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Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Coorg

  • The popular Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is amongst the 21 Wildlife Sanctuaries in Karnataka. The sanctuary is located near Mandalpatti in Somwarpet taluk of Coorg district. The area is enveloped by dense forest area making it a favourite amongst trekkers and nature lovers.

    The forest is of semi-evergreen and dense evergreen trees in nature attracting several species of exotic plants and animals. Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is recognized as an area exclusive to rare and exotic birds along with other species of flora and fauna specific to this region.

    The Kadamakal Reserve Forest is an integral part of the sanctuary with Pushpagiri being the highest peak in it. Kumara Parvatha is the other peak that lies within it. The sanctuary is strategically located with Bisle reserve forest to the north and Kukke Subramanya forest range to the west.

    The rolling Shola grasslands specific to the Western Ghats, beautiful valleys and meadows, swamps and quaint water bodies create magic in this area. One can spot a variety of animals like the Indian hare, spotted deer, giant flying squirrel, otters, Indian wild dog, brown palm civet, wild pig, stripe-necked mongoose, sambar, elephants, gaur, mouse deer, etc. Primates like common langur, lion-tailed macaque, and bonnet macaque can also be spotted easily.

    The famous and gorgeous Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is being frequented by nature lovers and adventure seekers every year. Strategically placed near Madikeri, trekkers here enjoy a day-long trek across the lush terrain crisscrossing the easy and not so easy trails. A few prefer staying back to enjoy the night camping and celebrating wilderness with family and friends.

    Several botanists, Zoologists and Ornithologists have ventured this piece of land to explore, study and discover several other species of flora and fauna of this region. A photographer’s delight, every moment can be clicked for it is surrounded by mystic hues of nature.

    Overview


    Location: Subramanya, Road, Kumarahalli, Kodagu, Somwarpet Taluk, Karnataka 

    Timings: 5.30 am – 5.00pm every day.

    Entry Fee: Rs. 75/- at the check post and extra charges for camping.

    Best Time: The best time to visit Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is between the months from November to March when the monsoons come to an end and the weather is pleasant to explore the surroundings at leisure.

    Average Temperature: The average temperature is in between 12 – 24 degrees.

    Distance from Coorg: Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is a mere 74 km from Coorg and takes close to 2 hours via SH8.

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    How to Reach Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary


    By Rail: The closest Railway station to Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is Mysore station at a distance of 146km. One further needs to travel by a four-wheeler to reach the Sanctuary in the northern part of Kodagu.

    By Road: One can either self-drive or take a car on hire to reach the Sanctuary. One can cover the distance of 275km in close to 4 hours. The Sanctuary is further 25 km from Madikeri.

    By Bus: Regular buses depart from Bangalore to Madikeri covering the distance in approximately 6 hours. Madikeri to the Sanctuary is another 30 minutes which can be traversed by a taxi or public conveyance available locally.

    Read More: Coorg to Bangalore: A Complete Travel Guide

    Flora of Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary


    Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is renowned for its wide collection of exotic flora ranging from orchids to wildflowers and dense evergreen forests to tiny herbs.  

    Fauna of Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary 


    Bird watchers are in awe of this sanctuary due to the huge variety of endangered and rare birds available in this part of the country. Certain species like the grey-breasted laughing thrush, black, orange flycatcher and Nilgiri flycatcher have been a major attraction for the visitors.

    Rare and exotic animals like the Indian giant squirrel, spotted deer, Sambar, Indian muntjac, gaur, Asian elephant, wild pig, giant flying squirrel are a few of the animals that one can spot while trekking along the sanctuary.

    Exotic Birds of Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary

    Designated as one of the important areas for birds in the world this sanctuary is a haven for exotic and rare species of avians. With the presence of dense vegetation and several swamps and water bodies, it is a natural habitat for several birds around the year.

    Some of the birds that have made this place their home are the Indian blue robin, dollar bird, Malabar grey hornbill, Nilgiri flycatcher, Nilgiri wood pigeon, grey-headed bulbul, white-bellied blue flycatcher, Sri Lankan frogmouth, greater flame back woodpecker, white-cheeked barbet, Malabar trogon, southern hill mynah and many more interesting and colourful birds.

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    Traveller's Tips for Visiting Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary 


    -The jeep/car ride from Madikeri to Pushpagiri Wildlife sanctuary is a little steep, thus visitors with a compromised back should take adequate precautions.

    -Get written permission from the respective forest officials before commencing the trek.

    -The forest is closed during the summer months to avoid forest fire.

    -Be aware not to throw plastic waste in and around the sanctuary for a responsible and sustainable trip.

    -Stay away from dense vegetation, forests and bushes for they are dwelling places for several birds and animals.

