An offbeat and picturesque hill station, Shimoga is the true gem of Karnataka. Bestowed with verdant hills, valleys, thick forests and wildlife, Shimoga speaks of nothing but surreal and scenic beauty. With a pleasant climate and mesmerising sceneries, these best places to visit in Shimoga will make sure you have a refreshing holiday out there. So, check them out first before planning a trip to this hidden wonderland.
Here are the most scenic places to visit in Shimoga
1. Jog Falls – The beauty which will make your jaw drop
Known to be the second highest and tallest un-tiered waterfall in the country, Jog Falls is a delight for all. Located at the border of Shimoga and Uttar Kannada; this waterfall, also known as Jogada Gundi or Gerusoppa falls, is enveloped by dense forests and cascades down the rocky cliffs, from a height of 253 mt. Formed by Sharavathi River, Jog Falls is separated into four parts; Raja, Rani, Rocket and Roarer. The gigantic fall, along with the foamy water and the sound is surely a sight to behold and one of the best places to visit in Shimoga.
Trek down to Watkins platform to enjoy the mesmerising beauty of the cascade or swim in the plunge pool, formed at the base. One can also travel to the backwaters of Sharavati Wildlife Sanctuary, located nearby and try some thrilling water sports like kayaking.
2. Kodachadri – For stunning views and endemic wildlife
If one wishes to witness the beauty of the verdant rolling hills and valleys and widespread flora and fauna; they should visit Kodachadri- one of the most pristine places to visit in Shimoga. This serene and scenic place offers unmatched views of the surrounding and is ideal for trekking and hiking. Located behind Mookambika Devi temple, Kodachadri is endowed with rare and exotic wildlife and bird species like Malabar Langur, Indian Rock Python and Pied Hornbill.
3. Dabbe Falls – The gushing beauty
It will be unfair to skip Dabbe Falls when talking about popular tourist sites in Shimoga. Located in Hosagadde Village; Dabbe Falls is a gushing stream, which plunges down from a height of 110 mtrs. The sound of the fall, lush green environs and serene trek up to the foot of the stream, allure large number of tourists, round the year, particularly during monsoon.
4. Kundadri – A sight to behold
Next, on the list of popular tourist places to see in Shimoga is Kundadri. Located at 3200 feet, this view point offers a nice view of valley and forests. Ideal for picnic and trekking, Kundadri is the current hotspot for adventure lovers, trekkers and nature buffs. An age-old Jain temple is located at the hill top, hence Kundadri is considered to be a holy place amongst the Jainism followers.
5. Agumbe – The picturesque village of Malgudi Days
Agumbe is small and picturesque village in Shimoga, surrounded by lush green rainforests and verdant slopes. Known for most photogenic sunset, Barkana waterfalls and Gopalakrishna Temple, this is truly one of the best places to visit in Shimoga for peace seekers and nature lovers. The place is rightly labelled as ‘Cherrapunji of South’, as it receives heaviest rainfall in southern India.
6. Keladi – The historical place, featuring relics of Keladi rulers
As one of the Shimoga tourist places, Keladi is a complete nirvana for spiritual souls and peace lovers. Known for a beautiful Rameshwara Temple; this place is ideal for a relaxing holiday. The temple is built in Hoysala and Dravida style and dedicated to Lord Rameswara, Lord Veerabhadra and Lord Ganesh. So, if you desire for some peaceful time for meditation and soul searching, you know where to go!
Suggested Read: 15 Amazing Places In India That Deserve More Travelers
7. Ikkeri – A picturesque and pristine place
Another temple town, located close to Shimoga is Ikkeri. Famous for Aghoreshwara Temple, this place boasts of luxuriant surrounding and serenity. Located on a hill top, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and allures tourists for its divine ambience and splendid views of the surrounding valleys. Ikkeri is certainly one of the most charming places to visit near Shimoga, for a refreshing escape from city’s hustle bustles.
8. Gudavi Bird Sanctuary – A lakeside haven for birds
A slice of paradise for ornithologists; Gudavi Bird Sanctuary is a mesmeric and one of the most frequently visited Shimoga tourist places. Resting cosily beside Gudavi Lake, this sanctuary is the habitat of more than 48 species of birds. Plan to visit between June and December and spot varieties of birds like a black headed crane, little grebe, jungle fowl, white headed crane, bittern, Indian shag and white ibis.
Opening hours: 9:00 am to 6:30 pm
9. Sakrebailu Elephant Camp – Paradise for animal lovers
If you are visiting Shimoga with family and kids, plan for Sakrebailu Elephant Camp- one of the must visit places to visit near Shimoga. Located on the Thirthahalli Road, this camp is roughly 14 kms from the main city and can be reached in local buses and private cabs. With over 50 elephants, this camp is an enthralling opportunity to interact with these friendly creatures. Watch the elephants bathing, playing, being fed and trained by Mahouts. In addition, take a herbal garden tour, bird watching tours and indulge in trekking and campfire.
Opening hours: 8:30 am 11:00 am. If you wish to see the elephants bathing, reach the place before 9 in the morning.
Charges: INR 1800/night. This rate includes tent accommodation, all meals, excursions and interactions with elephants.
10. Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary – A never-ending delight for all tourists
Like all other stated above, Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is included in the list of Shimoga places to visit for a quick and refreshing break. Surrounded by the Western Ghats, this wildlife reserve is located at the border of Shimoga and Chikmagalur, on the banks of Bhadra River, hence offers some of the best wildlife sighting experiences. Keep your camera ready, as you can spot tigers, jackals, elephants, panther, spotted deer, sambar, sloth bear, barking deer, crocodiles and snakes any time.
The place is also a home to exotic birds like paradise flycatcher, hornbill, racquet-tailed drongo and butterflies. Along with wildlife, one can also indulge in island camping, trekking, safari and rock climbing in the sanctuary.
Opening hours: 6:30 am to 8:30 am and 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
If you’re planning to spend your upcoming weekend in Shimoga, these are the places you must see. Let us help travelers find more places to see in Shimoga by commenting in the section down below.