Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary
Brahmagiri wildlife sanctuary is located in the Kodagu district and is part of the Western Ghats. It has evergreen and semi-evergreen forests, as well as shola-grassland habitat. The Sanctuary is surrounded by agricultural fields and coffee plantations. The eastern tip of the Sanctuary almost touches the northwestern edge of the Nagarahole National Park, separated only by a narrow strip of coffee plantations.
The sanctuary derives its name from the highest point, the Brahmagiri peak, which is 1607 m in height. The temperature here ranges from 5 degree to 32 degree C, and mean annual rainfall varies from 2500 to 6000 mm.
The area has mainly evergreen and semi-evergreen Shola forest in bloomforest, and in the higher altitudes, there are grasslands with shola forest patches. Bamboos are well represented in these forests, with Bambusa bambos being dominant.The sholas are made up of dwarf evergreen trees or 'krummholz', stunted due to the strong winds at higher altitudes. Sholas are surrounded by grasslands.
Mammals in the Sanctuary include elephant, gaur, tiger, jungle cat, leopard cat, wild dog, sloth bear, wild pig, sambar, spotted deer, lion-tailed macaque, NilgiriBlack bulbuls are found in the upper reaches of the Western Ghats langur, slender loris, bonnet macaque, common langur, barking deer, mouse deer, Malabar giant squirrel, giant flying squirrel, Nilgiri marten, common otter, brown mongoose, civets, porcupine and pangolin. Python, cobra and king cobra are some of the snakes found in the Sanctuary. Interesting birds in the Sanctuary include emerald dove, black bulbul and Malabar trogon.
By rail or road from Bangalore to Mysore (140 km), then by road to Hunsur (45 km), Gonikoppa (40 km), and on to the Sanctuary (18 km). Otherwise, by road from Mangalore to Madikeri (105 km), then to Virarajendrapet (30 km), then on to the Sanctuary (7 km).
Between October and May is the best time to visit the Sanctuary. Nature camps are undertaken for school children at the Narimalai campsite. There is a trekking path from the lrpu falls, where the River Lakshmana Tirtha begins its journey, to the Narimalai camp, and further on to the Brahmagiri peak and to the Munikal caves.
Tirunelli Temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu on the side of Brahmagiri hill in Kerala. The temple is at an altitude of about 900m in north Wayanad in a valley surrounded by mountains and beautiful forests. It is 32 km away from Manathavady.
Tirunelli Temple in Wayanad, Kerala
Pakshipathalam is situated in Brahmagiri Hills and is about 36 km drive from Mananthavady and 7 km from Thirunelli. Situated about 1740 m above the sea level, it is a favourite destination of adventure tourists, ornithologists and nature-lovers.
Pakshipathalam in Brahmagiri Hills
Trekking at Brahmagiri
The trek along the Brahmagiri hills is situated at an altitude of 1608m, above sea level. The range of mountain is located in the Western Ghats which act as the border between Karnataka and Kerala.
The hill is located at nearly 270 km away from the city of Bangalore but one can easily gain access to the trek through Coorg, which is just located at a distance of 60 km.
The trek takes individuals deep inside the Brahmagiri Wildlife sanctuary, which is home to a number of elephants. The amazing aspect of this trek is that it passes through the densest of forests, many small streams and rivers, beautiful verdant green grasslands and the famous Iruppu falls, thus giving the trekker an all around view of the scenic splendor that nature offers.
Another aspect about the trail of this trek which makes it unique is its permanent shelter which makes it one of the monsoon friendly trek in the vicinity of Coorg. The trekking area is characterised by the presence of the forests which have semi-evergreen or evergreen trees. There are also a large number of animals and mammals which can be spotted close to the top of the Brahmagiri hill; perfect for those having an eye for clicking for some pictures with their cameras.
The best time to go on a trek to Brahmagiri is from the month of December till the end of February.