This is one of the most picturesque views of nature’s artistic present to Wayanad. On your trek you will come across little streams all along the way that is beautiful. The hill presents a stunning and mesmerizing view of the surroundings from its slopes. The only peak that is higher than the Brahmagiri peak is that of the Chembra peak which you can see once you reach the top. Trekkers can reach the top after traveling 9 kilometers.
Brahmagiri, at 1608 m above sea level, is a hill range on the Western Ghats bordering Kerala and Karnataka. It is situated on the border between Wayanad District of Kerala state on the south and Kodagu District in Karnataka on the north side. Pack your bags and head to this trekkers’ paradise that is graced by the ancient Thirunelli temple in the Wayanad district on the south and adorned by Iruppu falls from the Kodagu district of Karnataka in the north.
November to February is the best time to visit the hill and one should avoid the monsoon. The hill is at an approximate distance of 270 km from Bangalore. If you’re trekking from Kerala, you have to begin at Thirunelli and whilst trekking from Karnataka, you have to begin from Iruppu falls. Permission from the Thirunelli Forest Range Officer and Srimangala Forest Range Officer has to be taken while trekking. The nearest towns to Brahmagiri hill are Kutta, Srimangala, and Gonikoppal.
The area has mainly evergreen and semi-evergreen forest, and in the higher altitudes, there are grasslands with shola forest patches. Bamboos are well represented in these forests.
Thirunelli Temple: Legend has it that the Thirunelli Temple was built by Lord Brahma himself and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It lies on the side bordered by Kerala. Also celebrated as the Kasi of the South or Dakshina Kasi, the temple has 30 granite pillars constructed in traditional style.
Papanasini is a stream that originates from the Brahmagiri Hills which later joins River Kalindi. It is almost 400 mtrs away from the temple, on its western side. Literally, it means, extinguisher of sins. It is believed that River Ganga and River Saraswathi join in Papanasini. Therefore Papanasini is called the Southern Kashi. A ritual dip in Papanasini is believed to wash one away, of all worldly sins committed in a lifetime.
Pakshipathalam: Pakshipathalam at an altitude of 1740 meters is another attraction on Brahmagiri Hills. Pakshipathalam is a cave that is said to have been used by rishis in ancient times. Pakshipathalam is home to several species of birds and is an ornithologist’s paradise. The deep rock caves, formed among the thick blocks of rocks at the northern top end of the Brahmagiri are the abode of various birds and wild beasts. It is also known as the Munikal cave in Karnataka.
Iruppu Falls: Originating from the Lakshmana Tirtha River in Karnataka, Iruppa Falls is one of the most sought-after destinations in Karnataka. According to fables, Lord Rama and Lakshmana were in search of Sita when they became thirsty. Lord Lakshmana shot an arrow to Brahmagiri hill from where the Lakshmana Tirtha River sprang. It eventually flows into the Kaveri River.
Wildlife and Birds
The top of Brahmagiri Hill is well forested and has a lot of wildlife. Mammals in the Sanctuary include Lion-tailed Macaque, Elephant, Gaur, Tiger, Jungle Cat, Leopard Cat, Wild Dog, Sloth Bear, Wild Pig, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Nilgiri Langur, Slender Loris, Bonnet Macaque, Common Langur, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Giant Flying Squirrel, Nilgiri Marten, Common Otter, Brown Mongoose, Civets, Porcupine, Pangolin.
Python, cobra and king cobra are some of the reptiles found in the Brahmagiri wildlife sanctuary.
Interesting birds in the Sanctuary include emerald dove, black bulbul, and Malabar Trogon.