Tips for Visitors to Kemmangundi, Karnataka

Kemmangundi (or Kemmanagundi) in Karnataka is also known as Krishnarajendra Hill Station. It is a popular tourist hub due to its enchanting location in the midst of the Baba Budangiri range of hills. These hills are referred to as KR Hills, in honour of one of the previous rulers of the State of Karnataka - Krishnaraja Wodeyar. The superb location of Kemmangundi in the Western Ghats provides it with a veritable carpet of forest land as well as some really awesome waterfalls.

When visiting Kemmangundi, if you wish to truly enjoy the natural beauty of the place, you need to do a lot of trekking. What's more: forewarned is forearmed, so read on and learn…

Tips for tourists

1. Forget fancy sneakers and strap-sandals (and ladies – forget the high heels!). Buy a good pair of trekking shoes which will weather the rough and tough trails and roads of Kemmangundi.

2. Speaking of the weather, the best time to visit Kemmangundi is from late September to January. While many people find it fun to go trekking during the rains, this is not advisable while visiting Kemmangundi. During the rains, the bad roads become worse and the trails become muddy and dangerous. In fact, even experienced locals will refuse to escort you around some of the attractions in Kemmangundi due to the slippery conditions. It may be just fine to visit Kemmangundi during the summer, too, but at that time it is extremely dry and the natural beauty is generally hidden by brown hues.

3. It is a good idea to wear warm clothing during the winter season and broad-brimmed hats in any season. Avoid shorts (see tip No.10 as to the reason). Make sure that you carry mosquito repellent. Don't forget to carry your camera and binoculars while visiting Kemmangundi.

4. The road from Mullaiyanagiri to Kemmangundi is one of the worst stretches of so-called motorable roads. Actually, it is motorable strictly by Jeep as it is very rough (not to mention dusty!) and creates havoc with both vehicle tyres and body muscles.

5. If you are planning to take your own Jeep or bike, make very sure that your vehicle has a full tank. The nearest petrol bunker to Kemmangundi is located in Chikmagalur, a distance of about 40-50kms.

6. Do not depend on Credit cards or ATM cards for expenses. It is best to carry a little cash in case you are driving your own vehicle and need petrol, as well as if you wish to make an impromptu trip to Kemmangundi and are booking accomodation near Kemmangundi. The petrol bunker in Chikmagalur accepts payment only in cash. Also, don't be surprised if you discover an inoperable ATM machine!

7. Always carry a powerful torch with you everywhere you go in Kemmangundi as electicity is very erratic. A torch is especially necessary if you plan to trek up Z point in the early morning / late evening hours to enjoy the sunrise/sunset. Also, there are no informative sign posts in Kemmangundi to guide you along the way and you can very easily get lost in the dark.

8. In case you do get lost in the middle of nowhere in Kemmangundi , make sure you have noted down the contact numbers of Chikmagalur officials & the emergency contact numbers too.

9. Since it will be a rare sight to find a good place to eat on your way to (and around) Kemmangundi , it is best to carry your own packed meals as well as bottles of water.

10. Beware of leaches in Kemmangundi! These pesky creatures are an absolute nuisance especially at Hebbe Falls. To avoid swellings, it is a good idea to tie up your pants at just above the ankle level and wear high socks so that the leaches don't get on your skin. Also, since there is a possibility of snakes on trekking trails, it is advisable to take a local guide if you are new to the area.

Tourist Attractions

Kemmangundi is an ideal destination for the whole family, especially for those who love trekking & exploring. There are some incredibly breathtaking views from what is known as Z point. The journey towards Kemmangundi must be broken for a side trip to the famous Hebbe Falls. This journey will be past fields with smiling sunflowers, and here & there in Chickmagalur are well spread out tea & coffee plantations. Then there is the Bhadra Tiger Reserve, a must visit place especially with the growing call for saving the Indian Tiger.

How to Reach Kemmangundi

Kemmangundi is located in Chickmagalur, which has no airport or airstrip. However, Kemmangundi is easily accessible by road from major cities and towns in Karnataka, including Bangalore, the capital city. Note, however, that Kemmangundi is closer to Mangalore than Bangalore.

