Shimoga is a town in Karnataka State. The name is a corrupted form of Shiva-mukha i.e, face of Lord Shiva. In 2006, the local government renamed Shimoga as Shivamogga.
Shimoga can be reached by train from Bangalore or Mysore. The train starts off from Bangalore late every night at 11.40 PM and reaches Shimoga station in the next day early morning. If you can rush out of the station soon, you'll be lucky to hit the city service bus (auto-rickshaws are also available) which will take you to the main bus terminus from where you can take buses to other places e.g. Saagar, Talaguppa etc. Also there is raliway station link bus to Sagar at the time of arrival of train at Shimoga Railway station
There are ample buses from the state capital Bangalore during day as well as night time. There are various classes of buses which one can take as per their wallet size. It takes nearly 7 hours by bus and it traverses through Tumkur, Tiptur, Arsikere, Kadur, Tarikere and Bhadravati before reaching Shimoga bus terminus.
Shimoga as such does not have many places to look around since it is the district headquarters. But it consists of many smaller towns and is one of the greenest districts. Hiring a cab is not a bad idea though, but the better choice is try to catch a person who can take you around.
Autos are not metered, and the minimum fare is Rs. 20 for intra-city distances.
The list is huge:
- Lion and Tiger Safari is around 11 km from city bus stand on the way to Sagar town.
- Gajnur dam which is around 10Km from city center.
- Jog falls which is around an hour and half from Shimoga, water falls down in four different streams named as Raja, Rani, Rocket and Roarer.
- Thirthalli, a small laid-back taluk headquarters .
- Agumbe, the 'Cheerapunji of Karnataka' gets the state's highest rainfall, is around 2 Hrs away from Shimoga, is an amazing village known for its forest resource, sunset spots, trekking passes, lakes, mountains. This one is a must see.
- Linganamakki dam, very close to Jog falls.
- Kodachadri, A glorious and enchanting mountain provides the perfect escape from the hectic pace of the hum drum of everyday life. Paradise for trekkers, the place attracts lot of trekkers around Karnataka state. Kodachadri is situated at 1411 ft above sea level and 115 kms from shimoga city. A beatific hill abode that overlooks the panoramic Western Ghats. It is clothed with splendid evergreen forests. The first portion of the hill is very steep and difficult to ascend. On the west, the hill descends almost perpendicular for about 4026 ft, meeting the South Kanara forests that lie below. The sea appears quite close, and on clear day, you can also see the ships go by. The famous temple town of Kollur is 12 Kms away. The steep hills challenges the trekkers for a adventurous trekking experience.
- Shivappanayaka's fort at Nagara.
- Sharavathi Wild Life Sanctuary.
- Kavaledurga - Fort of Shivappanayaka very close to Thirthahalli.
- Elephant Training Camp-Sakrebayalu Sakrebayalu Elephant Camp On the way to Thirthahalli from shimoga, 14 kms away from the city you can hear elephants reciting their lessons. Yes its not a joke its fact that you can find here many elephants being trained by training professionals. Elephant from the adjoining forests bathe at this spot before they re-enter their forest abode. Every morning these majestic creatures waddle down to waters and after playfully cleansed their bodies and satiated their thirst, they leave the waters before the rays of the sun get stronger. They are off to deal with their day's routine only to return the following day. To catch a glimpse of these mammoths at play in the waters, get there before 9 a.m.
- 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 .
- 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.
- Honnemaradu Honnemaradu, a haven for water sports, is tucked away in the lush greenery of the Western Ghats along the Sharavati backwaters near Sagar. Encompassing an area of 50 km by 80 km, this reservoir stretches as far as the eye can see. One of the few places that cater exclusively to water sports, Honnemaradu or “Golden Lake” has some of the most spectacular views of the sunrise and sunset.
Deep in a forest, without the slightest trace of civilisation, Honnemaradu is a haven for die-hard outdoors fanatics as well as those who want a complete break from the City. Some of the water sports activities here include coracling, canoeing, kayaking and wind rafting. There are many travel groups who organizes Island camping and water sports.
- 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.
- Shivappa Nayak Palace 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.
- Sacred Heart 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 a prayer hall with a capacity to hold 5000 people at a time.
- Bhadravathi Bhadravathi,a town in the South Indian state of Karnataka is abt 20 Kms from Shimoga. There are many buses to this place and also many taxis available.
Lakshmi Narasimha temple built by Hoysalas in the 13th century is located in Bhadravathi. This beautiful Hoysala Architecture temple is currently maintained by the Archaeological Department of the Karnataka state. This temple is dedicated to Lord Narasimha (incarnation of Lord Vishnu). Bhadravathi is around 20 km from Shimoga in Karnataka. Bhadravathi is also known as steel town as there is one huge steel factory called Vishweshwaraya Iron and Steel Limited (VISL), earlier known as Mysore Iron and Steel Limited. There is a Dam called Bhadra River Project(BRP) which is located 15 Kms from Bhadravathi. It is a very beautiful sunset point.
