The Bisle Ghat Photos by the author

 A hamlet situated in the midst of thick forests, there’s an interesting story about how the place got its name. It is said that Bisilu (sunshine in Kannada) touched the ground at this spot specifically. The region in general is enveloped by thick forests, which means that the sun’s rays generally don’t pierce through the forests and touch the ground.

Bisle village borders the Bisle reserve forest. There are a few houses scattered in the dense forest. A petty shop, a small hotel and the Forest department checkpost are part of the village. Bisle was famous for a choultry built by the Maharaja of Mysore. It was built to facilitate pilgrims who visit Kukke Subrahmanya via Bisle by walk when there were no transportation facilities. Sahukar Narasimhaiah, a cardamom planter and philanthropist, hailing from a village near Bisle, was known to serve food to pilgrims for a while. Today, though, the choultry has been replaced by a community hall. Also, there is a temple dedicated to the deity Anjaneya.
With a breathtaking drop on one side and steep mountains on the other, the Bisle Ghat offers great views of the Western Ghats. There’s also a famous waterfall called the  Mallahalli falls near Somavarpet. A trek of one kilometre from here takes one to the Bisle watch tower. The forest department has erected a watch tower at a high elevation.

Undulating mountains and hills matted with thick green vegetation are separated by the Giri hole (pond) from steep forested slopes where this watch tower is located. Tracing the trail of the milky Giri hole deep inside the valley, you can spot five mountain ranges, under three district ranges. The Patla betta (1112 mts - Patla is a village), Eenikallu betta (ladder shaped stone - 900 mts) of Hassan district, Dodda betta (1119 mts) and Pushpagiri (1712 mts) belong to Kodagu district and Kumara Parvata (1319 mts) comes under Subrahmanya.

Moving on towards Subrahmanya, one notices the forest getting thicker and thicker. Fresh water streams, smell of wet soil and the aroma of the forest entice every one. As we cross several bends, the mountain Pushpagiri stands tall in front of us. Opposite Pushpagiri is a hill known as Kannadi kallu betta. The Bisle reserve forest in the Bisle range has 3,135 hectares of rich evergreen forest. The diversity in wildlife here is immense.

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