Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Coorg district in Karnataka. Nestled in the verdant green forests of the Western Ghats, it is home to many exquisite flora and fauna. The sanctuary obtains its name from the Brahmagiri Peak, which is 1607 metres above the sea level in height.
It is spread over an impressive area of 181 km. The Borapole river dances its way through this sanctuary. Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary was established in the year 1974. It is bound by Nagarhole National Park to the Northwest, and Wayanad (Kerala) to the South.
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The vegetation is mainly evergreen and semi-evergreen forests. Shola grasslands can be found in the higher altitudes. Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary has two reserve forest areas viz., Brahmagiri and Urty. Owing to its thrilling height, the Brahmagiri Peak is a trekker's paradise. You could hit two mangoes with one stone and visit the sanctuary while also hiking up the peak. Win-win!
Best Time To Visit The Sanctuary: Between October and May is the best time to visit the sanctuary.
Things To Carry: Camera, binoculars, sun shades, hat, snacks, water, some loose cash (An ATM maybe hard to come by) and good shoes are a few essentials you must pack.
How To Reach Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary:
By Air: Brahmagiri is 270 km from Bangalore. The KempeGowda International Airport at Bangalore is the closest airport to get to Brahmagiri. You can get to the city and take the many KSRTC buses that ply to Coorg or choose to take a taxi.
By Rail: Mysore Railway Station is the closest railhead to the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, at a distance of 154 km.
By Road: There are three routes to get to the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary by road.
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Route 1: Bangalore - Ramnagara - Channapattana - Mandya - Gonikoppal - Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, via NH275. This is a straight-forward route and takes 6 h 30 min to reach. The distance covered is 291 km.
Route 2: Bangalore - Kunigal - Channarayapatna - Holenarasipura - Virajpet - Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. This falls on NH 75, and covers 344 km in 7 hours.
Route 3: Bangalore - Kanakpura - Malavalli - Ilavala Hobli - Gonikoppal - Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, via NH 209. This covers 314 km in 7 hours.
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Route 1 is the shortest and the most convenient.
You can leave Bangalore early in the morning to avoid any traffic snarls. Have a hearty breakfast at a Darshini and start on the road. Ramnagara, known popularly as the "Sholay Village" has many mountain terrains that make it an ideal trekking spot. Kunti Betta is a popular peak here. Ramnagara also offers many adventure sports such as Jumaring, Ziplining, Shooting and Rapelling.
You will reach Channapattana next. This is a very famous and recognized area for wooden toys and lacquerware. The toys are made with vegetable dyes, so it is perfectly safe for teething babies and toddlers. Google Hyderabad has been actively marketing these toys.
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Next up on the route is Mandya, famous for its sugar farms and factories. The famous Krishnaraja Sagar Dam is in Mandya. Srirangapatnam Fort built during the period of Tipu Sultan stands tall and majestic. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, Bheemeshwari Wildlife Sanctuary is on the way to Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary too!
There is also Kokrebellur Pelicanry, which has many native and migratory birds flying and cooing away to glory. The Melukote temple in Mandya is a very famous religious temple. There are many attractions near Gonikoppal in Coorg. Irpu waterfalls is a beautiful waterfall that must not be missed out on. Nagarhole National Park is closer to Gonikoppal too.
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The peak of Brahmagiri is a thick forest and has a lot of wildlife. Some of the birds found here are the Malabar Trogon, Indian Robin, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Southern Hill Mynaa, Nilgiri wood pigeon, Emerald dove, Black bulbul, Nilgiri Flycatcher, etc. It is home to around 240 species of birds.
Some of the extensive flora found in the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary are Eucalyptus, Bamboos, Shorea Talura, Emblica officinalis, Wrightia tinctoria, Terminalia tomentosa, Terminalia arjuna, Santalum album, Shleichera oleosa, etc. The dominant species here is Dendrocalamus strictus.
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Python, King Cobra, and Common Cobra are some of the important reptiles found in the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary.
Some of the mammals that can be found in the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary are, but not limited to: Pangolin, Otter, Langur, Wild Dog, Leopard Cat, Sloth Bear, Porcupine, Brown Mongoose, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Spotted Deer, Lion Tailed Macaque, Wild Pig, Porcupine, Civet, Slender Loris, Nilgiri Langur, Bonnet Macaque, etc.
Once you are done enjoying the beauty of nature at the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, you can head out to Thiruneli temple. Legend has it that this temple was built by Lord Brahma himself, as a dedication to Lord Vishnu.
Pakshipathalam caves, also known as Munikal caves in Karnataka, are believed to have been used by sages and maharishis. Hence a stop at this scenic attraction is a must.