This district has a profusion of mountains and occupies an area of 7,201 sq km with 10,17,283 people as reported by the 2001 census. The name Chikkamangalooru is shared by both the district and its headquarters which is situated about 251km from Bengalooru with the enchanting Chandradrona Parvatha or Bababudan Hills providing a picturesque backdrop. These hills form part of the unrelenting range of the mighty Western Ghats. The highest peak in Chikkamangalooru reaches an altitude of 1829m above sea level. This district has the honour of being the site of first ever coffee plantation in India thanks to the efforts of the Islamic clergy, Baba budan who sowed the coffee seedlings brought all the way from Mecca, the holy Islamic centre of worship, in the 17th century. It can be seen that the hills has been named in his memory. This picturesque range of mountains brandishes some enthralling waterfalls.
There are also a number of pilgrim spots. The beauty of the Hoysala architecture has permeated through the district. The famous Trikuta Temple is situated in Belvadi in this district. Belvadi also has other wonderful temples. Sringeri is another sacred place. It has one of the four Mutts or Monasteries founded by ‘Jagthguru Sri Adisankara’. The ‘Rasikambas’ or the 12 ‘Zodiac pillars’ at the Vidyasankara Temple testifies the deep astronomical knowledge the ancient people had. There are also other wonderful temples in the district.
The Kalahasthi and the Hebbe waterfalls make excellent picnic spots. These spots are endowed with copious natural beauty. The vast Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary spreading its charms partly over Shivamogga, also attracts a large number of visitors.
Amritapura is about 247km from Bengalooru, this temple known as Amriteswara Temple was built in the 12th century by Amrita Dandabayaka. The entire temple structure reflects the grand architectural style of the Hoysalas and the ground plan is star shaped, another exclusive feature of this architecture. This temple replete with splendid sculpture also has a wonderful image of Goddess Saraswathi, he Goddess of Arts and Learning, in a sitting posture. This temple is also noted as one of the masterpieces of the Hoysala architecture.
This enchanting waterfall is nestled in the picturesque sylvan region of Kemmanangudi which is about 36km from Tarikere and 48km from Chikkamagalooru. This enthralling hill resort on the Chandradrona parvatha or Bababudan Hills is gifted with a variety of flora and fauna. About 8 km from this falls is yet another roaring falls known as the Hebbe falls. The waters here cascade elegantly in two stages making a thunderous dive of about 250 feet in each stage. The higher of these two is called the Doddahabbe meaning ‘Bigger Hebbe’ and the lower, ‘Chikkahebbe’ meaning ‘Smaller Hebbe’. About 30km on this far-reaching range is the holy Dattatreya Peeta, a famous pilgrim spot which combines both the Hindu and Islamic faiths.
The Bababudan Hills is so named because it was here the Islamic clergy of the 17thcentury brought seedlings of coffee from ‘Mecca’ the sacred Islamic centre, and started the first ever coffee plantation in India. Hence, the hills commemorate the Saint Baba-budan.
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
About 75km from Chikkamangalooru city via Tarikere, this 492 sq km expanse of picturesque landscape shared by the adjoining landscape shared by the adjoining district Shivamogga, shelters a wide variety of fascinating flora and fauna. The visitors are greeted by mighty elephants, captivating deers, wild bears and the big cats like the panthers, tigers etc. It is also the asylum of a wide spectrum of reptiles. A large number of exciting birds which belong to various species in classification can also be seen here. This sanctuary can also be reached from Kemmanangudi which is 60km away.