Chikmagalur has been one of those places which never fails to astonish us. Whether be it the highest peaks of Mullayanagiri or the lush forests of Kudremukh national park, Chikmagalur has got it all.
But if you’re like me, you might have gotten bored of the usual attractions that are bustling with lots of tourists and maybe thinking of exploring more of the offbeat destinations around Chikmagalur.
Well, I’m here to introduce you to one of those beautiful unexplored places near Chikmagalur known as Rani Jhari.
HOW TO REACH RANI JHARI?
If you’re traveling from Bangalore, the fastest route to Ranji Jhari is through the Bangalore-Mangalore national highway. The highway takes you through kunigal, hassan, and then to Mudigere from which Rani Jhari is around 40kms.
If you’re planning to travel by air, the nearest airport is the Mangalore International Airport. A 120km cab ride from Mangalore will get you to the viewpoint in around 3 and a half hours.
The road to the viewpoint ends half a kilometer before it, after which only jeeps can pass through(or if you have a 4 wheel drive) and you can walk the rest of the way to the spot.
It is engulfed by huge trees, around a small pathway that leads to the viewpoint. It looked amazing. Since Rani Jhari is just a viewpoint you have to stay someplace nearby. I suggest you plan your trip around Rani Jhari so that you can cover them along with this.
HOME-STAYS NEAR RANI JHARI
Here is a list of 5 best home-stays you can stay near Rani Jhari:
I’ll be showing you two of the home-stays I’ve personally stayed on my visits to Chikmagalur.
Megur Homestay is one of the closest places to Rani Jhari and is located in Javali inside the beautiful Kelagur tea estate. It offers the most scenic views with coffee and tea plantations amidst the majestic western ghats.
Our stay at Megur homestay was one of the most pleasant and relaxing experiences. The food they cook has a really interesting mix of Kodagu style with a Mangalorean touch.
Our favorite thing about this homestay is undoubtedly the two dogs they have and they’re the sweetest dogs you’ll ever find! They’re always with you and love being petted.
Prices range from Rs 1800 to Rs 2500 per person depending on the number of guests. The room is of great quality and the view you get is priceless. They have a nice balcony where you can enjoy coffee amidst nature.
- Address: Javali, in Kelagur Estate
- Service: Food & Accommodation
- Price: 1800rs to 2500rs per person currently.
MUGILU MANE HOMESTAY
Mugilu Mane is a homestay situated in Samse which is around 8 km from Kalasa. Of all the homestays I’ve visited in Chikmagalur, this has one of the most mesmerizing views ever. It is surrounded by beautiful tea plantations on all sides.
You can find the homestay in the first few shots of my kudremukh travel film.
When you get up in the morning, open the door and walk out, you wouldn’t be able to comprehend if it’s real-life or you’re still dreaming. That’s what I felt when I witnessed the view outside.
The hosts are super friendly and will help you out with a lot of things. The food is simply perfect
here, totally feels like home.
You can rent a jeep to visit the surrounding nature spots, and I suggest you do it. The off-road jeep
experience is one you need to have at least once in your lifetime. The jeep driver will take you to all the surrounding tourist places and if you ask him, he’ll take you to Rani Jhari as well.
You can speak with the owner for the Jeep service details.
- Address: Samse near Kalasa
- Service: Food & Accommodation
- More Info: Click here for more info from the Amazing Malnad website.
BEFORE YOU START YOUR TRIP TO CHIKMAGALUR
There are a few things that you should know before heading out to Chikmagalur.
We had no problem getting all the things required for the trip thanks to Revanth’s amazing travel checklist, which probably covers everything under the sun.
Pack for the weather: If you’re visiting Chikmagalur during the monsoon season, it obviously makes sense to get a lot of raincoats, pullovers, and sweaters. Pack warm clothes and a PJ set if you want to sleep comfortably at night.
But make sure to pack lightly. Traveling is a lot more enjoyable when you’re not carrying your whole closet with you.
Get an offroad beast(vehicle): We were fortunate enough to get Revanth’s Duster for the trip and it was definitely a good decision. Having an SUV definitely helps with the potholes and mud roads along the way to Rani Jhari.
Prepare yourself against leeches: Trekking through Chikmagalur’s forests during the monsoon definitely has its upsides, but you may pick up some unwanted business on your way to the peak. If you’re not too keen on getting your blood sucked by leeches, here are a few tips:
- Tuck your pants into your socks: Try to cover up as much of your body as possible. You can also try wearing a gumboot as well. If you need one, here’s a great pair of gumboots from Vaultex on Amazon.
- Salt: You can apply a little salt on your hands and legs to deter leeches. If one does get a hold of you, don’t try pulling it off as it will make you bleed even more and it’s hard to stop the bleeding.
Portable chargers & Speakers: Having a fully charged phone or Bluetooth speaker is a must for any road trip. You might as well get Spotify premium and download your favorite playlist. That has to be a good idea! right?
