Nature is always in full swing in the small and beautiful town of Shimoga. It has been the home of a number of important dynasties and kingdoms. Steeped in rich heritage and culture, this main city of Shimoga District derives its name from the words ‘Shiv-Mukha’ implying ‘Face of Lord Shiva’.
Packed with several marvels of nature in the form of picturesque landscape, gorgeous waterfalls, mystical temples and lush green surroundings, the raw beauty of Shimoga will leave you absolutely enchanted. Blessed with swaying palms and paddy fields, the place has earned itself a nickname of rice bowl as well as the bread basket of Karnataka.
Four rivers namely Sharavathi, Kumudavath, Tungabhadra and Varada make their way into the city, which adds a mystical charm to the region. Pleasant weather, beautiful rolling hills, profusion of areca nuts and endless list of attractions has made this place a must visit for enthusiastic tourists.
Shimoga is an ideal destination for adventure lovers. You can enjoy trekking and river rafting. It is also a perfect destination for wildlife lovers,due to its tiger and lion forest reserve, and Jog Falls. You can go there with your colleagues, family, and friends for a perfect weekend getaway.
How to reach Shimoga?
The nearest International Airport is Mangalore Airport, roughly 195 km from Shimoga city. Shimoga has its own Railway Station named as Shimoga Nagar Railway Station which is connected to the major cities of Karnataka and other states like Mangalore, Hampi, Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai. You can also reach the place via bus. There are frequent buses from Bangalore to Shimoga. You can also hire a taxi to reach Shimoga and you can continue with the same taxi to explore the city.
The nearest International Airport is Mangalore Airport, Mangalore, roughly 195 km from Shimoga city. Frequent flights to various national and international destinations such as Hyderabad, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Kozhikode, Bangalore, and Chennai take off from here. You can hire a taxi from the airport to reach the main town.
You can also take a bus from the main cities in both Karnataka and Maharashtra to reach Shimoga. There are many state transport buses plying on this route. However, the best way to explore Shimoga is to hire a car. You can use the same car to explore the city of Shimoga. You can hire car from various companies that will charge you by the kind of car you hired, the number of days and the kilometers you covered.
With a railway station of its own, Shimoga District is well connected to many major cities in the country. A regular rail service also connects the region to Bangalore directly which is 280 km away. Avail a bus or a taxi from outside the station to commute anywhere in the district.
Commuting Within Shimoga
Shimoga as a town is a small place which also serves as the district headquarters. Commuting within the city is quite easy with taxis, although you might want a guide to explore the place. Auto rickshaw is other option which charges a minimum of Rs. 20 for commuting from one city to another. However, bargaining might come as a useful tact.
Best Time to Visit Shimoga
With seasons rotating, the town of Shimoga sways between dry and wet. Monsoon season hits the town somewhere between June and October and transforms the place into a paradise all refreshed and blooming. The rivers and waterfalls are spurting in full force and present a beautiful sight. It is best to visit the town between the months of July and January.
Summer (April-June) The summer season brings a lot of heat and humidity to the area. The temperature goes as high as 36 degrees Celsius. You won’t be able to enjoy any outdoor activities during this time because it will be too hot.
Monsoon (July-September) Shimoga experiences heavy rainfall during this period. It is not an ideal season to visit Shimoga but if you are willing to take the risk, you can. It won’t be crowded during this period.
Winter (October-March) The winter season forms the best season to visit Shimoga. The torrential rains which wash the place pre-winters add to its beauty. The weather also remains fresh and pleasant during this season.
Places to visit in Shimoga-
One of the most sought after attraction and natural wonder in the region, Jog Falls is located nearly 100 km from Shimoga town. Lying in Sagara, it is the 11th highest waterfall in India created by Sharavathi River.
Mandagadde Bird Sancuary
Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary is a small picturesque island located in the River Tunga nearly 32 km from Shimoga town on the way to Thirthahalli.
Situated about 115 km away from Shimoga town, Kodachadri is a peak in Western Ghats packed full of flora and fauna.
Gudavi Bird Sanctuary
A paradise for bird watchers, Gudavi Bird Sanctuary is spread across an area of nearly 0.75 sq km. The sanctuary is located in the town of Sorab in the proximity of Shimoga on the banks of Gudvi Lake.
Located 12 km from Shimoga en-route Thirthahalli, one can witness a perfect picnic spot in a way of Tunga Dam built over River Tunga. An Elephant Camp where elephants are trained can also be enjoyed there by visitors.