Places to visit in Shimoga

If you want to have a break from your regular routine and want to enjoy time with your loved ones and family, then this is the perfect destination. Officially known as Shivamogga, the city is situated 267km from Bangalore. It is the district headquarters of Shimoga in the central part of the state of Karnataka, India. The city lies on the bank of the Tunga river surrounded by green landscapes, coconut palm trees, and waterfalls. People believed that the name of the city is derived from a story of lord shiva where he drank the Tunga river water using moggie, so the city is known as Shivamogga.  The city is famous among tourists for breathtaking views and also called heaven on earth. As the city is the gateway for the hilly region of western ghats, the city is also known as “Gateway of Maland”. The city was built up by Keladi rulers in 1600A.D. The city is the center for primary and high school education in Karnataka. 

1. Sakrebyle Elephant Camp

Elephant Camp

Located 14 KM from Shimoga on Shimoga Thirthahalli road, This is a great place for children and families to spend a day out with elephants. The camp is reserved by the Karnataka forest department. This eco-tourism center offers a great opportunity for tourists to have a close look at elephants. The camp is a house for an elephant that requires attention and training. There are several mahouts who train elephants. Located on the banks of the Tunga river, visitors can see elephants bath in river Tunga and explore the lifestyle of elephants. Children can also enjoy an elephant ride at the camp and at the park situated inside the camp.

Timings- 8:30 AM To 11:30 AM
Entry fee- INR 30 For Indians And INR 100 For Foreigners
Elephant Ride Fee- INR 75 For Indians And INR 38 For Children

2. Tiger & Lion Safari

Lion and Tiger Safari

Located at a distance of 10km from Shimoga, this place is a popular wildlife destination among tourists. The place is spread in 200 hectares of land and can be visited from 4 to 5 hours. It was started in 1988 and is Karnataka’s second safari park, after Bannerghatta National Park near Bangalore. Despite the name, the lion and tiger are not the only big cats that can be spotted here, other animals can be seen too. Visitors can see lions, tigers, leopards, sloth bears, deers, etc. and also rare species of birds.  This is also a great place for children to enjoy as there are a zoo and a children’s park. Tourists can go on a safari to have a glimpse of animals and birds. Tourists also have to pay for parking their vehicles and for cameras.

Timing- 10:00 AM To 1:00 PM And 2:15 To 5:00 PM (But Closed on Tuesdays and National Holidays)
Entry fee- INR 30 For Indians And INR 100 For Foreigners
Safari fee- INR 70 For Adults And INR 400 For Foreigners

3. Kote Anjaneya Swamy Temple

Kote Anjaneya Swamy Temple

Are you an art lover? Then, it is a must-visit place for you. The temple is dedicated to lord hanuman and located on the premises of the Shivappa Nayaka palace museum. On this temple, there are stone carvings depicting stories of Ramayana. There is a huge tower at the main gate of the temple. The temple has a 75 feet tall Hanuman statue which was inaugurated in May 2005. This idol of lord hanuman is among one of the statues built by Sri Vyasaraja. Sri Vyasaraja was Rajaguru of the historical Vijayanagar empire. He was the guru of the likes of Kanakadasa and Purandaradasa. Sri Vyasaraja consecrated 732 idols of Hanuman throughout India, over five hundred years ago.

Timings- 9:00 AM To 6:30 PM
Entry fee- No Entry Fee

4. Sacred Heart Cathedral Church

SACRED HEART Cathedral Church Shivamogga

The second-largest church of India is spread across an area of 18000sq ft and is a fine example of an architectural marvel of Shimoga. This catholic church has its interiors in roman and gothic styles. This place can easily accommodate 5000 individuals. The big statue of Lord Jesus Christ and the beautiful interiors of the church makes it famous among tourists. The church is visible from B.H. road and tourists can take an auto-rickshaw from there to reach the sacred heart cathedral church. However, a statue of Jesus is the salient feature of the church that attracts people in large numbers.

