Cocooned in the evergreen mountain ranges of Western Ghats, Sakleshpur is a popular hill station in the South Indian state of Karnataka. Listed as one of the 18 most diverse spots in the world in terms of flora and fauna, Sakleshpur is a paradise for nature lovers. Amid temperate climate, fogs, mists, and clouds, it is home to historic forts, ancient marvels, enthralling trekking trails, gushing waterfalls and serene rivers. A perfect blend of scenic beauty and architectural attractions, Sakleshpur serves as an ideal getaway from the monotony of daily life.
How to reach:
By air: Mangalore International Airport is the nearest airport to Sakleshpur at a distance of 137 km. Regular flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore are available to the airport.
By rail: Sakleshpur Railway Station is well connected to the major cities across the country.
By road: Regular buses ply from major cities of Karnataka to Sakleshpur.
A historic, star-shaped monument, Manjarabad Fort was built by ruler Tipu Sultan in 1792 with help from French military architects. Apart from its interesting octagonal design, another contrasting feature is that the fort is only a level high, unlike other forts in the rest of the country. Built as a frontier to store ammunition and barracks for soldiers, Manjarabad Fort served as a defense for Tipu Sultan’s army fighting against the British.
Elevated at a height of 3200 feet on a hillock, the fort offers an amazing view of the enclosing Western Ghats. On clearer days, the sight of the blue Arabian Sea is a delight to the eyes. It is said that a tunnel inside the fort connected to Srirangapatna fort, which the British closed after defeating Tipu Sultan. History buffs will have a great time exploring the Manjarabad Fort.
Bisle View Point
An hour drive away from Sakleshpur, Bisle View Point is a popular spot for sightseeing among tourists visiting the town. Encompassed by lush greenery, it provides a wide-sweeping of Pushpagiri, Kumara Parvatha, and Dodda Betta mountain ranges. Visitors enjoy the breathtaking view of the vistas from a tall shelter erected by the forest department. It is also a perfect destination for avid trekkers. Enroute the viewpoint, Bisle Reserve Forest is home to a variety of flora and fauna. Peacocks, monkeys, spotted deer, and elephants are frequently spotted while passing through the jungles. Dotted with small waterfalls and running streams, Bisle View Point is a haven for nature lovers.
Cascading at the foothills of Pushpagiri mountains, Manjehalli Falls or Abbi Falls, is nearly 20 km away from Sakleshpur town. Clad in the serenity of nature, its full glory is experienced during the rainy season. Rest of the year, water becomes scarce and it becomes a popular picnic spot. Beneath the gurgling stream of water, a cool bathe is totally rejuvenating and refreshing. Adventure buffs climb up the rocks to enjoy the top view of the falls, although proper caution is advised as the rocks are quite slippery. Entry to the falls is restricted after 5:30 in the evening.
Surrounded by rice terraces, Agni Gudda is fondly called a trekker’s delight. Literally translating to ‘fiery mountain’, it is so-called due to the heavy volcanic nature of the hills. Despite that, Agni Gudda is frequented by avid trekkers and campers looking to unleash the inner adventure spirit. Nearly 3 km long from Agani village, it is a moderate climb and takes almost an hour to scale the trek. From the peak, the view of surrounding vistas is astounding. Apart from trekking, the green meadows offer a great spot for an overnight nature camping. Agni Gudda also attracts a lot of groups looking to picnic and spend some time relishing nature.
One of the grandest architecture of erstwhile Hoysala empire, Chennakeshava Temple is a 12th-century Hindu temple. Commissioned in 1117 AD, it took three generations and 103 years to complete the architectural wonder. The fine detailing and carving in the pillars and walls are stunning. All the 48 pillars are uniquely carved and decorated, featuring celestial damsels in various poses. The wall sculptures depict various important events from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Over 900 years old, the temple is a testimony to the timeless legacy of South India’s powerful dynasties.