October 22, 2021

Cycling & Hiking Tour of Shimoga – 2015


Adventure group: Bangalore AdvenTurers (BAT) – Website link: www.bangaloreadventurers.com

Event date: 5th & 6th September 2015

Team size: 6 AdvenTurers

  1. Gautham Baliga (Organizer)
  2. Dinesh Kumar
  3. Moulik Bhindora
  4. Dhruva B V
  5. Jagadeesh T S
  6. Charan Reddy

Total Cycling distance covered during the tour: Around 100 Kms.

Cycling & Hiking Plan: Please find itinerary for 2 Days Monsoon Cycling & Hiking around Shimoga district below:

Leave Bengaluru around 10:00 PM on Friday night. Meetup points has been communicated to participants through mail.

First day itinerary:

  • Reach Shimoga early morning and freshen up
  • Start ride towards Thirthahalli
  • On the way visit Gajanur Dam & Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary
  • Have lunch at Thirthahalli
  • After lunch ride till Kuppali town (Birthplace of Rastrakavi Kuvempu) and explore the place. At Kuppali town, we will visit Kavishaila & Kavimane.
  • Saturday night accommodation: We will do overnight stay at Thirthahalli or Kuppali town. It will be decided later.

Cycling Distance for the day: Around 80 to 85 Kms.

Second day itinerary:

  • Wakeup and freshen up in the morning
  • Move to Thirthahalli (if overnight stay did in Kuppali) and start ride from Thirthahalli.
  • Reach Mani dam and explore the place
  • Then start towards Kavaledurga fort on winger. Hike the fort, spend some time and get down.
  • Move to Chakra Nagar and have lunch
  • Pedal till Chakra Dam if possible and explore the place
  • hile returning if time permits visit to Nagar fort also

Cycling Distance for the day: Around 30 to 40 Kms.

Note: Plan can change according to the situation and weather conditions, Exact Day 2 plan will be decided there.

Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate since we have support vehicle throughout the event. In case, anyone give-up during the event he/she can load cycle on winger and can do just sight seeing for rest of the trip.

Nearest town is Thirthahalli (Around 323Kms. from Bengaluru)

KMs distances noted for the reference:

  1. Bengaluru to Shimoga  is 302 Kms.
  2. Mangaluru to Shimoga  is 200 Kms.
  3. Shimoga to Thirthhalli – 61.5 Kms
  4. Thirthahalli to Kuppali is 23 Kms.
  5. Thirthahalli to Kavaledurga fort is 18 Kms.
  6. Thirthahalli to Mani dam is 30 Kms.
  7. Kavaledurga Fort to Savehaklu Reservoir is 26.3 Kms.

Note: These are Kms. distances collected from google maps, it may  change depends upon where do you start from Bengaluru / Mangaluru.

Best time to cycle:  Anytime of the year. If it is monsoon, ride going to be epic one.

Cycling & Hiking experience:

It was 1st Cycling event as a organizer for me & also 1st cycling event of BangaloreAdvenTurers(BAT). Lot of planning gone into making this event. Booked winger 1 and half months before depends on its availability. Got 7 registrations including me. Sent shortlist and event preparation mail to participants one week before the event. Everything is planned including overnight stay at Thirthahalli. Since we are only 7 people, decided to pickup them with different pickup points depending upon where they stay. My pickup was planned at 8:00 PM on Friday night(4th September 2015). Sometime nothing goes according to the plan that is what happened to us on Friday night. It was Rain God who ruined our plans – Thunderstorm stuck to Bengaluru on Friday night around 8:00 PM, that made my pickup itself delayed one. My pickup was done at 10:15 PM, then we did pickup of others one by one. By the time, we finished 6 pickups it was 12:45 AM. One guy dropped out last moment due to uncertain reasons. We were still at Bengaluru around 12:45 AM and started towards Shimoga around 1:00 AM.

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All set to leave Bengaluru around 1:00 AM on Friday night after unexpected delay due to heavy rains in the city

Day 1: Shimoga to Kuppali – 5th September 2015 (Saturday)

Day in brief:

It was 6:00 AM when we reached Shimoga Bus Stand. 1 hour delay then scheduled. Thanks to winger driver Renuka to make it happen.We all freshen-up at bus stand. Had breakfast at hotel opposite to Bus stand and signed Indemnity Bond. Didn’t do self- intro session since our group is small all of us introduced themselves to each other.Decided to start ride from outside the city. So we all moved around 2 Kms. outside from Shimoga City. Unloaded cycle from winger, assembled our cycles, did required tuning for gears and oiling to chain. Starting bicycle ride towards Thirthahalli around 8:00 AM from Harekere Shiva at Shimoga with 5 AdvenTurers.