Timings- 6:00 AM To 12:30 PM And 3:00 PM To 7:00 PM
Entry fee- No Entry Fee   

5. Government Museum (Shivappa Nayaka Palace)

Government Museum (Shivappa Nayaka Palace), Shimoga

The Government Museum is popularly known as Shivappa Nayaka Palace as it is named after the popular 17th-century king Shivappa Nayaka of the Keladi Nayaka dynasty. Though named after the Nayaka king, according to art historian George Michell, the palatial bungalow was actually built by the 18th century Mysore ruler Hyder Ali. The king ruled the city for a very long period of time. The museum is a two-storied building consisting of one durbar hall with massive wooden pillars and rosewood carvings. The living chambers on the sides are at the upper level, have balconies and look down into the hall. Numerous antiquities collected from nearby temples and archeological sites, such as sculptures, inscriptions and stones from Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa period are displayed on palace grounds. One room of the museum is dedicated to depicting king weapons. Tourists have to write their names in the register to mark their entry. The palace is maintained by the state division of the archaeological survey of India. The living chambers on the upper side of the hall have balconies to so u can go through from a beautiful view. Some of the artifacts include sculptures of idols like lord Vishnu, lord Surya, Bhairava, Mahishasurmardini, Uma-Maheshwari, etc. There also stone carved with tales of brave warriors and women who committed Sati. The building is a well-protected and well-maintained monument under the Karnataka state division of the Archaeological Survey of India.

Timing- 9:00 AM To 6:30 PM
Entry Fee- No Entry Fee

6. Gandhi Park

Gandhi Park

Park features a large playground and a family train ride. Many statues and splash pool is there for kids to enjoy. It is situated in the middle of the Shimoga city. Park is at a distance of 2km from the Shimoga bus stand. The place is also surrounded by delicious food stalls. The park is famous among locals and children as this park contains a swimming pool, a path for joggers, play area for kids, aquarium, fountains. It is the oldest and biggest park in the city. Different flower shows are also organized in the park. A small train also runs in the park which is enjoyed by children.  There is an auditorium inside the park named Ambedkar Bhavan. Gandhi Park is renovated by the government with an investment of INR 10 crore. You can relax your mind by enjoying the greenery and looking at artwork inside the park. 

Timing- 7:30 AM To 7:30 PM
Entry Fee- INR 10 For Indians And INR 100 For Foreigners
Toy Train Fee- INR 20 Onwards

7. Shiva Temple Shivamogga

Shiva Temple

Beautiful temple with an idol of Lord Shiva. One should visit the temple to get blessings and to pray for a good future. The architectural view of this temple attracts most of the visitors towards it and makes it one of the popular place to visit in the city. You should visit here once whenever you travel to Shimoga.

Timing- 5:00 AM To 12:00 Noon And 4:00 PM To 8:00 PM
Entry Fee- No Entry Fee

8. Bhimeshwara Temple

Bhimeshwara temple

The Bhimeshwara temple is located in the town of Nilagunda, in the Davangere district of Karnataka. According to the Archaeological Survey of India, the construction of the temple was undertaken in the 11th century during the rule of the Western Chalukyas over the region. Art historian Adam Hardy classifies the architectural style as “Later Chalukya, non-mainstream”. The temple has four sanctums with a superstructure surviving only over the main west-facing shrine and the view is beautiful. The material used in the building of Temple is soapstone. The temple is protected as a monument of national importance as declared by the Archaeological Survey of India. Bhimeshwara is the temple of lord shiva. It is believed that Shiva linga was built by Pandavas during their Vanvas. There is a waterfall next to the temple making it a beautiful sight to watch. The waterfall is named “Sara hole”.  

