The etymology of Pilikula is quite interesting. In Tulu, ‘pili' means tiger and ‘kula' means pond. As the legend goes, tigers frequented the watering hole nearby and therefore the name, Pilikula. Set on a picturesque hillock, with a view of the Gurupura River with coconut grooves and areca plantations on its banks, the 370- acre Pilikula Nisarghadhama is a cultural retreat and an engaging stopover.
An eco-educational and tourism park promoted by the District Administration, Pilikula Nisargadhama is a place to get acquainted with the culture, the heritage and the natural riches of Dakshina Kannada. Located just about 15 km away from Mangalore, within the Moodushedde village, it has its own amusement park, biological park, a gold course, a lake, an arboretum, a science centre, a heritage village and an artisan village. The Heritage Village set within the cool, green shade of towering coconut and areca, a Kambala race track, a Guthu Mane and a Nagabana recreates the aesthetics of a rural setting in Dakshina Kannada. At the heart of the village stands a replica of a typical Guthu Mane (the traditional house of the coastal landlords) resplendent with carved pillars and ceilings. Kambala, is an age-old, adrenalin rush of a folk sport that involves racing buffaloes, splattering mud and fully-charged farmers. The Nethravathi-Phalguni race track constructed in front of the Guthu Mane plays host to the annual Jodekare Kambala event. Nagabana is the serpent shrine in the vicinity of the Guthu Mane where the snake god is worshiped. The Artisan Village is an attempt to preserve the age old vocations of the people of Dakshina Kannada district. Experienced artisans demonstrate arts like black smithy, pottery making, weaving, wood and stone carving, oil extraction, making cane and bamboo products and making beaten rice. Visitors can watch the artisans at work and also interact with them. The Artisan Village is closed on Mondays. Spread across 150 acres, the Dr. Shivaram Karanth Biological Park Biological Park shelters several species of birds and animals some of which are endangered. The park currently has a snake house with many different snakes including King Cobras, Pythons, Rat snakes, and Russell's vipers. Apart from 65 species of free ranging birds, there are animals like tigers, lions, leopards, mouse deer, sloth bears, crocodiles, porcupines, wild boars and elephants within enclosures. The Western Ghats are recognised as one of the biodiversity hot spots in the world and are home to several rare plants. With over 60,000 saplings, the arboretum is a treasure trove of flora, many of which are endemic to the Western Ghats. Visitors can walk along the 3 Km long pathway to get a closer look at the varieties of trees and shrubs. The peaceful Pilikula Lake and its surrounding gardens attract a large number of visitors. Motor boats and pedal boats are available at the boating point. Cutting across lush lawns and landscaped gardens around the lake are jogging tracks and walking paths.
The PIlikula Nisargadhama Resort is an all-year destination, though November to February is the time to enjoy the resort at its best. July to September play host to the spectacular monsoons, which turns the resort into a verdant paradise. March, April and May are generally warm.
"Thank you! we had an excellent day trip at bannergatta. all your staff and officials are extremely professional, helpful and courteous. Keep up the good work! your efforts in wildlife conservation are truly commandable and praiseworthy! We will surely come again to stay overnight."14-01-2013
Rahul Dravid, Bangalore