How to reach by Air

1. The nearest airport to Kemmangundi is the Mangalore International Airport. Formerly called the Bajpe Airport, the Mangalore International Airport is located in the town of Bajpe. The distance from Mangalore to Kemmangundi is 150kms.
Flights to Mangalore International Airport:
(i) Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines operate flights from Bangalore to Mangalore International Airport.
(ii) Kingfisher Airlines operates flights from Chennai & Cochin to Mangalore International Airport.
(iii) Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, Indian, and Air-India Express operate flights from Mumbai to Mangalore International Airport.

2. You can fly to the Bengaluru International Airport, and from the city travel by road to Kemmangundi. The distance from Bangalore to Kemmangundi is 298kms.

How to Travel by Train

1. You can take a train from Bangalore to Tarikere, which is just 25 to 30kms from Kemmangundi. At the station you can hire a taxi (Rs.450/- to Rs.500/-) or take a local bus from there to Kemmangundi.
2. You can take the Janashatabdi Express from Bangalore to Birur. From Birur station you can hire a taxi (Rs.450/- to Rs.500/-) or take a bus to Kemmangundi. There are two return trains from Birur to Bangalore: the Janashatabdi Express and the Chalukya Express.

How to reach by Bus

1. You can board a KSRTC air-conditioned deluxe bus from Bangalore to Kadur and another bus from there will to Kemmangundi.
2. You can board the KSRTC Bus heading to Shimoga, and get off at Birur. At Birur take another bus to Kemmangundi. Birur is about 36kms from Kemmangundi.

How to reach by road

You have to go to Kemmangundi from Bangalore via the National Highway NH-206 till Kadur and then the NH-48 till Hassan. It takes about 8 hours by road from Bangalore to Kemmangundi.
Road routes from Bangalore to Kemmangundi:
(i) Hassan - Belur - Chikmagalur – Lingadahalli - Kemmangundi
(ii) Tumkur - Gubbi – Tiptur – Arsikere – Banavara – Kadur - Chikamagalur - Kemmangundi

Accommodation at Kemmangundi

The first choice of accommodation for most visitors to Kemmangundi is the Horticulture Department Guest House (known as Raj Bhavan), which provides a number of cottages. This is a budget dormitory-type accommodation with a double room costing less than Rs.300/-. However, be warned: most visitors are unhappy with the facilities, with unwashed bed sheets and limited (cold) food.

You need to book accommodation at the Horticulture Department Guest House well in advance and it is very rare that you will find a cottage vacant otherwise.
Phone Number of Horticulture Department Guest House: 08262 - 237126
You can also book this accommodation with the Bangalore Horticulture Department –
Contact: Director of Horticulture - Ph: 080-6571925

There is also a Horticulture Department Guest House in Kallathi village, where the famous Kallathi waterfalls are located. Phone Number of Horticulture Department Guest House Kallathi: 08262-235334

There are many more comfortable accommodations in Kemmangundi:

1. Nature Nivana Homestay at Chikmagalur
Nature Nirvana Homestay is a bungalow located in the Baba Budanagari Range, 38kms from Kadur railway station. Activities offered to guests include trekking, fishing, coracle rides, etc.

Tariff: Rs.1950/- per night. Tariff could be higher during the peak season from 20th December to 5th January & from 1st April to 31st May. Tariff includes all meals and taxes, a few treks and a plantation tour. A variety of day/night packages are available.

Address of Nature Nirvana Homestay Chikmagalur: Baba Budanagari Hills, Chikmagalur.

Phone number of Nature Nirvana Homestay Chikmagalur: 0-98440-42152 / 0-94483-64152

Email of Nature Nirvana Homestay Chikmagalur:

2. Planters Court Hotel Chikmagalur
The Planters Court Hotel is located exactly opposite the KSRTC Bus stand in Chikmagalur. The in-house restaurant serves both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. Since most of the staff primarily speak in Kannada, it is advisable to learn a few Kannada words!

