In all the years of traveling, we have done across Karnataka, we have covered most of the popular spots like Coorg, Kabini, Gokarna, Bandipur, etc. but have hardly made any trips to the Sakleshpur region. So, for our next vacation, we decided to drive down to Sakleshpur for a 4-day getaway. This time we decided to look for a resort in Sakleshpur and after some research zeroed in on The Chinnahadlu Resort.
The Chinnahadlu Resort is a resort in Sakleshpur and is located in a very serene setting at the foothills of the Western Ghats. Perched on a small hillock, the resort offers beautiful views of the Ghats, paddy fields, and nearby coffee estates.
The Drive to Sakleshpur
One of the prettiest drives from Bangalore is towards the Mangalore coast through NH-75. This is the same route that would take us towards Hassan and Sakleshpur. Sakleshpur is located at a distance of 240 kms from Bangalore and the drive takes around 5 hours to complete. Stopping en-route for breakfast wasn’t an option as we wanted to avoid eating out. So, breakfast and a morning beverage were packed and we took a break near Kunigal for half an hour. Found a nice open field with no one around and we managed to have a mini breakfast picnic there.
From there, it took us 2 hours to reach Sakleshpur! The roads after Hassan turned out to be in bad condition – something we found out after going through the off-road experience. Due to monsoons and construction, a long stretch of the highway was dug up and traffic came to a standstill in a couple of places. On the way back, we decided to take the Belur route to Bangalore and enjoyed our drive. Good roads flanked by lush green estates all around made the Belur drive highly enjoyable and we would recommend you take that route to and from Sakleshpur.
COVID Safety precautions
Before every trip we undertake, we literally grill a property to understand the kind of safety precautions they have in place. At The Chinnahadlu Resort, all COVID-19 precautions are put in place and followed rigorously. The check-in process was contactless and we were happy to see that the entire staff was using gloves, masks, and hand sanitizers.
Hand sanitizers had been placed all around the property – in the restaurant, the walkways, reception, rooms, near the outdoor sitting area, etc and this is the first time we saw such measures in place. Since it’s the beginning of the tourist season now, it’s typical of any resort in Sakleshpur to follow these guidelines but we were really impressed by how Chinnahadlu implemented all COVID guidelines.
Rooms at The Chinnahadlu Resort
With 11 rooms on the property and 3 Maharaja tents, the resort offers a top of the line hospitality experience. The modern architecture seems to seamlessly blend into the surroundings with very little impact on nature.
All the rooms are huge with a king-size bed, table and chairs, and a cozy sit-out overlooking the beautiful Western Ghats. We got room number 8 on the first floor and loved the décor inside, with massive glass panes giving us a panoramic view of the serene scenes outside. The beds are super comfy and we had a good night’s sleep for all 3 days that we spent there. The sit-out is a private space and great for having a morning/evening cup of coffee, bird watching, and seeing the gorgeous sunrise. It has panoramic views of the Western Ghats and a vantage point to shoot some amazing time-lapse views of cloud movements near the mountains.
If you are a little adventurous and love spending time in natural environments, then you must book their newly built swiss tents located right next to the main hotel. The tents have a luxurious setting with a large bed, a table and chair, and an attached bathroom. They come with their own cemented sit-out overlooking lush green paddy fields and it’s such an amazing experience to wake up to the sounds of so many birds! And to top of the experience, you can ask for a personal bonfire right in front of your tent.
Cuisine @ The Chinnahadlu Resort
Food is definitely a strong point for The Chinnahadlu Resort and every single meal we had there was thoroughly relished. All meals are served in a buffet spread which is quite elaborate and has a good variety. Breakfast consisted of eggs, bread, dosas, poha, paranthas, puris, rice preparations, fruits, juices, tea, and coffee.
The lunch and dinner spreads were a good mix of local, south Indian, and North Indian preparations. Chicken and fish featured in all the main course dishes along with other dishes like Paneer, veggies, parotas, rice, and deserts. Our favorite dishes were the Chilli chicken and Fish Fry along with the Vegetable Korma. Simply delicious. The food isn’t very rich or spicy and suitable for all taste palates.
The Chinnahadlu Resort has a rather interesting collection of locally made wine and something we definitely wanted to try. Apart from the grape wine, they also serve coffee, banana, star fruit, and ginger wine. We decided to try the Coffee infused wine and it turned out to be really good! This is a must-try for everyone who likes wine as the variety we found here is quite hard to come by. If you are not a wine lover, then you can order other alcoholic beverages served at the resort.
Things to do in and around The Chinnahadlu Resort
At The Chinnahadlu Resort
The beautiful infinity pool adds a dash of blue to the whole resort and is the focal point of all the activities here. There are two pools at the resort – one for adults and another one for kids. If it’s too cold to take a dip, then you can head out to explore the plantation on two wheels. Chinnahadlu offers cycles for all its guests who’d like to explore the nearing landscapes by cycling.
There are numerous tarmac and off-road trails outside the property then can be enjoyed by a short cycling trip, especially in the mornings when the landscape is covered in mist. Alternatively, you can also enjoy long walks in and around the resort and opt for guided plantation walks as well.
