Location: Shimoga is located on the north western cost of Karnataka. It shares boundary with Uttara Kannada in the north, Udupi in the south and south west and Chikmagalur in the south, Davangere in the east and Haveri in the north and north-east.
District Headquarter: Shimoga
Distance: 274 km from Bangalore, 180 km from Mangalore and 205 km from Hubli
Journey time: Around 6 hours from Bangalore by bus or train.
How to reach there: On can reach there by bus, train or private vehicle. There are numerous buses available through out the day and late night from KSRTC bus stand Majestic.
Route: Bangalore – Tumkur – Birur – Kadur – Arsikere – Bhadravati – Shimoga (NH 206)
Where to stay:
1. Jewel Rock Hotel
2. Vihangama Holiday Retreat, Bharathipura Post, Thirthahalli Taluk,Shimoga Dist. 577432
3. Hotel Mathura Residency
Balraj Urs Road,
4. Hotel Sundar Ashraya
5. Hotel Surya Comforts
6. Hotel Sanman Lodge
Garden Area, 3rd Cross
Where to eat:
Language spoken: Kannada, Hindi and English undertsood in the urban areas.
The name Shimoga is derived from two words Shiva (Lord Shiva) and Mukha (Face), meaning face of Shiva. In 2006, the erstwhile JDS government changed the name to Shivamoga. The lanscape of Shimoga is very beautiful with lush green forests, hills and water falls. The main occupation apart from the urban areas are agriculture. The present CM of Karnataka hails from Shimoga. A new airport is under construction there.
What to see:
1. Jogg Falls: Jog falls is the highest water falls in India formed by river Sharavathi falling from a height 253 meters (829 ft). It also know by other names like Gerusoppe falls, Gersoppa Falls and Jogada Gundi in Kannada. It located around 100 km from Shimoga city at the border of Shimoga and north Kannada district.The river breaks down into four distinct falls viz. Raja, Rani, Rocket and Roarer.
It is here the first hydro electric power generation started in Asia. At power generation takes place from Linganmakki Dam on river Sharavathi. The power station was earlier known as Krishna Rajendra hydro-electric project, later renamed as Mahatma Gandhi hydro-electric Project.
Best season to visit: July to September
Where to stay:
1. Hotel Mayura Gerusoppa (KSTDC)
Phone : 08186-344732
2. PWD Inspection Banglow
Phone : 08186-344333
2. Tyarekoppa Lion Safari: Tyarekoppa Lion Safari comes on the way to Sagar town around 10 km away from Shimoga town. Here one can sight Lions, Tigers, Cheetah, Bear, Deer, and rare migratory birds in lush green deep forest.
3. Tunga Anecut: The Tunga dam, over river Tunga is located 10 km from Shimoga town on the way to Tirthahalli at Gajanur. It is a nice picnic spot.
4. Achakanya Falls: Achakanya Falls is formed when river Saravathi takes big leap. It is located around 10 km from Thirthahalli on the way to Hosanagar near Aralsuruli.
5. Hidlamane Falls: Hidlamane Falls is located near Nittur in Hosanagar Taluka. To direct motorable roads are available. One need to trek through lush green forest to reach there.
6. B.R.P Dam: This dam was constructed on river Bhadra around 29 km from Shimoga city near Kuvempu university. A number of small islands created by river Bhadra here. It is nice romantic place ideal for picnic and boat rides.
7. Vanake-Abbey Falls: Abbey falls is located 4 km away from Agumbe. The falls is surrounded by green forest.
8. Agumbe: Agumbe is one of the popular sunset point in Karnataka. Agumbe receives the highest rainfall in Karnataka and also known as Chirapunjee of Karnataka. It is located around 35 km from Thirthahalli on the way to Udupi and is 2725 ft above sea level. Agumbe is home to the only Rainforest Research Station in Indian in the form of Agumbe Rainforest Research Station. Agumbe is also known for its abundant sights of King cobra.
There are a number of falls to see:
1. Kunchikal Falls: This falls is formed by river Varahi.
2. Barkana Falls: This falls is formed by river Seeta.
3.Onake Abbi Falls
Route: Bangalore – Tumkur (NH-4) – Shimoga (NH-206) – Thirthahall (NH-13)
Distance: 380 km from Bangalore
Best Season: November to May
9. Kodachadri: Kodachadri is located around 114 km from Shimoga city and situated above 1411 ft above sea level. Kodachadri is very popular with trekkers. The steep rising hill pose a challenge to trekkers. I advise one should have certain experience in trekking to try trekking here. It is beautiful hill covered with lush green forest and gives panoramic view. One can hire a jeep to the hill or go for shared one.
