Get lost in the arms of nature by experiencing the Hirekolale Lake in Chikmagalur. One of the best things about visiting the lake is that the journey is arguably just as fantastic as the destination itself. The breathtaking mountains of the Western Ghat and the Mullayanagiri Hills make the canvas all the more stunning. Hirekolale Lake used to be the main source of water for the villages around. The manmade lake was also created for irrigation purposes.
The hill station Chikmagalur, is a famous weekend destination amongst those living in Mangalore and Bangalore. It’s adored by visitors for the weather and rich greenery that can be witnessed in every corner. While Hirekolale Lake has been gaining popularity over the last 3-4 years or so, it is still relatively lesser known. If you too need a break from the city life, this hill station will embrace you with arms wide open.
Experiencing the Hirekolale Lake in Chikmagalur is definitely underrated. It’s set amidst raw nature and not yet commercialized. Definitely an offbeat spot.
How to reach Hirekolale Lake in Chikmagalur?
By Air – The nearest airport is in Mangalore which is about 156 kms away. It’s also an international airport. The alternative is Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore that is 264 kms away. Mangalore is definitely the better option. Getting a bus or a cab from either place is really easy though.
By Rail – There are 2 railway stations which are fairly close to Chikmagalur. They are in Hassan which is around 71 kms away and Kadur which is around 45 kms away. From there, you can get a cab or bus to reach Chikmagalur.
By Road – State transport buses or private buses for Chikmagalur are easily accessible. The roads are also well connected. Driving down to Chikmagalur is also a great option because of the scenic landscape. The view is absolutely stunning.
From Chikmagalur town
Hirekolale is situated around 9.5 kms away from the main town. Getting local transport here can be a little bit tricky and it’s certainly unreliable. So we would suggest renting a vehicle for the duration of your trip. Or possibly renting a cab for your entire trip, depending on your budget and situation. The other option is to walk for about two hours amidst dense woods to reach the Lake. Although, it’s not something we would recommend.
Best time to visit Hirekolale Lake?
There are no timings when it comes to visiting the lake. So you could visit anytime. But we would strongly recommend visiting Hirekolale Lake for sunrise or sunset. It’s definitely the best way to experience the lake. Most people will tell you that the best time to visit is from October through February. But honestly, the best time to visit Hirekolale Lake depends on your personal preference.
If you prefer cool weather and misty mountains, then visit between November and February. If you prefer fewer tourists and people, the months of April and May might be good. The weather is also pleasant during this time. Chikmagalur also receives decent amounts of rain during the monsoon season. Which is also a good time to visit as the green hills and forests here totally come to life. So mid June to September is definitely a good time to visit as well.
Things to know about Hirekolale Lake
The lake isn’t commercialized yet and you won’t find shops here. So in case you’re planning to make a day out of your visit, carry enough food/snacks and water. But please do not litter.
A couple of small joints are available that sell stuff like Maggi, chips, etc.
There is no entry fee to visit Hirekolale Lake.
There is a parking lot at the periphery of the lake where you could keep your vehicles.
Hirekolale Lake has no activities as such. So don’t go there expecting to experience boating or anything else.
Also, there are no lights at the lake so staying past sundown might not be a good idea.
What makes Hirekolale Lake special?
You know how they say, “It’s not the destination but the journey that counts.”? Hirekolale is a rare example where the destination’s beauty is just as strong a competition to that of the journey. The drive from the main town to the lake is jaw-droppingly captivating. After you leave the town behind, you will be surrounded by vast stretches of green fields. And literally on both the sides of the narrow path you would be on.
These green fields will be decked with palm trees, amongst a few others. The bushes and shrubs on both the sides just make the landscape all the more pretty. Then of course, your eyes would also be treated to the sight of mountains at a distance. As you keep driving, you reach the dense tropical rainforest. Driving in this lush green forest is an experience that can’t be put into words. Especially when you are driving past coffee plantations.
There’s a very noticeable freshness in the air. Which is even present at Hirekolale Lake. The misty hills, the reflection of the greenery on the lake, the clear skies, everything at the site is mesmerizing. Even the sounds of toads croaking, birds whistling and insects of the forest surrounding you, adds to the charm of the experience. Hirekolale Lake is isolated deep in the woods and the vibe here is as good as it can get.