Nestled at 3,400ft in the Sahyadri mountains of the Western Ghats, Chikmagalur is situated in the south-western part of Karnataka. Barely 250km from state capital Bangalore, it lies at the foothills of the Baba Budan range and offers an ideal getaway for those looking at a quiet weekend. Typical of Ghat topography, the town offers unending vistas of mountains, streams, and coffee and pepper plantations. A number of rivers, such as Bhadra, Hemavathi, Tunga, Netravathi and Vedavathi, originate in the hills surrounding the town. Chikmagalur today serves as the headquarters of a district by the same name. It was here that coffee was first cultivated in India in 1670 by Baba Budan, a Muslim saint who brought coffee seeds from Yemen, and after whom the mountain range to the north of the town is named. Later taken up by European planters, coffee production and trade has since been Chikmagalur's mainstay.
Historically it is recorded that the Chikmaglur city was presented as a dowry to the younger daughter of the unquestioned and legendary figure Rukmangada, the chief of Sakrepatna. The other part of the town, which was given as dowry to elder daughter of Rukmangada is the Hiremaglur. Some of the inscriptions available in Chikmagalur and Hiremagkur point out to the old names of Kiriya-Magalu and Priya Magalu.
The mind blowing attraction in Chikmagalur is Mullain Giri, the highest peak in Karanataka. Mullain giri is placed at an average height of about 6,300 ft above sea level. The major attractions of Chikmagalur are the Kondadarama Temple, an symbolic blend of Hoysala and Dravidian styles of architectures, and the Jamia Mosque. Another attraction is St Joseph's Cathedral, renowned for the unique feature of shell shaped portico. The important nearby attractions include 13th century Siddeshwara temple, the grand old cave of Nirvanaswam at Thiruvanahalli and the 17th century Lakshmi Kantha temple.