The jeweled crown of the Malnad, the district of Shimoga offers great experiences to all the adventurers, trekkers, wild life enthusiasts, pilgrims, the spiritual seekers, and the romantic lot. Shimoga is connected by train from Bangalore, Mysore and Hubi and well connected to important centres of state by road. Here is a place to discover some exclusive architecture in the intricately carved pillars and walls of its forts and temples. Koodli, 16km from Shimoga at the confluence river Tunga and Bhadra is known as Varanasi of south as it is home to age-old temples of Rushyashrama, Brahmeshwara, Narasimha and Rameshwara along with mutt of Shankaracharya.
Chandragutti, 16km west of Soraba, an early strong hold of Kadambas of Banavasi is prominent for Renukamba Temple and the fort. Kubetoor is about 25km from Soraba. Kubetoor is known for architectural splendor of its several old temples of Chalukyan period, especially temples (though in ruins) of Veerabhadra and Durgi. Balligave, is called the Dakshina Kedara. Capital of the Banavasi rulers, the temples of Kedareshwara, Panchalinga, and Thirpuranthakeshwara are testimony to the rich architectural talent of the region. 5km from Balligave at Talagunda is 'Prabhudeva Gaddige'.
The temples of Lakshminarasimha and Rameshwara in Bhadravathi attract pilgrims from all parts of Karnataka. The most prominent industrial centre of Bhadravathi is also famous from the Roman Gothic style, Sacred Heart Church, supposed by the second tallest in India.
The last bastion of Keladi Kings in Nagara, 19km from Hosanagara (earlier Bedanoor), the Hyder Ali Tank, and the temples of Neelakanteshwara, Gudde Vankataraman Swamy, are worth a visit.
It is 5km from Sagar, in one of the capitals of Keladi Nayakas, Ikkeri, and the famous Aghoreshwara Temple is a unique example of a mix of Hoysala and Dravidian style of temple architecture. Another example of this blend can be witnessed in the temples of Veerbhadra, Rameshwara, and Parvathi at Keladi, situated about 8 km from Sagar. The museums at Ikkari and Keladi have a collection of rare stone carvings, coins, and inscriptions from Keladi and Nayaks periods respectively.
Humucha, 54km from Shimoga is renowned for 10th and 11th century Panchakula Basadi a renowned Jain pilgrim spot. The Dargah of Sri Hazrat Syed Saddat is forever filled with devotees.
Hills and falls
Shimoga district is also the place bestowed with plentiful of nature's delights. 12km from Thirthahalli, Kundadri Hill offers breathtaking view from the top and is popular with trekkers. Further about 25km on road to Udpi is Agumbe. People from all over the world come to Agumbe to view the beauty of the golden sunset in the twilight skies of the Western Ghats.
115km from Shimoga, Kodachadri (1228m) covered with splendid evergreen forests are a veritable trekker's paradise.
In the winding spirals of mighty mountain Ghats cascade wondrous waterfalls thundering through whispering greenery of Sayyadri Valley. The river Sharavathi takes a spectacular leap here at Achakanya Falls in Hosanagar Taluk. 4km from Agumbe, Abbe Falls are impressive. Situate 10km from Nittur Village are Hidlumane Falls passing through thick woods and sculpture of various shapes. The dam constructed across the river Tunga in Gajanur, 10km from Shimoga on Thirthahalli road and the elephant camp here are the favorite destinations. Ambutheeratha, situated 10km Thirthahalli, the source of river Sharavathi is a sacred spot. The dam across the river Bhadra (and the aqua farm near it) is an ideal picnic spot. The splendid Jog Falls can also be visited from Shimoga.
Shimoga is fed by the rivers Tunga, Bhadra, Sharavati, Varada and Kumudavathi and most of these surrounded by sprawling mountain peaks and engulfed by the vast woods offer ideal spots for water sports lovers especially the backwaters of Tunga, Bhadra, and Sharavati.
Shimoga is a district where art, literature, and tradition intermingle, Sagara, 75km from Shimoga is the renowned centre of very fine sandalwood handiwork. The small village of Heggodu near Sagar is where renowned theatre artists from all cover come to Neenasam a drama institute. 15 km from Shikaripura is Uduthadi, the birthplace of the famous Kannada poet, Akkamahadevi. 88km from shimoga is Soraba popular for its handicrafts and famous dance 'Dollu Kunitha'.
The district of Shimoga is also a place to visit for its wealth of flora and fauna. The Tavarekoppa Lion Safari a sanctuary, 10km from Shimoga enroute Sagar is known for sightings of lion, tigers, and a variety of migratory birds. Sakrebylu located on the banks of Tunga is home of elephants. The renowned Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary situated 30km from Shimoga enroute Tirthahalli is a sheer bliss. Come to Gudavi, 16km from Soraba, to watch some rare seasonal birds.