A Weekend Getaway to Sakleshpur

How do you feel about an impromptu journey? The sudden weekend getaways, in my opinion, are ideal for relaxing your overworking brain. After playing the role of an organizer in my last Pune trip, I was happy to join my husband on his friends weekend-trip to Sakleshpur. A hill-station clad in absolute serenity, Sakleshpur is cocooned in the mountain ranges of Western Ghats, in the state of Karnataka.

A perfect weekend gateway, this hill station is also lovingly known as ‘Poor Man’s Ooty’, that is forever dressed in fog and mists. It is approximately 230 km from Bangalore, 125 km from Mangalore and about 55 km from Hassan.

Many buses run regularly from Bangalore to Sakeleshpur via Hassan and the entire stretch can be covered in five and a half hours. We hired a Tempo Traveler to fit 5 couples and their kids along with our small luggage as we were going to stay in a homestay in Sakleshpur. Roadtrips are always fun, especially in such a large group.

Day 1:

Manjarabad Fort

Manjarabad Fort
Relaxing after roaming around under hot sun at Manjarabad Fort

The first stop on our way to the homestay in Sakleshpur is the Manjarabad fort, an 8 pointed star-shaped fort raised by Tipu Sultan on our way to the homestay. It is one of the key places to visit in Sakleshpur.

Arranged on a hillock, the fortification is on one level, unlike the different fortresses, which are multi-level. From the fortification, visitors can get a perfect view of the Western Ghats. Out of the many chambers in the fort, some were utilized to house the horses. Certain chambers served for the soldiers as kitchen and bathroom.

One can also find a tunnel in the fort that leads to Srirangapatna, a town in Mandya district which is famous for its wooden artifacts.

Upon reaching the homestay, we were amazed by the untouched beauty of the landscape. The house is at a secluded spot, surrounded by lush green coffee estates, crop fields, and unspoiled wilderness with occasional spotting of buffaloes in the fields.

Bonfire at night
Bonfire at night

The highlight of my stay in the secluded homestay was the bonfire at night. For the first time, we roasted a whole chicken old school way, playing music and cards all night long.

Day 2:

Devarunda Prasanna Rameshwara Temple

The entrance of  Devarunda Prasanna Rameshwara temple
The entrance of Devarunda Prasanna Rameshwara temple

We started our day 2 by visiting Devarunda Prasanna Rameshwara temple, Devarunda is short in Kannada is for ‘Devaru Ida Jaga’ (the abode of Gods). It is also known as Dakshina Kashi. This temple complex houses the gods Rameshwara, Veerabadreshwara, Byreshwara, Channakeshva, Parvati, Ganapathi and is very revered. The temple is said to be over 500 years old, is undergoing a makeover with newer constructions coming up within the complex.

Devarunda Prasanna Rameshwara temple
Inside the temple

Abbi Waterfalls

Abbi waterfalls
Abbi waterfalls

Abbi waterfalls or Manjehalli falls is preferred and frequented by many tourists around the year for its secluded attractive cascading waterfalls, which makes it the key features of the place. This place is not yet fully commercialized so you won’t find any shops or stalls around it unlike other spots in Sakleshpur.

We had a gala time playing in the waterfalls. But the steps into the waterfalls can be slippery and I would suggest you be more careful. If you don’t wish to get into the waters, there are many spots to just sit and soak your feet near the waterfall.

Our group at Abbi waterfalls
Our group at Abbi waterfalls

Other Places To Visit in Sakleshpur

Sri Sakleshwara Swamy Temple

Not very far from the Sakleshpur Bus Stand, Sri Sakleshwara Swamy Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, situated on the banks of river Hemavathi. Build-in between the 11th and 14th century, Sri Sakleshwara Swamy Temple reflects the time when the Hoysala Empire was its peak through its architecture.  

The town got its name due to this temple, which is a very renowned place for pilgrims in the region. On entering the temple, a giant statue of Lord Shiva will meet your eyes.

Agni Gudda Hill

At a distance of 5 km from Sakleshpur, Agni Gudda is a hill situated near Agani village in Hassan district’s Sakleshpur. ‘Agni’ means fire and ‘Gudda’ means mountain in Kannada and it is called so due to the intense volcanic nature of this hill in the region. It is one of the beautiful peaks in Karnataka that makes for an amazing trek.

The peak can be easily reached by 3 km trek from Agani village base, which is a moderate climb and can take an hour approximately. From the top of the hill, you can get a panoramic view of surrounding plains and lush green fields.

Jenukal Gudda

At a distance of 40 km from Sakleshpur, Jenukal Gudda or Jenukallu Gudda is a mountain peak in Hassan district of Karnataka which is the second-highest peak in Karnataka and loved by trek enthusiast. Surrounded by a thick blanket of green woods and rich coffee plantations, Jenukal Gudda is often frequented by trekkers.

The mountain is also known as a honey stone mountain because ‘Jenu’ means Honey and ‘Kallu’ means Stone in Kannada. Besides the panoramic view of the hills, Jenukal Gudda is a great place to bask in the vistas of Arabian Sea in Mangalore on a clear sunny day.

Bisle Viewpoint

At a distance of 55 km from Sakleshpur, Bisle is a small village in the hearts of the Western Ghats and located in the border of Hassan district’s Sakleshpur.

The Bisle Viewpoint, about 5 Km from Bisle village, is famous for its beautiful and astounding views of three mountain ranges including Kumara Parvatha, Pushpagiri, and Dodda Betta. This famous viewpoint overlooks a valley with Giri River flowing through it.

In addition to all, it’s also a great spot for the trekking. It connects with the Bisle Reserve Forest, which is home to a variety of flora and fauna.

Kukke Subrahmanya

Kukke Subramanya is a Hindu temple located in the village of Subramanya, Karnataka and falls on the way to Sakleshpur. In this temple, Kartikeya (one of the sons of Parvati and Shiva) is worshipped as Subramanya, the lord of all serpents. The folklore states that the divine serpent King Vasuki and his subjects found refuge under Subramanya when threatened by the Garuda.

Kumara Parvatha and Shesha Parvatha (a mountain shaped like a six-headed mythological serpent) looks like a cobra with its open hood, forms a picture-perfect backdrop to the temple entrance.

With so many places to visit, Sakleshpur makes a perfect weekend getaway from Bangalore’ hustle and bustle. If you have been to Saklespur, tell me about your experience in the comment section below.

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