Get lost in the arms of nature by experiencing the Hirekolale Lake in Chikmagalur. One of the best things about visiting this lake is that the journey is arguably just as fantastic as the destination itself.
The breathtaking mountains of the Western Ghats and the Mullayanagiri Hills make the canvas all the more stunning. Hirekolale Lake is a man-made lake that used to be the main source of water for the villages around, and was also created for irrigation purposes.
The hill station of Chikmagalur in Karnataka 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 to 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.
The nearest airport is the international one in Mangalore which is about 156 kms away. 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.
There are 2 railway stations which are fairly close to Chikmagalur. These 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.
State transport buses or private buses for Chikmagalur are easily accessible. The roads are also well connected, and driving down to Chikmagalur is a great option because of the scenic landscape. The view is absolutely stunning.
Hirekolale is situated around 9.5 kms away from the main town of Chikmagalur. Getting local transport here can be a little bit tricky and it’s certainly unreliable, so we 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, but it’s not something we would recommend.
There are no timings when it comes to visiting the lake, but we would strongly recommend visiting Hirekolale Lake at 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, since the weather is cooler. 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. Chikmagalur also receives decent amounts of rain during the monsoon season, which makes it a good time 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, just ensure you don’t attempt any stunts in the lake and endanger your life.
You know how they say, “It’s not the destination but the journey that counts”? Hirekolale Lake 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’ll be surrounded by vast stretches of green fields on both the sides of the narrow path you’ll be on.
These green fields will be decked with palm trees, amongst a few others. The bushes and shrubs on both 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, and even more thrilling is driving past coffee plantations.
There’s a very noticeable freshness in the air at Hirekolale Lake. The misty hills, the reflection of the greenery on the lake, the clear skies, everything at the site is mesmerizing. 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.
Is Chikmagalur Worth Visiting?
Lush green hills, towering trees, birdsong filling the air, and cool winds atop the hills, all of this is mainly why Chikmagalur is famous.
Why Is Chikmagalur Special?
Apart from the greenery and pleasant climate that pervades, Chikmagalur has scores of coffee plantations that set the scene. Combine that with the beauty of the Hirekolale lake, and you can see just what makes it a special place.
Which Is The Best Place Chikmagalur Or Coorg?
Coorg is in Kerala and Chikmagalur is in Karnataka, but that is possibly the only difference between the two. Both are equally known for their plantations, pleasant weather and greenery. However, Chikmagalur is arguably a bit less frequented than Coorg so you’ll find lesser people here.
Which Month Is Best To Visit Chikmagalur?
Choosing the best time to visit Chikmagalur depends entirely on your choice, as the weather is perfect practically throughout the year. The monsoon sure makes the earth come alive but you may not be able to do much when it rains. Winters are delightful but sometimes foggy, while summers can be warm.
How Many Days Are Enough For Chikmagalur?
Four days is enough time to be in Chikmagalur. This gives you enough time to laze around, get in some sightseeing and visit the Hirekolale lake.
What Can I Buy In Chikmagalur?
Chikmagalur is good to buy handicrafts, sandalwood, coffee, pepper and perfumes.
Is There Any Beach In Chikmagalur?
The closest thing to a beach in Chikmagalur is the Hirekolale lake, but the nearby town of Malpe sure has a beach. Malpe is a little over 4 hours away from Chikmagalur, and is also the access point for the interesting St. Mary’s Island.
Where Should I Stay In Chikmagalur?
There’s loads of great accommodation options in Chikmagalur, perfect for almost every budget. If you wish to make the most of your time near the lake, ensure you pick a hotel that is within walking distance or close proximity to it.
Is Chikmagalur Safe Now?
Yes, Chikmagalur is quite a safe destination. However, don’t go attracting trouble; avoid venturing out alone at night and avoid the dark places.
Why Is Chikmagalur Famous?
The stretches of coffee plantations, perfect weather through the year, lush greenery, fog in the winter and waterfalls in the monsoon are some of the things that have given Chikmagalur its fame.