Things to Do in Shimoga 2020

The best things to do in Shimoga range from downright adrenalizing to profoundly religious. Shimoga, nestled in the Sahyadris, is an abstract canvas painted by the deep browns of the surrounding mountain ranges, the azure of the high skies, the periwinkle of the limpid waters and the happy colours of flocks of birds decorating the skyline.

Shimoga is most popular as a serene trekking and hiking destination. Adventure tourists from across India, come here to enjoy the weekend. Infact, Shimoga is an ideal weekend locale close to the city of Bangalore and Bangalore Adventure Club often organises trekking and camping trips to Shimoga. The Kodachadri Peak is a fulfilling trek that offers a panoramic view of the beautiful district. In addition, Shimoga is home to the famed Jog Falls, which is truly a sight to behold.

However, Shimoga is not all nature. The grand Keladi Temple near Honnemardu, the nearby museum and Nagara Fort, together narrate Shimoga rich history through art and architecture.  

A few miles from Shimoga is the town of Honnemardu, which is a world by itself. Known best for its water-sports, Honnemardu is also a birding-friendly location. It is also frequented by trekkers and hikers alike.

Shimoga is also blessed with luxurious flora and fauna. It has sanctuaries for tigers and lions in addition to conservatory parks for migratory birds. You can spot a sloth bear in the forests of Shettihalli, while here.

The cuisine of Shimoga has a distinct flavour of its own. While it is typical Kannada food, it has a touch of its own. Do not forget to taste the mango pickle of Midigayi Uppinakai and Avalakki, which is ground rice. There is a dessert special to Shimoga and it’s called Halasina Hannina Kadubu. Genesale is another delicacy if you have a sweet tooth.

Finally, the village of Heggodu has a personality of its own. Witness a tribal dance performance and see a local play on your visit here, which should make it to your list of best things to do in Shimoga!

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10 October 2014
Awesome experience!!!! Very beautiful place and the waterfall in between trek made the experience even more delightful. We were lucky enough that there were very few leeches :) And the last our trek guide made this experience a life long remembering experience. A must visit to Kodachadri....!!
10 October 2014
Wonderful! Truly an enchanting experience. Little did I think that this place is going to influence me so much when I signed up for this trek along with my friend. You don't have to be a pro to trek Kodachadri. The distance and different terrains makes the trek a bit difficult and adventurous. But the feeling when you reach the peak is just unparalleled! :)
27 May 2015
For the beginners Kodachadri is one of the best trek to kick start with your trekking boot-rockets as me and my friends scored out the long pending to do list with our first trek to this enchanting hills. First of all if you are a bangalorean you need to bide up yourself as the journey to Kodachadri itself will cover around 422 odd kms and then your day 1 trek starts from the base camp. The entire tiresome journey would fade away once you take a sight of the fascinating hillside with very a little human movement. The best part of our trek was the falls we found in the middle of the jungle as all in a sudden it popped up from nowhere(Disclaimer: Your energy would drain up here if you take a shower at falls as the real trek to the up hill starts from this point). We took this trek on Offseason in the month of April and was tested thoroughly for our stamina & endurance. Day 2 was fun filled with early morning kayaking, hanging bridge and some exploration on a fort. Food at homestay is too good as you would feel the same as the name states. On a note to complete its a must go trek with your friends and family :)
28 December 2015
never thought that waterfall rappelling will be available in india until i saw this tour. it was really an amazing and unforgettable rappelling experinece. the food included in the trek was so delicious and if you're a non veg, this trek is especially for you...
05 October 2015
Aparajita Raychaudhury Trek to Kodachadri with Kayaking
An awe-inspiring, awesome and a lot of "aww"s defined the trip! Am so glad I dared try this! The trek coordinator (Sujay) skillfully talked (and pulled) me into climbing on rocks and trees I was sure I can't (ignoring a lot of "you are nuts" comments, I must add), the team was super (we really bonded over the difficult parts of the trek & the night's camp fire), the atmosphere so peaceful, especially the morning-after visit to the completely deserted backwaters - what more do you need for a great trip? Only problem was the TT - the driver turned it in to a "Flying Machine" and a barely 5-feet tall me found the leg space on the cramped side. Sujay's informal hospitality, patience with trekking novices (and an unfit one at that), willingness to consider any and all reasonable (and unreasonable) demands (we quite literally gave him a head-ache, I believe; but he remained invariably even tempered & welcoming), flexibility about plans and the ability to keep everyone (with various levels of adventure craving and endurance/fitness) happy, safe and motivated really made this experience with Explore2Escape a memorable one. Will certainly recommend this tour and operator! (Picture Courtesy - Krishna Vasudevan & Sujay Kenchi)
02 January 2019
Normally we go for clubbing for New year but this year we decide to do something offbeat so we chose to go for this trek to Kodachadri Peak, it was such an amazing trekking experience, the panoramic views, the beautiful waterfalls overall it was an overwhelming experience, We even had a new year party at the campsite with DJ and everything and the party was so lit.
What an amazing party it was. We spent the new year 2018 on the banks of the Tunga River. It was so much fun. I had great time with my family and friends. Every wildlife enthusiast or trekker should definitely visit! Thanks thrillophilia for this wonderful tour.
"A lot of fun"
Sachin Pothuvaal Trek to Kodachadri Peak
Trekking was amazing but the camping was not so perfect. Bathrooms were less in number. 25 would be an ideal group size i think .Girls in our group found it difficult. Everything else was managed by the team in a good way.
A peaceful trek was done to Kodachadri by me and my friends.looking forward for more treks. Good experience

