Even though Chikmagalur is an extremely popular destination close to Bangalore, we have rarely visited it. Last month, we visited a lovely resort in Sakleshpur. So, this time, we decided to drive down to Chikmagalur for a mid-week vacation (perks of being a travel blogger)! Blessed with natural beauty and stunning coffee estates, Chikmagalur is a haven for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.
There are numerous resorts in Chikmagalur but we were looking for a luxury resort located away from the city center. Java Rain Resort Chikmagalur popped up quite a few times during our search so we decided to check it out. Java Rain is considered to be one of the best resorts in Chikmagalur due to its scenic setting, luxurious ambiance, and high-class service.
Drive to Chikmagalur from Bangalore
Java Rain Resort Chikmagalur is located at a distance of 250 kms from Bangalore and the route takes through the beautiful NH-75. If you leave before 7 AM you should be able to beat the traffic on the Nelmangla route.
However, once you take the left towards the Mangalore route (NH-75), the traffic eases out a bit. When we drove down to Chikmagalur, the roads were in fantastic condition except for a few bad stretches near Belur. The travel time is approximately 5 hours with one or two breaks. All major eateries are operating on the route but we carried our own breakfast to avoid eating out.
COVID precautions at Java Rain Resort Chikmagalur
Since Java Rain resort is one of the best resorts in Chikmagalur, we were assured that all COVID precautions were in place. While checking in, we saw that hand sanitizers had been placed all over the resort and the staff wore masks and gloves all the time. Our luggage was sanitized in front of us and whisked away in a buggy to the room.
Even the common areas like the restaurant had hand sanitizers placed in quite a few places and every staff member wore masks and gloves. We spoke to the manager about the rooms and he informed us that all touchpoints, linen, and beds get thoroughly sanitized before each guest checks in.
The rooms at Java Rain Resort Chikmagalur
For the first two nights of our stay, we checked into the Kaffa Villas. Java Rain doesn’t have rooms, they have villas. The Kaffa villa comes with a spacious bedroom, living room, bathroom, and an outdoor sitting area that opens into the lush greenery surrounding the resort.
The air-conditioned villas are quite comfortable and since they are spaced out from each other, they provide a good amount of privacy. We loved how the morning sun came into our room, warming us up in the cool climate!
Surprise. Surprise. For our last night, Java Rain Resort Chikmagalur upgraded us free of cost to the Fika Villa. This is a massive villa that has a gigantic living area and a gorgeous outdoor private pool! There is another one that has its own jacuzzi but we didn’t get to see that one as it was booked. The Fika Villa how you enjoy a vacation in style!
The luxurious villa is interconnected with 2 other villas and if you are in a big group, you can book all 3! But the highlight of this villa is definitely the outdoor pool, right at the entrance with a great view of the city and the sky above.
Right outside the Fika villa are the Gazebo and a wooden picnic-like table. Great spots for breakfast or snacks in the evening. This place has panoramic views of Chikmagalur city and is a great spot to spend some time outdoors.
The food at Java Rain Resort
Due to COVID, the buffet service wasn’t available for guests. However, the menu was a buffet and we could order anything we wanted and the food was served on our table. Over 3 days, we got the chance of trying different cuisines – from Bengali to Mangalorean to North Indian and everything was simply delectable. Their collection of starters, main course, and desserts are the best we have come across so far and we thoroughly enjoyed eating as much as we could!!
The head chef was kind enough to whip up a special Bengali meal just for us that consisted of Aaloo posto, rice, daal, mutton Kalia, etc. and the authentic Bengali taste surprised us a lot! We didn’t really try their Chinese as we wanted to try out the local curries. For breakfast, we would recommend you to stick to the South Indian varieties as we really enjoyed the dosas, idlis, Pongal, etc with a wide array of chutneys they served. Somewhere in the middle of having all this, we did order two aaloo paranthas and they were scrumptious.
However, we really want to highlight their bakery delights such as the Chocolate Croissants and donuts. Both of us aren’t into eating these sugary goodies but once we tried the Croissants and Donuts, we just couldn’t get enough of them. The chefs dole out fresh bakery products every day and next time I will skip my entire meal just to fill up on these!!
If the weather is good, we would recommend you to sit out on the deck for all your meals. The view from the deck is absolutely stunning and on a good day, you will see the surrounding mountains and coffee estates!
Things to do in and around Java Rain Resort Chikmagalur
At Java Rain
Cycling – Experience the best of the plantation town as you peddle through the gorgeous locales of Chikmagalur on a cycling tour. Java Rain can arrange for professional cycling guides for trips to places like Mullayangiri.
Plantation Walks – Explore the expansive coffee and spice plantations around Java Rain through a plantation walk in the morning or the evenings. See how coffee and black pepper is grown in the region as you enjoy the aromas of these spices in the jungles.
Outdoor games – Cycling, archery, badminton, swimming, etc. are some of the outdoor activities you can enjoy at Java Rain Resorts.
Spa – Relax those weary muscles with in-house spa services at Java Rain. They offer treatments such as Aroma Therapy, Indian Deep Tissue massage, Swedish massage, Foot Reflexology, Head and back massages, facial care, baby care, body wraps, and much more.
Chikmagalur is the coffee capital of India, the place where Baba Budan introduced coffee from Yemen so as a tribute to his efforts you should visit the Coffee Museum. The museum will give you insights into the coffee history and the plantations in South India. It is also very interesting to the various contraptions on display that we used to make filter coffee! The museum is open from 10 AM to 6 PM every day and the tour takes about 30 minutes to complete.
