Ride to the town of coffee, Sakleshpur. Well situated between Bangalore and Mangalore, Sakleshpur enjoys a moderate climate through out the year making it more comfortable for riders to pick this as a destination even during the summers. It’s hilly terrains with lofty green plantation makes Sakleshpur a  picturesque location. This blog has information about the most prominent places to visit in Sakleshpur and what would be the best season to visit.

Places to visit in Sakleshpur:

  • Manjarabad fort
  • Green route trek (Banned)
  • Bisle ghat
  • Jenukkal gudda
  • Hemavathi backwaters
  • Kukke Sybrahmanya temple
  • Belur-Halibedu

The crew: From Front in RE Krishna, in Apache me (KK)

Tip-off:

  • Riding in ghat section is challenging and anxiety driven, corners are appealing and welcomes the rider to take it at high speeds, but be aware all it takes is fraction of seconds. You don’t want to regret for your actions, Be cautious and stay in your limits.
  • When you come across any kitten or puppy on the road, don’t ignore, move them to a safe place before leaving, they come to the roads unaware. There’s nothing more important than a life.

Day 1: 5:00 assembled at Manyata tech park, filled petrol, checked the air levels, brakes, oils before leaving rest to the bikes. 230km drive didn’t seem to be long, early morning weather making it more easy for us to cover 190kms in 3 hours, by 8:30 we were at Hassan looking out for a hotel to fill our tummies.

11:00 Reached sakleshpur, and our first visit was to the Manjarabad fort (Star shaped fort). Manjarabad fort is one of the famed places to visit in Sakleshpur for visitors.

Opens : 8Am to 5Pm all day
Best time to visit: Jun – Feb avoid Summer season

The star fort built by Tipu Sultan in 1792 by using French  Military architects to secure his expansion from the British between Mangalore and madikeri (coorg), and as he was allied with French at that time he used the brains of the French engineers to build a star fort of the European style. As the fort is covered with fog and mist most of the times, Tipu named it as Manjarabad (manju meaning fog in Kannada)

12:30 Tender coconut – refreshment. Searching through the map for places to visit, nothing gave us a clear picture on where to visit, best idea is to check with people. We checked about waterfalls near by,

One sentence from the guy took our interest. He said there is a waterfall which needs to be visited by walking though railway track. Right away I knew it was the green route trek he was mentioning of, I went on to ask it is banned to walk through the railway track right?
He nodded with yes, but if you can manage to convince the rail guard you can go there. Without next thought we both said let’s go there. Thanked them before leaving to green route trek. Green Route Trek has been a dream as places to visit in Sakleshpur for most of the travelers, and TrailLess Travellers are not an exception.
All excited to trek the banned route. On reaching we see this board 👇🏼

There was the guard, went toward him and he shouted you’re not supposed to come here. It’s illegal, haven’t you both read the board. We nodded with yes, but we wanted to visit this place and asked for some time so that we can experience how the trek was. He denied all our requests, we waited waited and waited to convince him before the guard asking us from where are you coming? we replied, from Bangalore and visiting green route trek was our motive to ride here. He once again thought and told 2 hrs is the time, it’s 1 pm now, before 3 pm you should return back. There’s an engine that runs every two hrs on this route, if you’re caught then charges will be filed against you both under any cost. We were like thank you sir and off we ran on the tracks towards Tunnel 2.

Why it is banned?
People have lost here, rumors say some have even died. Some talk about paranormal activities. The bridges are rusted and it’s not safe to trek. The trek was banned at 2000 and if caught, punishment include imprisonment up to a year or fine of hefty amount or both. And it’s all true 🙄

Why it is called the Green Route Trek?
The Railway Segment from Sakleshpur to Kukke Subramanya road junction is known as Green Route trek and very popular amongst the trekkers in Western Ghats. The length of the trek is some 52 km which comprises 58 tunnels, 109 bridges and about 25 waterfalls. The railway track was closed down in 1996 for converting it to broad gauge from meter gauge. Goods trains started running on the track since 2005 and operations for passenger trains resumed in 2008. Most of trekkers starts from Sakleshpur and continues till Yedakumari which is some 22 km distance. It offers absolute wilderness to the nature lovers. Length of the tunnels varies from few meters to 600 meters and these tunnel are unexplored eco regions with high possibility of witnessing poisons snakes and insects. It’s because of the miles of lush greenery and mysterious forest it got it’s name as the Green Route Trek.

Our Experience:
The moment we entered the tunnel, it was dark, completely dark, we heard only our voices, it was scary, even the coolest person will lose his nerve, we started to question ourselves, what if a train comes now? what if we were caught? Or what if we were rammed by the engine? Our photos will be in the papers next morning … 😱 weird thoughts. It took us 15 mins to cross one tunnel, walking through the rails were challenging, and it was adventurous feel, thrilling it was, woooh, went past tunnel 3, 4 and we started to feel the anxiety/panic as we were the only ones there, surrounded by forest, rattling noises and rusted tracks. Stood for a moment, just imagined how it would have been to trek the entire 22 tunnel and now we got the feel as to why this trek was banned. Time to move back, we were back by 3 pm, and as the guard mentioned few minutes later an engine followed our arrival. We were safe at the waterfall by that time, splashing waters with joy.

And we saw the water flow after crossing tunnel 3😍

Even in the hot weather, water was flowing through the rocks, there was a setup made by the workers such that the fresh water flows through the pipe to get collected in cans, we went on to drink and it was pure, sweet and super chill.

Our Day 1 ends here. Rest of the evening was spent in the town of Sakleshpur.

Day 2: Bisle Ghat

Started well ahead of our timing. 4:30 am, once again taking the wrong route which led to Kukke Sybrahmanya wasting 1 hr before catching the correct way. Ahhh, spoil sport.

Note: There is only one petrol station on the way once you move out of Sakleshpur, so make sure the tank is filled to cover the 50 KM stretch. The ghat section is considered as one of the most dangerous roads in Karnataka, be extra cautious on cornering, as the corners are so addicting for a biker to take it at high speed which may lead to a havoc. Even me (KK) experienced slide of the back wheel on few corners, managed to elude the impending danger. Be careful guys.

The drive to Bisle Ghat is a mesmerizing one, countless corner, surrounded by greenery it will be a one to be remembered. Bisle ghat is a view point on the midway of the ghat, google maps has correct marking for this location. As the name itself describes the tower is built to witness the beauty that the ghat has to offers. Summer or Monsoon or Post Monsoon season, bisle ghat never disappoints its visitors. For all riders out there, if you have an itinerary, then mark Bisle ghat in the list of places to visit in Sakleshpur.

Next stop was Mallalli waterfalls. 24 Km away from Bisle Ghat, the route may be confusing, check with people to make sure your driving on the right way. It was unfortunate that Mallalli falls was closed for visitors as few students visited a week before our journey tried to climb the rocks and reach the top and fell breaking his leg, and leading to closure of the falls until June.

Spent some time eating the snacks before leaving to Bangalore, managed to visit Gorur Hemavathi Reservoir on the way.

20:00 Hrs reached Bangalore. To summarize, Day 2 was a partial mess, except for the Bisle Ghat view point, Green Route Trek hit us by surprise and it came out from no-where, good luck as we got a chance to experience and feel it on our own rather than being a  reader all these years. Summer has come to an end, start of Monsoon in Karnataka and so do for upcoming rides. Stay tuned readers.