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Location : Karnataka
Languages : Kannada, English, Hindi
Area : 19.31 square miles
Major Attractions : Kelladi, Ballegavi
Best Visiting Time : Months between Oct and March
Shimoga, a city on the banks of River Tunga, is an eye catchy destination. Interspersed with lovely valleys, rives. Forests and fields, this tourist hot spot rests on a height of 650 kilometers from sea. Its paddy fields are watered by rivers like Tunga, Kumadvathi, Varada, and Bhadra and it has resulted in city being one of the major rice producing fields of the state.
The word "Shimoga" is derived from "Shivam-Mogu" which means nose of Lord Shiva. It is said that a saint named Durvasa used to live here; he used to boil a pot with sweet herbs. One day, this pot was tasted by some cowherds who named the place as "Sihi-Moge".
Earlier a part of Mauryan Empire, Shimoga was later ruled by dynasties like Chalukyas, Kadambas, Rashtrakutas, and Hoysalas. After being the part of Vijaynagar in 15th century, the city finally gained its identity and reached the pinnacle of its glory under Nayak rulers. The 17th century saw the city become part of Mysore.
Shivappa Nayak Palace :
This exquisite monument was the summer retreat of Shivappa Nayak. Visit this historical and archeological site in order to have a look at numerous antiquities and stone carvings that belong to Keladi period. To reach here, just reach central bus terminus and reach the palace by covering additional 4 kilometers from here.
Sacred Heart :
Another major attraction of Shimoga is this cathedral; built in Roman style, the church's remarkable features are its massive size and a huge prayer hall. At a time, it can accommodate about 5000 people. This attraction is also located near the bus terminus, a distance of mere 3 kilometers.
Government Museum :
A collection of coins, statues, and manuscripts, Government Museum is a interesting site. There are sculptures that belong to the period of Hoysala; the manuscripts have been written on palm leaves.
Shimoga is a religious center that abounds in churches, mosques, and temples. Bhimeshwara Temple, Laxmi Temple, Mailareshwara temple are the renowned places here. Among the mosques, Jamia, Tank Mohalla, Barline mosques are frequented by the devotees.
Nearby Attractions :
Lion Safari :
At a short distance from Shimoga, lion safari at Tyarekoppa is a favorite haunting place of the adventure seekers. Here you can notice wild animals like tigers, lions, bears etc. It is also popular among the tourist for sheltering several migratory birds. The place remains open all days except Tuesday. The visiting hours begin at 9.00 in the morning and last till 5.00 in the evening.
Elephant Camp :
Another place to unwind yourself is the elephant camp at Shakrebyle. Reach here before 9.00 am so that you can watch the procession of elephants being taken to bathe.
Resting in the tranquil surroundings, this bird sanctuary is a nice tourist destination. Located 32 kilometers from Shimoga, the bird life at the sanctuary comprises of several exotic avian creatures. Visited by migratory birds, the place is an attraction to ornithologists and bird watchers.
It is the suburban city that is famous for its picturesque sites. It is a welcoming retreat for the tourists who come here to watch the lovely sunsets. Another attraction of the place is a Gopalakrishna Temple that is located here.
Honne Godda :
This 300 meters high hillock offers a panoramic views of the surroundings. You can spend time picnicking here or just watching the charming locales.
Lying 75 kilometers in the north eastern direction of Shimoga is Sagar, a place known for its temples. An impressive feature of the town is the amazing craftsmanship exhibited by Gudigara artisans who work to produce sandalwood and ivory items.
Here, you will find some bathing places that are revered by the pilgrims. On the banks of River Tunga, a temple of deity Rameshwara is also present.
The confluence of rivers Bhadra and Tunga takes place at Koodli. Here you will come across temples built during Hoysala rule and a monastery called Smartha.
Barkana Falls :
Falling from a height of 259 meters, Barkana Falls is located 80 kilometers from the town of Thirthahalli.
Hotel Chandrika, Hotel Mathura and Sundar Ashraya (at NT Road) provide nice accommodations. Inspection Bungalow and Guest House by PWD are also fine options.
Shimoga is Karnataka's cultural capital and a nice tourist spot.