Tyarekoppa Lion Safari - Shimoga
Shimoga - Tourism's Treasure Trove
Shimoga is one of the most picturesque cities in Karnataka. The city is situated on the banks of Tunga River in the central region of Karnataka. Nestling at an altitude of 640 m above sea level, Shimoga is at a distance of 274 Km from the Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka. The name 'Shimoga' is derived from the term Shiva-Mukha which means face of Lord Shiva. Shimoga was among the most desired spots in Karnataka by many rulers. And in past, it has also come under the rule of many dynasties like Kadambas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Hoysalas, and Vijayanagara. What attracted them to Shimoga was the fertility of the place. The quantity and the quality of the food grains that were produced here, were better than anywhere else in Karnataka. Even today, the agricultural products are exported from Shimoga to other districts.
Shimoga is a great place for tourism as the lush green vegetation around provides many scenic spots as well as pleasant climate. The main attractions are the many falls that are found in and around Shimoga, especially the Jog Falls, which are, situated few kilometers away from here. Best time to visit Shimoga is between October and March during which the rivers and falls are running full of water after the monsoons.
Attractions - Gifts of Nature
Major attractions in and around Shimoga are mostly natural and unlike other cities of Karnataka, does not have huge heritage treasures to boost about. However, what you will get in Shimoga, is something that you will not find anywhere else in the state. Proximity to Jog Falls is the main reason why Shimoga is one of the most visited cities in Karnataka. Other attractions are the wildlife sanctuaries around the city.
Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary
Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary is situated at a distance of around 30 Km from Shimoga City. The sanctuary is host to some of the most magnificent birds. The dense forest surrounding and the Tunga River prove to be a great habitat for the avian visitors. Most commonly found migratory birds in the sanctuary are the median egret, the little cormorant, and the darter. They come here during the start of monsoon and stay here till early October. There is a watchtower in the premises, which makes bird watching more convenient and frequent. The best time to visit Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary is in August, which is the peak season for migration. During this time there are more than 5000 birds in the sanctuary. To enjoy the best of beauty and treasures inside the sanctuary, take a guide along with you or ask for guidance from the Forest department.
Famous Water Falls
Jog Falls are definitely among the most famous attraction in Karnataka. The highest waterfall in India are situated at a distance of around 100 Km from Shimoga City. Though the distance is long, but traveling to the falls is worth you every minute. Jog Falls are formed by cascading Sharavati River which plunge from a height of 253 meters. The Jog Falls comes down in four different tracks named as Raja, Roarer, Rocket and Rani. The best time to visit the falls is just after monsoon between July and September, when the falls are full of water.
Tyarekoppa Lion Safari
Tyarekoppa Lion Safari is a great place to enjoy the unaltered nature and wildlife. Situated at a distance of 10 Km from Shimoga, Tyarekoppa Lion safari was established in the year 1988. Forest department organizes safaris regularly into the deep jungles. One gets to see here lions, tigers, cheetah, bear, deer and many more magnificent animals. Bird watching is also an option in the park as there are few Migratory birds that come here during the season. The safari covers an area of 200 hectares, most of which is dense forest.
Tunga Anicut Dam
Situated around 12 Km from Shimoga, Tunga Anicut Dam is a popular choice for picnic among the locales. Boat ride in the lake is the favorite activity that tourist like to indulge in, when visiting Tunga Anicut Dam. The dam is open from 10 AM to 5 PM on all days. Just 3 Km from the dam is Sacrebyle, which is an elephant camp. The camp houses several elephants. The best time to visit the camp is early in the morning when the elephants are taken for a bath in the lake.
Accommodation in Shimoga
The number of hotels in Shimoga is good but hotels equipped with all the facilities are few. Most of these hotels are situated close to the city center. There are some guest houses as well that you can opt for, for a comfortable stay. Good hotels in Shimoga are Hotel Jewel rock, Hotel Mathura Residency, Hotel Malnad and Hotel Ashoka Deluxe.
The nearest airport to Shimoga is at Hubli which is at a distance of 165 Km. Other airports accessible from Shimoga are Mangalore (200 Km) and Bangalore (275 Km). In near future, an airport at Sogane is expected to open. It is around 6 Km from Shimoga.
Shimoga has its own railhead and is well connected to Bangalore and Mysore by regular trains. Though connection with other cities of India is less. When traveling from outside Karnataka, Berur Station can be used. It is around 60 Km from here. There are frequent KSRTC buses between the two towns.
Shimoga is connected by NH 206 to the capital city Bangalore. Distance between the two cities is 274 km and can be covered in about 6 hrs. There are regular buses between the two cities. Shimoga can also be approached from Mangalore and Udupi. The entire route is quite picturesque. Luxury coaches run by KSRTC are the most convenient way of commuting.
To move around in the city, auto rickshaws are the most common form of transportation. Taxis are also available for hire.