Sakleshpur is a hill station around 250 KMS from Bangalore . It recieves highest rainfall in the region due to which its green almost throughout the year. The true beauty of Sakleshpur can be explored in Oct to Jan timeframe which is just after the rains are over. Weather is good throughout the year and its neither very hot or very cold. In winter you will have to carry sweaters, jackets etc. Sakleshput is surrounded with lofty green hills (of western ghats) full of coffee, cardamom, pepper and areca plantations. The sheer Bio-diversity of the region will excite you.
We wanted to visit Sakleshpur for long time , in Sept 2014 we visited here. Most resorts and homestays are in the Agani, Hanbal area of Saklespur , We decided to pick Kadumukki resort for our one night stay. They are new resort only 9 months old, people are enthusiatic about guests.
Drive from Bangalore to Sakleshpur
We started around 6:30 AM from Bangalore and in 2.5 hours we had covered 180 KMS. The road was good and luckily traffic was less. Around 120 KMS from Bangalore there was a small diversion , nothing major. After 200 KMs or so the road started narrowing down and towards Sakleshpur the road was pretty bad with potholes, especially near the town. I believe this happens every year in monsoons on Bangalore - managalore highway. We did not stop anywhere except to pick up some fruits and bio break. There is coffee day along the way. Hotels are very less till Hassan not as much as you will find on Mysore road or Salem Highway. Upto around 190-200 KMs we were able to do more than 100KM or 120 KMS after that it was much less. After Sakleshpur bus stand you have to come further and you will see digression to all the major resorts like Kadumane, kadumukki, Rotikallu, Jenukallu, wild wagtail.
Picking up the right place to stay
I must have called Mugilu and Rotikallu, but they were running full. I read tripadvisor reviews of Kadumakki and the pricing was very reasonable so I picked that. They charged me only Rs. 6000/- per couple . Less than what is mentioned on the website.
Upto Hanbal junction you can see the google maps, from there you have to take left from Hanbal circle and proceed towards Kadumukki. After some 3 KMS there is a left . You have to find the Rock where its written Kadumakki. Which you will see on their website. The Cell phone signal gets weaker towards the resort. The last 1 KM road was bad so they picked us up in the 4X4 Drive, the car was safely parked in one of the local houses there.
Spending the day at Kadumakki
When you reach Kadumukki, you will see the beautiful Amber houses neatly arranged in rows , green fields and sound of gushing stream. When we first saw the stream which is caressing the resort, it was like Wow. Its a good experience of waterfall and good view from their dining area. Rope bridge , tight rope, river crossing etc are some activities around there. You cannot stop noticing the swing alongside the stream. They are planning to come up with more adventure activities in future.
Rooms are there on both sides of stream and they are currently flexible on pricing and other things as they are new and still getting used to the guests. Event he staff is quite friendly and eager to get good reviews and more business through word of mouth publicity.
We spent some time in the waterfalls come stream, did burma bridge, swing, rope walk etc. The water flow was at the peak due to rains and it was quite enjoyable. Do wear footwear at all times in water as its quite rocky and can be uncomfortable.
After a hearty lunch we rested for an hour in our cozy rooms and then headed for the trek in the 4x4 Jeep. Initially they said it would be 2000 Rs. but upon request they made it Rs. 1000 as we were only couple and child. The person said that its not about the diesel cost but it includes guided trekking and me spending time with you. Its not included in package so we paid extra.
The trek was really an experience to remember, In 3 KMS he will take you to a view point which has a awesome breathtaking 360 degree view of western ghats. Green hills, meadows, trees, mountain ranges, mist, clouds you name it. You can see all shades of green. You will want to stay more and more.
Then we proceeded to short trek, due to rainy season, leeches were of concern, but if you carry salt and wear high socks or gumboots it will not be of much problem. After some 15 mins trek, we reached top of that mountain which had some variety of purple - blue flowers carpetting the entire mountain. It was the most amazing trek I have done so far. The clouds and mist made it even more memorable and weather was just right for us , we did not feel tiring at all.
