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.
21 Best Places To Visit In Shimoga
If you’re planning to visit this scenic land any time soon, make sure you have an idea of where to head to and what to explore in here! Check out this list of top places to visit in Shimoga to make your trip more exciting and thrilling.
- Jog Falls – Jaw-Dropping Beauty
- Kodachadri – For Stunning Views And Endemic Wildlife
- Dabbe Falls – The Gushing Beauty
- Kundadri – A Sight To Behold
- Agumbe – The Picturesque Village Of Malgudi Days
- Keladi – Featuring Relics Of Keladi Rulers
- Ikkeri – A Picturesque And Pristine Place
- Gudavi Bird Sanctuary – A Lakeside Haven For Birds
- Sakrebailu Elephant Camp – Paradise For Animal Lovers
- Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary – A Never-Ending Delight
- Tyavarekoppa – A Magical Place
- Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary – Ideal For Nature Lovers
- Gajanur Dam – Full-Package Place
- Barkana Falls – Watch The Water Gushing Down
- Onake Abbi Falls – Not-To-Be-Missed Place
- Shivappa Nayaka Palace Museum – Explore The History
- Sacred Heart Church -The Second-Largest Church In India
- Hosahalli – Culturally Deeply-Rooted Village
- Mattur – The Twin Village Of Hosahalli
- Nagara Fort – Marvel At The Architecture
- Kunchikal Falls – Watch The Natural Beauty
1. Jog Falls – Jaw Dropping Beauty
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. This is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Karnataka.
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. Apart from this, there are several tourist places near Jog Falls that you can explore on your expedition.
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 trek 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, Agumbe village 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.
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6. Keladi – 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!
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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. You must try one of the most serene places to visit in Shimoga, Karnataka! This is amongst the most visited bird sanctuaries in Karnataka.
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
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. This is among the best wildlife sanctuaries in India.
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
11. Tyavarekoppa – A Magical Place
Started in the year 1998, the renowned Tiger and Lion Safari in Tyavarekoppa has made it a well-known picnic spot for all kinds of travelers. You can get to spot several wildlife species here including lions, tigers, deer, sloth bear, and leopards. With a small canteen, zoo and a children’s park on board, this place is perfect for a day-time outing. This is surely one of the best places to visit in Shimoga town!
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12. Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary – Ideal For Nature Lovers
Your Shimoga sightseeing tour might stay incomplete if you skip this beautiful bird sanctuary. It is small island that is nestled on the banks of River Tunga. If you are the kind of person who likes to explore places that reek of peace then this is the best place to explore in Shimoga. If you want to get the best experience then you must plan a visit to this place in the months from July to October. During these months, you will get to see a plethora of migratory birds like egret, darter, and snake-bird. This is one of the most beautiful Shimoga tourist places.
Location: National Highway 13, Mandagadde, Karnataka 577220
Opening hours: 7 am – 7 pm
13. Gajanur Dam – Full-Package Place
Another one on the list of tourist places in Shimoga is Gajanur Dam which is a perfect picnic spot. You get a mesmerizing view of the River Tunga and the dam too. Moreover, there is also an elephant camp where these animals are trained and if you love these creatures then you can meet them and spend some quality time. You will find nature lovers, animals lovers, and several photographers exploring these places and getting best shots.
Location: Shimoga, Karnataka
14. Barkana Falls – Watch The Water Gushing Down
Who would want to miss a breathtaking view when in Shimoga? No one right? So, make sure that you explore Barkana Falls as it is counted among the top tourist places in Shimoga. The name of this falls is derived from ‘barka’ which means a mouse deer which is a shy creature found in this region only. To reach the falls, you will have to opt for a small trek that goes through a dense forest. The best time to explore this place is after the monsoon season when the place is buzzing with life.
Location: Agumbe, Shimoga District, Karnataka
15. Onake Abbi Falls – Not-To-Be-Missed Place
Agumbe, located in Shimoga district, is a paradise for trekkers as nature lovers as it is famous for its tourist attractions one of which is Onake Abbi Falls. To reach the scenic spot, you will have to trek for 4-5 kilometers which can be covered easily due to the smooth way. While exploring the trail you will get to witness the rich flora and fauna of Shimoga. Once you rich the spot, you will get to see water cascading down from a height of 500 feet which will definitely make you go wow!