- kuppalli birth palce of renown kannada poet kuvempu . 18 kms from thirthahally.
a must see place for its natural surroundings and well kept house of malnad architecture.
Nature Photography and Hiking are the best things to do in this district which houses a plethora of waterfalls, trekking passes, mountains, viewpoints, and hill stations. Also it is home to a large variety of wild animals, butterflies, moths, snakes, and insects.
Those interested in a very different culinary experience can visit one of the local temples for lunch. (See suggested day trip below)
Kudali Sangama-14 Kms from Shimoga where Tunga and Bhadra rivers merge. It also has a branch of the Sringeri Math, Chintamani Narasimha Temple, a rare Brahma temple and inscriptions on stones. There is no shade for visitors and it is also like a Land's End since two rivers are meeting, hence, even though people specifically come to this place, there is no place for them to linger on. It is called Kudali Sangama and not to be confused with Kudalasangama, as otherwise this place will show up in all searches for Kudalasangama and add to confusion.
A suggested day trip is Jog Falls - Varadahalli - Ikkeri - Lion & Tiger safari
Jog Falls is about 90 kms from Shimoga. This is the highest waterfalls in India and during the monsoons the 4 jets of water named Raja, Rani, Rocket, and Roarer gush in full strength. It takes the better part of 2 hours to climb down and a little more to climb back up. A trail of approx. 1400 steps has been constructed from the top of Jog Falls till the bottom. Though it eases the descent and ascent greatly, it can be quite tiring and exhausting. Its always advisable to carry a water bottle (though refreshments are available till a point) and some snacks when going to the bottom.
Varadahalli is a small hamlet that is off the main road near the town of Sagar. This is the place where Guru Sri Sridhara Swamy meditated for salvation. There is a temple here and like most other temples in the region, free lunch is provided at a communal dining hall every day to all visitors between 1230 - 1400 hrs. The fare is a simple vegetarian meal consisting of rice with rasam, sambar, and buttermilk. Although the lunch is free, donations are recommended (Rs. 50 per person is adequate). Note that local traditions require all people to remove their footwear before entering the dining hall, and for all males to remove the shirts at the time of lunch. Also, the seating is on the floor and there are no tables or chairs.
Ikkeri is best visited on the way back from Varadahalli and has an approx. 500 year beautiful old stone temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Lion and Tiger Safari is around 12 Km from the Shimoga bus terminus. Not a safari in the true sense of the word because the lions and tigers are housed in fenced enclosures and a sighting is guaranteed. The park also has a mini zoo housing hyenas, bears, porcupines, pythons, and alligators. Entrance is Rs. 6, cameras Rs. 50 (video cameras Rs. 150) and safari bus ticket Rs. 30. Unlike some other tourist spots in India, the charges here are the same for Indian and foreign nationals.
- Patrode - a special dish made of colocasia, a.k.a. elephant ears
- Jackfruit buns (Halasina hannina kadubu)
- Jackfruit pancake (Halasina hannina dose)
- Jackfruit oildip (Halasina hannina mulka)
- Tender mango chutney (maavina kaai chutney)
- Rice pancake (neer dose or bari akki dose)
- Kadubu(therthahalli kadubu is famous for non-veg, it is made by rice powder)
- Hal garige (this is also a very tasty snack, and is made from milk and rice powder)
There is no nightlife in Shimoga. A few bars may be found in the commercial areas only.
- Hotel Jewel Rock Durgigudi Road,Shimoga
- Meenakshi Bhavan Hotel BH Road.
- Hotel Mathura Residency Mathura Arcade,Balraj Urs Road,Shimoga
- Hotel Sundar Ashraya Thirthahally Road,Shimoga
- Tirumal Lodge Park Extension,Shimoga
- Hotel Ashok Delux Shimoga
- Hotel Surya Comforts Shimoga
- Hotel Sanman Lodge Garden Area, 3rd Cross Nehru Road, Shimoga
- Hotel Durga Lodge Shimoga
- Hotel Chandrika Lodge Shimoga
- Hotel M.G. Palace Shimoga
- Ramakrishna Lodge Shimoga
- Vihangama Holiday Retreat Bharathipura Post, Thirthahalli Taluk, Shimoga Dist. 577432 4 km from Thirthahalli on Highway 13 towards Shimoga 08181 - 228211 / 227025 http://www.vihangamaholidayretreat.com A family run resort in the middle of the Western Ghats on the bank of river Tunga.
- Hotel Heritage Opp Railway Station, B.H.Road, Bhadravathi 08282-269994
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