The view from mountain was blocked by clouds / mist, but after some time the clouds would clear up and we could see a fantastic view of hills. If you can wear a full body covering raincoat you can really enjoy the trek in the rainy season. We were carrying umbrellas which was not able to sustain due to high velocity winds. Sakleshpur natural beauty is untouched or hardly touched. I hope this place does not get commercial like Ooty and others so it can retain its natural beauty. After spending around 30-40 mins on the top we started marching back to our jeep. It was really a worthwhile trek.
The driver was very friendly and enthusiatic about showing us the place which made a difference to our enjoyment level. After that he took us to a small waterfall which was the most amazing small waterfall , just the right size for any one to bathe and enjoy. If we had got the towel and clothes we would have spent some time in the small waterfalls he showed us.
We headed back to Kadumakki and they treated us with some snacks and Tea. After that we spent 1 hour or so at bon-fire till the dinner was ready at 9:15 PM. After dinner there was nothing much so we slept early
Day 2 at Kadumakki.
Next day morning around 7:30 AM to 8 AM time, before the breakfast they will take you for a shor trek. 15 mins from the resort. We reached the grasslands in 10 mins or so from where we could see a beautiful view of the hills around. It was really amazing place, we must have spend 30-40 mins here, taking pictures and enjoying the place and weather. Its a circular trek, so you come out of other side to the resort. Whole trek must have been around 75 mins to 90 mins , but it was enjoyable. We had breakfast at 9:30 AM. After that again some activities around the stream. You can play carrom, cricket, volleyball if you are in a group.
Around 11:30 AM we started moving out of the resort. We could have stayed back, and they did not ask us to move out. Only if there are other guests coming they will ask you to vacate the room at checkout time.
30-45 mins from Kadumakki resort you will reach the Manjarabad fort. We reached there around 12:30 PM as we were driving slow and stopped along the way.
How beautiful a view can you expect from a fort which is neglected ?. For me it was the best scenic view I had from any other fort. its full 360 degree view of sakhleshpur hills, western ghats, The fort is magnificently constructed in star shape. However its not maintained at all. There are no sign boards, no entry fee. This is an Interesting fort on a small hill. You will see some stalls after around 4 KMS from Sakleshpur bus stand. You will have to guess that it would be the start of trek to Manjarabad fort. After around 5 mins trek on small hill. You will see steps taking you all the way to the top of the fort. There are around 270 steps to climb, which may be difficult for elderly people and people with joint pains in knee etc. However if you do decide to climb, you will be treated with some some amazing view of entire place. Fort seems completely neglected. There doesn't seem to be any maintenance. There was litter all around. There are no signboards to describe the features inside the fort.
Due to awesome weather and views we must have spent 90 mins here. Sitting and relaxing on the top and enjoying view.
Drive back to Bangalore
We stared around 2:30 PM from there and reached at 7 PM. It always takes more time to reach back due to traffic at nelemangala toll booth. Also we stopped for lunch for around 30 mins. We did buy some fruits and other stuff from Sakleshpur market before we headed back to Bangalore. Potholes in the road were quite disappointing.
Sakleshpur is truly and amazing weekend getaway from bangalore, Its awesomely beautiful and relaxing. You can have many actvities in the resort you pick and also enjoy the drive when the road condition is good after rains. Popular resorts in Sakleshpur are
- Kadumakki << where we stayed.
- Kadumane ( I heard its overpriced , but still good)
- Malnad times.
- Homestays - I usually avoid homestays as it seems you are staying in someone's house , and its highly dependent on the person and their attitude of serving. Some homestays see you as guests, i would rather be served as a customer which is the case with other hotels and resorts. Plus sakleshpur homestays may not be able to give as much facilities as other resorts and speciality accomodation.
Dos and Donts
- Visit Sakleshpur from Oct to Feb. its best time due to greenery still alive after rains
- Mobile phone signal may be a problem so do inform back home about the resort land line number.
- Carry medicines, odomos and some balm to protect from leeches.
- Rainy season keep salt with you to put over leech bites.
- Read reviews and do proper research of the place you are staying. That is the main attraction and you dont want to ruin your weekend.
- Manjarabad fort is must visit if you havent seen it.
- Keep fruits and snacks for BLR-Mangalore highway. Not many good hotels , plus its quite distant.