Shimoga or Shivamogga is indeed a paradise. I had the chance to visit the place not once but twice. Once when I was a kid and one in recent years. This place is what we call perfect heaven for wanderlusts like some of us. The picturesque nature, fabulous waterfalls and some historical significance temples across the area are the real attraction of the place. Shimoga is a city located in the central part of the Indian state of Karnataka. It is roughly located 267 kilometers from Bangalore, the capital city.
Here at India Imagine, I share my experience and the places I visited in Shimoga.
First of all, do you know what really Shimoga means? It means Shiva’s Face, and the name didn’t happen by chance. There is a mythical story behind the name. It was just that Lied Shiva once drank water from the water of the Tunga river directly using his mouth. That’s how the name came into existence.
The city is blessed with immensely fertile soil which paved ways for several pulses, rice grains and vegetables to grow in the land. The nickname the breadbasket of Karnataka thus suits it better!
Apart from this, Shimoga attracts tourists all over the country due to its lush green nature and unique destinations. During my stay, I visited most of the places across Shimoga among which there are 7 famous and fabulous must-visit ones. Stay with me to know more…
Visit the famous Jog fall and fall in love
Jog fall is not a new name, all the tourist enthusiasts are aware of this beauty. The Jog fall is situated at the border of Shimoga and nearly a two hours drive from the heart of the city. I hired a cab from Shimoga to reach the magnificent falls. When at last I reached the destination I was wonderstruck by the beauty of the falls.
Jog fall is the second-highest waterfall in India with almost 253 m dropping. When you visit jog falls you should also visit the nearby spot like Linganamakki Dam and the Tunga Anicut Dam. It merely a day’s trip to watch the Jog fall, but if you are looking forward to staying back for two days or more there are hotels and resorts available for the tourists.
Gudavi Bird Sanctuary a bird watcher’s paradise
Believe me, this place is a must-visit if you are a bird lover or not. The surroundings are surreal with lush green nature and a beautiful lake in the middle. All this attracts a variety of birds, not one or two but nearly 217 species of birds! From the Grey heron to Eurasian Spoonbill you can watch the best available species here. Take a binocular with you to watch these beauties at their best. And of course, don’t forget to carry the best camera with you.
Shivappa Nayaka Palace
In the busy lanes of Shimoga, the Shivappa Nayaka Palace is situated which was once the palace of the king of Keladi Nayaka. This magnificent architectural epitome consists of a two-story building. The beauty of this palace is the big wooden pillars that stand strong against time. Now the palace is house to many antique things from the archeological sites like 12 the century idols of god. As it is situated in the heart of the city you won’t have difficulty in stay or renting a cab to reach or go to other destinations.
Shimoga Zoo and Safari
After the palace visit in the morning and lunch, I headed towards Shimoga Zoo and Safari. I won’t lie, it was not one of the best zoos that I visited, but it was definitely worth a visit if you have kids along with you. A 10 km drive from Shimoga, the zoo lay spread vast almost 250 hectares. There is no specific wildlife present that would captivate the tourists apart from tigers and lions. However, there are a variety of species of birds in that area.
Ikkeri, the fascinating village
The next day I decided to visit the famous little village of Ikkeri in Shimoga. The tiny village is historically significant and has a century-old temple that attracts tourists all over the state. The place was the capital of Keladi Nayaka for nearly 120 years.
However, the place is now famous for the Aghoreshvara temple which is an epitome of architectural beauty. This temple is a part of Ikkeri from the 16th century which the main Shrine is of Lord Shiva. There are few more temples in the vicinity if you prefer to the extent of the stay, if not you need to hire a cab back to other destinations.
Other things that you can try while at Shimoga
Shimoga is best known for some fabulous trekking sites. I, for some reason, didn’t attempt trekking through the mountains and hills of Shimoga, but I would advise you not to miss it. For tourists who are interested in trying an adventure, trekking is the best possible thing.
The places like Kundadri hills not only ensure the best trekking experience but also avail the best site on reaching the too. The scenic view from the top of the hill is mesmerizing. Other popular trekking trails are found in the laps of Agumbe. Also known as Cherrapunji of the South, Agumbe is known for the heavenly sunset points.
How to reach Shimoga?
Shimoga can be reached by road and it’s easy if you are staying nearby Shimoga or within the state. But for the tourists from other states, Shimoga has a nearby Railway station that connects almost all main states and cities. Mangalore Airport is the nearest international airport for people around the country and outside it.
My trip to Shimoga was a blissful affair. Shimoga is nature’s magic, a traveler’s paradise and a quest to every wanderlust. This place has everything that we need, wildlife, mountains, temples, archaeological and architectural eminence and not to mention the great jog fall standing tall on the lap of the city. So, don’t hesitate, visit one of the marvelous places in the state of Karnataka.