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AdvenTurers geared up for daylong ride at starting point – Harekere Shiva
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It was 8:00 AM when we started our Day1 ride at Cycling & Hiking tour of Shimoga – 2015

It was nice scenic route and wonderful road in offering for ride. After 12 Kms. of pedalling all of us reached Gajanur Dam around 9:00 AM. Explored Gajanur Dam for 15 minutes and took pics too.

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Gajanur Dam framed in my camera
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BangaloreAdvenTurers(BAT) @ Gajanur Dam

Tunga backwaters @ Gajanur Dam

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BangaloreAdvenTurers(BAT) @ entrance gate of Gajanur Dam

Continued pedaling towards Sakrebailu Elephant Camp.

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BangaloreAdvenTurers (BAT)@ Tunga backwaters enroute Thirthahalli

Reached the place around 9:45 AM and explored the place for 45 minutes. Place was Amazing & Beautiful too. As per staff, 21 Elephants are there in the camp. These staff people are taking care of these elephants in the camp everyday. This place was strongly recommended for people who want to explore Shimoga!!!

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Enchanting & Beautiful Sakrebailu Elephant Camp

Sakrebailu Elephant Camp in my Nikon D3100

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BangaloreAdvenTurers (BAT) @ Sakrebailu Elephant Camp
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Best capture of mine at Sakrebailu Elephant Camp
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Elephants at Sakrebailu
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I too had group pic with Elephants at Sakrebailu 😛

We left Sakrebailu Elephant camp around 10:45 AM. It was scorching sun at Shimoga District on Shimoga – Thirthahalli NH 13 highway made our pedaling tired one! It was scenic route and monsoon ride is highly recommended to enjoy the beauty of nature but weather was not in favour 🙁

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Jagadeesh & Moulik enjoying the ride
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Group pic @ Tunga backwaters
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My best friend KHS Alite 500 posing for my Nikon 😛

Around 11:30 AM, All of us reached Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary. We got to spot lot of  birds. Always it is better to visit Bird Sanctuaries in the early morning but we had nice experience. It remanded me Vedanthagal Bird sanctuary visit of mine few years back when i was staying in Chennai 🙂

Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary: Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary is located near the little village Mandagadde which is 30 km from the Shimoga town in Shimoga district in the Indian state of Karnataka. It spans an area of 1.14 acres and it is surrounded by dense forest and a river named Tunga. The river forms a little island, which is famous for the migratory birds.

For more information, visit the link: Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary

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My camera at work 🙂

Had snacks at Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary and continued our ride around 12:00 PM. Another 2 and half hours took us to reach Thirthahalli. We took one more break to have Majjige before reaching the Thirthahalli around 1:30 PM. Reached Thirthahalli at 2:30 PM. All of us are hungry and had lunch. Relaxed for few minutes and started towards Kuppali town around 3:30 PM. While heading towards Kuppali, weather changed its color and it started to drizzle. Finally, we had some rain the event which is supposed to be Monsoon ride :P. We all took universal decision to finish ride at 4:00 PM near Kuppali. It made 9 Kms. less as per plan. My Bike computer showing 70 Kms. for the day. Everyone satisfied so far with day gone. All of us loaded cycles on winger and headed towards Kuppali town which is 9 Kms. from the place where we finished cycle ride for the day.

Around 4:30 PM, we all reached Kuppali town on winger. Had Punarpuli juice near Kavimane and started to explore Kuppali. Click on below photo to know more about the Kuppali and BAT experience.

A memorable visit to KUPPALI

BGBTD CnHTOS 2015 A memorable visit to Kuppali 4

Left Kavishaila around 6:30 PM and reached Siribyle Lodge, Thirthahalli around 7:00 PM. I already booked 2 rooms at Siribyle Lodge for Saturday night accommodation. All of us freshen-up once reached Lodge and moved to Durga Delux for dinner near Bus stand. Had Dinner and returned to lodge. Rested for the day.

  • Positives from the ride:  Scenic route and wonderful road for cycling.
  • Negatives from the ride: It was very challenging and tiring bicycle ride for all of us cos scorching sun at Shimoga District.

Cycling distance: Around 70 Kms.

Cycling route map: Shimoga city –> Gajanur Dam –> Sakrebailu Elephant Camp –> Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary –> Thirthahalli –>  Kuppali

Terrain: Moderate to Difficult. Moderate cos distance we need to cover. Difficult cos scorching sun at Shimoga District.

 Highlights for the day:

  • Well spent time in Sakrebailu Elephant Camp
  • A visit to Gajanur Dam
  • Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary
  • Exploring famous Kuppali town with visit to Kavimane, Kavishaila,etc…
  • Sunset at Kavishaila

Day 2: Thirthahalli to Mani Dam – 6th September 2015 (Sunday)

Day in brief:

All of us got up around 6:00 AM. I have already informed to participants to be ready by 7:00 AM so we can start ride early in the morning and finish by 10:00 AM.It will help us to skip cycling under the scorching sun. But luck favors the brave, it was started to drizzle at 7:00 AM in the morning at Thirthahalli and climate has become ideal for cycling. We had breakfast at Hotel Vasuki at ground floor and started our ride towards Mani Dam around 8:00 AM.

