Pilikula Nisargadhama

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Coordinates: 12°55′46.9″N 74°53′44.5″E / 12.929694°N 74.895694°E / 12.929694; 74.895694Pilikula Nisargadhama (or Nisarga Dhama)[1] is a multi-purpose tourist attraction, at Vamanjoor near Mangalore in Karnataka, promoted by the District Administration of Dakshina Kannada.

Botanical Garden - near the entrance
Lake View at Night


Geese wandering the garden around the lake

In the Tulu language, "pili" means tiger and "kula" means lake. The name Tiger Lake is because tigers used to come to this lake to drink.

The state of Karnataka also has a nature preserve called Kaveri Nisargadhama, near Kushalnagar.


The Pilikula Nisarga Dhama Society has developed this area to offer scenic beauty and peace. Pilikula has a huge lake encircled by beautiful gardens. Swans and ducks swim in the lake and sometimes occupy the gardens. Boating facilities are available in the lake. Couples prefer pedal boats; larger parties use boats that carry 10 to 15 persons.

Botanical Garden and Arboretum[edit]

The Pilikula Arboretum (Pilikula Botanical Garden) extends over 35 ha. About 60,000 seedlings belonging to 236 taxa of flowering plants of Western Ghats, spread over 60 families, have been planted randomly as well as family clusters. They include 70 taxa endemic to the Western Ghats region, whose conservation is the arboretum's focus. The arboretum contains not only threatened species but also a few species that had been considered extinct.

The arboretum also includes 6 acres devoted to medicinal plants with more than 460 varieties, often visited by students of botany and Ayurvedic medicine.

Nine aquatic ponds contain plants such as lotus and lilies.

Zoo and water park[edit]

Dholes in the theme park

On the other side of the road, there is a zoo featuring several wild animals. The animals are not kept in cages but are in the open, with more natural barriers, such as wide trenches or wire mesh, to separate them from visitors. There are tigers, leopards, bears and other wild animals inside the park. There is also a variety of snakes and birds in the zoo.

Adjacent to the zoo is the Manasa Water Park, which is similar to the Water Kingdom in Mumbai.

Pilikula Heritage village
Pilikula Heritage village

3D Planetarium[edit]

Dome of the Swami Vivekananda 3D Planetarium in Mangalore

Swami Vivekananda Planetarium situated in Pilikula is the 1st 3D Planetarium in India.[2]

Golf course[edit]

The Pilikula Golf Course is an area of 48 acres (19 ha) comprising nine fairways and nine greens, with a total of about 3,131 yards (2,863 m) through hilly terrain. Mid-day weather can be problematic but serious golfers play through it. Popular times of tee-off are usually early in the morning (6:30), which allows for a full 18-hole round (9 holes played twice) and in the evenings after 4:00.

The annual Pilikula Challenge Cup attracts more than 150 golfers from Coorg, Mysore, Chikmagalur, and Bangalore.

The club has over 500 members. A clubhouse inaugurated in December 2010 has 7 rooms, a restaurant, and a bar.[3][4]


Pilikula is just south of the Gurupura River, off National Highway 169. It can be reached using city bus route 3. However, a personal vehicle would make it easier to visit all the facilities.