Things to Do in Shimoga – A Complete Travel Guide

Shimoga, also known as Shivamogga, is a beautiful city in Karnataka’s central region. The name is derived from the term “shivmoga“. Lord Shiva drank the water of the Tunga river using a Mogge (pot), which is why this city was named after him. 

The city is located on the banks of the Tunga River. It has been nicknamed as “Gateway to Malnad” as it serves as a gateway to the hills of the Western Ghats. Read on to find out everything about Shimoga!

Shimoga - Gateway Of Malnad

Table of Contents

  1. Things to do in Shimoga
  2. History & Geography of Shimoga
  3. How to Plan a trip to Shimoga
  4. Places to stay in Shimoga

Things to Do in Shimoga 

Shivamogga is filled with greenery, and the first thing to do is take a trip around the city. Sightseeing in Shimoga is breathtaking. From wildlife sanctuaries to waterfalls, there’s a huge list of things to do here. The city is home to several well-known dams. 

Shimoga travel guide
  1. When in Shivmogga, the first activity you must try is heading out for a trek to discover the gorgeous views of the magnificent Kodachadri peak.
  2. Behold the glory of architecture and classical art at Keladi. Keladi in Shivmogga is the perfect place for people who love ancient art and architecture. Also, the temple town of Keladi is one of the main attractions that never ceases to amaze you. 
  3. Explore the Nagara Fort. If you are curious to catch a sight of the ancient era, a visit to the Nagara Fort can bewitch you. This 16th-century fort was developed by the former administrator of Keladi, Shivappa Naik.
  4. Savour the local delicacies. One of the best means to explore a place is through its regional food. When you are here, do not miss to taste some of its popular specialities, such as Midigayi Uppinakai (an appetising mango pickle) and Avalakki (whipped rice). 
  5. Also, if you have a sweet tooth, the taste of Shimoga’s special sweet, Halasina Hannina Kadubu, will unquestionably delight your heart. 

Places to Visit in Shimoga 

The places to visit include beautiful hill stations near Shimoga, waterfalls, dams, and wildlife sanctuaries –

1. Gandhi Park 

The Gandhi Park is one of the most popular and oldest parks in the city. It was recently renovated, with new attractions such as an aquarium, swimming pool, auditorium, play area, and fountains. It is a great attraction, especially for kids. 

2. Lion and Tiger Safari  

Young kids enjoy wildlife sights, and the lion and tiger safari in the zoo gives them just the excitement they need. It is 10 kms away from the city. The Tyavarekoppa Lion safari is a sanctuary for lions and tigers rescued from circuses throughout India. The Shimoga zoo is a place that shouldn’t be missed. 

3. Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary 

Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary

The Bhadra wildlife sanctuary is amongst the popular ones. The area is about 490 square kilometers. The Shimoga national park is located in the tropical woods of the Western Ghats. 

4. Kunchikal Falls 

Kunchikal Falls Shimoga

The Kunchikal Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls. Kunchikal Falls is formed by the River Varahi and is located near Masthikatte-Hulikal on the Udupi border in Karnataka. 

The waterfall cascades down from a height of 455 meters. The Kunchikal waterfalls are India’s highest and rank 116th in the world in terms of height. 

5. Chakra Dam 

The Chakra Dam Shimoga is built across the Chakra River. The dam is located near Shimoga in a little village called Chakra Nagar. The main purpose of this dam is to provide irrigation to crops around the area. Visitors come from far and wide because of the peaceful atmosphere. 

You can book a cab in Shimoga to cover all the major hotspots with comfort and ease.

Popular Places to Visit Nearby

1. Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary 

Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary

Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary is a small island near Mandagadde village, around 30 kilometers from the city. It is one of the closest bird sanctuaries around Shivmogga. 

The three most famous flocks of birds found in these sanctuaries are the Median egret, Darter (or snakebird), Little cormorant. However, the bird sanctuary in Shimoga houses over 5000 different species of birds in August. 

2. Achakanya Falls 

There are many waterfalls near the city. The Achakanya Falls is around 67 kilometers from the main city, near Thirthahalli. The fall reaches a height of 15 to 17 feet in two steps, after which the water forms a pool.

3. Bheemeshwara Falls 

Bheemeshwara Falls

Bheemeshwara is an ancient cave temple that is located 140 kilometers from the city. The Bheemeshwara Falls are lovely waterfalls close to the temple. Water cascades down from a height of around 50 feet. The waterfall is unique because the water never dries up throughout the year. 

4. BRP Dam

The Bhadra Dam is commonly known as the BRP Dam. The dam is 28 kilometers from the city. It is also known as Lakkavalli dam. Kayaking, boating, and other water sports are all popular here. 

5. Gajanur Dam 

Gajanur is a small village 12 kilometers from Shimoga. The Gajanur Dam, which spans the River Tunga, is one of the most attractive picnic places. The lush green fields, plantations, and forests make this place a must-visit. 

You can hire a day, weekly or monthly car rental in Shimoga to cover all these popular nearby places.

History & Geography of Shimoga

Shimoga - Gateway Of Malnad


history and geography of Shimoga

The City Municipal Corporation estimates that this city has a total area of around 50 square kilometers. However, the Tunga river has a total length of 147 kilometers. The Tunga and Bhadra rivers merge in a small town known as Koodli. Koodli is located in Shivamogga city as well. 