I’m Amogh (that’s me on the left). I started this blog to help out fellow travelers find out about offbeat destinations and introduce them to different ways of traveling. I make videos for travel-related brands helping them reach their audience better.
Next to me is Satwik Mishra, he is an amazing poet and has a really beautiful Instagram page with some of the best poetry and prose.
Next to him is Revanth, with his new trendy denim jacket which Satwik secretly wants to get. Revanth does a lot of things. He’s an amazing host, crazy doodler, a great designer(he makes some really cool logos), big fan of yoga, and most of all he’s obsessed with the company Apple.
Finally, this is Arun(on the right), he’s the photographer in our team and he captures beautiful inspiring pictures. He was the one who got us to go on this trip and I’m glad we listened to him.
ON THE WAY TO RANI JHARI
We started towards Rani Jhari at 6 am from our homestay at Javali. We had to travel around 15kms from there to get to the viewpoint.
The path to the viewpoint evokes a sense of melancholy with its deep dark tones of greens and blues. There’s always a pleasant drizzle constantly reminding you of your existence, and footsteps that echo through the depths of the endless forest.
The best part is that there aren’t many tourists around. I want to emphasize the word ‘tourist’ because as far as I know, you might find a few ‘travelers’ out there, but not ‘tourists’. I’ll tell you my interpretation of the words another time. Rani Jhari is home to people who appreciate nature for its beauty and mystery.
A few minutes after we started the climb, we were totally lost. There was fog everywhere and we had no clue where we had to go. We picked a spot and got ready with our camera gear hoping we had chosen the right place to get the shot.
I set up my tripod, Arun got ready with his Go-pro. Satwik sat down with his umbrella listening to music(probably Radiohead for the millionth time!) and Revanth found his spot below us, trying to get a cool selfie for his next post on Instagram.
While we were in our worlds doing our own thing, we heard a loud scream from afar. It was from another group of travelers who were screaming about the fog clearing up. The fog had cleared up for a moment, and we realized where we were exactly.
Weirdly enough, we had trekked to the other side of Ranj Jhari, the view was completely different from what we had expected, but it was all the more interesting and beautiful.
There was a huge cliff reaching down into the endless abyss with birds circling at the edge. Looked like something straight out of a Jurassic Park movie. It was truly mesmerizing.
We would only get occasional views of the peak and the endless abyss below us due to the heavy fog at the time. If you want to see the view when there wasn’t any fog, check out Aravind Gundumane’s blog on Rani Jhari.
THINGS TO DO IN CHIKMAGALUR NEAR RANI JHARI
These may be a bit more touristy than usual, but hey, if that’s your thing, who am I to judge. Knock yourselves out!
- Bandaje Falls: If you’re an adventure seeker, try to find Badaje Falls by trekking through the Charmadi ghat region of Chikmagalur. It is a 15km trek from Somanthadka village and it’s a pretty tiring trek from what I’ve heard. But once you’re at the falls, you can see the water plummeting into the abyss.
- Amba Theertha: If you are craving for a dip, Amba Theertha is a pretty good place to take one. The water is amazing, but it is a bit dangerous in a few areas, so ask the locals where you can swim before jumping in. For more information, check out this blog on Amba Theertha.
- Ballalarayana Durga Fort: If you appreciate history, culture, and art, Ballalarayana Durga is one of the few forts built by the Hoysalas in the 12th Century. The fort is in ruins now, but still pretty interesting to visit. You can start the trek from Bandaje Falls, continue through Ballalarayana Durga Fort and end it at Rani Jhari.
- Madugundi Falls: This is a nice little waterfall near Rani Jhari. As you saw, all these places are nearby and you can plan your trip any way you want.
- Bhagavathi Nature Camp: If there’s one place which I hold dear to me always, it would be this nature camp. When I visited it long before and it felt like heaven in the middle of the forest. You get to rent tents and if you’re lucky you get a dormitory if it’s available. There’s a beautiful river near the camp where you can relax all day long. We literally stayed there for 3 days doing nothing but roaming around the camp, lost in the wilderness.
- Hanging bridge: There is a cinematic hanging bridge near kalasa. You can get some cool shots from here.
HOW WE FOUND OUT ABOUT RANI JHARI
We found out about this amazing spot thanks to Go-Pro Man(Arun Kumar). He has a really successful youtube channel called ‘Go-Pro Man – AnnyArun’ where he posts vlogs from his offbeat adventures.
He has a very naturalistic style of vlogging with minimal narration and interesting text overlays.
Click here to check out his amazing channel.
If you’re a traveler wanting to explore some of the off-beat destinations in Chikmagalur, Rani Jhari is one place that you’ll definitely enjoy.
So what are you waiting for? use what you learned from this blog and set up a plan. Pack your stuff and head out into the heart of Chikmagalur.
If you liked this blog, do share it with your friends and family.
I’ll be back with a new story soon, stay tuned. 🙂