    -It is advised to take the uphill drive empty stomach for people who have motion sickness.

    -Carry a bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated.

    -Umbrella, sunscreen, rainwear and hats should be packed in case the rain gods are happy and throw a flash of a shower or the sun is too strong for you to walk.

    -Carry a change of clothes in case they get wet or soiled.

    -Packing some light snacks would be a great idea as there are no places to buy food inside the Wildlife sanctuary.

    -Wear comfortable and sturdy walking shoes to bear the trek with different kinds of terrains.

    -Camera and binoculars are a must to capture the colourful and interesting birds, animals, flowers, insects and the surroundings of the Wildlife sanctuary.

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    Attractions and Activities at Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary


    1. Trekking to Kumara Parvatha: Kumara Parvatha in Kodagu is the second highest peak in Karnataka attracting a huge number of trekkers every year. One would traverse through dense vegetation, volcanic rocks, forests and beautiful grasslands of Shola.

    The trekking can be enjoyed by both beginners and pros with equal elan and a sense of adventure. The captivating flora and fauna of this wildlife sanctuary keep everyone returning to scale the mountain and create memories every time.

    2. Photography: A paradise for bird watchers, nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts and photographers, the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary features in the bucket list of several groups of travellers in India.

    Images of the pristine Western Ghats, Shola grasslands resembling a green carpet, colourful birds in their habitats and rare animals doing an occasional visit are all subjects that photographers would want to capture in their cameras and cherish it forever.


    3. Wildlife Adventure Safari: This popular weekend getaway attracts a lot of tourists indulging in the Wildlife Adventure Safari at Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. The safaris in an open jeep typically take you around the trails to spot sambar, elephants, wild pigs, deer and gaurs.

    The safari is generally enjoyed by visitors of every age as it is an opportunity to have a close encounter with the wilderness from a safe distance.

    4. Camping: Trekking and hiking are a major tourist attraction in Pushpagiri Wildlife sanctuary. A few trekkers return the same day after scaling the peak while a few decide to stay over the night. Many trekkers opt for the Kumara Parvatha route and camp at Girigadde which is a camping site in Coorg.

    A very basic private accommodation is available along with food. One needs to carry one’s sleeping bag to make oneself comfortable at night. Greeted by the first ray of the early morning sun, it is a great sight amidst the valleys and mountains to experience nature.

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    Other Important Information


    1. Places to Stay: There is a tiny shed in between Heggedemane and Kumar Parvat Kudre Doddi built by the wildlife wing officials for patrolling forest personnel to rest. 
    The area behind Kallu Mantapa is also a good option to camp for trekkers. The popular options are Bhatru's house at Girigadde where trekkers can stay the night in their respective sleeping bags.

    2. Places to Eat: One can either carry food in their bags in case they are fussy or are allergic to certain food. Bhatru's house at Girigadde is a go-to place where one can order local food and relish it at a very affordable price.

    3. Transportation: There are 4X4 jeeps available, plying between Madikeri and Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. Jeep safaris are organised within the forest premises taking adequate safety measures.

    4. Medical Facilities: It is suggested to carry important medicines and first aid along as there are no medical shops or hospitals close to the Wildlife Sanctuary. The closest hospital is in Madikeri.

    5. Network Connectivity: Do not expect great mobile network connectivity at the Pushpagiri Wildlife sanctuary for it is surrounded by lush green forests and dense vegetation. Rather it is advisable to enjoy the trek with its lavish greens keeping all worries and fear aside. 

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Attractions

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Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary

It is incredibly amazing to know that Karnataka boasts of 21 wildlife sanctuaries and Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is one of them that adds more greenery to the state’s sizeable vegetation. 

Sprawled across an area of 102 KM, this wildlife sanctuary is world famous for its sustainable approach to endangered bird species. It is almost  290 KM from Bangalore and is situated in the Somwarpet taluk district in Coorg. 

Many small streams chisel down the steep terrain of the sanctuary which is caved by Bisle Reserve Forest on one side and Kukke Subramanya Forest range on the other. Around 70 % of the jungle is densely covered and many exotic bird species are found such as Malaria Grey Hornbill, Nilgiri Blue Pigeon, Blue-winged Parakeet and white-bellied blue flycatcher etc.

Height:
1712 meters above the sea level ( Pushpagiri- the highest peak in the Sanctuary).

Location:
Somwarpet, Kodagu, Coorg-571251

Best Time to Visit:
Winter season (November to February)

Entry fee:
INR 10 per head.

Timings:
6:00 AM – 6:00 PM n all seven days of the week.

Average time required to visit this place:
3 to 4 hours.

Distance from Madikeri Bus Stand:
64 Kms.

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