Translating to Young Daughter’s Town, Chikmagalur is one of the most rampant coffee cultivating spots in India acknowledged by the coffee board of India. A retreat for lovers of this beverage and cool misty hills, it is the perfect scenic getaway speckled with heritage spots and adventure activities. Located in southwest India, Chikmagalur district of Karnataka is also known for being a melting pot of different religions and cultures. Elevated at the height of 3,400 feet, there are many things to do in Chikmagalur. This place will transport you to a magical land of tranquillity.

Chikmagalur has a cool and pleasant climate throughout the year with the temperature ranging between 14 °C and 32 °C. But September to May is the best time to visit Chikmagalur. It is around 250 km from Bangalore to Chikmagalur.

Whether you are planning an adventure-filled vacation or a laid-back holiday, or something specific like exploring the history of coffee in the region, there are a variety of things to do in Chikmagalur for both adults and kids. This place is also a popular trekking option as it is home to the highest peak of Karnataka, Mullayanagiri. Baba Budan Giri, Kudremukh National Park, coffee museum, Hebbe falls, Horanadu temple, Bhadra river and more are the popular tourist places (see a full list of places in the link below). You can explore all this and more, but in this article, what we want to include are the top offbeat activities in Chikmagalur that you can explore.

Also Read: Best places to visit in Chikmagalur

The Top 10 Things To Do In Chikmagalur

1. Coffee Estates: Refresh Your Taste Buds

Coffee berries, things to do in Chikmagalur

An easy stroll through the lush green coffee plantations among the deep bushes of wild coffee and eye-catching fauna is one of the best things to do in Chikmagalur. The vast popularity of coffee here means that you can get a chance to understand the seasons, variety, history and processes of coffee making through the walks organised by the coffee plantation owners. Offering a brilliant atmosphere for both outdoor junkies and those who like some quiet time, this activity will ensure that you get a memorable experience. Along with miles of stunning views and the accompaniment of coffee, birding enthusiasts can also spot various avian species here. If you have never tasted authentic coffee, make sure to visit these coffee estates in Chikmagalur from mid-December to mid-January for a true experience. The timings to visit these sites vary depending on the coffee plantation you are visiting.

What To Carry:

  1. Towel
  2. Bug repellent
  3. Medicines
  4. Water bottle
  5. Sunglasses
  6. Sunscreen

2. Golfing: Play A Round Or Two

Golf

Not many people know that this place is an ideal destination for a golfing holiday. With a guest pass, you can access the well maintained 9-hole golf course and an equally impressive club-house at the Chikmagalur golf club. Lying at the foot of the Baba Budan Giri range across the Western Ghats, it is a serene setting for golfers to relax and unwind in the soothing environs of the course. Frequented by international golfers as well as tourists, it makes for a perfect weekend retreat. Playing one round or more of golf at these green pastures is among the top things to do in Chikmagalur. If you are interested, the cost is INR 70 for the 9-hole and INR 200 for a golf set per hour, it is open every day from 6.30 AM to 6.30 PM.

What To Carry:

  1. Water bottle
  2. Clubs (if you have them)

3. River Rafting: Paddle Your Way Through Nerve-Wracking Currents

river rafting is one of the things to do in Chikmagalur

Skirting around the hills of Chikmagalur, the Bhadra river is an apt spot to add an adventure twist like white water rafting to your holiday. Besides providing a wonderful backdrop, this 8 km long stretch of sparkling river provides an exhilarating experience of rafting on rapids of levels 3 to 5 and is a great thing to do in Chikmagalur. Don’t worry if you are inexperienced. Suited for both beginners as well as experienced rafting enthusiasts, the Magundi to Balehole segment is the most popular spot filled with ample rapids to manoeuvre. If you have some adventure-loving friends rope them in along with you and paddle your way through the nerve-wracking currents in the volatile waters of the river. The best time to visit Chikmagalur to hit the rapids is from June to October when the river is in its most thrilling form. Although the timings can vary according to the tour agencies, the average cost of river rafting in the Bhadra river is between INR 1,800 to INR 3,500. 

