Things to Do in Shivamogga – 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 “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 Shivamogga
  2. About Shivamogga
  3. How to Plan a trip to Shivamogga
  4. Places to stay in Shivamogga
  5. Nearby road trips
  6. Useful links

Things to Do in Shivamogga 

Shivamogga is filled with greenery, and the first thing to do is take a trip around the city. Sightseeing in Shivamogga 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 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 tasting 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 Shivamogga’s special sweet, Halasina Hannina Kadubu, will unquestionably delight your heart. 

Shopping in Shimoga

Shivamogga, a vibrant city in Karnataka, offers a delightful shopping experience for visitors seeking to explore its local markets and commercial hubs. From traditional crafts to contemporary fashion, the city caters to a wide range of shopping preferences. Here is a list of places to shop in Shimoga:

  • Gandhi Bazaar – Located in the heart of the city, Gandhi Bazaar is a bustling market known for its vibrant atmosphere and diverse shopping options. Here, you can find everything from clothing and accessories to household items and fresh produce.
  • Shivappa Nayaka Market – A popular local market, Shivappa Nayaka Market is a treasure trove for traditional handicrafts, including wood carvings, sandalwood artefacts, and brassware. It’s an ideal place to immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Shimoga.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Road – This busy commercial street offers a mix of shops, boutiques, and showrooms. It’s a great place to shop for clothing, footwear, and accessories, with a variety of options to suit different tastes and budgets.
  • Shimoga Central Market – As the main vegetable and fruit market of Shivamogga, this bustling market is a hub of activity. It’s an ideal spot to experience the local culture and indulge in shopping for fresh produce, spices, and local snacks.
  • KSIC Silk Outlet – If you’re looking to purchase traditional silk sarees and fabrics, head to the KSIC Silk Outlet. Known for its quality silk products, the outlet offers a wide range of designs and patterns, allowing you to take home a piece of Shimoga’s textile heritage.
  • B.H. Road – This commercial street is home to several branded outlets, department stores, and electronic shops. It’s a go-to destination for shopping for electronics, appliances, and other household items.

Nightlife in Shivamogga

Shivamogga, a city nestled in the picturesque landscapes of Karnataka, offers a plethora of activities and places to explore after dark. From serene natural wonders to cultural attractions, here is a list of things to do and places to visit in Shivamogga at night:

  1. Sakrebailu Elephant Camp – Plan a visit to Sakrebailu Elephant Camp and witness the majestic elephants in their natural habitat. The camp organizes night visits, providing a unique opportunity to observe these gentle giants up close, learn about their conservation, and witness their evening routines.
  2. Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary – If you’re a bird enthusiast, head to the Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary during twilight hours. This sanctuary is known for its large population of migratory birds. Witness the birds returning to the sanctuary in the evening, creating a magical spectacle against the backdrop of the setting sun.
  3. Sharavathi River Backwaters – Take a peaceful boat ride along the serene Sharavathi River backwaters. The tranquil atmosphere, accompanied by the shimmering reflections of the moonlight, creates a soothing ambience as you cruise through the calm waters, surrounded by lush greenery.
  4. Kodachadri Hills – Embark on a night trek to Kodachadri Hills, a popular destination for adventure enthusiasts. The trek offers a unique experience of navigating through the dense forest under the starlit sky. Reach the summit to witness a breathtaking sunrise and panoramic views of the Western Ghats.
  5. Koodli – Visit the historical site of Koodli, located at the confluence of the Tunga and Bhadra rivers. The ancient temples and scenic surroundings make it an ideal spot for a serene evening stroll. Witness the tranquillity of the rivers merging and soak in the spiritual ambience of the place.

Shivamoggaoffers a mix of natural beauty, historical landmarks, and wildlife experiences that can be enjoyed even after dark. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll, wildlife encounters, or cultural explorations, Shivamogga has something to cater to every interest.

Places to Visit in Shivamogga 

The places to visit include beautiful hill stations near Shivamogga 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 km 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 among the popular ones. The area is about 490 square kilometres. 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 Shivamogga 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 kilometres 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), and 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 kilometres 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 kilometres 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 kilometres from the city. It is also known as the Lakkavalli Dam. Kayaking, boating, and other water sports are all popular here. 

5. Gajanur Dam 

Gajanur is a small village 12 kilometres 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.

About Shimoga

Shivamogga, nestled amidst the verdant landscapes of Karnataka, is a city that embodies natural beauty, rich history, and cultural heritage. Known as the “Gateway of Malnad,” Shivamogga offers a perfect blend of scenic wonders, including majestic waterfalls, lush forests, and serene rivers. The city is adorned with ancient temples, palaces, and historical sites that reflect its glorious past. Shivamogga also provides ample opportunities for adventure enthusiasts with its trekking trails, wildlife sanctuaries, and river activities. Additionally, the warmth and hospitality of the local people add to the charm of this vibrant city. Whether you seek tranquillity in nature, a glimpse into history, or thrilling experiences in the great outdoors, Shivamogga welcomes you with open arms to explore its wonders and create unforgettable memories.

Shimoga - Gateway Of Malnad


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.

history and geography of Shimoga


Shivamogga, a captivating city nestled in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, holds numerous treasures that make it a must-visit destination. Here are some interesting facts about Shimoga:

  1. Shivamogga is the “Gateway of Malnad” with stunning waterfalls, serene rivers, and lush landscapes.
  2. The city boasts historical sites like Shivappa Nayaka Palace and traces of the ancient Mauryan Empire.
  3. Agumbe, near Shivamogga, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the last rainforests in India.
  4. Shivamogga is the birthplace of renowned Kannada poet Kuvempu and holds a significant place in Kannada literature.
  5. It is a cultural hub with vibrant folk dances, unique art forms, and grand festivals.
  6. Shimoga is famous for its coffee plantations and is a part of Karnataka’s top coffee-producing region.
  7. The city offers thrilling water adventures and is well-connected by road and rail networks.
  8. It is home to prestigious educational institutions, attracting students from across the country.

With its scenic beauty, historical significance, cultural heritage, and outdoor adventures, Shimoga offers a captivating blend of experiences that leave a lasting impression on every visitor.

How to Plan a Trip to Shivamogga

How to Reach Shivamogga from Bangalore?

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

By Train

The Bangalore to Shivamogga route is served by seven weekly and two daily trains, covering approximately 235 kilometres. 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 Shivamogga by road. The distance is 300 km. You can easily book a Bangalore to Shivamogga cab for a hassle-free commute.

By Flight 

Shivamogga Airport is under construction and expected to open by June 2022. The Mangalore Airport, about 190 km from Shivamogga, 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 Shivamogga from Mysore? 

By Train

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

By Road

The distance to cover by road from Mysore to Shivamogga is about 250 kilometres, 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 Shivamogga airport is under construction, and the closest airport is 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 railhead 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 Shivamogga 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 Shivamogga. 

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

Best Time to Visit Shivamogga 

The best time to visit Shivamogga 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 Shivamogga

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

Forestedge in Mudba Homestay
Forestedge in Mudba
  1. Forest edge in Mudba: The homestay is located 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. 
  2. Harsha The Fern Shivamogga 
  3. Akash Inn 
  4. Green View Clarks Inn  
  5. Royal Orchid Central
  6. River View Farm Stay

Shivamogga 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! 

Savaari customer verified- 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

Last Updated on February 2, 2024 by Swati Deol

A quick summary
Waterfalls, Wildlife & Western Ghats - Things to do in Shimoga
Article Name
Waterfalls, Wildlife & Western Ghats - Things to do in Shimoga
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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