If your idea of weekend getaways is being one with nature then Sakleshpur nestled among Western Ghats on Bangalore-Mysore Highway is the idyllic location for a getaway. Just 225 kilometers from Bangalore, Sakleshpur is a mere 5 hour drive from Bangalore on the NH-48 highway. With dense coffee and spice plantations you are guaranteed to savor the tranquil life of the country side at every step.
More about Sakleshpur:
Sakleshpur located in the Hassan district of South Karnataka is famous for its coffee, cardamon, pepper, ginger and other spices. The word Sakleshpur in kannada language means the place, which is bestowed with all kinds of wealth(namely water, fertile green land filled with coffee and spices etc) And with its temperate climate it is perfect for a getaway all through the year.
What to do in Sakleshpur?
Misty mornings,breathtaking walks in green plantations, bird watching, hiking the rolling hillsides and a chance to be alone amidst the mountains is what you can do in Sakleshpur.
Apart from these you can also visit ancient temples. This list comprises of temples like Bettada Byreshwara temple, Vasantha parameshwari temple,Adi subramanya temple etc .
Bettada Byreshwara temple
This is a 600 year old temple located at few distance from Hanbal. This temple is a Shiva temple and is made completely of black stone. It was built by Kadamba King, Mayura Varma. The temple has been reconstructed by numbering the original stones. Nearby there is a beautiful pond with plenty of fishes. As dense trees and creepers cover this place it is an ideal location to simply relax,feed the fishes and simple” be”. In other words it is sheer paradise. Behind the temple there is a small hill which you can trek. It is a good idea to hike this place as you get a panoramic view of the surrounding hills, the scenic pond and the old stone temple.
Vasantha parameshwari temple:
This is a must visit as this temple and the village in which it is located namely Angadi, was the birthplace of Hoysala dynasty. Here there is a popular temple of goddess Durga known as Vasantha parameshwari. The temple is 1200 years old . Legend has it that Sala the first King of Hoysala dynasty, single handedly fought with a tiger and killed it with one blow. His Guru pleased with his courage ordered him to establish the Hoysala kingdom. The temple features prominently in all these legends.
The temple has the beautiful idol of goddess Vasantha parameshwari and looking at her serene face, you feel your journey to Sakleshpur was worth it.
Adi subramanya temple:
This is a beautiful temple of Lord Subramanya on the banks of river Hemavathi. This temple at Mudigere has the idol of Lord Subramanya in snake form with seven heads. It is said that Lord Subramanya took the form of the snake to kill a ferocious demon .
Another surprising fact;Every year an eagle is spotted on the day of car festival of Lord subramanya. The eagle keeps circulating the car of Lord Subramanya.
The temple was established by Hakka Bukka who found the snake idol in the river Hemavathi. The blissful idol, the clear waters of river Hemavathi coupled with the distant hills will make this destination a must see spot.
Though this temple is not an ancient temple, this temple of Shiva is a must visit. The beautiful Shiv Linga(Idol of Shiva) is situated down a valley. When you visit the shrine you can hear the gurgle of stream cascading down the hills. The chugging train to Mangalore above the hills further adds to the beauty. The place can inspire spirituality even in those who seem to lack the spiritual spirit in them.
This is a star shaped fort constructed by Tipu Sultan to detect the approach of British army to Sakleshpur. It is an architectural marvel with majestic arched entrance, hollow chambers to house horses, ammunition etc. The fort in the earlier days also doubled up as kitchen,bathroom etc for the numerous soldiers staying there.
There are plenty of hills suitable for trekking like Jenukallu Gudda,Ettina Bhuja etc. If you wish for few easy climbs then try hills behind the Bettada Byreshwara temple and Gavi siddheshwara temple located in Karundi hill. The hills behind the temple is easy to surmount and you are guaranteed a panoramic view once you reach the top.
Sakleshpur Bird watching:
For all the bird lovers out there Sakleshpur is touted as home to around 1200 species of birds. You can definitely spot King fishers, Brahminy Kite,Drongo,Sun birds,Parakeet etc and get some beautiful memories captured in your lens.
If you visit the place during rainy seasons then you can glimpse few amazing water falls as well. Few water falls worth mentioning are Mookanamane falls and Magajari falls. The rocks are slippery here. So one has to be extremely cautious while venturing near the falls.
And that’s not all. A walk in coffee plantations and a look at coffee beans and entwined spice creepers and plants will bring you closer to nature. And a talk with the planters will give you a glimpse of coffee and its rearing.
So where to stay?
One of the best options in Sakleshpur is the home stays. Most of them are located in serene surroundings and offer local yummy dishes like aki rotti accompanied with chili chutney, Kadabu etc(Check out Malenadu cuisine Wikipedia for more details).
Here are few home stays which you can go for:
How to get there?
From Bangalore head towards Nelamangala on Tumkur road, at Nelamangala take left towards Hassan. Soon after crossing Hassan, you reach Sakleshpur.