Kemmangundi Chikmagalur Entry Fee
- No Entry Fee
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Kemmangundi Chikmagalur Address: Manchethevaru, Chikmagalur, Karnataka, 577129, India
Located at approximately 1434 meters above sea level, Kemmanagundi is the most popular hill station in Tarikere taluk of Chikmagalur district, known among tourists for the scenic views it offers. It is also known as KR Hills or Krishna Rajendra Hill Station in reference to the king.
The name Kemmangundi is derived from three words, ‘Kempu’ meaning ‘Red’, ‘Mannu’ meaning ‘Soil’ and ‘Gundi’ meaning ‘Pit’ in Kannada. All three put together means a place with red soil. The hill station is lined with mountains and hillocks, ornamental gardens, valleys, waterfalls that are a treat to the eyes and also a photographer’s delight. You may also enjoy sunset from Raj Bhavan, a guest house that offers splendid views of surrounding landscape and mountain ranges.
History of Kemmangundi, Chikmagalur
Kemmanagundi was established as the summer retreat of Maharaja Krishna Raja Wodeyar IV, the 24th Maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore, popularly called ‘Rajarshi’, a name given to him by Mahatma Gandhi for his contributions towards the administrative reforms. The term ‘Rajarshi’ literally means ‘The Sage King’.
The king was evidently in awe of the surrounding hills of Baba Budangiri and wanted a summer retreat built in Kemmanagundi, which he eventually donated to the Government of Karnataka. Since then, the hill station and surroundings as well as the resort have been developed and maintained by the Department of Horticulture, Karnataka.
Entry Fee and Timings of Kemmangundi, Chikmagalur
There is no entry fee to visit Kemmanagundi. The visiting hours for places of interest are between 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM, all days of the week in Kemmanagundi.
Best Time to visit Kemmangundi, Chikmagalur
The duration between the months of September to March is the best time to visit Kemmangundi due to the pleasant weather conditions it offers.
It is recommended to avoid visiting during the monsoon months.
Image Gallery of Kemmangundi Chikmagalur
Places to visit in Kemmangundi, Chikmagalur
1. Hebbe falls: Considered as one of the most enchanting waterfalls in Kemmanagundi, and a part of Bhadra Tiger Reserve, the Hebbe falls cascade down from a height of 168 meters in two folds thereby forming the Dodda Hebbe or the Big falls and the Chikka Hebbe or the small falls.
The trek to Hebbe falls is an 8-kilometer trek from Raj Bhavan. The easiest way to remain on the correct trail while trekking to Hebbe Falls is to follow the electric fence. There is also a temple called Chowdeshwari Mahashakti Devathe enroute the end point of the trek.
It is advised to wear proper trekking shoes and carry water and a backpack for the trek. There are leeches on the trail, and you need to be careful and be fully covered. A permit from the forest authorities is required for the trek and this can easily be obtained at the checkpoint.
2. Kalhatti falls: Also known as Kallathigiri falls, the Kalhatti falls is located at a deviation on the road to Tarikere from Kemmangundi and is believed to be associated with the famous sage Agastya as he had found a pilgrim here. The Kalhatti falls is also known for its famous Veerabhadreshwara temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and built according to the Vijayanagara architecture with three elephants carved at the entrance of the temple.
Among the various flora, the region around Kalhatti falls is abundant in cardamom trees and various other tropical greens and shrubs.
3. Z Point: As the name goes, Z point is a vantage point at 1500-meter ASL in Kemmanagundi offering spectacular views of the western ghats, especially during sunrise and sunset. You will need to trek for 3 kilometers to reach the Z point. The trail starts at Raj Bhavan via Shanti falls to Z point. The trail from Raj Bhavan to Shanti Falls is the easy one and post Shanti falls, the trek gets tougher as you will need to cross narrow ridges with deep valleys on one side and steep hills on the other.
4. Shiva Temple, Kemmangundi: A rock cut temple right in the middle of a forest, by the sides of waterfalls, the Shiva temple is revered by the locals and tourists equally. The paintings on the rock walls of the temple are of indigenous art.
5. Rock Garden: The Rock Garden of Kemmangundi is lined with rock cut paths filled with flowers of various species. The garden is maintained by the Horticulture Department of Karnataka.
6. Shanti Falls: Located at a small distance from Raj Bhavan, the Shanti Falls offers greenery and streams around with very few tourists stopping by. So, if you are someone who enjoys being in a less touristy place, you will love this place.