Named after the Islamic saint Baba Budan, the hill is a top draw with tourists visiting Chikmagalur. Most of the top resorts in Chikmagalur are located at the base of Baba Budangiri with beautiful vistas of coffee estates and the Western Ghats. On top of the hill is a popular shrine that is of significance to Muslims, Hindus, and Parsis. Baba Budan is credited with introducing coffee in India. It is said that he hid 7 coffee beans in his beard while traveling to India from Mocha, Yemen as during those days’ coffee beans were not allowed to be exported out. However, Baba Budan managed to get the beans and planted them on the slopes of the Chandragiri Hills in Chikmagalur.
At 6,332 feet this is the highest point in the state of Karnataka and houses a police radio relay station on top. From Chikmagalur, you will have to drive 20 kms uphill to reach the peak. According to mythology, Tapasvi Mullappa Swamy observed meditation for years at the cave on top of the Mullayanagiri peak. This is the reason why the peak got its present name. A trekking route to the topmost summit of Mullayanagiri starts from Sarpadhari village which extends up to 3 km. It is relatively steep; yet you can easily cover the distance within 1.5 hours.
At 168 meters tall, the Hebbe Falls is located in a picturesque location in Kemmannagundi hills and is a must-visit place. However, getting to the falls isn’t easy and can be quite time-consuming. But once you get there, a dip in its cool, gushing waters takes your breath away! You can drive down to a point near the falls which is 1 km away. From there, you will need to trek to get to Hebbe Falls.
Unknown to many, the Z-point is a peak in Kemmannaundi Park. The steep climb is an excellent trekking location with breathtaking views of the lush green Western Ghats. If you are not into trekking, then you can ride a bike through the rocky terrain to get to the top! Most resorts in Chikmagalur should be able to guide you to Z point and some even offer trekking and motorcycle tours.
Should you stay at the Java Rain Resort Chikmagalur?
Well, we definitely give our thumbs up to Java Rain Resort Chikmagalur. Our overall experience was highly memorable and Java Rain is a place we highly recommend for those looking for a lovely, luxurious weekend getaway. Right from the service to the food to the rooms – everything was just perfect.
Inside the property, there are many things to do but our favorite was watching the sunset from Crimson Peak, a 3 storied building with panoramic views of the Western Ghats. Go there before sunrise or just before sunset to get the best views!! And coffee is a must-have at Crimson Peak. Very happy with our experience at Java Rain and can’t wait to get back for more!!
Located on the foothills of the Mullayanagiri peak of the Western Ghats, Chikmagalur is one of the top tourist spots in Karnataka. Also called the Coffe Capital of the country, Chikmagalur’s name translates to ‘Young Daughter’s Town’ since it was given away as dowry to the daughter of the Chief of Sakrepatna! Famous for its expansive coffee plantations, the small town is dotted with tall mountains, lush green forests, and a tranquil environment. The destination is a one-stop-shop for all kinds of travelers.
Religious travelers can explore its numerous temples including the Sharadamba Temple, Vidyashankara Temple, Kodanda Ramaswamy Temple, and Amruteshwar Temple adding grace to the grandeur of the vicinity bringing in devotees from far and close offering their prayers.
For those who look for some adventure, they can explore the many trekking trails in the mountain ranges of Mulayangiri, Baba Budangiri, etc. Mullayangiri is the highest peak in all of Karnataka and is the best place to get a perfect view of the sun rising from behind the mountains. On the way, you will be enchanted by some famous waterfalls, namely, Jhari Waterfalls, Hanuman Gundi Waterfalls, Shankar Falls, and Kadambi Falls.
Being the largest producer of coffee in the country, Chikmagalur is mainly all about its coffee, and most of the stay options are located inside coffee plantations. Many coffee estates allow visitors to take guided tours through the plantations, and provide home-stays right within the estates!
How to reach Chikmagalur
By air – Mangalore Airport, which is located around 113 km away, is the nearest airport to Chikmagalur. The airport is well-connected to flights from Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, and other major Indian cities. You can hire a prepaid taxi from the airport for Chikmagalur or take a bus. Or you could ask the resorts in Chikmagalur to provide you with pick-up service.
By road – From Bangalore, Chikmagalur is at a distance of 250 kms and you can cover this distance in about 5 hours. NH-75 is the main highway leading to Chikmagalur and is almost always in great condition.
By train – Chikmagalur doesn’t have its own railway station. However, the nearest railway station to Chikmagalur is Kadur railway station which lies 40 km from Chikmagalur. Various modes of transport are available from Kadur to commute. You can easily hire a cab and head to the many resorts in Chikmagalur.
Best time to visit Chikmagalur
Chikmagalur is a year-round destination and can be visited anytime – even during the monsoons!
During summers, the weather in Chikamagalur is quite pleasant as compared to the rest of the state. The lush greenery and water bodies tend to bring relief during the heat and it’s a great time to be outside in the estates. The winters can get a little chilly especially in the mornings and at night. However, this is the best time to be out trekking, fishing, and for plantation tours where you need to indulge in a bit of physical activity.
Chikmagalur comes alive during monsoons as the streams are brimming with water and a green carpet spreads all around the town. Rainfall can range from moderate to heavy on occasions so plan your trip accordingly. However, if you want to engage in trekking or hiking, then it’s better to avoid the monsoons.