Take a wild detour

Splendid:  A view of Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary as seen from Kodachadri.

For those who are looking out for an easily accessible wildlife sanctuary where one can relish the nature’s bounty, the best place is Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary in Kundapur taluk of Udupi district. The sanctuary is named after goddess ‘Mookambika,’ the presiding deity of the popular Mookambika temple at Kollur which is located at the heart of the sanctuary. The sanctuary spread over an area of 247 sq kms, provides the best trekking experience to the trekkies. Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary was declared as the wildlife sanctuary by the Karnataka Government in 1974.

Flora and fauna

The sanctuary is inhabited by wide and rich varieties of flora and fauna which are protected. Moist deciduous forests occur at lower altitude, especially in the foothills of the sanctuary. West coast semi-evergreen and west coast tropical evergreen forests occur at mid altitudes, while shola-grass land vegetation is found at higher altitudes.

The sanctuary is an abode for various animal and bird species including lion-tailed macaque, bonnet macaque, common langur, slender loris, sloth bear, gaur, wild pig, tiger, leopard, wild dog, jackal, chital, sambar, barking deer, otter, porcupine, Malabar giant squirrel and flying squirrel. Python, king cobra, tortoises, cane turtle (a rare species) are also found in this forest.

Complete package

Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary offers a complete package to the visitors as it consists of several tourist attractions with scenic view, dense forest, flora and fauna. Butterfly trail walk, birder’s trail walk, Arashinagundi falls trek, Machan night out could be the part of trekking activity in the region. The tourist spots in the area include Kodachadri and Belakallu temples, Arasinagundi water fall (6 km from Kullur), Belakallu Tirtha waterfall (12 km from Kollur), Kodachadri hill station (22 km from Kollur), Maravanthe beach and Hosadu Abbi waterfall (10 km from Byndoor).

Anejari nature camp

For those who visit the Wildlife Sanctuary, stay at Anejari Nature Camp would be worth an experience. There is facility for the nature lovers to conduct nature camps, while discount fee is offered for the students to conduct the camps. Anejari is located 5 km from Kollur and is surrounded by dense forest on the one side and River Sowparnika flowing on the other side. Play activities for children and sport activities for the adults would energise the visitors. Forest rest house, tents and dormitories are available for those who wish to stay overnight. There is also option to stay in hotels and rest houses in Kollur. The visitors can opt for self-cooking option too.

The best time to visit the Sancturay and camp is from October to February.     

How to reach

The Sancturay is extremely well connected with roads. It is approachable by all roads from Kundapur (35 km), Byndoor (25 km), and Mangalore. The nearest railway station is Kundapur which is 40 km away. The nearest airport in Bajpe, about 140 km from Kollur.
The visitors should get their own/hire jeeps for wildlife viewing. Visiting hours are 6 am-9 am and 4 pm- 7 pm.

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