The History of the Coffee Country of India - Chikmagalur

Coffee has been a go-to beverage for many for decades. Coffee enthusiasts love to start their mornings with a dose of caffeine boost as well as engage in occasional sips throughout the day. If you are someone who loves a good brew, wouldn’t you want to know where your favourite cup of coffee comes from?

Located amidst the rolling hills of the Western Ghats, Chikmagalur, in Karnataka, is known for its lush coffee plantations, which today, are proliferating more than ever before. But the history of Chikmagalur and its tradition of celebrating coffee dates long back!

a person picking coffee beans in their palms
In and Around Chikmagalur
coffee of  Chikmagalur  SUR3201

As per the legends, it was in the late 1600s, that Chikmagalur saw the first bloom of the coffee crop. A saint named Baba Budan brought with him seven seeds of coffee from Mecca and spread them in a hill where he resided. The hill was later named Baba Budan Giri, and it gradually became the centre from which the practice of coffee cultivating spread across the town. The beverage soon became an integral part of the town, mushrooming eventually to coffee estates.

Today, Chikmagalur is one of the highest producers of coffee in the country, and the lifestyle and culture of Chikmagalur has evolved around this agrarian aspect. The hill station is rife with cafes, exclusive shops selling coffee, homestays amid coffee plantations, and luxury resorts that promise an exceptional experience of the coffee culture in Chikmagalur. In places like The Serai, Chikmagalur, you can experience plantation walks, coffee picking, village tours and local culinary sessions, and have a deeper insight into the culture of the place. As of today, Chikmagalur also has a coffee museum where connoisseurs can find a lot of valuable information surrounding your cup of joe!

a coffee plantation
a cup of coffee alongside coffee beans

A major amount of the population of Chikmagalur earn their livelihood through the coffee plantation, directly as well as indirectly. While many are employed at the estates, others work at the homestays, hotels and luxury resorts in Chikmagalur, which is another important part of the town’s economy. Tourists come to the hill station to unwind, trek, experience the estate life and learn about the history of Chikmagalur and its coffee culture.

Apart from coffee estates, Chikmagalur is dotted with hills, waterfalls, rivers and streams, which are perfect for adventure activities and picnics. The history of Chikmagalur has its roots in the Hoysala dynasty. It is said that rulers of the Hoysyla spent their early days here, and it was during their time between 1173 – 1220 CE that the famous Amrutheshwara Temple was built.

lush hills enveloped by fog

So come explore the vast coffee plantations as you take a dive into the hill station's rich history and cultural brilliance. While you roam around the picturesque city, pamper yourself to an opulent stay at The Serai Chikmagalur, which offers various kinds of experiences at its coffee plantations.

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