Shimoga, also commonly known as Shivamogga, is one of the most stunning places to see in Karnataka. Since it’s the gateway to the Western Ghats, Shimoga is also known as the ‘Gateway to Malnad’ (‘malnad’ meaning the hills). Shimoga is the cultural capital of Karnataka, as well as a natural paradise. From coconut plantations, green paddy fields to dense jungles, scenic waterfalls, and incredible flora and fauna, there’s tons to experience here.

Begin your tour of Shimoga with Kodachadri, a mountain peak and a natural heritage site. It’s among one of the highest peaks in Karnataka; and a view of the peak from Kollur Mookambika Temple is absolutely breath-taking. The grassy hillocks and great altitude truly make it the crowning jewel of the Western Ghats. Rich in biodiversity, this region is home to many endemic species of fauna such as the Indian rock python, langur and a huge variety of birds.

If you wish to experience nature in its purest form in Shimoga, Honnemaradu, a vibrant town, is the place for you. One of the highlights of Honnemaradu is its lake, from where you can witness one of most spectacular sunsets. You can also indulge in adventure sports here such as kayaking, canoeing and rafting.

Jog Falls, is an absolute must visit too. In fact, to experience nature in its most unadulterated form, you have to experience this gushing waterfall, surrounded by lush greenery. What makes Jog Falls unique is the fact that it is the second highest waterfall in India, cascading down from a height of 253 feet. Its origins is the Sharavathi river.

In case you want to spend some leisurely time among endearing elephants, visit Sakrebailu, an elephant camp and resting place. The elephants saunter here from the nearby regions for a delicious snack or a dip in the cool waters of Tunga river. To witness the elephants splashing water all around is a sight to behold. Sakrebailu Elephant Camp is open only for few hours in the morning, usually from 8am to 11am.