What To Carry:

  1. Quick-dry shorts/bathing suit
  2. Sturdy footwear
  3. Sunglasses with retainer strap
  4. Water bottle
  5. Set of dry clothes
  6. Towel

4. Trekking: Revitalise Your Body And Mind

trekking in south india

Trekking is one of the popular yet offbeat things to do in Chikmagalur due to the range of options and the fact that trekking is not everyone’s cup of tea. Trekking at this place offers scenic views of nature with an exotic collection of flora and fauna. On your pursuit to the top, you will be passing through waterfalls, coffee estates, dense forests, and grassy meadows. Additionally, the calming ambience of the trail is sure to bring a feeling of revitalisation to your body and mind. With a range of trekking trails for beginners and professionals, Chikmagalur trekking includes Kudremukh trek, Kumara Parvatha trek, Sakleshpur trek, Baba Budan Giri trek, Hebbe Falls and several others. The highest peak of Karnataka, Mullayangiri is among the popular treks. The trekking trails range between an altitude of 1,000 and 4,000 metres. This is an activity where you can create everlasting memories with your friends and family on these paradisiacal treks. September to March is the best time to go trekking in Chikmagalur as the climatic conditions are quite favourable. The timings and fees vary according to the tour agencies.

What To Carry:

  1. Trekking boots 
  2. Waterproof / rain-gear with a hood
  3. Water bottle
  4. Torches 
  5. Toiletries
  6. Spare clothes
  7. Sunglasses
  8. Cap
  9. Snacks

Read More: The best places for trekking in Chikmagalur

5. Camping: Create Unforgettable Memories

Camping is one of the things to do in Chikmagalur

Chikmagalur enjoys the reputation of being blessed with picturesque campsites, making it one of the most sought after getaways in Karnataka. You can gaze at the starry night, make new memories with your friends and family, share stories around a bonfire, and breathe in the untainted atmosphere of Chikmagalur while camping here. Whether you prefer to indulge in trekking and pitching your tent on the slopes of Baba Budangiri or Kyatanamakki Hill or pair your camping experience with adventure sports in proximity to the Hemavathi river, there is a diverse range of campsites here. The timings and price vary depending on how long you want to stay and on the tour agencies.

What To Carry:

  1. Tent
  2. Sleeping pads
  3. Sleeping bags
  4. Lantern 
  5. Water bottles
  6. Solar Charger
  7. Hammock
  8. First Aid Kit
  9. Food
  10. Spare clothes and towel

6. Kayaking: For All The Thrill Seekers 

Kayaker runing the rapids

Chikmagalur district is famous for hosting a wide set of adventurous activities like kayaking that guarantee you the time of your life with your loved ones. They are all conducted with the provision of lifejackets and safety protocols. This is a great way to channel your inner adventure junkie. Kayaking is available at the Bhadra dam. With no restriction to age groups, any person who is physically fit and sound can avail this activity. The best time to savour the picture-perfect surroundings in Chikmagalur through kayaking is in the month of October as the river will be in its fullest form. Costing around INR 400-500, you can visit this place at any time between 8.30 AM and 5.30 PM. 

What To Carry:

  1. Dry bags
  2. Lightweight backpacking tent
  3. Life jacket
  4. Sunscreen

7. Jet Skiing: An Electrifying Experience

Woman on a jet ski in the ocean during the sunset

Among the top activities in Chikmagalur is jet skiing at Yagachi Dam. If you are a water baby and an adrenaline junkie this is the activity will enhance your overall holiday experience. Offering a diverse range of water sports, the dam is about 22 km from Chikmagalur and an ideal destination for jet skiing where you can experience a top-notch thrill. With high-quality equipment and trained instructors, your safety is ensured during the activity and enhances your overall holiday experience. A striking destination for all adventure junkies visiting this hill station, jet skiing can be availed from sunrise to sunset and costs INR 300 per person. 

What To Carry:

  1. Swimwear
  2. Water Shoes
  3. Life Jacket/Life Vest
  4. Sunscreen

8. Jeep Ride To Jhari Falls: Breathe In The Fresh Air

Visiting Jhari falls is one of the best things to do in Chikmagalur
A Bewitching view of the famous Jhari falls or Buttermilk waterfall in Chikmagalur

Located near Attigundi, a jeep ride to Jhari Falls is about 26 km from Chikmagalur. Also known as the Buttermilk Falls, visiting this place on a jeep will be an unforgettable experience. Not only will you get to breathe in fresh air but also witness the beauty of the dense forests and coffee plantations that you will be passing through. Furthermore, you will also be able to experience the stunning waterfall. There is also a pool which has been formed in the lower part of the waterfall for the tourists to swim and play in the water and relax. The place is open from 8 AM to 5 PM and the jeep ride costs INR 600 allowing a maximum of 6 people.