People Also Ask About Shimoga Things To Do

  1. What are the best things to do in Shimoga

    Below mentioned are some of the best things to do when in Shimoga:

    • Trekking

    Hike up the contours of the Western ghats while in Shimoga. Trek your way up to the Kodachadri Peak and enjoy the scenery, replete with several waterfalls among misty green valleys.

    • Jog Falls

    One of the highlights of your Shimoga trip is going to be a visit to the resounding Jog Falls. While the fall is at its lushest during monsoon, it splits up into four cascades of Raja, Rani, Rocket and Roarer at other times of the year.

    • Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary

    Take a thrilling safari through the Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary, teeming with various species of birds and home to the sloth bear, leopard, tiger and elephant.

    • Keladi

    Lose yourself in the grand architecture of Keladi, especially if you are a history buff or a religious person. The monument is an example of Dravidian and Hoyasala architecture. The temple inside is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

    • Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary

    Engage in some birdwatching at the Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary, which conserves populations of birds in their natural habitat. The place is chirping with the sounds of Median Egrets, Darter, Snakebird and Little Cormorant.

    • Honnemaradu

    Honnemaradu is an ideal site for a plethora of watersports. It is a quaint village located in the neighbourhood of the Sharavathi River backwaters.

    • Nagara Fort

    Explore the ruins of Nagara fort, which still houses relics from the 16th Century.

    • Gajanur Dam

    Pack a picnic and head to Gajanur Dam, constructed on River Tunga. You can enjoy an idyllic boat ride while here.

  2. What are the adventure activities to in Shimoga?

    Nestled in the lap of the Sahyadris, Shimoga combines the best of mountain and river based adventure activities. Some of these are:
    • Trekking

    With its close proximity to the Ghats, Shimoga is an ideal trekking and hiking destination. A trek up to the Kodachadri Peak can be deeply fulfilling. The venue offers a stunning view of Shimoga, adorned with streams, waterfalls and lush greenery. In addition, you can even trek your way to Jog Falls. Some people also enjoy Honnemardu as a hiking destination.

    • Water Sports

    Honnemardu offers a host of water sports. These include canoeing, kayaking, coracle rides, windsurfing and kayaking.

    • Elephant Camp

    Sakrebailu Elephant Camp is located 15 kms from Shimoga. Watch elephants play around and enjoy a decadent mud-bath while here.

