The legend of ‘Pisto’ and Krishnapur trail


Krishnapur trail is a popular trekking site among the Goans and the tourists. Only those with a knack for adventure dare to walk the path that is guarded by a spirit. Krishnapur trail with all its troubles is still worth it.


The trail makes its way through two wildlife sanctuaries. Bhimgad Wildlife sanctuary (under Karnataka’s jurisdiction) and Mhadei Wildlife sanctuary (under Goa’s jurisdiction). The trail literally toys with the borders of the two states and the two sanctuaries.

Krishnapur Trail

The trek is 10-12 kms long and may take a whole day to complete. It moves through a thick forest with Western ghats at its best. It is a forest that was compared to the Amazon and Congo basin for its rich bio-diversity.

Besides the spectacular vegetation many different types of animals inhabit the area such as Indian Gaur, Ruddy Mongoose, Sambhar Deer, Black-faced Langoor and Black Panther. Birds such as Grey-headed Bulbul, Malabar Parakeet, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon and Crimson – backed Sunbird grace visitors with their presence.

Krishnapur trail is a combination of adventure, bird-watching, traveling, exploring and meeting new people. The trail also introduces visitors to the life in the remote village of Krishnapur and their daily struggles.

Legend of Pisto

Villagers of Krishnapur and few other villages in Karnataka believe that the area belongs to a holy spirit known as Pisto. He is said be the guardian of the canyon, which is why the canyon is named “Pishtyachi Kond”.

During the Kadamba rule, traders traveling to and from Goa had to pass through a gateway known as Kelghat. They would stop to offer incense sticks or betel nuts and leaves or coconuts to the Pisto.

It is believed by the locals that Pisto comes to their aid in the time of need by appearing as a simple man with a wooden stick in his hand, a woolen carpet over his shoulder and leather shoes on his feet.

Wrath of Pisto

A story demonstrates the wrath of otherwise kind-hearted Pisto if offended. Once a folk artist with his decorated bull was traveling to Goa from Karnataka. On his way the folk artist stopped at Krishnapur and prayed to Pisto that if he gets a good amount of alms while in Goa, he would perform a special ritual for Pisto.

The folk artist received a good amount of alms from the people of Goa. On his way however he changed his route and boasted while beating a drum of having cheated Pisto. At that moment it is said the land developed a crack and the folk artist along with his bull fell into it and both met their death. Such was the wrath of Pisto.

Whether the legends are true or not the trail seems very interesting and the tale behind it. Krishnapur trail is certainly worth the effort.