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Tour Package: Inbound Tours > Unique Destinations > Chickmagalur Serai

The Serai – Hotel & Spa, Chickmagalur (Karnataka)

Chikmagalur :

Chikmagalur is a district in Karnataka where 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. The hill stations, the waterfalls, the historical temples and the wildlife sanctuaries make this region a tourist paradise. It is alternatively spelled Chikkamagaluru, which literally means ‘The town of the younger daughter’ in the native Kannada language. The town is said to have been given as a dowry to the younger daughter of Rukmangada, the legendary chief of Sakrepatna and hence the name. Indeed, there is a town called Hiremagaluru - ‘the town of the elder daughter’ - about 5 km from Chikmagalur.

The district head quarters of Chikmagalur district is 250 km from the state capital Bangalore, and surrounded by the Baba Budan Giri hills and dense forests. Mullayanagiri, at 1926 meters above sea level, is the highest point in the state of Karnataka.


Chikmagalur is where the Hoysala rulers started their dynasty. Legend has it that the founder of the Hoysala dynasty, killed a legendary tiger, forever immortalized on the Hoysala crest. Coffee was first introduced in India from here, when the first coffee crop was grown in the Baba Budan Giri Hills during 1670 AD. Saint Baba Budan on his pilgrimage to Mecca travelled through the seaport of Mocha, Yemen where he discovered coffee. Strapping seven coffee beans around his belly, he returned to India and planted them on the hills of Chikmagalur, now named Baba Budan Hills in his honour.


55 km north of Chikmagalur; height of 1,434 meters; thick forests and a salubrious climate through the year. Ensconced by the Baba Budan Giri range and blessed with mountain streams and lush vegetation. Beautifully laid out ornamental gardens, enchanting mountain views and spectacular sunsets. Great for treks; has peaks to scale and jungle paths to explore.

Kallathigiri Falls: 10 km from Kemmangundi; also known as Kalahasti falls; 122 meters high; close by is an old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, constructed in a gap between rocks.

Hebbe Falls: 10 km from Kemmangundi; 168 meters high; Two-stage cascade forming Dodda Hebbe (Big Falls) and Chikka Hebbe (Small Falls).

Mullayanagiri 16 km from Chikmagalur; a part of the Baba Budan Giri Hill Ranges; 1930 meters above sea level; tallest peak in Karnataka; spectacular sunset views; great for trekking, right up to the peak even; the small hillock in the temple compound at the top is the highest point in Karnataka. Datta Peetha (Baba Budan Giri)

North of Chikmagalur; has one of the highest mountain peaks between the Himalayas and the Nilgiris. The peak takes its present name from the Muslim saint, Baba Budan, who resided here more than 150 years ago.

Manikyadhara Falls: Manikyadhara Falls is a waterfall near Datta Peetha.

Guru Dattatreya Bababudanswamy Dargah: On the Baba Budan Giri; Imam Dattatreya Peetha venerated by the Hindus and the Muslims alike; laterite cave believed to have been stayed in by Dattatreya Swami and Hazrat Dada Hayat Mir Khalander.

Sringeri 90 km west of Chikmagalur, on the banks of Tunga; Vedic Peetha established by Sri Adi Shankara, exponent of the Advaita philosophy in 9th Century A.D.; famous for Vidyashankara Temple originally constructed by the Hoysalas and later completed by the founders of the Vijayanagar Empire, and Sharada temple, an early 20th. century addition. In the Vidya Shankara shrine, there are 12 zodiac pillars, which are so constructed that the rays of the sun fall on the pillar corresponding to the month. Horanadu 100 km southwest of Chikmagalur; has an ancient Annapoorneshwari Temple, now called Adi-Shaktyatmaka Shri Annapoorneshwari.


67 km north of Chikmagalur; known for the Amritheshwara temple built in 1196 A.D by Amriteshwara Dandanayaka, a general of the Hoysala ruler Veera Ballala II.


29 km southeast of Chikmagalur, 10 km north west of Halebidu; famous for ornate temple of Veeranarayana temple and the Udbhava Ganapathi temple.

Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary

495 sq.km wildlife sanctuary and Project Tiger reserve; the huge reservoir here is the main water supply to several districts in the rain shadow regions of south Karnataka; forests rich in bamboo and birds species unique to both the Malabar and Sahyadri ranges.

Chickmagalur-Serai Chickmagalur-Serai
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