Saturday, June 15, 2024

Tourism      Wildlife      National Parks      Karnataka     Udupi    

Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary




Udupi district, Karnataka

Nearest town


Kundapura (40km)

Main attraction


Two endangered species are found here; the lion-tailed macaque and cane turtle.

Best time to visit


Between November and March

Opening Time


6-9.30 am, 3.30-6 pm

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Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Udupi district of Karnataka. Named after the goddess Mookambika, the reigning deity of the famous Mookambika temple at Kollur, it is on the Kundapur-Kollur- Shimoga road. The sanctuary was established on 17th June, 1974. Nestiling animals and birds, it is an unspoilt, untouched and unexplored treasure of wildlife spread over 247 sq. kms. The sanctuary is divided into three zones viz:a core zone (114 sq. kms) a buffer zone (90 sq. kms) and a tourism zone (43 sq. Km). Also it shares its northwestern boundary with the Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.

Two endangered species are found here; the lion-tailed macaque and cane turtle. Nature camping and trekking are some of the activities that can be enjoyed at Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary and number of trekking trails are available here. The trekking route pass through the Arshinagundi Falls is also best for Birding also.


The sanctuary mostly consists of evergreen, semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests, and small patches of teak plantations. The evergreen tree species include Dipterocarpus indicus, Poeciloneuron indicum, Calophyllum tomentosum, Hopea parviflora and Machilus macrantha. Myristica sp. and Elaeocarpus sp. are found in the middle storey. Cane (Calamus sp.) is abundant in the understorey. Calamus thwaitesii is a cane found at the lower altitudes and can grow to heights of 10 m. Another species, C. pseudotenuis occur at higher altitudes. Terminalia paniculata, Artocarpus hirsuta, Hopea parviflora, Vitex altissima, Eugenia sp. and Cinnamomum sp. dominate the top storey of the semi-evergreen forests. The moist deciduous forests are represented by Bombax ceiba, Mangifera indica, Dalbergia latifolia, Dillenia pentagyna and Adina cordifolia.

A rare species of climber, Coscinium fenestratum are also found in the sanctuary. This endangered plant, locally called Arashina balli or Marada arshina, is of very high medicinal value and has therefore been heavily exploited in the past. Also one can spot other rare medicinal tree Arenga wighti in this sanctuary.


The sanctuary has good populations of mammals which include Tiger, Leopard, Wild Dog, Jackal, Sloth Bear, Gaur, Wild Pig, Chital, Sambar, Barking Deer, Bonnet Macaque, Common Langur, Slender Loris, Otter, Porcupine, Malabar Giant Squirrel and Flying Squirrel. The rare black panther is one of the many mammals in the sanctuary.

Monitor Lizard, King Cobra, Indian Rock Python, Forest Calotes, Termite Hill Gecko, Russell’s Viper etc are among the reptiles found in the sanctuary. The endangered Cane Turtle is also found in the sanctuary.

Interesting avifauna found in the sanctuary are Malabar Whistling Thrush, Mountain imperial pigeon, White bellied treepie, Pompadour green pigeon,Malabar Grey Hornbill, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Great Indian Hornbill, Black headed oriole, Malabar Trogon, White-bellied Treepie, Yellow-browed Bulbul, Scarlet Minivet, Painted bush Quail, Racket-tailed Drongo, Black-naped Monarch and others.