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Nagarhole, Brahmagiri Or Dubare: Where To Spot Wildlife In Coorg
Exploring Karnataka’s wildlife? Then, you can’t possibly miss Coorg. Rich in wildlife, the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries that dot this popular weekend getaway promise plenty of adventure. On safaris or treks, you can spot elephants, gaurs, sambars, deer, and if you are very lucky — the tiger. We list the best places to spot wildlife in Coorg.
Recommended for: Popular with trekkers, Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary’s lush greenery and wildlife are worth exploring. While there are no safaris here, the forest department does welcome hikers. The most popular route is the trek up to Brahmagiri Peak, the highest in the area. On your way up, you can encounter the forest’s countless residents. These include lion-tailed macaques, gaurs, jungle cats, sloth bears, deer, and many other beasts. Also, watch out for winged creatures like Emerald Doves and Malabar Trogons. You can also spend some time splashing about the cool waters of the Iruppu Falls. Do note that you need permissions to trek through the forests and that the sanctuary is a plastic-free zone. Within the sanctuary grounds, there are cottages that you can camp at.
Recommended for: A short drive from Coorg’s Somwarpet area, the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary opens up in front of you. While you can take a drive through the forest, it is best experienced by foot especially if you want to catch glimpse of wildlife. You can scale the Pushpagiri peak (the second highest in Coorg) and watch out for wild dogs, Brown Palm Civets, gaurs, elephants and wild pigs. Pushpagiri is renowned for its bird life. And is home to rare species of birds like the grey-breasted laughing thrush and Nilgiri flycatchers.
Recommended for: At the border of Coorg sits the Nagarhole National Park. Along with Bandipur, it is the best place to spot the elusive tiger in Karnataka. You can camp at the nearby town of Kutta (plenty of homestays to choose from here) and sign up for safaris at the park. You can either set out in big buses or hire out jeeps (the more expensive option) and venture into the forest. Deer are common here and you should also be able to spot an elephant or two. Gaurs, wild dogs, leopards, and langurs also call Nagarhole home. At one edge of Nagarhole is the Kabini reservoir. The backwaters of the reservoir are a favourite with animals (especially during summer). So, book a lodge here (they range from super fancy to basic) and travel along the waters to catch sight of wildlife.