This is the best time to see Western ghats and experience rain especially in the Malnad region of Tirthahalli in Karnataka. It is still unexplored and a place for someone who loves driving. Having been to Tirthahalli and surroundings many times, here is the recommended itinerary. Of course, this region can be visited throughout the year as well.
Make Tirthahalli as base – it is centrally located and has good stay options – and you can comfortably plan for four to five days of outing. It is also an area which receives heavy rain fall. Here is the recommended itenerary.
Day 1 – Leave Bangalore in the morning and reach Thirthahalli for Lunch. It is a comfortable six hours drive. Have breakfast enroute either at Tiptur (Kamat) or Arsikere (Raghavendra Lodge) or Kadur (Vinayaka Cafe) or Birur (Preethi Canteen). On the way visit Amritapura – five KMs from Tarikere for its famous Hoysala temple. In the evening go around town, visit Bheemanakatte for a quiet evening by Tunga river.
Amritapura – Amrutesvara Temple,
Day 2 – Tirthahalli – Kundadri – Agumbe – Tirthahalli
Experience the fury of rain and wind on Kundadari – you can drive up the hill and enjoy panoramic view, visit Agumbe Rain Forest research station for King Cobra etc, visit Jogi gundi and Koodlu Theerta water falls, walk on the streets where Swami and his friends walked in Malgudi Days, return back to Tirthahalli in evening. You may not be able to see beautiful sunset at Agumbe during monsoons.
Agumbe Rainforest research station – ::.Agumbe – Rainforest Research Station
Day 3 – Tirthahalli – Sringeri – Horanadu – Kuppali – Chbbalagudde -Tirthahalli
A beautiful drive. Have early breakfast or better have break fast at Sringeri. Visit temple and Ashram – don’t miss seeing Award winning architecture of Sanskrit Pathashala. Drive to Horanadu. Have lunch in temple. After lunch drive back to Tirthahalli and on the way after Koppa, visit the beautifully restored heritage house of great kannada poet KUVEMPU as a memoorial for him at Kuppali – good signage is there. Trek to “Kavi Shyla” a small hill – ten minutes trek – adjoining to the memorial to see “Stone Henge” kind of structure done by well known artist K T Shivaprasad. Enjoy the beautiful view of Sahyadris from the top. Return back to Tirthahalli
Day 4 – Tirthahalli – Kollur -Sigandur – Linganamakki back waters – Tirthahalli
After early breakfast drive to Kollur. Visit temple. On the way back visit Sigandur Chowdeshwari temple close to back waters. Go to ferry launch area. If ferries are plying hop on to experince the beauty of back waters.
Day 5 – Tirthahalli – Kavaledurga – Mani dam – Nagara fort – Tirthahalli
Kavaledurga is a hillock fort close to Tirthahalli with amazing views of Mani reservoir and valleys. After break fast head towards Kavale durga. Trek the hill, enjoy the views. Drive to Mani dam and view beautiful surorundings. On the way back, visit Nagara Fort complex and return to Tirthahalli.
Kavale durga – The Voice of Greenery: Kavaledurga
Day 6 – Tirthahalli – Kodachadri – Tirthahalli
I am not sure of trekking of Kodachadri in Monsoons. If possible do it. Also visit beautiful Hittalamane falls at the fooot hills.
Day 7 – Tirthahalli – Mandagadde bird sanctuary – Sakrebylu elephant camp – Shettihalli Wild Life sanctuary – Gajanur dam – Tirthahalli
This can be done as a comfortable day trip. Need to check with forest dept whether the Sanctuary will be open during monsoons. The details are in the link below.
Shettyhalli WLS – Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary
Day 8 – Tirthahalli – Sagara – Jog falls – Tirthahalli
Visit famous temple at Ikkeri on the outskirts of Sagara. Drive to Jog falls. If time permits, come via Soraba and Gudavi to Tirthahalli after vsisting Gudavi bird sanctuary.
Day 9 – Return to Bangalore
a) If one wants to visit Udupi, then they can deviate from Agumbe or Kollur.
b) If one wants to Murdeshwar and beyond te one can do so after Jog falls. Also there is a nice trek of Kanur fort from Jog falls for which one has to stay in Jog falls.
Accommodation in Thirthahalli: Travelers who love to experience the authentic and typical cuisines of malnad can book a Homestay in Thirthahalli for a rejuvenating experience. Added to homestays there are resorts in Thirthahalli located on River Tunga.