What To Carry:

  1. Sunscreen
  2. Camera
  3. Mosquito repellent
  4. Closed-toe shoes
  5. Layered Clothing

Also Read: Top 12 most beautiful waterfalls to visit in Karnataka

9. Go Picnicking: Unwind Amidst Nature’s Beauty

A lesser-known gem of nature, about 55 km from Chikmagalur, Kalhatti Falls is one of the most popular destinations amongst religious travellers as there is a revered Hindu temple located beside it. Located within close proximity from Kemmangundi, the waterfall is known as the Kalahasti Falls by the locals. A great spot for a picnic with your loved ones, as well as, a light swim with your gang in the cold waters at the base, the tranquillity here will leave you amazed. It is a perfect place to break away from the monotony of city life and unwind amidst nature’s beauty. Providing a serene environment to its visitors, a picnic at Kalhatti Falls which is one of the popular things to do in Chikmagalur. The place is open from 8 AM to 6 PM and has no entry fee. 

What To Carry:

  1. Picnic Basket/ Hamper/ Tote/ Cooler, or Backpack
  2. Paper Towels or Wipes
  3. Trash Bags
  4. Umbrella 
  5. Waterbottle
  6. Hats and sunglasses

10. Neelakurinji Blooms: A Special Experience

Neelakurinji flowers that blossoms only once in 12 years.
Neelakurinji that blossoms only once in 12 years.

Covered by a spectacular carpet of purplish-blue flowers, this stretch of the Western Ghats of India provides a fabulous opportunity to witness neelakurinji flowers that bloom once in 12 years. Used by the tribals to assess their age, the botanical name of the shrub is Strobilanthes Kunthiana. These blooms cover the complete hillside and one of the few destinations in India where travellers from all parts of the country converge to see this phenomenon is Chikmagalur. Usually blooming in late April and May, the flower now blooms in the months of September to November as the seasons have become erratic over the years. They last bloomed in 2019, and witnessing this phenomenon is one of the most unique experiences in Chikmagalur.

What To Carry:

  1. Camera
  2. Mosquito Repellent
  3. Sunscreen
  4. Hats
  5. Umbrella

Also read: Top 15 most rare flowers in the world

Why Should You Visit Chikmagalur?

Famous for its dense forests and misty mountains, Chikmagalur district is indeed one of the most beautiful hill stations in Karnataka. With places like Jhari Falls and Yagachi dam, and many things to do in Chikmagalur like trekking, and river rafting, it is certainly worth visiting. What adds to the beauty of Chikmagalur? It’s the combination of a tranquil environment, lush greenery, and misty mountains. 

Offering a plethora of adventure activities, you will also need to keep in mind to carry appropriate clothes while travelling to Chikmagalur. While most travellers are responsible, you can educate and set an example to others who might be littering the place. By doing so, we are going to not only preserve the environment but also encourage a more mature idea of holidaying altogether.

Located in Karnataka, Chikmagalur is a very safe place for tourists. The hill station has friendly locals, low crime rates, and a readily available transportation system round the clock. The cheapest and most eco-friendly way to get around the city is by using the local buses. From Bangalore to Chikmagalur is just a few hours journey. Amongst plentiful things to do in Chikmagalur, make sure you add these exciting activities to your itinerary to enhance your holiday experience in Chikmagalur.

Nearest Accommodations

  1. Giri Inn
  2. Coffee County Stays
  3. Woodway Estate Homestay
  4. Lotus Boutique Hotel

Read More: 18 amazing homestays in Chikmagalur to choose from

FAQs

Is Chikmagalur worth visiting?

Yes, Chikmagalur is known for being a melting pot of different religions and cultures. It’s a popular weekend destination of Karnataka where you can explore the coffee trails and enjoy some nature and natural activities.

What is famous in Chikmagalur?

Chikamagalur is a perfect scenic getaway speckled with heritage spots and adventure activities. Baba Budangiri, Kudremukh national park, Horanadu temple, Hebbe falls and Mullayangiri (the highest peak in Karnataka) are some popular spots of Chikmagalur.

Which month is best to visit Chikmagalur?

Although Chikmagalur has a cool and pleasant climate throughout the year with the temperature ranging between 14 °C and 32 °C, the best time to visit Chikmagalur is from September to May.

Is Chikmagalur better than Coorg?

Both are very popular tourist destinations in India and are similar in terms of climate and geography.

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