Sri Krishnarajendra Hill Station’, Kemmannagundi, enclosed by the Baba Budan Giri Range of the Western Ghats is geographically nestled at the elevation of 1434 meters above the sea level. Proliferating with dazzling cataracts, scintillating mountain brooks, verdurous foliage, pulchritudinous gardens, enthralling valleys and imperial mountains, Kemmannagundi makes a romantic weekend getaway in the vicinity of Shimoga. The term Kemmannagundi has been coined from three Kannada words; Kempu, Mannu and Gundi meaning ‘the land of red soil’. The must visit vantage points and landmarks in and around Kemmannagundi are; Z Point, Raj Bhavan, Kallathi Falls, Hebbe Falls, Mullayanagiri, Rose Garden, etc. Presently, the Horticulture Department of the Karnataka State Government maintains the Kemmannagundi Hill Resort.
Humcha, stationed about 57 kilometers from Shimoga towards the western periphery of the Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the chief Jain pilgrim destinations of Karnataka that is reckoned all over the place for its ancient temple dedicated to Goddess Padmavati and a sacrosanct Jain Monastery named Humbaj Matha. The devotees hold a belief that if you perform a pilgrimage to the Humbaj Matha and the Goddess Padmavati Temple, all your desires will come true. Thousands of Jain devotees from all over the world pay a visit to Humcha all round the year. The additional lures of Humcha include the perpetual lake and the ever green tree those never dry up.