In Indoor games, you can enjoy snooker, card games, carrom, table tennis, board games, puzzles, or just do some reading in their library. Kids will love the many options available and always have something to enjoy.
Ettina Bhuja Peak
Located close to Mudigere town, and standing tall at 3,000 feet is Ettina Bhuja, a small hill shaped like an Ox’s hump. The hill is a great spot for trekking and the locals call the trek, the Shishila Gudda trek. What makes Ettina Bhuja an intriguing spot for trekking is that unlike other hillocks in the Western Ghats, it has only one trekking trail till the peak. The base point for the trek is located at a distance of 11 kms from The Chinnahadlu Resort and you will need about 4 hours for the trek from Shishila. If you start your trek from Byrapur village, it will take about 3 hours.
Located 30 kms from the resort is the effervescent Manjarabad Fort that has a unique octagonal shape. Built by Tipu Sultan’s regime, the fort emphasis the beauty of Islamic architecture. The fort has only one level, which usually isn’t seen in such buildings where multiple levels are present. The fort was built as an arms encashment – to store ammunition to be used against the British Army. Located right next to the Mangalore highway, the beauty of the fort can be maximized through a drone!
This is one of the biggest attractions in Sakleshpur and probably the source of the name of the town as well. Built sometime between the 11th and 14th century, Sakaleshwara Temple is a great remnant of the time when the Hoysala empire was at its peak in South India. The temple is located at the entrance of Sakleshpur town and is 30 kms from The Chinnahadlu Resort.
Bisle View Point
If you are a sucker for gorgeous, panoramic views of the Western Ghats then the Bisle Viewpoint is a must-visit place. Situated near the Bisle Ghat, this place offers a breath-taking view of 3 mountain ranges – Yenikallu Betta, Doddabetta and Pushpagiri, and Kumaraparvatha. The drive to the viewpoint is rife with twisties and a fun experience. From Chinnahadlu, it’s located at a distance of 75 kms.
We haven’t traveled much to Sakleshpur as our travel plans usually take us to other destinations in Karnataka. But, we had a very relaxing vacation there, something we deserved after spending months in lockdown. The serenity of the resort, its quaint location, and the service is something we really miss now. Especially the yummy buffet! For 4 days, we had nothing to worry about, all our needs were taken care of and all we had to do was to enjoy our time there and relax. If any of you plan to visit Sakleshpur then you must check out The Chinnahadlu Resort!
The highlight of the stay there is the location of the property which puts it above the landscape, on top of a small hillock, and away from the crowd. We are foodies so we loved every bit of the food experience there as well and the buffet food is something that we are still craving even after two weeks! So, if you are looking for a serene resort in Sakleshpur, then you should check this one out!
Often called the “Poor man’s Ooty”, Sakleshpur is a popular hill station located in Southwestern Karnataka. There is something for everyone, from the dense rainforest, hiking trails, historical temples and an old fort, mountain peaks, and waterfalls. Sakleshpur is often eclipsed by the more popular Chikmagalur as a destination but the sleepy town nestled at the foothills of the Western Ghats is slowly becoming a tourist magnet.
The name Sakleshpur is apparently derived from Shakala, which is a Sanskrit word meaning “Bhinnavada” or “Birukada”. Legend has it that a Shivalinga was found in this town which was broken. The linga was called Shakaleshwara which then became Sakaleshwara. A temple was also built at the entrance of the town. Later, the town was also called Sakaleshapura.
Over the last decade or so, tourism in Sakleshpur has grown exponentially even though most people usually flock to the nearing town of Chikmagalur. Now any good resort in Sakleshpur can offer world-class hospitality experiences that are on par with luxury resorts from across the country!
How to reach Sakleshpur
By road – From Bangalore, Sakleshpur is located at a distance of about 240 kms and is connected through the NH-75. The Bangalore to Hassan stretch is always in mint condition but from Hassan to Sakleshpur the roads are often in a bad state due to monsoons. To avoid the bad stretch, you can take the Belur route from Hassan if required. The drive from Bangalore takes about 5 hours to complete and you will get many eateries along the way.
By Rail – The closest railway station is the Sakleshpur station which is connected by a few trains. However, if you don’t find anything suitable you could book your tickets to Hassan city which is just a 90-minute drive from Sakleshpur.
By Air – Mangalore airport is the closest airport to Sakleshpur and is 130 kms away. From Mangalore, you can travel to Sakleshpur by bus, or by private cabs. Alternatively, you can fly to Bangalore airport and travel from there.
Best time to visit Sakleshpur
Sakleshpur is a hill station nestled in the stunning Western Ghats, so the weather is good all year round. However, if you don’t like getting your feet wet then you should avoid coming here during monsoons. The ideal time to visit Sakleshpur would be during the months of October to April when the weather is pleasant and perfect for outdoor activities.
The winter season is the best time to explore its fascinating mountains, scenic beauty, pleasant weather and is suitable for sightseeing. Summer is the best season to escape the heat from the city and it is also a good time if you are planning to spend a weekend getaway from neighboring cities. Any good resort in Sakleshpur will have air-conditioned rooms so summertime travel is also an unforgettable experience.