Location: SH1, Agumbe, Karnataka 576112
16. Shivappa Nayaka Palace Museum – Explore The History
This popular attraction is located on the shore of River Tunga which was established in the 16th century. The palace was built on the orders of Shivappa Naik and it is constructed with rosewood which is why it is listed in the top places to see in Shimoga. While exploring this place, you will find an in-house museum that tells a lot about this palace, that too, in detail. You will also get to witness amazing stone carvings and other belongings that belong to that period.
Location: Double Road, SPM Rd, Lashkar Mohalla, KR Puram, Shivamogga, Karnataka 577202
Opening hours: 10 am – 5 pm (Closed on Monday)
17. Sacred Heart Church -The Second-Largest Church In India
Tired of exploring waterfalls in Shimoga? Well then, check out this religious place here which is recorded as the second-largest church in India. This Catholic church is sprawled in an area of 18,000 sp ft. and it is a fine instance for the commendable architecture that is a blend of Gothic and Roman styles. The prayer hall is huge which can accommodate around 5,000 people. The showstopper is the idol of Jesus Christ which entices several tourists every day to this church.
Location: BH Rd, Tank Mohalla, Shivamogga, Karnataka 577201
18. Hosahalli – Culturally Deeply-Rooted Village
You might not be aware of this fact but Hosahalli is the only place in the world where people speak in the Sanskrit language on a daily basis. Moreover, the villagers speak in a local dialect called Sanketi which is an amalgamation of Sanskrit, Kannada, and Tamil. Hosahalli was earlier a part of the great empire, Vijayanagara, which is home to several temples. If you want to experience something out-of-the-world then you must visit this village and its twin place, Mattur.
Location: Shimoga District, Karnataka
19. Mattur – The Twin Village Of Hosahalli
A Shimoga sightseeing tour is incomplete without exploring the twin villages – Hosahalli and Mattur. Alike Hosahalli, it is the Sanskrit language that rules here which is why you will find people speaking it on a daily basis. While exploring this place, you will get to know that Vedas are taught in the local schools. Moreover, there are a few tourist attractions like Mattur lake which adds to the beauty of this village.
Location: Shimoga District, Karnataka
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20. Nagara Fort – Marvel At The Architecture
Are you fond of forts and ruins that are a reminiscence of history? Well then, Shimoga will not disappoint you as it is home to Nagara Fort which built on a small hill and overlooks a pristine lake. Till date, the fort has a developed and working water system. While exploring the fort, you will find a Darbar Hall and a tank called Akka Thangi Kola. If you wish to explore the top places to see in Shimoga then you must visit Nagara Fort on your vacation.
Location: SH 52, Nagara, Karnataka 577425
21. Kunchikal Falls – Watch The Natural Beauty
If you are traveling on the Shimoga-Udupi highway, then you must make a pit stop to explore Kunchikal Falls which is counted among the highest waterfalls in India. You might not get to see the waterfall straight and first have to make your way through the dense forest. Once you see the waterfall amidst the greenery, it is sure to leave you spellbound. The force of these falling waters is used to generate electricity as there is a hydro-electric plant constructed here.
Location: Nidagodu village, near Masthikatte, Shimoga district, Karnataka
If you’re planning to spend your upcoming weekend in Shimoga, these are the places you must see. Plan a trip to Karnataka for an amazing holiday experience in the land of blissful vibes with your loved ones! Let us help travelers find more places to visit in Shimoga by commenting in the section down below.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In Shimoga
A. Situated in the Western Ghats in Karnataka, Shimoga was declared as the World Heritage site in 2012 due to its bucolic beauty that is untouched by industrialization. It is famous for its rainfalls that are scattered everywhere.
A. Some of the best places to visit in Shimoga are Jog Falls, Dabbe Falls, Keladi, Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, and Mashugiri Fort that you cannot afford to miss.
A. This tourist destination in Karnataka is famous for its sandalwood, sarees with kasuti work, and rosewood carvings.
A. Some of the best treks in Shimoga that you can indulge in are Agumbe Rainforest Trek and Kodachadri trek.
A. One can a flight to Shimoga Airport that is just 20 minutes away from the city or can even book a seat on the Bangalore-Shimoga train express if you are in Bangalore.
A. Shimoga or Shivamogga means Shiva-Mukha which means ‘Face of Shiva’.
A. Jog Falls is located 106 kilometers away from Shimoga which can be covered in a few hours by car.