Pakshipathalam – The Abode of Birds


Wayanad, a land rich in greenery has many parts covered with evergreen forests. One can find a wide variety of wildlife here. Like the elephants, leopards, tigers, jungle cats, bison, peacock, and a wide variety of other bird species could be found here. Situated 1,740 metre above sea level and 7 km from northeast of Thirunelli is Pakshipathalam. It is about 32 km away from Manthavady, 66 km away from Kalpetta and about 78 km from Sulthan Bathery.

Pakshipathalam is situated on the Kerala side of the Brahmagiri Hills near Thirunelli. The Brahmagiri hill range lies in the border, between Kodagu (Coorg) district in the state of Karnataka and Wayanad district in the state of Kerala.

Also, on the Kerala side of Brahmagiri lays the famous Thirunelli Temple, which is believed to be built by Lord Brahma himself and dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Thirunelli Temple is also known as the ‘Kashi of the South’ and also as ‘Sahyamala Kshetram’.

As the name suggests, Pakshipathalam has a rich collection of birds and so is an ornithologist’s paradise. The altitude, surrounding forests, rivulets and steep hills make it an ideal spot for trekking. The place has a cave; which is believed to be used by the ‘rishis’ (saints) for meditation during the ancient times. This cave is a major attraction among tourists. On the Karnataka side, this cave is known by the name ‘Munikal Cave’.

The place is best known for the presence of ‘Edible-Nest Swiftlet’. The Edible bird’s nests are bird nests that are built using solidified saliva. The nests are in the shape of a shallow cup that is stuck to the cave wall. The nest is made up using interwoven strands of solidified saliva over a period of 35 days during the breeding season. The nest is mostly built by the male swiftlets.

The edible bird’s nest is believed to be rich in nutrients and has medicinal benefits. The nests have high levels of calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron. It has been extensively used in cooking from the earlier times in the Chinese cuisine. The most famous dish is the bird’s nest soup.

Another major attraction near to Pakshipathalam is Kuruva Dweep. It is also known as Kuruva Island. This uninhabited island is covered with evergreen forests and is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna.

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