Sitting pretty amidst the lush Western Ghats, Shimoga district is one of Karnataka’s most picturesque locales. Known as the Gateway of Malnad, Shimoga is far less popular with tourists when compared to other districts in the region. Which is a shame because Shimoga is a treasure trove for nature lovers. The best time to visit is from October to March. Since it’s located about 300 km away from Bangalore, it makes for a quick 6-hour drive from the city. You can also go via train (it takes about the same amount of time) or catch a bus!
Your first step should obviously the district’s pride — Jog Falls. Out in full force every monsoon, the four cascades that make up Jog Falls make for a thrilling sight. Of course, this isn’t the only fascinating waterfall worth your time. There’s also Kunchikal which is India’s highest waterfall (second in Asia, FYI) and Dabbe Falls, that leads you deep into dense forests. If you are looking for picnic spots, the Gajanur and Linganamakki Dams are ideal.
If this is a fam jam, head to the Sakrebailu Elephant Camp, where you can interact with elephants and even feed them. But if you want to encounter the wild, the Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary and the sanctuaries at Sharavathi Valley are excellent picks. Gaurs, tigers, deer, sloth bear and other species call these sanctuaries home. But if you want to see birds, visits to the Gudavi Bird Sanctuary and Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary will make you happy.