Malenadu: A Nature Lover's Paradise
A Playful Elephant in Sakrebyle Elephant Camp
Malenadu means hilly region. It covers the slopes of Western Ghats in Karnataka. This region receives plenty of rainfall (1,000 mm –3,800 mm) every year. Here are some incredibly beautiful tourist attractions in Malenadu.
This high-altitude village, a traveller's delight, is surrounded by mountains of Western Ghats and lush green tropical forests. It stands at a height of 830 meters above sea level and is one of the last surviving lowland rainforests. It is located in Thirthahalli taluk in Shimoga district and covers less than 3 square kilometers.
Agumbe is famous for its biodiversity, serene landscape, trekking trails and natural beauty. It is known as the Cherrapunji of South India because it receives 7,640 mm of mean annual rainfall, the second highest in India. The population of this village is less than 500. You can enjoy a quiet country life here.
This wonder of nature is home to rare species of medicinal plants like Myristica, Listsaea, Garcinia, Diospyros, Eugenia and Ficus, which is why it is also called "Hasiru Honnu" which means green gold.
The beauty of this small hamlet will delight you. Sunset Point, Jogigundi Falls, Kunchikal Falls, Agumbe Rainforest Research Station, Koodlu Theertha Falls, Barkana Falls and Onake Abbi Falls are, as one local said, "famous Agumbe places to visit".
This enchanting village was the setting of Malgudi, the fictional village from R. K. Narayan’s book, ‘Malgudi Days’. The house of the protagonist Swami, which was shown in the TV series based on the book, still stands at Augumbe. People call it Doddamane. It is more than 100 years old and is located in the main street of the village.
Mangaluru Airport (94 kilometers) is the nearest airport and Udupi railway station (55 kilometers) is the nearest railway station. You can reach Agumbe from the airport and the railway station by KSRTC bus or cab.
Agumbe is in a rainforest region. It has warm and humid tropical climate. Under the Köppen system of climate classification Agumbe is an 'Am' climate, which means, a tropical monsoon climate. The best time to visit this wonderful village is between November and January.
Viewpoint in Agumbe
This wonder of nature is created by River Sharavathi. It is the second highest (253 meters) plunge waterfall in India. Also known as Gerosoppa Falls and Joga Falls, it is located in Shimoga district.
Here the water comes down in four distinct falls known as Raja, Rani, Rover and Rocket. The four cascades merge to form the breathtakingly beautiful Jog Falls.
Raja pours in one unbroken column. Halfway down it is encountered by the Rover, another fall, which rushes violently downwards to meet Raja. Rocket shoots downwards in a series of jets. Rani is a quiet fall over the mountain side.
Hubli Airport (130 kilometers) is the nearest airport and Talaguppa Railway Station (13 kilometers) is the nearest railway station. You can reach Jog Falls by KSRTC bus or cab. Visit between July and December. Last time when I visited this place, I remember staying in a hotel in Shivamogga.
Jog Falls Video
This mountain peak (elevation: 1,343 meters), which is located in Shivamogga district, is a natural heritage site. Whether you are an avid trekker or a first-timer, trails in Kodachadri offer amazing trekking experience.
Kodachadri Trek Guide
Kollur (37 kilometers) is the nearest town to Kodachadri. I suggest that you take a jeep from Kollur to Kodachadri. The vehicle will drop you at the Kodachadri peak jeep stand or near the Kodachadri Information Bureau point. From there trek for around 2 Kms to reach Kodachadri sunset point; it may take approximately 40 minutes.
Sunset at Kodachadri
Sringeri is a hill town in Chikkamagaluru district. Adi Shankara, a great Indian philosopher and theologian, the person who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta, established the first maṭha (Sringeri Sharada Peeta) here.
Located on the bank of River Tunga, Sringeri is famous for its temples and natural beauty. Sri Sharadamba Temple, Sri Vidyashankara Temple and Parshwanath Jain Temple are temples that you must visit while you are here.
There are many valleys and waterfalls around this beautiful town. Any time is good time to visit Sringeri, which can be reached by KSRTC bus or cab.
Mullayanagiri, which is located in the Chandra Dhrona hill ranges, is the tallest mountain (elevation:1,930 meters) in Karnataka. It stands majestically above the rest of the Western Ghats.
This apex of Karnataka is in Chikmagalur district. The 4-km-trek-trail here attracts many adventure tourists. The starting point of this trek is known as Sarpadari. The trail winds through ridges, hills and grasslands.
Mullayanagiri got its name from a temple at the summit, which is dedicated to an ascetic named Mullappa swamy, who is supposed to have meditated at a cave near the summit.
The mountain is around 20 kilometers from Chikmagalur. You can reach here by bus or cab. Me and my family enjoyed our drive to this wonder of nature. Visit between September and February.
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in Chickmagaluru district (around 38 km northwest of Chikmagalur), this wildlife sanctuary is a protected area and a Project Tiger, tiger reserve. Spread over 492.46 square kilometers, it is famous for its various flora and fauna.
The sanctuary is encompassed by the hill ranges of Mullayanagiri, Hebbegiri, Gangegiri and Babaudangiri. More than 120 species of trees grow here. Visit between October and February.
Tiger at Bhadra wildlife Sanctuary
Sakrebyle Elephant Camp
This wonderful forest camp for captive elephants is located in Shivamogga district. This popular ecotourism center offers you an opportunity to look at huge tuskers from close quarters.
You may visit Sakrebyle Elephant Camp on any day during the year between 8.30 am and 11.00 am. It is around 14 kilometers from Shivamogga, which is well-connected by rail and road.
Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary
Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary is an island (formed by River Tunga) in Shivamogga district. It houses more than 5,000 birds, including darters, median egrets, cormorants, maiden egret, pied kingfisher, wooly neck stalk, night herons and open-billed storks.
Migratory birds travel from all parts of the world to this beautiful bird sanctuary during the month of May for breeding purposes. Birdwatching, trekking and boat riding are popular activities here. Visit between July and October.
Tyavarekoppa Lion and Tiger Safari
Opened in 1988, this safari covers an area of around 620 acres. It is around 10 kilometers north-west of Shivamogga, in Shivamogga-Sagar Road. It is actually a rehabilitation center for tigers and lions rescued from circuses.
Any time is good time to visit this safari, which houses tigers, lions, leopards, Indian jackal, crocodile, python, deer, sloth bear and various migratory birds. It is open between 10.00 am and 1.00 pm; and 2.15 pm and 5.00 pm. It is closed on Tuesdays and national holidays.
© 2018 Srikanth R