Beautiful, serene, and more…. it is difficult to describe this tiny place tucked away at the foothills of the Mullayangiri mountain range (tallest peak in Karnataka according to a basic map given to me). Chilly weather with huge drops of rain made it even more exciting. Naah!! I am not the kind for my spirits to be dampened by the weather (unless it rains at a beach!). The fresh smell of the earth after the first spell of rain combined with the fragrance of coffee grown in this hill station makes it a must-visit place on your travel map.
I explored Chickamagluru in two ways. I tried to absorb the city life. I also surrendered to the natural greenery of this beautiful place. I attempt to divide this blog therefore into 2-3 parts so that you – readers, will not find each blog too cumbersome to read as it is text heavy (fingers crossed).
The city life: Do not expect a typical tourist hotspot here. In fact, I was relieved that there were only some regular shops and coffee centers. It is nice to walk down the lazy lanes observing the vegetable sellers and locals doing their daily tasks.
Eateries: Lovers of the idli wada sambar, dosas, bhajjis, rava idlis, etc. have reasons to rejoice. I am not too sure about the non-vegetarian fare. A reasonably ‘decent’ non-veg place exists near the bus stand but somehow, it did not pique my interest.
I found a simple hotel named as ‘Mayura’ at M.G. road. Hmmmm, I can still trace the fragrance of the modest, aromatic Chickamagluru coffee. I tried the dosas and idli’s and they were too delectable for words. This combined with a hot cup of coffee to wash it down is like the icing on the cake. Yummmm.
If you are on the look-out for North Indian food, then there is a hotel right above Mayura, maintained by the same owners of the South Indian hotel. I happened to eat here when I was late for my dinner. Mind you, don’t go too late if you do not want to be disappointed. I ended up at 9: 30 p.m. and thankfully, the North Indian restaurant was open. This also had a limited food menu as I was a ‘late Kate’. A sign on the walls amused me a lot so sharing the same with you!!
Place to Stay in the Main City:
Hotel Emgee at M.G. road. Decent, clean and affordable. (Was it spelt wrongly as Emgee instead of M.G.? Something to ponder upon!)
You can take an autorickshaw and head ahead of the Shani mandir to explore the hilly side. This serves as quick trip to those short on time and can cost between Rs. 200 – 300. (No, the meter system does not work here. Anyway, since when did auto drivers go by the meter in the cities as well?? Sigh!)
Taxis are available upon request. Children can visit the M.G. park which has a toy train. Coffee lovers must visit the coffee museum ahead of AIT circle.
In my next blog, I will take you on the road that leaves the city behind. Find yourself enveloped in the gorgeous greens of Chikmagluru. Stay tuned to more such fun places around Bangalore or should I say, Bengaluru!
P.S.: Get fresh coffee powder from Panduranga Coffee. Awesome sealed packet which comes with special ‘Aroma Fresh Valve’. All you have to do is press the coffee packet and sniff the fragrance.
Shopaholics: A bit of a disappointment to shoppers like me as you won’t find anything too interesting in fabrics. So save that money for the nature trails. J