Senior Assistant Professor, Mrs. Deep Umamahesh shares yet another account of a weekend trip with us. This naval wife enjoys exploring the world with her husband and sharing all her travel adventures with us. Her trip to the Pilikula Nisarga Dham is a combination of both fun and learning. Read on and you’ll find out why…
Pilikula Nisarga Dham is a society coordinated by the district collector of Mangalore. As you enter the place, you will find an arch which informs about the Dham. It includes a botanical garden, a bio park, an artisans village, a herbarium and science centre, an amusement and water park, a lake with an excellent view, a restaurant that serves very good food and a shop with various handicraft made by the artisans. Many more projects are coming up inside the Dham; overall it is a must visit destination.
Pilikuala, meaning the Pond of Tigers, is a popular picnic destination that is located on the Mangalore-Vamanjoor Highway, and is around 10 kms from the Mangalore highway. We started for the Pilikula Nisarga Dham from Payyanur at 7am in the morning and by 9.45 am, we reached at Mangalore.
Though the place is on the highway, we had to go through Mangalore city to book our home-stay. It is advisable to book your home stay online if you plan on staying overnight. After booking the accommodation, we resumed our journey and by 10.45 am, we reached the home -stay ”Urban Retreat” which is very close to the Dham.
Just after breakfast, we went to see the Dham, but first dropped by at a handicraft shop that is situated at the entrance of the Dham. The shop owner guided us in how to do justice to all the places there. He can be contacted any time of the day in the shop as he is the only person guiding the tourists from the entrance. The following information was provided to us about the Dham:
The Dham is run by the state government which covers an area of 370 acres, which includes –
- Water and Amusement park called MANASA
- Biological park(zoo)
- Artisans village (Known for its pottery , handicraft and handloom)
- Medicinal Botanical Garden,
- Science Centre and Herbarium
- Lake-View Boating
- Buffalo Race (annually conducted in the month of January and February )
- Lake View Restaurant inside the Dham with delicious food-both vegetarian and sea food.
- Pilikula Golf Club ( one km away from the place)
After getting the information, we started with the Zoo which is home to lions, tigers, bears, deer and exotic species of birds. We decided tovisitother places after a hearty lunch and the most interesting of all were the Science Centre and the Artisans’ Village. The Science Centre had many innovative models and the best one was finding a person’s weight in different planets. On one hand, the Science Centre introduced to us the development in modern science and on the other hand, the Artisans’ Village gave us a feel of the rural India.
Our day ended with the lake view boating and the next day was reserved for golf, but unfortunately, since it rained heavily, we had to drop the idea. After a Neer Dosa and Chutney breakfast, we travelled back for some handicraft shopping.
You can shop for handicraft from the Artisans’ Village that are crafted by the artisans themselves. Some of the items that we bought from there are:
- Eco-friendly T-SHIRTS costing Rs.150 to Rs.200. The money collected with every purchase of these shirts goes to the welfare fund for wild animals.
- Ladies hand bags and purses priced at Rs.100 – Rs. 120 and many more varieties for Rs. 80 and below.
- Mud-baked tea cups costing Rs. 25 each.
The other items that you can buy are bamboo furniture, pottery, water purifying roots of medicinal value, towels, bed sheets and handloom fabrics. You can also buy medicinal plants for your home.
Places to Stay –
- Urban Retreat ( Rs.1500/-) http://www.urbanretreatmangalore.com/
- Pilikula Golf Club (Rs.1250 /-+ golf course usage (Rs.300/-) per day
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Golfing Club House Residential Rooms
- Pilikula Golf Club Moodushedde
- MANGALORE-575 028
- For more details – visit www.pilikula.com
Where to Shop – For shopping, there is only one shop at the entrance. However, purchases can be made at the Artisans’ Village as well. For more information visit www. Pilikula.com.
How to Get there – It is located on the Mangalore-Vamanjoor Highway, and is 10 kms from the Mangalore Highway.
Text and Photographs by Mrs. Deep Umamahesh.