Coffee Land of Karnataka – Chikmagalur

Known as ‘the coffee land of Karnataka’, Chikmagalur is decorated with lush green hills, sprawling gardens of coffee and captivating vistas. A beautiful hill retreat in the Mullayanagiri range, Chikmagalur means the town of younger daughter and makes a perfect weekend getaway from Bangalore. This quaint heaven situated in Western Ghats is an ideal choice for trekkers and those who want to seek solitude.

Planning a trip to this charming hill retreat of Karnataka? Here’re the top things to do in Chikmagalur.

1.Kudremukh Trek

Regarded as UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kudremukh National Park is one of the top attraction in Chikmagalur. The trek to Kudremukh is adorned with breathtaking vistas of horse-face hills and verdant valleys. It is considered as the equivalent heaven in South India and being the third highest peak in Karnataka the trek is a bit challenging as well. The charismatic landscape of Kudremukh is what you can’t miss when visiting Chikmagalur.

2.Hebbe Falls

Do you love adventures? Then this place is just perfect for you in Chikmagalur. The thrilling drive through lush green forest from Kemmanagundi to Hebbe Falls is awesome. The area around the waterfall is decorated with splendid coffee plantations. Get away from the hectic lives and rejuvenate in the lap of nature. Hebbe Falls in one of the stunning falls that you can’t miss when in Chikmagalur.

3.Rafting In Bhadra River

The gushing rapids of River Bhadra makes it an ideal place for white water rafting in Chikmagalur. The best and thrilling rapids are found between Magundi to Balehole segment. You can choose to camp by the riverside for an ultimate camping experience. The spectacular landscape of Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is treat to the eyes. If you are an adventure enthusiast, then don’t miss out the rafting activity when in Chikmagalur.

4. Hoysala Temples

Constructed during 11th-13th century, Hoysala Temple circuit is one of the top attraction near Chikmagalur. There are total 92 temples in this circuit but only 3 of them were exquisitely carved. These 3 temples are dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The best time to visit Hoysala Temples is during dawn or dusk as it offers a pleasant break from the urban life. Get mesmerized by the ancient architecture of Somanathapura, Belur and Halebidu Temples.

5. Kalhatti Falls

Kalhatti Falls also known as Kalahasti Falls is believed to be the place where Sage Agastya has prayed for years. The waterfall offers the majestic views of Chandra Drona hills. Right in front of Kalhatti Falls, there is a temple namely Veerbhadra Temple built during the Vijayanagar period. Blessed with the natural beauty, Kalhatti Falls is a must visit place in Chikmagalur for nature and peace lovers.

6. Mullayanagiri

Situated in the Baba Budangiri range of Western Ghats, Mullayanagiri is the highest peak between the Nilgiris and the Himalayas. Offering its visitors with enchanting vistas of nature is adorned with lush green meadows and perfect trekking trail. Popular among adventure lovers, Mullayanagiri is a good place of activities such as mountain biking and road biking. Don’t forget to take prior permission from the Chikmagalur forest department before beginning on this adventurous trek to Mullayanagiri. Get away from the hullaballoos of city life by visiting this place near Chikmagalur.

7. Explore The Coffee Culture

The first coffee plantation in India began from Chikmagalur. Thanks to Baba Budan, a muslim saint who brought few seeds of coffee from Yemen and cultivated here. Most of the accommodations are located amidst sprawling coffee gardens thus giving an amazing opportunity to learn more about your favourite beverage during office hours. Coffee plantation walks are also organised by the owners of these gardens to understand the variety of coffee, seasons and much more.

Explore the coffee land of Karnataka and make memories to cherish for lifetime!

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Contributed by Sahil Singh (Travel Blogger)

Perfect Destination for Christmas Celebration

‘Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle All The Way!’

Just listening to this Christmas carol sends everyone into a jolly and festive mode. The smell of the freshly baked muffins and cakes, the bells, the tree, warm greeting and the Christmas tree, everything sets us grooving to the Christmas tune. India doesn’t celebrate Christmas like the Wild West does, however we have our unique ways or celebrating the spirit of the festival! These are the best places to celebrate Christmas in India. From Shimla’s white Christmas to Kokata’s cheerful “Bada Din” to Goa’s Portuguese influenced festival, there are many ways to soak the Yuletide spirit in India. So, put on your travelling pants and your Santa Cap and experience India differently.


