Rolling green meadows as far as the eyes can see, a chilling breeze even when the sun shines the strongest, rain clouds playing catch, the sky that is just a touch away; rare species of trees lying like anklets on the verdant shola grasslands, Mandalpatti has many a surprise in store!
Pushpagiri or Kumara Parvatha at 1,712 metres is the 6th largest peak in Karnataka. Pushpagiri range of forests spreads from the region of Subrahmanya to Somwarpet in the Western Ghats. The Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is home to rare and endangered birdlife. It has also been designated as one of the most important bird reserves in the world and proposed as a world heritage site. At 3265 feet above sea level, Mandalpatti lies on one of the ranges of Pushpagiri. One of the highlights of being at Mandalpatti is being able to enjoy the 10292.149 hectare Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary in all its glory.
The breathtaking views of the other peaks in the Western Ghat ranges like Pushpagiri (4280 feet), Parvathagiri Bete (3927.5 feet), Kumara Parvatham (3497.5 feet) is an added advantage for the visitors.
Mandalpatti is one of the most picturesque trekking routes in the Western Ghats and Pushpagiri, a trekker’s paradise indeed. With prior permission it is possible to go trekking to all the peaks in these ranges.
1.Mandalpatti is located at around 24 km from Madikeri Town.
2.You can cover 20 km by car, though the drive is a little difficult.
3.With no actual road in sight, you will need a Jeep to traverse the remaining 4 km stretch.
4.Almost 40 Jeeps are available here for the use of visitors, but fix the rent before you embark on the trip.
5.There are even plenty of Jeeps available near the Madikeri KSRTC bus depot.
For Rs.1600, a group of 8 can go up to the Mandalpatti peak, and return after an hour of sightseeing there. The rental rate for traversing the 4 km will come to almost half the amount of covering 24 km! So many prefer to leave their vehicles in Madikeri and take a Jeep from here.
After getting down from the Jeep and climbing a 200 metre slope, you can reach one of the major view points of Mandalpatti. Deep Ravines, Valleys, green topped mountain peaks all laden with a heavy mist. There is a Watch Tower here for better views. The area around this point is large enough to accommodate thousands of tourists at a time. This is what makes Mandalpatti stand out from the other tourist centres.
On the Silver screen
Most parts of the much acclaimed Malayalam movie ‘Pazhasi Raja’ starring Mammooty was filmed here. It is mostly through the film fraternity that the world got to know Mandalpatti’s huge possibilities for eco-tourism. Since the spot hasn’t yet fell prey to the devious business or commercial interests, everything that Mandalpatti has to offer can be enjoyed limitlessly. All credit for this goes to the efficient team behind the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary and the Karnataka Forest Department.
Things to remember
-The area is strictly a plastic-free zone.
-You can carry and consume your own water or food, but littering in the sanctuary is a punishable offence.
-Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most protected bio reserves in the Western Ghats and conservation of the environment here is extremely important, says the Assistant Forest Conservator, Sharan Bassappa...