Chikmagalur is a district situated in south-western part of Karnataka, India. It was in Chikmagalur that coffee was first cultivated in India. Rivers like Tunga and Bhadra have their sources in the mountains here which are part of the Western Ghats. Chikmagalur district also contains Mullayanagiri, the highest peak in Karnataka.
Chickmagalur district was called Kadur district till 1947. It is situated roughly in the south-western part of Karnataka state. A large area of this district is ‘malnad’, i.e., a largely forested hilly region of heavy rainfall. The district takes its name from the headquarters town of Chickmagalur which literally means younger daughter’s town – Chikka + Magala + Ooru (in Kannada). It is said to have been given as a dowry to the younger daughter of Rukmangada, the legendary chief of Sakrepatna.
Another part of the town bestowed on the elder daughter is known as Hiremagalur. But some old inscriptions reveals that these two places were known as Kiriya-muguli and Piriya-muguli. Situated in a fertile valley south of the Baba-Budan hill range is the headquarters town of the district. A centre of education, trade and commerce.
The town enjoys a salubrious climate and has venerated monuments of all religions- Kodandarama temple a synthesis of Hoysala and Dravidian styles of architecture, Jamia Mosque and the new St.Joseph’s Cathedral with an attractive shell shaped portico. Hiremagalur which is now part of Chickmgalaur town has an Ishwara temple with a 1.22 metre high curious rotund figure of Jademuni. The temple also has a Yoopastambha supposed to be installed by King Janamejaya during his serpent sacrifice. There is also a Parashurama temple and a Kali shrine.
Chikmagalur has several historical monuments and places of interest like the Kodandarama Temple, which is a synthesis of the Hoysala and Dravidian styles of architecture, the Jamie Mosque and the new St.Joseph’s Cathedral which has a shell shaped portico. The Ishwara Temple at Hiremagalur, which is now part of Chikmagalur town, is well-known for the 1.22 metre high figure of Jademuni.
The Lakkavalli dam on the river Bhadra and Yagachi dam near Belur not only meets all the requirements of the people of the district but also supports the local ecosystem. Coffee, tea, paddy, arecanuts and spices are the major agricultural products.
The headquarters of the famous Coffee Day is located in Chikmagalur. The region is also known as Coffee Land since coffee in India was initially grown here and is the site of a Coffee Research Station, the first in Asia.
Chikmagalur is surrounded by unending high hills, waterfalls and rivers like the Bhadra, Hemavathi, Tunga, Netravathi and Vedavathi and wild life. Being a hill station at an altitude of 3,400 ft in the Sahyadri Mountains of the Western Ghats it has a pleasant climate. .
The nearest airport to Chikmagalur is Mangalore airport, 170km from Chikmagalur. Bangalore airport is 250km away.
Chikmagalur is not reachable by train from other Indian cities. However Kadur, at a distance of 40km is the closest railway station. For train timings and on-line reservations (within India) visit the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation’s website