Chikmagalur : A Dreamy Misty Coffee Heaven

I never thought, for some reason, that I would like Chikmagalur, having been to Madikeri earlier. And I was more than happy to be proven wrong. Located in the foothills of the Mullayanagiri Hills, Chikmagalur has a mild climate suitable for coffee plantations. Nestled amongst the hills and valleys of the fabulous Western Ghats, Chikmagalur has, apart from its beautiful climate, excellent bio-diversity.

If you are seeking a green escape, Chikmagalur is for you!

What to do in Chikmagalur: Stay at a home stay or a coffee estate. Go for long walks. If you have a bicycle handy, ride the beautiful winding canopied roads of Chikmagalur. Visit the nearby Bhadra Tiger Reserve. Go for a trek in Mullayanagiri. Do not throw plastic or litter this heavenly place. With more than 260 species of birds recorded here, birding is another thing to indulge in.

Where To Stay : There are plenty of stay options at Chikmagalur in all budgets. We stayed at the Tata Plantation Trails. They have excellent 100 year old plantation bungalows that are let out. These are not suitable for children or family groups (thankfully) but greatly suitable if you are looking for peace and introspection along with great food.


Frog in Chikmagalur
The Bicoloured Frog or the Malabar Frog, (Clinotarsus curtipes) found amongst the dense greenrey of Chikmagalur
Moss in Chikmagalur
In the moist climate of the undergrowth, one can find plenty of moss.
Green edible herbs in Chikmagalur
These green herbs form a nice chutney made as a traditional recipe.
Chikmagalur wild flower
A wild flower in Chikmagalur forests
Hill Myna (Gracula religiosa),
What looks like the common Hill Myna (Gracula religiosa),
Chikmagalur Trails
These beautiful trails full of greenery will seduce you into coming back…
The orange-headed thrush (Geokichla citrina)
In these lovely under-growths I found the the orange-headed thrush (Geokichla citrina)
Lake in Chikmagalur
A placid lake amidst dense greenery
Old Colonial House in Chikmagalur
We were staying at this lovely place…
Walking in Chikmagalur
That’s me walking with the estate naturalist in Chikmagalur
Trails amidst coffee plantations
Coffee plantations on either side of the trail and these tall silver oaks and african orchids provide shade. Coffee needs 50% shade to grow properly…
Tracktor ruts in coffee plantations of Chikmagalur
Some of the trails are carved by tractors doing their work..
Coffee grown on slopes of the Western Ghats at Chikmagalur
Coffee grows best in 50% shade and on slopes…
Plantation Trails, Chikmagalur
The living room of our stay
Dining Room at Chikmagalur
The dining room was clean and had wonderful natural light…
Dog at Coffee Estate, Chikmagalur
This sweet estate doggy wanted a portrait shot…
Food at Chiukmagalur
The food was delicious and made to order.
View from the window
You know you are in heaven when the view from the window is as gorgeous as this…
Winding roads of Chikmagalur
Expoloring Chikmagalur…
Chikmagalur Driving
Long winding roads with the sun playing hide and seek…
Misty trails in Chikmagalur
And then we would hit the clouds and it would be misty all over again.
Skoda Yeti near Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
Heading towards Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
Altitude on Casio Watcg
We were at 1448 metres above mean sea level…
Misty in Chikmagalur
It was misty and cold… and with the passing clouds, wet as well…
Mullayanagiri, Chikmagalur
Near Mullayanagiri, the highest point in Karnataka
Winding beautiful roads of Chikmagalur
The roads were beautiful, gently winding, and splattered with petals of Gulmohar and African Orchids…
Chikmagalur vista in monsoon
The wide vistas of the plateau are gorgeous, especially in the shade of the thick monsoon skies
Cafe in Chikmagalur
We stopped for for coffee and sandwiches at this cafe in the Halle Berri Estate in the Baba Budan Hills.
Coffee Cup in Chikmagalur
The Halli Berri Coffee cup. It was truly good coffee.
Romantic dinner in Chikmagalur
The hotel staff were sweet and prepared a romantic candlelit dinner, complete with rose petals for us.
Road to Bhadra
We went out the nesxt day again near Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary.
Towards Bhadra Tiger Reserve, Chikmagalur
Through dense winding roads and wet glistening trees…
Dew on grass blades
Wit hevery passing cloud, the blades of grass would pick up some dew drops…
Trail amidst plantations
And through these tall silver oaks…
Dew on the undergrowth...
And the undergrowth is still wet with dew….
Moss covered rock in Chikmagalur
With the abundant rains, moss soon covers everything…
Coffee berries
Unseasonal ripe coffee berries.
Chikmagalur farm
A tilled farm, ready for sowing…
Pond in Chikmagalur estate
Another tiny pond amidst the plantatins, with betel nut behind…
Betel nut plantation in Chikmagalur
Betel nut is a vital cash crop of these regions
Highway Stopover
On the way back, on the Bangalore – Mumbai Highway you will come across this stop over. Looks so neat, but the food is bad. They have a fantastic property, but need to up the food…

[box type=”success” width=”100%” ]How to reach : Chikmagalur is roughly 250-300 km from Bangalore. Driving down is an option though you can also take a train.

When to visit: Monsoons are divine. That’s the time from around June to August. Winters can get very cold here.


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