10. Kundadri: On the way to Agumbe from Thirthahalli, 9 kms from Guddekeri near Begar you can find Kundadri hill. A adventurous place for trekking lovers. You can reach the hill top by tar road also but its a shaking experience if you walk up the mountain using the shortcut route. On reaching the top you can find the Parshwanath Chaityalaya, a stone structure. Kundadri hill is in fact a single gigantic monolithic rock formation with various outgrowths. A rough stone paved path leads one to the top of the hill. From the hill top you can see the twists and turns of the Thirthahalli-Agumbe road. This place is also a jain pilgrimage centre. Packing some light refreshments and moving on to ascend the hill would be a great idea.
11. Honnemaradu: Honnemaradu is a adventure sports site. Situated on the back waters of river Saravathy, it offers Kayoking, wind water surfing and various water sports. Accomodation, food and water sports equipment available on payment. It is located around 25 km from Sagar town on the way to Jog falls.
Mote: Alcohol, Gutka, Non-Veg items are not allowed.
12. Sakrebayalu Elephant Camp: Sakrebayalu Elephant Camp is located around 14 km from Shimoga city on the way to Thirthahalli. Here elephants are being trained. Also, elephants come to bath every morning and can have their playful sight bu coming here before 9 am.
13. Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary: 32Kms from Shimoga city on the way to Thirthahalli you can hear the birds tweeting. This place is picnic spot for birds migrating from far places around the world. The place is surrounded by dense lush green forest and the flow of river Tunga has created a small island which adds to the beauty. The dense trees on the island provides shelter to migrating birds. Birds like Egrets, Bellakki Cormorant, Darter, Snake bird etc immigrate from different parts of the world during may season for breeding A high platform is built on the edge of river Tunga for bird watching. Boats are available for a closer watch .
14. Guduvi Bird Sanctuary: This bird sanctuary is unique for many reasons but is the only sanctuary located in the midst of dense forest. Guduvi is one of the 5 famous bird sanctuaries of Karnataka. The place is 16 Kms from Soraba taluka of Shimoga district. This bird sanctuary is spread over an area of 73.68 Hectares. As per 1993 survey, it is told that 191 varieties of birds are found at this place. A natural lake and the trees gives shelter to this birds. Some important birds found are White Pebis, Stone Bill, Egret, Cormorant, Snake bird, Heron etc. Different birds immigrate from other parts of the world in different seasons for breeding. A platform is built for a closer look of birds.
15. Ballegavi : Ballegavi is a place of historical importance located around 21 Kms from Shikaripura taluka. This place is also known as Dakshina Kedara was the capital of Banawasi rulers in the 12th century. The place is associated with several eminent Veershaiva saints like Allama prabhu, Akka-Mahadevi, Animishayya and Ekantada Ramayya. There are remains of many temples, shrines, mastikals, viragals and nisidigals. Some important temples are Kedareshvara temple made out of soap stone and is a fine specimen of late chalukyan type, Tripurantakeshvara temple resembling the works of belur and halebedu, Prabhudeva temple is a smaller trikutchala structure, etc.
16. Keladi : was the first capital of Keladi Nayakas. The place is 6 Kms to the north of Sagar taluka. At almost the northern end of the village, there is a large courtyard which is enclosed in modern tiled verandah. In the middle of the courtyard stand 3 temples Rameshvara temple which is in the centre, Veerbhadreshvara temple which is to the right and the Parvati temple which is to the left. The Rameshvara & Veerbhadreshvara temples are a mixed pattern of hoysala & southern or Dravidian style. The Parvati temple is a small building which has old back portion built of stone and the front modern portion built of brick.. There is also a well maintained Keladi Museum, which has a collection of copper inscriptions, palm leaves and coins from Nayaka’s period.
17. Ikkeri : situated 76 Kms to the noth of Shimoga and about 3 kms to the south of Sagar taluka. The word means “Two Streets”. This place was the capital of Keladi Nayakas for some years. The walls of the city were of great extent, forming three concentric enclosures. In the citadel was the palace build of mud and timber, adorned with carvings and false guildings. The only vestige of the former greatness of ikkeri is the temple of Aghoreshvara, a large and well proportioned stone-building, constructed in a mixed style with a unique conception.
18. Koodali : 16 Kms from Shimoga , a place where rivers Tunga and Bhadra embrace and flow together from here, hence the name Koodali. A cultural place with rich heritage and temples around. It has a noted Smartha Monastery stated to have been founded in the 16th century by Jagadguru Narsimha Bharathi Swamigalu of Sringeri. Within the premises of the matha, there are shrines of Sharadamba and Shankaracharya. Outside ,there are two temples of hoysala times dedicated to Rameshvara and Narasimha. Koodali is also known as Varanasi of the south, it is home to Rushyashrama, Brahmeshwara, Narasimha and Rameshwara temples. The 600 years old mutt of Shankaracharya still stands with inscriptions of Hoysala and Okkeri Kings.
