About 220 km away from Bengaluru lies a beautiful and uncrowded hill station that promises you a holiday with enough to do and yet not get bored. With cool, green mountains that are a part of the Bisle Forest Reserve, this mini coffee county is a refreshing weekend getaway from the madness of a city life. Here is what you can expect to do in Sakleshpur.
Stay in a coffee county
Devoid of the usual hotels and resorts, your only options for a stay in Sakleshpur are homestays. However, these are not the ordinary homestays for they are right amidst the fresh green coffee county. An early morning walk through the estates will take you along orange trees and pepper climbers. The stunning sunrises or even sunsets over those coffee hills are beautiful to watch. Of course, nothing beats the taste of fresh coffee at the end of the walk. Don’t miss their traditional meal of Jowar Roti and Brinjal.
Experience the streams of Sakleshpur
Sakleshpur is dotted with small streams and in almost, every coffee estate you will find one. Wade through them and feel the cool water take away your exhaustion. If that is too boring, indulge in a game of mud volleyball which most of these homestays offer. Or maybe, you can follow the stream to some cascading waterfall.
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Go on a green trek
For those who have heard of Sakleshpur, it would most likely be in connection to the famous Green route trek – one that takes you along the mountains, by the railway track with waterfalls as your company. Sadly, this trek is no longer allowed but there are plenty more that you can do. Try the Pandavara Gudda Trek that starts at an 800-year old temple and takes you to the top of twin cliffs from where you can well admire the valley below. You might want to even consider the sunset trails or the Jennukal Gudda trail as your other options.
Visit the Manjarabad Fort
Climb up to a unique star shaped fort built by none other than the famous Tipu Sultan. Manjarabad Fort will enthral you with its unique design. Walk along the walls and explore the abandoned armories. It is said that the Fort has a passage that leads right upto Srirangapatna near Mysore.
Spot colourful birds
A birder’s paradise, Sakleshpur will give you the sight of different winged beauties in almost every nook and corner. From Barbets to Drongos and the rare Malabar Hornbills, these birds are quite easy to spot. Pretty peacocks grace the paddy fields while the twittering sunbirds add to the colours of the flowers. While you might not really need a binocular to capture them, one can be kept handy to get a closer look.
Stop over some unique places on your road trip
Sakleshpur makes a great road trip – not just for the good roads from Bengaluru but also for its interesting pit stops. Take a small detour near Hassan to get to the lovely temples of Belur and Halebidu. Or maybe, another turn to the famous statue of Bahubali at Shravanabelagola. The forgotten Shettihalli church is a definite must – especially if it is monsoons. With some luck, you will see the ancient church submerged in water. And even if not, the ruins are a site to behold.