People who want to break away from the idea of conventional vacation or holiday and want an adventurous holiday can plan a trip to Sakleshpur, a beautiful town in Karnataka. Its scenic beauty, lush green coffee plantations, fascinating mountains, and pleasant romantic weather conditions make it a perfect holiday destination.
The Location and History of Sakleshpur
Sakleshpur or Sakleshpura is a hill station town in Hassan District of the South Indian state of Karnataka. It is a beautiful town located in Western Ghats on Bangalore‑Mangalore Highway. Sakleshpur is located on the border of Malnad and Bayaluseemae in Hassan district. It receives heavy rainfall from the southwest monsoon and because of the temperate climate; this place is blessed with huge amount of coffee, tea, cardamom, and pepper plantations. In fact, Sakleshpur Taluk reports for around one-third of cardamom production in India.
It is located at an average elevation of 949 metres (3,113 feet). Since it has temperate climate on the Western Ghats, it is suited for growing Cash crops. Coffee growers from the neighbouring villages throng to sell coffee at Sakleshpur.
Sakleshpur is located in the Western Ghats, a mountain range that stretches from Kerala to Gujarat. The southern range, which includes Bisle reserve forest and the region around Sakleshpur is listed as one of the 18 most diverse spots in the world in terms of flora and fauna.
Bisle is the rainforest of Western Ghats of Karnataka
The reserve forest spreads over 3,135 hectares of lowland evergreen forest, to the east is the Bisle Village. Kempuhole forest reserve adjoins in the North. The sub-tropical climate and heavy rains during the wet season create an environment where several unique plant and animal species flourish.
Local people believe that a broken Shivalinga was found in this town. The Linga was called as Shakaleshwara, which later on became Sakaleshwara. A temple was also built at the entrance of the town, and later, the town was also called as Sakaleshapura. Another theory is that Shakaleshwara literally means a town with all types of wealth, such as river, coffee, cardamom, pepper, hill station, and education. Sakaleshwara Swami’s ‘Ratha Yatra’ takes place every year in February, which is a must see.
Tourist Activities at Sakleshpur
Trekking: People interested in trekking can choose the railway track from Sakleshpur to the Subramanya Road Station, which is perfect for camping and trekking. It is about 56 km blessed by 58 tunnels, 109 bridges, and about 25 waterfalls.
Picnic Spots: The Bisle Reserve Forest and the region around Sakleshpur are listed as one of the most diverse sights for flora and fauna in the world. People interested in bird watching can head straight to the coffee estates in this region, which has 55 species of migratory and resident birds.
Religious and Historical Sites: Attractions around Sakleshpur include a star-shaped fort Manjarabad Fort constructed by Tippu Sultan, which is located at an elevation of 3,240 ft above sea level. Kukke Subrahmanya Temple, which is believed to be the residence of Lord Subramanyeshwara, is a must see. You must also visit Moodabidri, an ancient centre of Jain learning.
Mountains: During your visit to Sakleshpur, you can witness the second highest peak in Karnataka, Jenukal Gudda, which also means ‘Honey-stone Mountain’.
If you are lucky and it is a clear day, then you can get a glimpse of the Arabian Sea coast in Mangalore from the top of this mountain. An apt place for trekking, picnics, and outdoor camping is Agni Gudda, which means ‘Fiery Mountain’. Watching the surrounding rice terraces from here is a heartwarming experience.
Sakleshpur Local Information
If you are planning a holiday in Sakleshpur, you will be glad to know that there are many home stays, resorts, camping and trekking groups that provide good accommodation and trekking facility.
Sakaleshpur receives very heavy rainfall from the southwest monsoons. During monsoons, be prepared for extreme rains and leeches. While venturing on the trek, be cautious of over flooding stream. In summers prepare for the heat and humid conditions with enough water to drink on your trek. Never venture without a guide.
Sakleshpur is gifted with abundance of nature surrounded by hills and forest valleys. Naturally the Sakleshpur climate will be cool throughout the year. One should experience rainy season in Sakleshpur since the livelihood of locals will change particularly in this season. Sakleshpur weather is favourable for all travellers who care for Western Ghats and respect mother nature.
How to Reach Sakleshpur
Sakleshpur does not have an airport, and it is not connected by rail. The nearest airport is Mangalore, which is 105 km from Sakleshpur, and the nearest railway station is at Hassan. Sakleshpur is located on National Highway 48 (NH-48), which connects Bangalore and Mangalore. It is 225 km from Bangalore and 130 km from Mangalore.
Sakleshpur Railway Station
The people of Karnataka are very welcoming and this has immensely helped the tourism industry to grow.
If you think foggy mornings and dew drops gleaming at dawn, green meadows, plantations, meandering roads, and starry nights is an illusion, then make it a reality by heading straight to the Western Ghats in Sakleshpur.
Drive slowly in Ghats and curves, don’t rave on tempting curvy roads. Honk horn wherever necessary. If you are taking offbeat roads than regular one, opt for jeeps or bring your own SUV. Offbeat roads and tracks with breath taking scenery and away from Madning crowd can be only explored via 4×4 Jeep or SUV.
Make sure you take a local guide along with your group to avoid risks from wildlife and natural calamities through forest fire / rains. Don’t ever dare to go without forest permission and local help, its not town with address everywhere…
Carry enough cash as there are No ATMS other than towns. Only BSNL available in most places and other network are bad. If you are looking at cheaper accommodation, it is available for backpackers in Sakleshpur town.