Ghatikallu, Chikmagalur Overview

The name ‘Ghatikallu’ refers to a peak that offers panoramic views of the valley. A two-hour drive from Chikmagalur takes one to Ghatikallu, a gem in the crown of the Western Ghats. Surrounded by lush green valleys and acres of coffee and areca nut plantations, this place in Chikmagalur district has everything that a nature lover could ever wish for: streams, waterfalls, hills, thick forests and above all, its resounding quietude. Travellers come all the way here seeking the bliss of camping, star-gazing, trekking and river walks. There are also many stunning homestays and resorts here.

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Activities & Things to Do in Ghatikallu

Trek to sunset viewpoint – Trudging along the uneven, rugged path may at first seen an energy-sapping exercise, but all the complaints will soon vanish into the thick fog when you finally reach the summit, which offers a breath-taking view of the valley. 

It is advisable to tread with caution as the peak gives way to a sheer vertical drop, and there are no fringes or a signboard to warn the visitors.  

Ballalarayana Durga Fort – Though the fort stands in ruins today, the broken wall speaks of many stories. Reflecting Karnataka Dravida style, the fort, located atop a hill at 1509 metres, was built in the 12th century by the wife of Veera Ballala 1, the then King of Hoysala empire. There is also an ancient Shiva temple nearby, which the royal couple used to frequent.

The only way to reach the fort is by trekking, which only adds to the overall excitement. The trekking starts at Mundaje, a village in Beltangadi Taluk and goes through Bandeje Arbi, located in the Charmadi Ghat Section, before reaching the summit.

The path is rugged and the trek may seem exhausting for the first-timers. Carry water bottles and food packets, as the chances of finding any stall along the way are nil. One has to go back to the starting point at Mundaje to get eatables.  

Camping – Although there are many places for camping here, Bandeje Arbi is the most preferred one by travellers for camping. The nearest petrol station is 8 km away in Ujire, a town near Dharmasthala.

Best Time To Visit Ghatikallu

November to March is the best time to visit the place. The maximum temperature hovers around 29 - 33-degree Celsius and the minimum drops to 17-degree celsius. Avoid rainy seasons, as the paths leading to the viewpoints get swampy and slippery.

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