19. Chandragutti : situated in between Soraba taluka and Siddapura. The histrolical place and pilgrimage centre of Renukamba. The place was earlier known as Chandragupta Pura, Chandragutti pete, Gutti pete. 16 Kms from Soraba taluka, 848 mtrs above mean sea level on a rocky mountain bed one can find this place.
20. Humcha : 54 kms from Shimoga city is a renowned Jain Pilgrimage centre. The main attraction of Humcha is the Padmavathi Amma’s temple. The Panchakuta Basadi (Jain temple) of 10th & 11th Century and Jain Mutt are other places of interest.
21. Bhadravathi : The Lakshminarsimha temple, built by the Hoysalas in the heart of the town and the Rameshwara temple built on the banks of the river Tunga attract pilgrims from all parts of Karnataka and other states. Pilgrims frequent here for darshans of a holy dip in the river. Bhadravathi is also most prominent Industrial centre in Shimoga district. The renowned Sir M Vishweshwaraiah Iron & Steel factory, The Mysore paper Mills and Sugar Factories were harbingers of Karnataka’s industrial development.
22. Nagara :A 16th century place situated 19 Kms from Shimoga. This was also known as “Beendanoor”in the 16th century. This place was also capital of Keladi rulers and later on was captured by Hyder Ali. Other places of interest are Shivappanaika palace, Neelakenteshwara temple, Devagana tank and Gudde Venkataramana Swamy temple.
23. Bandalike : 35 Kms to the north of Shikaripura, a place famous for basadis and temples is Bandalika. Here you can find sculptures and writtings of Rastrakutas and Kadambas period. Other places of interest are Shantinath basadi, Sahasralinga Temple and Someshwara threemurthy temples.
24. Shivappa Naik Palace :Situated on the banks of river tunga in the busy lanes of Shimoga city. A 16th century place built by Shivappa naik of Keladi. A good architectual piece built with rose wood. The palace is equipped with museum which has several interesting and rare archaeological collections of stone carvings and antiques of Keladi period. Recovered idols of Hoysala and Chalukya period from the early 16th century to late 18th century are displayed here.
25. Saint Thomas Church : Situated in the heart of city. The church renovated and said to be second largest church in India with an area of 18000 square feet area . Also equipped with an prayer hall with an capacity to hold 5000 people at a time.
Other Places of Interest :
Kanoor fort : situated in the dense forest 50 kms from Jogfalls on the way to bhatkal. This Fort of Keladi dynasty was constructed by Kari Maneesena Rani Abbaka devi ( Spices queen).
Kavaledurga: 5056 ft above sea level is this magnificent fort on the hill. It is 16 Kms from Thirthahalli.
Kubetoor: 25 Kms from Sorab is Kubetoor, has several old temples known for their architectural splendour, though now in a dilapidated condition it still exemplifies the aesthetic sense of the dynasties that reigned. The Veerabhadra and Durgi are worth a visit. The Kedarashewara Temple is a Chalukyan architectural showpiece.
Talagunda: 5 Kms from Balligave lies Talagunda. Several ancient inscriptions are found here. The Pranseshwara temple is a must see. To the east of Talagunda is “Prabhudeva Gaddige”.
Heggadu : 8 Kms from sagar, a small village known for its Non-Government Drama training institute called NEENASAM initiated by K.V.Subanna. The institute is well equipped with an indoor auditorium known as ‘Dr. Shivarama Karantha Rangamandira’. Regular workshops and training sessions, finds the place populated by renowned artists from all over the country.
Around Shimoga city : Ganapathi Devasthana located in Ramanna Shreste Park , Basaveshwar Temple located in Gandhi Bazar, Marikamba Devasthana , Kannika Parmeshwari etc are other temples located within the city limits. And it is said that there are 21 or more Ganapathi devasthanas around shimoga city.
Koodli is the place where two rivers, the Tunga River and Bhadra River, meet to give rise to the Tungabhadra River.
# Kaveladurga is a trekking spot around 80 km from Shimoga.A fort built on the hill top and the enchanting view of the western ghats can be seen from this place.
# Mrugavadhe lies in thirthahalli taluk and is famous for its Mallikarjuna temple and its scenic beauty.
# Sigandhooru is 108 km from Shimoga in Sagar taluk.This place is famous for Sigandhoor sridevi temple and to reach this place one has to go in launch(Due to backwaters of sharavathi river) run by the state government.
# Sringeri is 105 km from shimoga.This place is famous for the Sharadha temple and sringeri mutt.
Gandhi park with aquarium, Guddekal temple, Kote anjeneya temple, Bheemeshwara temple, Mailareshwara temple, Raamanna Shreshti park Ganesha Temple, Ravindra Nagar Prasanna Ganesha Temple,Laxmi temple(vinobanagar) Shankar Mutt are notable ones and Basaveshwara temple in gandhi bazaar, Shivalaya beside veerashaiva kalyana mantapa, veerabhadreshwara temple.
Official website: http://www.shimoga.nic.in/