Timing- 5:00 AM To 12:00 Noon And 4:00 Am To 8:00 PM
Entry Fee- No Entry Fee

9. Dabbe Falls

Dabbe Falls
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This place is heaven for a nature lover. Karnataka is blessed with a number of waterfalls and this fall is one from them. As there are mountains of western ghat near the waterfall, the place is surrounded by greenery. It is believed that in this place Bheema ( the second brother among Pandavas) worshipped lord hanuman to get a boon from him. You have to do a trek of about 7 to 9 km to reach this waterfall. You also have to enter your names in the register to keep a record of persons who visited Dabbe falls. As the place is pollution-free and clean, a person can take a relaxing shower in the cold water. This is a great place for capturing beautiful photographs. The best time to visit the waterfall is from October to December.

Timing- 6:00 AM To 6:00 PM
Entry Fee- No Entry Fee

10. Agumbe

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Located in the Thirthahalli district, the village is known as “the cherrapunji of south India”. As the village receives the highest rainfall in southern India, the village is famous for its dense forests, scenic waterfalls, and rivers. The village has a population of 500 people making it a less crowded and perfect destination for nature lovers. The rainforest research station is located here. The best time to explore the village is from November to February. The serial Malgudi days, based on R.K. Narayan’s novel was also shot here. Agumbe is also home to many medicinal plants. The sunset point is located on the highest peak of western ghats, one can watch a beautiful view of the sunset over the Arabian sea. This is a great place for adventure lovers and enjoys beautiful scenic views there. The village is home to many waterfalls like Barkana falls, Onake Abbi falls, Kodi Teertha falls.

Timing- Open 24 Hours
Entry Fee- No Entry Fee

11. Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary

Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary
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Located 32 km from Shimoga, there is a small island of 1.14 acres in size surrounded by dense forest and river Tunga, which is home to a variety of birds. Boating, trekking, and bird watching are the main activities that could be performed in this bird sanctuary. The best time to explore the sanctuary is from July to September, with August receiving the highest number of tourists and bird watchers. There are over 5000 birds during peak season.  During this season birds like median egret, darter( or snakebird), and little cormorant stay in the bird sanctuary till December. The bird sanctuary is also home to many other bird species like pied kingfisher, wooly necked stork, open-billed storks, night herons,  etc. the birds prefer to make nests at higher branches of trees.  It is the best place for photographers to click photographs of birds and of scenic beauty. 

Timing- 10:00 AM To 5:00 PM
Entry Fee- INR 50 For Indians And INR 100 For Foreigners

12. Gajanur Dam

Gajanur Dam
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It is the best spot to spend time away from the chaos of the city by surrounding yourself with lavishing greenery, Sound of chirping birds, water and pleasant weather. The dam is situated in the village Gajanur which is 15 km from Shimoga and this place is a favorite hang spot among tourists. The dam was built by the Mysore construction company in 1972 to support irrigation facilities and to control the situation of floods. This S-shaped dam is constructed alongside river Tunga and is 770 meters long and has 22 gates to control the water of the river Tunga. The dam has a capacity of holding 533 cubic million water. The best time to visit the Gajanur dam is from October to march. Tourists can easily reach the dam by taking an auto, bus, or taxi. 

Timing- 8:00 AM To 5:00 PM
Entry Fee- No Entry Fee

13. Koodli

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It is one of the holy places of southern India and the place where two holy rivers, river Tunga, and river Bhadra meet to give rise to the Tungabhadra river and it is popularly known as “Varanasi of the south”.  For a moment you will lose yourself at the beauty of this place. This small village is 16 km from Shimoga and there are many temples like Rameshvara, Narasimha, Rushyashrama, and Brahmeshvara in this village. There are two great schools of Hindu philosophy, Shankaracharya mutt (Advaita philosophy) and Koodli Arya Akshobhya Teertha mutt (Dvaita philosophy). October to May is the best time to visit here with your family and friends. There is also a dress code to visit the place where men have to wear dhotis or trousers with a shirt and women have to wear sarees or salwar with dupatta.

Timing- 7:00 AM To 5:00 PM
Entry Fee- No Entry Fee

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