Chikmagalur City takes its name from the word "Chikkamagala Uru" which literally
means younger daughter's town (in Kannada). It is said to have been given as a dowry to
the younger daughter of Rukmangada, the legendary chief of Sakrepatna. Another part of
the town bestowed on the elder daughter is known as Hiremagalur.
Some old inscriptions reveals that these two places were known as Kiriya-muguli and
Piriya-muguli. In a fertile valley south of the Baba-Budan hill range is the headquarters
town of the district. It is a centre of education, trade and commerce.
One of the most significant events in the history of Chikmagalur district is that coffee
was introduced for the first time in India through the chikmagalur district. The first coffee
crop was grown in the Baba Budan Giri Hills in 1670 A.D. It is believed that the saint
Baba Budan, on his pilgrimage to Mecca, happened to trave through the seaport of
Mocha, Yemen. It is here that he discovered coffee for the first time and brought it back
to India. In order to do this, he wrapped seven coffee beans around his belly and brought
it out of Arabia back to India. When he returned home, he planted the beans in the hills
of Chikkamagaluru, which are now named Baba Budan Hills in his honour.