Location: 165 kms From Mangalore, Karnataka
Area: 10548 sq. kms
Main Attraction: Government Museum
Languages: Kannada, Hindi, and English
Shimoga district covers an area of about 10548 sq. kms. The western part of the district has superb tropical forests and some very pretty hilly areas.
The eastern region is less dense but has several lakes and river valleys. The traveller to this district can enjoy trekking on the challenging landscape and visit to the historically rich spots.
The region has a long and colourful history dating back to the 3rd century AD when it was under the control of Satavahan dynasty.
In the 6th century it was a part of the empire of the Chalukyas of Badami. In the 7th century, it came under the rule of Jaina chieftain.
Government Museum: The Government Museum at Shimoga displays palm leaf manuscripts, coins, copper plates and Hoysala style statues of Uma-Maheshwara, Yoganarayana and Jaina Yakshi.
An ancient accounts book made of cloth, and 18.29 long, is an interesting exhibit here.
Thirthahalli: Situated 65 kms from Shimoga, amidst dense forests, is Thirthahalli that takes its name from the sacred bathing places built on the river Tunga. There is a temple dedicated to Rameshwara on the banks of the Tunga River.
Agumbe: Situated atop a ghat head and receiving the highest rainfall in Karnataka, this suburb has many scenic delights to offer.
The glorious sunset is the main attraction of this place Gopalakrishna temple and the Observatory maintained by the Meteorological Survey of India (Capital).
Ambutheertha: 16 kms northwest of Thirthahalli town and down the river Sharavathi is its holy source Ambutheertha, where a Shiva Linga has been installed.
Just 4 kms away is the Achakanya falls where river Sharavathi does a practice jump of 6.10 meters gearing herself for the great jump further down at Jog.
Mandagadee Natural Bird Sanctuary: 32 kms to the northeast of Thirthahalli is the Mandagadee Natural Bird Sanctuary on the banks of the river Tunga.
Between July and October, flocks of migratory birds take shelter on the leafless trees there and present a fascinating picture to visitors who can see them from a high platform located conveniently close.
Bhadravati: 19 kms from Shimoga on the banks of river Bhadra, is the Steel Town of Bhadravati. It was here that the first State owned iron and steel factory was started in 1923, and a paper factory in 1936.
The Visveswaraya Iron and Steel Limited and the Mysore Paper Mills offer a fascinating view of the complex processes involved in the manufacture of Iron Steel and paper.
In the centre of the old town is a 13th century Lakshminarasimha temple that belongs to the Hoysala period and houses, besides other images, an exquisite 0.92 meter high Ganapathi Idol.
Honne Godda: About 10 kms from Bhadravati is Honne Gudda, a hillock about 304.8 meters high that has a small temple. From this hillock, a panoramic view of the Bhadra River and its surrounding areas can be got. It’s an ideal picnic spot.
Ganjanur: 10 kms to the south-west of Shimoga, on the Shimoga Thithahalli Road, near a crest of Western Ghats is Gajanaur where a dam has been constructed on the river Tunga Elephants are trained at the Elephant Camp here.
The tourist bungalow on the hillocks near the Gajanur Tank commands on enchanting of the area.
Sagar: 75 kms to the northwest of Shimoga is Sagar with its famous Siddhi Vinayaka temple and Durga Temple.
It is believed that there is a small well here with a Sri Chakra below the Ganapathi Peetha Sagar is also famous for it Gudigara Craftsmen who work on ivory and sandalwood.
The artisan-training centre run by the Government offers a view of master craftsmen at work. The Gudigara Co-operative Society showroom is well worth a visit.
Ikkeri: 3 kms south of Sagar town is Ikkeri, the old capital city of Keladi Nayakas. The Aghoreshwara temple here combining the best of Hoysala and Dravidian styles of architecture stands testimony to the former greatness of the place.
This large well-proportioned stone structure has a lofty roof and ornamental doorways leading to the deity - a metal image of Aghoreshwara with three arms.
Koodli: 16 kms to the northeast of Shimoga is Koodli where the Tunga and Bhadra rivers meet to create a pilgrim centre. The Rameshwara and Narasimha temple here belongs to the Hoysala times.
The place also has a noted 16th century Smartha monastery 10 kms from Shimoga Town, at Tavarekoppa. The forest department has set up the Shettyhally Lion safari.
Barkana Falls: It is about 80 kms from Thirthahalli town in Balehalli forest area. It is valley with natural water of Seetha River. The height of the falls is about 259 Mts.
Simhadham: A lion safari park on Shimoga-Sagar road. Other places of tourist interest include Varadamoola, Kavaledurga and Maricha Mrugavadenagar.
HOW TO GET THERE
Air: Mangalore is the nearest airport.
Rail: Shimoga is an important railhead.
Road: Mangalore is 165 kms from the city.