Goa tops the list of places where the Christmas celebration cannot be missed. It is majorly a Christian dominated area and is known for its historical churches and tradition. To top this, it is also one of the favorite spots for year-end parties like Sunburn and Supersonic. But for the locals, this is the time when Goan homes and bakeries make sweets such as Dodol (Coconut and Cashew Nut squares), Neureos (stuffed dry fruit and Coconut balls), Kol-kols and fruit cake. If this year you’re planning to visit Goa during Christmas, get ready to be mesmerized by the ever so creatively decorated houses. In addition, there are family feasts with lavish meals of turkey or chicken, suckling pig, sorpotel and desserts. This food is also offered at some hotels and restaurants such as Hotel Mandovi in Panjim. The festival season officially ends with a service and procession on January 6, or the Feast of the Magi, when three kings came to pay obeisance to the infant Jesus.


The city of joy becomes brighter and livelier during the Christmas season. Being the capital of the British government until 1911, it has a long and vibrant history of celebrating the festival. In Kolkata, reside a sizeable community of Anglo-Indians who celebrate Christmas or ‘Bada Din’ as they call it. The city of joy offers a lot during this festive season, from shimmering lights at the Park Street, mass at St. Paul’s Cathedral and fruitcakes along with other traditional and exotic treats at the oldest bakeries such as Nahoum’s and Flury’s.


Christmas is celebrated with much vigor and zest, here in Mumbai. It is one of the most popular destinations due to its historical value. There are a large number of Christians residing in the city. The midnight mass organized by a vast number of churches is a tradition that’s been followed since ages. Stroll along the lanes of Church Gate, Hill Road and Bandra to witness brightly lit up terrific Christmas trees on the sidewalks. Dash up to make your wish count!


Kerala, God’s own Country, is a great alternate to Goa. Known widely for its clean and beautiful beaches and a large number of churches to visit during the festive season. Kerela is also famous for its backwaters, which come with its own charm. It is a great place to just relax and enjoy the ambience of the houseboats, which proves to be a great way to celebrate a relaxed Christmas.


‘India’s little France’ was once a French colony in India and hence the name. Again, known for the spectacular beaches and traditional churches. Programs in churches such as the ‘Church of our last immaculate conception’ and ‘Basilica of the sacred heart of Jesus Christ’ are what make it stand out from the rest of the places. The sumptuous local cuisine is another reason for you to book one of the Christmas holiday deals for Pondicherry!

Hope you have a blessed festive season and a wonderful New Year! Make sure to pack your bags and head off to these amazing destinations.


4 Off-Beat Places in Uttarakhand

If you hear the call of the mountains – head out to Uttarakhand that promises you nature in all its beauty and serenity. And if a mention of Uttarakhand only conjures up images of Nainital or Mussoorie, then you have a lot more to learn about the picturesque state of Uttarakhand! Yes, this small mountainous state has many beautiful and as yet unknown gems – waiting to be explored. So gear up this summer season and head out into the interiors of this state for a perfect getaway; as one thing is sure – these places promise you sheer solitude and untouched beauty, even in peak summer!

So here is our list of pretty places for an offbeat holiday in Uttarakhand.

1. Chaukori

Cradled in the interiors of Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, this bowl-shaped hamlet is a dreamy little village that lies amid lush green fields that give way to soaring snow-peaked mountains. This quaint village gives you majestic sunrise and sunset views of the glistening Himalayas and you can get spectacular views of Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot and Panchachuli peaks from here.

How to reach Chaukori: Chaukhori is almost 200 km from the nearest railhead of Kathgodam. A taxi from Kathgodam would charge approx Rs 4000 and travel time is over 6 hours. Numerous buses ply from Delhi including Volvo and other private deluxe buses till Kathgodam / Nainital. You can take a taxi from Nainital too, which will take about 5.5 hours. Then there is the small Pant Nagar airport in Kumaon region but it has infrequent flights, and is an hour further away from Kathgodam.