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Siribyle Lodge where we did overnight stay & AdvenTurers gearing up for Day 2 ride at Thirthahalli
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Group pic at Siribyle Lodge, Thirthahalli

Weather made our cycling ride enthralling and all of us enjoyed very much!  Unfortunately we took wrong route to Mani Dam which made our ride few Kms. more.

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En route Mani Dam
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BangaloreAdvenTurers (BAT) en route Main Dam
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Backwaters en route Mani Dam

Had many breaks in between and finally reached Mani Dam junction around 11:15 AM. Decided to finish the cycling for the day. It was nearly 30 Kms. of distance we covered till 11:15 AM with lot of uphill and rolling terrain. After completing the ride of 30 Kms. from Thirthhalli to Mani Dam junction, loaded our bicycles on winger. All of them started towards Kavaledurga fort as per planned. While returning, we got Sharavathi backwaters at some point so decided to take dip. Few people took dip and 2 more guys including me just roamed the place till they finish. After spending half an hour at backwaters, we headed towards Kavaledurga fort for a hike. All of us reached Kavaledurga base around 12:15 PM and started memorable hike…

Note: Click on below photo to know more about the Kavaledurga Fort and hiking experience of BAT.

Hike to Kavaledurga Fort

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Reached base around 3:15 PM. Our winger driver Renuka already done arrangements for lunch at Nilsakal Chakranagar. We reached the place around 3:45 PM and our lunch at Hotel Udaya. It was very well prepared lunch and hygienic too. Lunch at Nilsakal Chakranagar is one of the highlights from the event.

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Nilsakal Chakranagar – Where we had afternoon lunch

After having lunch at evening time, we all headed towards Savehaklu Dam and decided to skip Chakra Dam cos both are look wise identical. Spent some time around Dam and took snaps too…

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Classic view of Savehaklu Dam
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Wow view of Savehaklu
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BangaloreAdvenTurers(BAT) at Savehaklu Dam

Decided to cover Nagara fort  before sun is getting set. Reached Nagara fort around 6:15 PM and spent some good evening time at fort.

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BangaloreAdvenTurers(BAT) at Nagara fort

Evening classic shots at Nagara Fort

Around 7:00 PM, all of us headed back to Bengaluru. Had coconut water and lime juice at Hosangar. Reached Shimoga around 9:45 PM. It was started to rain at Shimoga and had our dinner at Food court inside Shimoga city. All of us had Joolad Rotti, Fruit Bowl & Idli (Different Stoles) at Food court which costed Rs. 20/30 per plate. Started back to Bengaluru around 10:15 PM after dinner. Reached Bengaluru around 4:00 AM in the monday morning. Dropped all the members to their house and it was 6:30 AM when i reached my place.

  • Positives from the ride:  Early morning drizzle at Thirthahalli and perfect climate for cycling in the morning.
  • Negatives from the ride: We took wrong route to reach Mani Dam from Thirthahalli which made our ride little longer one.

Cycling distance: Around 30 Kms.

Cycling route map: Thirthahalli –> Mani Dam

Terrain: Easy to Moderate. Easy cos very less distance we need to cover. Moderate cos Terrain was mixed one: Uphill + Rolling.

Highlights for the day:

  • Early morning drizzle at Thirthahalli and pefect climate for cycling.
  • 30 Kms. of cycling from Thirthahalli to Mani Dam junction ( Terrain was mixed one: Uphill + Rolling)
  • A dip into Sharavathi backwaters
  • Hike to Kavaledurga fort
  • Hygienic lunch at Nilsakal Chakranagar on Sunday afternoon.
  • A visit to Savehaklu Dam
  • Exploration of Nagara Fort
  • Dinner at Food court in Shimoga city on Sunday night while returning to Bengaluru.


  • For event to become successful, planning is most critical factor. Friday night heavy rain (Thunderstorm) at Bengaluru city made our journey towards Shimoga delayed one still participants kept patience and cooperated really well. Thanks to each one of you for being cooperative!
  • Hygenic lunch at Nilsakal Chakranagar on Sunday afternoon. Thanks to Renuka for arrangements.
  • I want to thank Jagadeesh T S for his help throughout the tour since he knows Shimoga District very well.
  • Weather was not in our favor throughout the event at Shimoga District. It was scorching sun at Shimoga made our Saturday morning ride tired one. Still u guys never gave up and completed 70 Kms. distance for the day.Thanks to all!

Finally, thanks to each one of you for cooperating & making event successful one. You guys rock!!!

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