|Elevation||949 m (3,114 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Sex ratio||100:80 ♂/♀|
The town lies in the Malnad region on the magnificent hills of the biodiversity hotspot, the Western Ghats. It has a temperate climate surrounded with lofty green hills full of coffee, cardamom, pepper and areca plantations . These crops which contribute mainly to the economy of the Taluk are grown in the surrounding villages and entire taluk are brought to Sakleshpura city for sale. The town lies on National Highway 48 (NH-48) which connects port city of Mangalore with capital city Bangalore of Karnataka state. The nearest airport is Mangalore International Airport.
Sakaleshpura is located at  It has an average elevation of 949 metres (3113 feet). Hemavathi river flows in Sakleshpura town.
Sakaleshpura receives very heavy rainfall from the southwest monsoon. It is one of the place receiving the most rainfall in Karnataka. The places are like Agani (near Hanbal-here the average rainfall is believed to be more than that of Agumbe, which receives the highest rainfall in South India, it's still considered as a speculation because of absence of an official rain-gauge) kagineri, bajemane, bisile, and yedekumeri. The analysis of last 16 (1996–2011) years data reveals that the highest (Av.2050.3 mm) rainfall has occurred in sakaleshpur. In 1997 it has received 2916 mm rainfall In 2010 it has received 2920 mm.
As of 2001[update] India census, Sakleshpura had a population of 23,201. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Sakleshpura has an average literacy rate of 74%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 78%, and female literacy is 69%. In Sakleshpura, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.
The name Shakala is a Sanskrit word means "Bhinnavada" or "Birukada". In the past a Shivalinga found in this town which was broken. The linga was called as Shakaleshwara which since then became Sakaleshwara in the tongue of the local people. A temple was also built at the entrance of the town. Later, the town was also called as Sakaleshapura. Sakaleshwara swami's ratha yatra is held on Purnima in February of every year. In front of the Shakaleshwara temple, a newly constructed Shiva temple called as "Holemalleshvara" is situated right next to river Hemavathi. During the rainy season, the temple is filled up with water and is as famous as the Shakaleshwara temple.
Another theory is that the name Sakaleshapura evolved from sakala-aishwarya-pura, which in turn got condensed from sakala aishwaryagalinda kudida pura – literally meaning that the place is blessed with all kinds of wealth: Water (River Hemavati); Coffee; Spices – including Cardamom & Pepper; excellent Climate too – being a Hill Station that earned the sobriquet “poor man’s Ooty” during the British Raj; Education; Road links, and lately also a Rail head, etc. This, quoting local coffee planter of repute – the erudite erstwhile educationist & historian, head of department of Oriental Languages and Professor of Kannada at Mangalore’s St Aloysius College: Ligoury Bernard Pereira – who eloquently described the place with all its attributes of wealth – at the State Scouts & Guides Jamboree held in Sakleshpur in 1978.
Agriculture & commerce
The primary mode of employment in the Sakleshpura region is agriculture. Crops grown include coffee, rice, pepper, cardamom, ginger and tea with coffee being dominant. Sakleshpura coffee is shade grown on the slopes of the Western Ghats as the elevation is not high enough to enable the intensive cultivation practices followed in the Brazilian and Colombian highlands. But shade cultivation is acclaimed by environmentalists rather than sunlight cultivation followed in Ethiopia and other African Coffee growing nations, as western ghats runs through Sakaleshpura. Large timber yielding trees such as Rose wood and Jack trees provide shade for these coffee bushes.
Coffee growers are typically small farm owners with plantation sizes ranging from 10 acres (40,000 m2) to 10,000 acres (40 km2) as in Kaadumane Estate. Of late, several corporations such as Tata,IBC Group and the TI group have adopted large scale cultivation. The larger plantations process and market the coffee themselves in the domestic and international markets.
Sakleshpur Taluk accounts for around a third of Indian cardamom production.
Sakleshpura is located in the Western Ghats, a mountain range that stretches from Kerala to Gujarat. The southern range, which includes Bisle reserve forest and the region around Sakleshpur is listed as one of the 18 most diverse spots in the world in terms of flora and fauna. The sub-tropical climate and heavy rains during the wet season create an environment where several unique plant and animal species flourish. With people of Sakleshpur being very hospitable, the tourism industry is increasingly embracing the Bed & Breakfast model and now offers several choices for a weekend getaway.
The Manjarabad fort is located just outside of Sakleshpura on National Highway 48. The fort is reputed to have been constructed by Tippu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore as a strategic defensive location as it commands the approach to the plateau beyond Sakleshpura from the coast. It is also believed that he had constructed a tunnel from this fort to another fort in Srirangapattana near Mysore.
The Green Route "Trek on the Railway Track", is a stretch of track from Sakleshpura to the Subramanya railroad station, which was closed down in 1996 to convert the gauge from meter to broad gauge. In the 2007 the train service was commissioned and nowadays many people are use the train to reach Donigal and start the trek thereafter.
This track, that traverses some distance of the Western Ghats, had been abandoned, but now the track has been converted to broad-gauge. It forms a part of 56.80 km stretch from Sakleshpur to Kukke Subrahmanya, dotted by 58 tunnels, 109 bridges and about 25 waterfalls. Since 2005 goods trains are carrying freight to/from the Mangalore Port. Its recommended to trek after monsoon season i.e. during October. The passenger trains have started plying on the route since 2008. Currently, there are two passenger trains running on this route, one from Mysore via Hassan(daily), and another from Bangalore, via Tumkur and Arsikere(alternate days).
The town itself makes for a pleasant halfway stop for travellers along National Highway 48—being the apex town in a long trail of road beginning in Bantwal near Mangalore, winding its way up the Western Ghats. As such, the town is often swathed in mist as the cool temperate surroundings are met with warm air from the coastal lowlands. The exit highway is equally picturesque with tall hedges lining both sides of the road, enclosing coffee groves within.
Kumara Parvatha, also called KP by trekkers is a challenging hike.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sakleshpur.|
- Falling Rain Genomics, Inc – Sakleshpura
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.