Nestled among the lush, forested areas of Ramanagara district in the Karnataka state is the small city of Kanakapura. What makes this city special is that it is located at a short driving distance of 50-55 km (31-34 mi) from the bustling city of Bangalore, making it the perfect day trip or weekend getaway destination for city dwellers. It is also a popular tourist spot thanks to its wide array of activities and attractions. The hills and forested areas offer ample hiking, trekking, birdwatching, and wildlife viewing opportunities; the many rivers and streams provide opportunities for water sports. Ancient temples are great for the pious as well as history buffs. Plus, there are majestic waterfalls, picnicking opportunities, adventure sports, and scenic views to be enjoyed here. Go on a road trip, spend the day, or stay the night. To have the best time, scroll down and check out our guide to Kanakapura.
1. Things to do / Highlights
Go trekking at Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta
Shaped like the reclining form of the deity Ranganathaswamy, Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta is a huge hill that makes for ideal trekking terrain. Winding its way past greenery, you can make your way to the top by yourself on a day trek, or hire a guide to go on a night trek. From the top, enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding hills, forests, and city. It falls within the protected forest area, and animals frequently wander across the hill, especially elephants. Thus, it is only open to the public on weekends, from 9 am to 5 pm. Take amazing pictures from the top, enjoy the scenery, and experience the thrills of going on a trek at Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta in Kanakapura.
Admire Chunchi Falls
Situated close to the convergence point of Kollidam and Cauvery rivers, Chunchi Falls is a mesmerising waterfall that is almost 50 feet (15 metres) high. Surrounded by rocks and offering superb views of the surrounding forests and the city of Kanakapura, these falls are said to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Karnataka. If permitted, you can hike down to the base, but it can be very risky. Alternatively, a local guide can be hired to take you to the top of the hill from where you will see the waterfall from above. The sides also make for a great picnic spot.
Go on a coracle ride at Mekedatu
If you visit at a time when Cauvery River is in full force and speed, you can go on a coracle ride at Mekedatu. Meaning ‘goat’s leap’ in the local language, Mekedatu is characterised by deep and gorgeous canyons carved by the mighty Cauvery River that still flows through them. It is the spot where the Cauvery and Kollidam rivers create a picturesque scene after their confluence at the Sangama point. Locals offer coracle rides to visitors, and this will allow you to view the lush greenery and the beautiful landscapes. If coracle rides are not available, you can also enjoy a riverside picnic while taking in the scenic views.
2. What to eat
Located next to the Art of Living Ashram on Kanakapura Road, MTR is an established name in Karnataka, and it is known for serving tasty South Indian dishes. Depending on the time of day that you visit, you can try dishes like crispy dosa (rice batter crepe), idlis (rice cakes), excellent coffee, bisi bele bath (spiced rice dish), and more. It is a self-service restaurant and an ideal place to refuel your tummy before you continue your journey.
Chikoo Farm Inn
Enjoy indoor or outdoor dining at the spacious and clean Chikoo Farm Inn located on Kanakapura Road. They also have a very well-maintained garden, a chikoo (sapodilla fruit) orchard and clean restrooms. The restaurant offers Indian and Indo-Chinese fares like dal fry (lentils cooked in spices), biryani (fragrant fried rice), chapati (Indian flatbread), noodles, soups, tea, and coffee.
3. Travelers tips
Go during the right season
If you plan to visit waterfalls and view the rivers in their full glory, monsoon is the best time to visit Kanakapura. Nature is at its best during this time. But necessary precaution should be taken if there is excessive rainfall and flooding. Avoid going in the summer months since the waterfalls may have already dried down to a trickle.
Pack food and water for the road
Though there are a few restaurants and eateries along the way, it is best to carry your own food and water, especially if you are going trekking or plan to have a picnic by the river. If travelling with picky eaters or children, it is best to pack some food as you may have trouble finding grocery stores and restaurants.
4. How to get there
Driving is the best and most enjoyable way to reach the city. This destination is at a distance of around 50-55 km (31-34 miles) from Bangalore, and rental cars are easily available from here to take you to Kanakapura. You could even drive your own car and go on an adventurous road trip. Directions are easily available from various cities like Bangalore, Mysore, and Ramanagara via national highway NH 209.
Both public and private buses ply at regular intervals between Bangalore and Kanakapura. If you wish to travel by train, Ramanagaram Railway Station is the closest railway station to Kanakapura - from there, you can take a taxi to Kanakapura that is just 25 km (15.5 miles) away.
You can hire all-day or on-way taxis from Bangalore to take you to Kanakapura. If you plan to stay overnight, taxis that will stay through the next day can also be hired from Bangalore.
Paid parking is easily available for a nominal amount at most tourist spots in Kanakapura.
Address: Kanakapura, Ramanagara, Karnataka, India
Department of tourism: Karnataka Tourism
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