A small town lying in the Malnad area of the Western Ghats is Sakleshpur which is famous for its cool climate, coffee plantation, areca, cardamom and pepper gardens. All the crops grown here are expensive and contributes significantly to the nation’s economy. Some of the nearby cities from where tourists flock to Sakleshpur for a memorable weekend getaway include Bangalore, Mangalore and Chennai. Let’s have a look at some of the tourist’s places to visit in Sakleshpur and things to do when you are in the town.
Best Tourist Places to Visit in Sakleshpur and Things to Do
Manjarabad Fort is one of the best places to visit in Sakleshpur that lies at an altitude of 3240 ft above sea level. The fort was built like a star-shaped palace by Tipu Sultan and displays Islamic architectural style. Although the trek trails to the top of the Fort is a bit difficult, it offers a spell-bounding view of the entire Western Ghats. It is believed that Sakleshpur received its name when Hoysalas ruled and discovered a broken Shivalinga. Today, the fort is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India since it boasts beautiful views including the Arabian Sea on a clear sky day.
Another must-visit place in Sakleshpur is Sakleshwara Temple which is popular for organising Rath Yatra every year. The temple is just 1.5 km away from the town bus stand and is regarded to be the oldest structure in the place. Built between the 11th and 14th centuries, the temple is dedicated to the Hemavathy River and Lord Shiva. The temple walls are carved in Hoysala architecture style that can be dated back to 600 years. Many devotees visit this place during the Rath Yatra event every year to participate in the parade with Nandihwaja, Dholu Kunitha, Drums, and Marshavadya while the devotees offer fruits, flowers and camphor.
Bisle Reserve Forest
The Bisle Reserve Forest is 65 km away from the town and is a popular biodiversity region. The forest looks spectacular especially during the monsoon season. This trekkers paradise is popular among bird watchers as well since many migratory birds can be spotted during different seasons of the year. Bisle Ghat in the forest attracts many tourists and constitutes one of the best places to visit in Sakleshpur.
Agni Gudda Hill
Agni Gudda Hill is popular for the Agani Peak also known as the fiery mountain for its volcanic nature. The peak can be accessed by a small 3 km trek from a village nearby. Once you reach the peak, you can get a mesmerising view of green lands and plains that are covered with paddy fields. If you like camping or picnicking, Agni Gudda Hill is perfect for you. Some of the adventurous activities organized by the village include trekking and camping. You can also visit Manjarbad Fort while trekking where many South Indian movies have been shot.
This 20 ft high waterfall is a must to visit place in Sakleshpur that is nestled amidst lush green hillock and valley. Manjehalli Waterfall is also known as Abbi Falls by the locals and is mostly visited by tourists during monsoon season. Though, you must be careful during that time since the rocks near the waterfall becomes quite slippery. While you trek from Manjehalli village to reach this waterfall, you may find many coffee gardens and abundant flora that produces enchanting aroma in the environment. From the hilltop, you can view the Pushpagiri mountains forest area long with beautiful valleys surrounding the hills.
Kukke Subramanya Temple
One Hindu temple located in Karnataka near Sakleshpur is the Kukke Subrahmanya temple dedicated to Lord Kartikeya. The deity is worshipped here as the Lord of serpents named Lord Subrahmanya. In the heart of village Subrahmanya, Kukke Subramanya temple is one of the places to visit near Sakleshpur that is surrounded by lush green on all its sides. From the temple, you can envisage the majestic Kumara Parvatha mountain that adds to the mystical charm of the place.
Pandavar Gudda is a famous place to visit in Sakleshpur also known as Betta Byraveshwara Temple from where the trek to Jenukallu Peak starts. The peak is also known as the Honey Stone Mountain from where an 8 km trek towards Jenukal starts that treat trekkers eyes with coffee plantations, Arabian Sea views and lush greenery. Some of the popular peaks that you will visit during your trek are Kumara Parvata, Sheshaparvata and Ettina Bhuja. Although the trekking trails are smooth to climb, you must avoid going there during monsoons when the path can be slippery and risky.
Temples of Belur and Halebid
Earlier known as Velapuri, Belur is only 37 km away from Sakleshpur. The town has ancient monuments inscribed in an ancient language with magnificent temples making the place known as Dakshina Varanasi or South Varanasi. You must visit the Hoysala temples that are carved with beautiful artwork and metalwork such as Lord Vishnu and Chennakesava images. The Chennakesava temple overlooks the Yagachi River and was built during Cholas reign in 1117 CE. The Belur temple has Madanikas or sculptures depicting ancient mythology and stories from Upanishads, Ramayana and Mahabharata. The temple has 48 pillar which includes Darpana Sundari, Narshima Pillar and Shantaladevi bracket figures carved in the ceiling.
Halebid is another famous place to visit from Sakleshpur for having Hoysaleshwara temple along with Kedareshwara temple built in 1121 AD. The city was named Halebidu after Malik Kafur invaded the place. The Hoyasaleshwara temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Vishnuvardhana’s minister Ketumalla. You will find Chalukya style architecture in the temple along with sculptures and panels resembling Hoysala architecture style which includes carvings made of lion, elephant and Makara.
Located only 10 km away from Sakleshpur, Raxidi Estate is a place where various kinds of spices and coffee are cultivated. You can take a tour around the coffee and spice gardens which fills the air with aromatic fragrances. You can interact with the local people or farmers to know more about the plantations and how the crops are cultivated or to taste freshly brewed coffee.
One must visit place in Sakleshpur is the Hemavathi River which originates from the Western Ghats. The river is a tributary flowing from the Kaveri River and flows towards the eastern side of Sakleshpur town. The river is popular among adventure seekers since many sports activities are organised here such as banana boat riding, kayaking, rope crossing, swimming and boating. The bank of the river is ideal for picnicking also since the area is surrounded by lush greenery from all sides. Beside the river, you must visit the old Brahma Temple built in the 12th century. The temple is believed to have hidden gems and is carved with beautiful architecture. This place makes furniture with coffee trees which itself is a fascinating fact about the area. Apart from it, the Hemavathy Reservoir and a dam called Gorur Dam is worth visiting which looks majestic with gushing waters.