  3. Which are the best destinations for wildlife safari experience in Shimoga?

    The best destinations for wildlife safari experience is mentioned below:

    • Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary 

    Home to the tiger, leopard and sloth bear, a safari through this park can be a worthwhile experience.

    • Tyavarekoppa Lion and Tiger Safari

    If you are a lover of big cats, a trip here is a must. The forest is sprawling with 200 hectares of land traversed by majestic lions, tigers, sloth bears, deer and leopards. The jeep safari is organised by the forest department.

    • Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary

    A visit here is a must if you have an interest in birding and birdwatching. It is also a heaven for photographers as it’s replete with picturesque views of the surrounding greenery and waters. Find exotic species of birds such as Median Egrets, Snakebird and Darter, at this conservation park.

  4. Which are some famous campsites near Shimoga?

    Famous campsites near Shimoga include:

    • Kodachadri

    The Bangalore Adventure Club frequently hosts camping and trekking trips to the unspoiled gem of Kodachadri.

    • Kundadri Peak

    Kundadri is located 80 km from Shimoga and is known for its untainted beauty. One of the highlights of camping here is a visit to Jain Temple and the Sharavathi backwaters.

    • Honnemardu

    This village, with a splendid view of the ghats and the nearby river, is an ideal destination for camping.

  5. Which are the most adventurous places for trekking in Shimoga?

    The most adventurous places for trekking in Shimoga include: Kodachadri Peak, Jog Falls, Honnemardu, Nagara Fort, Kundadri Peak and also the sanctuaries of Shettihalli and Mandagadde.  

  6. Where can I do birding in Shimoga? What are its famous destinations?

    The ecosystem of Shimoga is rich in a diversity of bird species. Some of the best destinations for birding here are:

    • Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary

    Located across the Tunga river, is the scenic Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary. Home to Median Egrets, Pied Kingfisher, Night herons and Open-bill Stork, this sanctuary is a laudable conservatory effort for birds especially migratory avians.

    • Maidaan, Agumbe

    Another vast area conducive to bird watching is the Maidan in Agumbe. Find yourself in a pandemonium of chirpy sounds made by the Malabar Hornbill, shrieks and lapwings, while here.

    • Lakkawalli

    A little further from Shimoga, Lakkavalli is a bird-lover’s paradise. Alive with the sounds and hues of river terns, spot-billed ducks and the white-breasted kingfisher, Lakkavalli boasts an eclectic mix of birdlife.

    In addition, Honnemardu is also a bird-watching delight.

  7. Where can I enjoy Kayaking in Shimoga? What are its charges?

    The best spot for kayaking in Shimoga, is Honnemardu, hands down. Jog Falls is another popular destination for kayaking here. It can cost you anywhere between Rs. 500-1500/person. It is advisable to take a kayaking lesson before you set sail.

  8. Which are the best locations for rafting in Shimoga? What is the best time for it?

    Below mentioned are the best locations for rafting in Shimoga:

    •    Sita Nadi

    Flowing through the dense greenery, River Sita is an ideal spot for white water rafting in Shimoga. In fact, it offers the best rafting experience in South India. Located in Agumbe, an area known as Cherrapunji of the South, Sita Nadi receives abundant rainfall and its waters are conducive to rafting.

    •    Honnemardu

    Located on the backwaters of River Sharavathi, Honnemardu is another popular tourist spot for watersports including river rafting.The best time for rafting is during monsoon, ie from June to October, when there is plenty of rain.


  9. How far is Honnemardu village from Shimoga? What are the things I can do there in Honnemardu village?

    Honnemardu is a tiny hamlet, located along River Sharavati. It is about 100 Km from Shimoga district.

    The area is an adventure haven. It offers various options of thrilling activities such as trekking, camping and hiking. In addition, it is also an offbeat bird-watching spot, not known to many. Honnemardu is most famous for its wide range of water sports. These include kayaking, canoeing, rafting, wind surfing, joy fishing and swimming. The nearby Ikkeri town here has a beautiful Shiva mandir. Keladi, which is known for its 16th century architecture is also nearby.