Tariff ranges from a little over Rs.400 up to Rs.1200/- +.

Address of the Planters Court Hotel Chikmagalur: K.M. Road, P.Box 109, Opposite KSRTC Depot km Road, Chikmagalur, Karnataka

Phone Number of Planters Court Hotel Chikmagalur: (08262) 235881 / 235882‎

3. Rangers Camp Chikmagalur
The Rangers Camp is about 13kms from Hebbe Falls, one of the main attractions of Kemmangundi. It is not a jungle camp – there are furnished cottages with all the requisite facilites. Since it is located at the base of the Kemmangundi hills, there are plenty of outdoor activities for guests including bird watching, trekking, nature walks, cycling, etc. You can even laze around in a hammock!

Tariff: Cottage for 2 is Rs.1,250/- (taxes extra). This includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a campfire.

Here is an update on the price:
the tariff is Rs.1350/-per person/day on multiple sharing basis and Rs.1500/- per person/day on twin sharing basis - The package includes lunch, dinner, breakfast and stay. Games and activities are also included in the package, please refer website - The tariff is valid upto March 2012.Proprietor,Rangers Camp.

Address of Rangers Camp Chikmagalur: Ballavara, Tarikere Taluk, Chickmagalur – 577129, Karnataka
Phone Number of Rangers Camp Chikmagalur: +91 8261 258138 / 200 // Mobile : +91 9448555633

You can also get in touch with their Bangalore Contact: Ms Manjula, Sorakaya Holidays -
Mobile Ph : +91 9880296167

4. The Taj Garden Retreat
The Taj Garden Retreat is now known as The Gateway Hotel. The resort is located in the midst of the Baba Budangiri Range, near Kadur railway station. The hotel arranges sightseeing visits to the Bhadra Tiger Reserve and the Mulliyangiri Peak, amongst other tourist spots in an around Kemmangundi.

Tariffs vary depending on the type of room. The least expensive is the Standard Garden View room for Rs.11,700/-.

Address of Taj Garden Retreat Chikmagalur: K.M. Road, Opposite Pavitravana, Jyothinagar Post, Chikmagalur – 577 102, Karnataka.

Phone Number of Taj Garden Retreat Chikmagalur: 91-8262- 220202 / 220821 / 220824 / 220404 // Fax 91-8262-220222

Tip: For those who love the outdoors, there are some camping sites in Kemmangundi near the Raj Bhawan Horticulture Guest House.

Contact Information of Tourism Officicers

Before setting out for Kemmangundi, Karnataka it is advisable to keep a list of essential contact numbers. You never know when an emergency will arise!

STD Code of Kemmangundi Karnataka: 08262

1. District Tourism Officer,
Mathaias Towers,
Near KSRTC Bus Stand,
Chickmagalur - 577101.
Phone : 08262 – 228493

2. Special Officer,
Krishnarajendra Hill Station,
Kemmangundi Post,
Tarikere Taluk,
Chikmagalur - 577 101
Tel: 08262-235334

Contact Phone Number for Public Transport
You can contact the Karnataka State Road Transport Office (K.S.R.T.C.) in Chickmagalur for all information on buses and routes to Kemmangundi. The staff can guide you in English and Kannada.
Chikmagalur K.S.R.T.C. Phone Numbers: 235426 / 234018 / 234067

Emergency Phone Numbers

God Forbid you have any medical emergency during your trip to Kemmangundi, but you do need to have this important number with you:
Chikmagalur Medical Emergency Phone Number for Ambulance / Hospital: 235213 / 231163

In case you are lost while trying to find your way around Kemmangundi, here are the phone numbers of the Police Department at Chikmagalur.
1. Chikmagalur Town Police Station Phone Number: 235333

2. Chikmagalur Superintendent of Police (SP) Phone Number: 230403 (office) / 230404 (residence)

Wishing you a happy trip to Kemmangundi & hoping you never need to use the emergency numbers during your stay.

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