Located in the southern part of Karnataka’s Coorg region, Irpu is a gateway to the Brahmagiris and showcases Coorg’s biodiversity. The variations in altitude reflect myriad wonders. The mountain teems with rare orchids, medicinal herbs, butterflies of every hue and birds such as the Malabar trogon. The trail which passes through Brahmagiri Wildlife sanctuary fans out towards a range of peaks each with their own mythology. Spread over 181 sq km the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary stretches in a wide arc ranging from lowland rainforests in the Makutta Wildlife Range to high –altitude shola grasslands in Srimangala.
The sanctuary is adjacent to the Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala.A forested corridor with coffee plantations connects it to Wayanad and Nagarhole.This wild confluence of natural heritage constitutes perhaps one of the most untouched regions in India. The forests abound with the gaus, elephant, tiger and leopard apart from other creatures such as sloth bear, jungle cat, wild dog, barking deer, Nilgiri langur, bonnet macaque and lion tailed macaque, Malabar giant squirrel, giant flying squirrel etc.
Stop at the Reserve Forest Office at Srimangala or Hunsur before you take a diversion to Irpu and Pakshipathalam.There is various options at Irpu to stay overnight before starting your trek in the morning. The treks starts from the Ishwara temple at Irpu.A short 1 km walk takes you to Irpu Falls from where the forest trail climbs southwards up the Brahmagiri on an 8 km trek to the Forest Rest House at Narimalbetta.The trek starts from Irpu to Narimalbetta then moves to Hanumanbetta and Pakshipathalam and ends at Thirunelly.
September to early June
Through the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary from south-west Karnataka into Kerala.
How to Reach
From Bangalore to Irpu, its 224 km/6 hrs by car or 7 hrs by bus.By car take the Mysore Road bypass via Ranganathittu and get onto SH88.After Hunsur turn towards Nagarhole via Murkal and head for Irpu via Kutta.The road passes through Nagarhole National Park.From Madikeri take the road to Gonikoppal, Ponnampet, Hudikeri and Srimangala.If you want to go from Irpu to Thirunelly by road take the turn from Kutta towards Mananthvady.After Tholpetty, Thirunelly is 13 km away. Return from Thirunelly, you backtrack the way you came via Tholpetty, Nagarhole, Hunsur, Ranganathittu and Srirangapatnam to Bangalore.