Shivamogga, formerly known as Shimoga, is the district headquarters of Shivamogga district. It is located in the central part of Karnataka and is spread across an area of about 70.10 sq. km. Standing on the banks of River Tunga, Shivamogga is surrounded by enchanting natural beauty. Being the gateway to the Western Ghats from Karnataka, it is popularly known as ‘Gateway of Malnad’ or ‘Malenada hebbagilu’.
According to a popular belief, Lord Shiva drank Tunga water from a flower bud (‘Mogga’ in Kannada) at this place, hence the name ‘Shiva-mogga’. Another legend goes that the region got its name from ‘Sihi-Moge’ which means ‘sweet pot’.The city was established by the Keladi rulers and went on to be ruled by the great Indian dynasties of the Kadambas, Gangas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas and Vijaynagar kings. It reached its pinnacle during the rule of Shivappa Nayaka around 1600 A.D. Thus, the history of Shivamogga is replete with the tales of some of the greatest dynasties.
Shivamogga, located on the banks of river Tunga is abundant in water resource. The river is famous for the sweetness of its water, which is evident from the famous Kannada saying ‘Tungapana, Ganga snana’ which means ‘Drink from Tunga and bathe in Ganga’. Also, five major rivers of the state flow through the district making the land highly fertile, especially for paddy,owing to which the district has earned the name ‘Rice bowl of Karnataka’.
For a travel enthusiast, Shivamogga is a dreamland, as many of the popular tourist spots and travel destinations of the State are situated in close vicinity. It is dotted with sparkling waterfalls, lush green forests, scenic landscapes, lofty mountain peaks, and architectural splendor. Jog falls, the second highest plunge waterfall of India, is located 110km from the city and is a major tourist attraction of Karnataka. Gajanur dam built across the Tunga River, some 15 kilometers from the city, is also a popular picnic spot. The Tyavarekoppa Lion and Tiger Reserve located at the city border is a famous wildlife destination of Karnataka which attracts a huge number of wildlife enthusiast every year.The city also has an Elephant camp called Sakrebyle on the banks of Tunga, where the tourists get an opportunity to interact with the elephants.
Thus, Shivamogga is the perfect destination to satiate the wanderlust of a traveler completely!