7. Rajendra Hill: Located at 4750 feet above the sea level, the Rajendra hill is known for the extraction and transportation of iron ore from deposits of the hill.
8. Shettihalli Church: A 17th Century gothic cathedral which was abandoned because of the construction of the Hemavathi Dam, the Shettihalli Church is another intriguing place of interest around Kemmangundi.
The church was built by the French missionaries during the 1860s. Now, it is in ruins and has an eerie air in its surroundings even with its beautiful chapel and arches. It is also referred to as the floating church as it remains half submerged in water during the monsoon months and people often use boats to reach here.
9. Amruthapura Village: An interesting place to explore for a person who loves to go unconventional when it comes to travel, the Amruthapura village, a village that houses just 17 houses with a total population of 100 people, is famous for its 11th Century Amrutheshwara temple.
The temple was built in Hoysala architecture with inscriptions of medieval Kannada poetry carved on the clay stones. The traditional houses of the village are a bit of fascination for the tourists visiting here. You can enjoy the local cuisine here and interact with the locals to understand their culture better.
10. Shivgiri trails: A perfect place for adventure sports lovers, the Shivgiri trails, covered with forests of Yemmedoddi, offer quite a few options to indulge in like rock climbing, trekking, coffee plantation trail exploration, ancient forts, and caves, etc. A summit to the 5500 feet Doddabale Siddaragudda peak is also a great adventure that trekking enthusiasts would love to go for.
The fauna population in the wildlife reserve here includes sloth bears, tigers, panthers, wild boars, etc. There is a lake called Madagada Kere in the area where tourists can indulge in kayaking. It is not recommended to visit the Shivgiri trails during the rainy season since the trails become very slippery and are prone to accidents.
11. Ayyanakere lake: Spread across 22 hectares with Shakungiri range in the backdrop, the Ayyanakere lake is one of the largest lakes in Chikmagalur. The lake is open throughout the year for tourists along with other activities like fishing and camping.
Kemmangundi Chikmagalur Travel Tips
The region of Kemmangundi is full of leeches hence cover yourself up by wearing full length pants, high socks, and ankle length boots.
Since the Kemmangundi area is covered in dense forest, it is recommended to have a local guide accompanied or, alternatively, you may note down the emergency contact numbers of Chikmagalur officials in case any emergency arises.
It is highly recommended to carry cash as many places including petrol stations in Chikmagalur do not accept cards and sometimes, the ATM machines in remote areas aren’t reliable either.
Wear a good sturdy pair of trekking shoes to keep you from falling on the rough, moraine filled trails and roads of Kemmangundi. Carry binoculars and camera as you would have sightings of wildlife and rich flora. It is also recommended to carry insect repellants.
Due to inconsistent electricity conditions in Kemmanagundi, you need to carry a powerful torch with you. The torch would also come handy while trekking during early morning hours and late evenings since the trails in Kemmanagundi aren’t marked.
How to reach Kemmangundi, Chikmagalur
By Air: Mangalore International Airport is the nearest airport at 212 kilometers to Kemmangundi. You may hire a cab from the airport to reach Kemmangundi.
The second nearest airport to Kemmangundi is Bangalore International Airport at 298 kilometers. To reach Kemmangundi from Bangalore airport, you may either hire a private cab from top car rental companies in Bangalore or board a state bus to Chikmagalur or Kemmanagundi. The journey from Bangalore to Kemmanagundi by road takes 8 hours.
By Train: The nearest railway station is Tarikere, 20- 30 kilometers from Kemmangundi. You may take a train from Bangalore to Tarikere and further hire a taxi or cab or hop on to a local bus to reach Kemmangundi.
Another nearest station, 35 kilometers from Kemmangundi is Birur. You can board the Jan Shatabdi express from Bangalore to Birur and hire a cab or get into a local bus to reach Kemmangundi.
By Bus from Bangalore: There are air-conditioned luxury buses run by KSRTC from Bangalore to Kadur. You would need to board another bus from Kadur to reach Kemmangundi.
An alternate option by bus is to board a KSRTC bus going to Shimoga and get down at Birur. Hire another bus or a cab from Birur to Kemmangundi.
By Cab: You can hire a cab from top car rental companies in Chikmagalur to reach Kemmangundi easily.
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