Where to stay in Chaukori: Chaukori has a Government run Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN) guest house which is beautifully located with a good view. There are also a number of private options from one-star to two-star hotels and the Misty Mountains Resort – its best hotel, a three-star. Prices vary from Rs 1100 to Rs 7500 per night during summer season. In the off-season, you can get these hotels at much lower rates.

2. Sattal

This pretty place is not even classified as a village, and as its name suggests it is, in fact, an interconnected group of seven freshwater lakes. Set amid dense leafy forests of oak and pine, the lakes make for a picturesque setting. This tranquil haven seems isolated in its solitude, though it lies just 10 km from the bustling town of Bhowali and 22 km from the tourist hotspot – Nainital. This place is great for bird lovers as the lakes attract many migratory birds. This is also the go-to place if you want to visit Uttarakhand during monsoons, as it is at its picturesque best then.

How to reach Sattal: Sattal is 35 km from the railhead of Kathgodam and cabs are easily available. It takes about 2 hours to reach here from Kathgodam. Sattal is 22kms from Nainital and a cab can easily be availed from there too.

Where to Stay in Sattal: Sattal offers luxury accommodation to those who seek it and has a 4-star as well as a 3-star property, besides a host of two-star hotels. It also offers various camping options for the adventure enthusiasts. The KMVN tourist lodge is located next to one of the lakes.

3. Gwaldam

If you want to go off the beaten track – head to Gwaldam. This quaint town is nestled among tall pine woods and orchards and seems to be enveloped with an air of perfect tranquility and solitude. Gwaldam is also the base camp for treks to Roopkund and the Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra. A trek to the Bandhangarhi temple here gives you mesmerizing views of the Himalayas including the magnificent Trishul peak. Also visit Kausani – about 40 km from here, for a close-up view of the Himalayas including the majestic Nanda Devi, Trishul, and Panchchuli peaks.

How to reach Gwaldam: The best way to get here is from the railhead of Kathgodam, about 172 km away. Smooth roads connect it and the drive is almost 6 hours long. Taking a local taxi is the best option.

Places to stay in Gwaldam: This remote place has only a handful of hotels and of course the Government GMVN guest house. There is just one 2-star property – Nature’s Retreat Resort and the others are one-star properties. The prices range around Rs 300 to Rs 1000 maximum.

4. Dhanaulti

This quiet little hill station is just 26 km from Mussoorie, yet remains far from the madding crowds. Flanked by dense Oak, Deodar, and Rhododendron trees with a panoramic view of the Himalayas, it seems to be enveloped in a mystical spell. The pretty Eco-park and the mesmerizing Surkhanda Devi temple on a hilltop – about 8 km away, are some of the chief attractions of the place. In winters the town receives heavy snowfall, another reason tourists throng the place even during winters.

How to reach Dhanaulti: This quaint town is fairly accessible as it lies just 62 km from the town of Dehradun. It, however, takes over 2 hours to reach, as there are some steep stretches and loose gravel roads along the way. Local buses and taxis also ply from Mussoorie. Dehradoon is fairly well-connected by rail and Haridwar nearby is an important railhead. The Jolly Grant Airport lies 25km from Dehradun and has flights from all metros and important North Indian cities.

Places to stay in Dhanaulti: Dhanaulti offers luxury stays at its 4-star property – Classic Hill Top Resort and has a host of good 3-star and 2-star properties as well as camp stay options. There are also two Government guest houses of GMVN which are reasonably priced with good amenities. Getting a hotel room in Dhanaulti even during peak season is generally not a problem.

Best time to visit Uttarakhand: The summer season from March to April is perfect weather for a visit to this state. Temperatures vary between 20 degrees to 35-degree centigrade and the cool mountain breeze makes for a pleasant stay. For a snow experience, December to January is the best. However if a clear view of the Himalayas is what you are looking for, October to November is the right time.
Get ready for a tranquil getaway in the lap of nature as you tick off these offbeat places in Uttarakhand from your bucket list.