The river further flows east and joins the Krishna River in Andhra Pradesh. It is a beautiful destination filled with hills and greenery that is a part of Western Ghats and receives plenty of rainfall. 


The city was also home to some of the great dynasties of India. In the third century B.C., the area was the southernmost outpost of Emperor Ashoka’s Mauryan Empire

The Kadambas (4th century), Chalukyas (6th century), Ganges, Rashtrakutas (8th century), Hoysalas (11th century), and Vijayanagara dynasties governed the region in later decades (15th century). 

The city was a part of the Kingdom of Mysore from the late 17th century until India’s independence in 1947, when the Mysore kingdom combined into the Republic of India. The city was renamed “Shivamogga” on November 1, 2006, by the Karnataka government.

How to Plan a Trip to Shimoga

How to Reach Shimoga from Bangalore?

Shimoga is a lovely place, and there are various ways to get there if you’re planning a trip. If you are thinking how to reach this city from Bangalore, you can choose any one from the following:

By Train

The Bangalore to Shimoga route is served by 7 weekly and 2 daily trains, covering approximately 235 kilometers. The time for this journey is about 5 hours 40 minutes long on average. 

By Road 

Taking a cab to Shivamogga, which takes about 6 hours, is a quicker and more convenient option to get from Bangalore to Shimoga by road. The distance is 300 km. You can easily book a Bangalore to Shimoga cab for a hassle-free commute.

By Flight 

Shimoga Airport is under construction and expected to open by June 2022. The Mangalore Airport, about 190 km from Shimoga, is the closest airport which takes over 4 hours. Hence, it isn’t recommended to take a flight from Bangalore to Mangalore to reach this place.

How to Reach Shimoga from Mysore? 

By Train

Every day, four trains run between the city and Mysore. The distance between Mysore and Shimoga is approximately 276 kilometers. The train journey will take about 5 hours from Mysore to Shimoga. 

By Road

The distance to cover by road from Mysore to Shimoga is about 250 kilometers, taking 6 hours for the journey. You can book a reliable cab from Mysore to Shimoga and enjoy a scenic road trip to the city.

By Flight

The Shimoga airport is under construction, and the closest airport is the Mangalore at a distance of 190 km. Hence, it isn’t recommended to take a flight from Mysore to Mangalore to reach Shimoga.

How to Reach Shimoga from Madikeri? 

By Train

There’s no railway station in Coorg. The nearest rail head is Mysore Railway Station which is 110 km away. You can then take a train from Mysore to Shimoga and reach in 5 hours.

By Road

The fastest way to get to Shimoga is by road (car), which is 250 km away and takes about 5 hours 40 minutes. You can book a reliable cab from Coorg to Shivamogga for a memorable road trip. 

By Flight

Flight is not a recommended option again. There are no flight services directly to Shimoga. 

Download our Savaari car Booking app for a smooth and pleasant journey. 

Best Time to Visit Shimoga 

The best time to visit Shimoga is during the winter months of December to February. The winter season begins in December here. The temperature ranges from 16°C to 28°C. Shimoga’s winters stretch until February.

However, the summer months are not recommended as the temperature is too hot and can range from 20°C to 36°C. During the monsoon season, the city experiences heavy rainfall.

[Also Read: Chikmagalur: The Coffee Land of Karnataka]

Places to Stay in Shimoga 

You can also choose to stay at one of the hotels or resorts in the city or the gorgeous rustic homestays near Shimoga. Here are our top recommendations:

Forestedge in Mudba Homestay
Forestedge in Mudba
  1. Forestedge in Mudba: The homestay is located in between Thirthahalli and Shimoga on a beautiful hilltop with a breathtaking valley view. The suites and luxury cottages here are nestled amidst the forest and plantation terrains. You may book your stay here with Travel Malnad.
  2. Harsha The Fern Shivamogga 
  3. Akash Inn 
  4. Green View Clarks Inn  
  5. Royal Orchid Central
  6. River View Farm Stay

Shivmogga is a gorgeous place and a must-visit destination, particularly during the winter seasons. Take a break from work, plan your trip now, and enjoy the scenic view of the Western Ghats. The various tourist places in Shivamogga won’t disappoint you! 

Best Road-trips to Shimoga

Route NameDistanceTime
Bangalore to Shimoga301 km5 hours and 45 minutes
Mysore to Shimoga256 km5 hours and 37 minutes
Mangalore to Shimoga191 km4 hours and 17 minutes
Coorg to Shimoga247 km5 hours and 30 minutes
Goa to Shimoga325 km6 hours and 40 minutes
Wayanad to Shimoga330 km8 hours
A quick summary
Shimoga - Gateway of Malnad
Article Name
Shimoga - Gateway of Malnad
Shimoga, also known as Shivamogga, is a beautiful city in Karnataka's central region. The name is derived from the term "shivmoga".
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About the author

An engineer by degree, a writer by passion, I’m a lover of fiction, classics and Shah Rukh Khan. When I’m not busy challenging the status quo, one word at a time, I fancy reading, shoe-hoarding and petting my cat.

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