Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Coorg district of Karnataka. It is one of the most prominent bird sanctuaries because it houses some very rare and endangered bird species.
Located at a distance of 290 km from Bangalore, and spread across 102 km, the sanctuary is an ornithologist's delight. It was established in 1987 (September), and has been proposed as one of the World Heritage Sites.
PC : Kalidas Pavithran
It is very interesting to note that the sanctuary is connected with Bisle reserve forest on one side and Kukke Subramanya forest range on the other. Pushpagiri sanctuary has thick evergreen, semi evergreen and shola grasslands, which are typical to the forests of Western Ghats. The altitude at which the sanctuary is located differs from 160 to 1700 metres above the sea level. Kumaraparvatha, a famous trekking site, lies within this sanctuary range.
Best Time To Visit: November to March is the ideal time to visit Pushpagiri. This is the time for migrating birds to visit the sanctuary. Hence, you will see a lot more interesting species around this time.
Things To Carry: Umbrella, snacks, water, walking shoes, camera and binoculars.
PC : Kalidas Pavithran
How To Reach Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary:
By Air: The closest airport is in Mangalore, at a distance of 135 km. Bangalore Airport is located at 260 km. You have to take a private taxi or bus to get to the point.
By Train: The railway station at Mysore is the closest in proximity to Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, at a distance of 146 km.
Route 1: Bangalore - Kunigal - Channarayapatna - Arkalgud - Kundalli - Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, via NH 75 and SH 8. This is a 256 km route and takes 5 hours to cover.
Route 2: Bangalore - Ramnagara - Channapatnna - Mandya - Somwarpet - Kundalli - Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, via NH 275. This takes 5 hours 50 minutes to reach Pushpagiri wildlife sanctuary. It pans a distance of 275 km.
Route 3: Bangalore - Ramnagara - Channapatnna - Channarayapatna - Holenarsipura - Shanivarasanthe - Kundalli - Pushpagiri, at a distance of 310 km and it takes 6 hours to reach Pushpagiri wildlife sanctuary.
PC : Uajith
While Route 1 is the shortest, both in terms of distance and time, Route 3 is the longest. Since the roads and accessibility is better in Route #2, that is the best choice.
Have a hearty breakfast at a Dharshini and kickoff early from Bangalore. Make a brief stop at Ramnagara to trek up the Ramdevara Betta. This is the peak where Gabbar Singh's house is in the famous Hindi movie Sholay.
Atop the peak is a temple where you can offer prayers following the trek. Further on, Channapatna is distinguished for wooden toys all over the world. Appropriately called the "Town of Toys", it is believed that Tipu Sultan encouraged and welcomed artisans from Persia to train the locals in the making of these toys. These toys have a GI tag offered by the Government of India. Buy a few toys for children to support and boost the confidence of local artisans.
PC : psubhashish
At the highway, stop at any hotel and simply ask for a Maddur Vade. This vada is very famous and heavenly in Maddur. Next stop is Mandya, known for sugar factories. Daria Daulath Bhag, Tipu Sultan's summer palace, is now maintained by the Archaeological Society of India and has some incredible art from Tipu's period. Photography is banned inside the Dariya Daulath Bhag.
Gaganachukki and Bharachukki are two waterfalls in this region that are famous and beautiful. On the way is Kokkrebellur Bird Sanctuary. If you are going to Pushpagiri to see the birds, Kokrebellur sanctuary will interest you too.
Around the same time as in Pushpagiri sanctuary, the migratory birds here arrive in hordes. Mallalli waterfalls is a small detour from Somwarpet. It starts from the foothills of Pushpagiri range. Pushpagiri Sanctuary is about 27 km from Somwarpet.
PC : Prasadhs75
Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is the perfect place if you want to enjoy the company of animals and birds in their beautiful and gorgeous natural habitat. Most of the acreage of this sanctuary is covered in dense forests and it packs a punch to the eyes. Some of the animals found here are wild pigs, Indian giant squirrel, Indian wild dog, spotted deer, Indian hare, mouse deer, stripe-necked mongoose, etc.
Langur, lion tailed macaque and bonnet macaque are some of the primates found in this sanctuary. This sanctuary also has reptiles. Some of them are Indian rock python, common cobra, rat snake, bamboo pit viper and king cobra. The sanctuary is ecstatic for bird lovers.
PC : Subhashish Panigrahi
Some of the birds that have made this sanctuary their home are: Asian paradise flycatcher, Indian blue robin, dollarbird, Malabar grey hornbill, Nilgiri flycatcher, Nilgiri wood pigeon, grey headed bulbul, white bellied blue flycatcher, Sri Lankan frogmouth, greater flameback woodpecker, white cheeked barbet, Malabar trogon, southern hill myna and many more such colourful birds.
If you are an amateur, it may be a wise idea to familiarize yourself with identifying the birds. This is essential to understand their behaviour and to enjoy viewing them in their natural habitat. Apart from bird watching, you could take a stroll in the forests of Pushpagiri and enjoy the fresh and cool air.