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Old 20th January 2012, 14:35   #1
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Default Best road/time to watch wildlife, on the way to ooty.

Unable to find any relevant earlier threads - so bear with me.

I am driving to Coonoor next weekend from Bangalore. I am a big fan of Kanakapura road, decent roads, less traffic and good sceneries.

I have taken both roads - after Kollegal.

Kollegal -> Chamraj Nagar -> Gundlupet -> Bandipur -> Ooty
Kollegal -> Chamraj Nagar -> Hasanur -> Dimbam -> Sathi -> Mettupalayam->Ooty.

Question is - where do I have the best chances to see some wildlife?
Last time I drove through Dimbam-Hasanur, was in mid-day and we didnt spot any wildlife.

Has anyone been successful with this route with some animal spotting? What is the best time to cross through.

Regards,
Vrreddy.
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Old 20th January 2012, 15:51   #2
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Default Re: Best road/time to watch wildlife, on the way to ooty.

I have invariably seen wild life - elephants & gaur - on both routes, between CH Nagar & Hassanur, Bandipur & Gudalur/Masinagudi at all times of day. Chances brighten during the early morning (before 8 am) and evening (after 5 pm) hours.
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Old 20th January 2012, 22:35   #3
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Default Re: Best road/time to watch wildlife, on the way to ooty.

I completely agree with HVK's comments ...you will get to see some wildlife in either of the routes.
My personal favorite is the 'Kollegal -> Chamraj Nagar -> Hasanur -> Dimbam -> Sathi -> Mettupalayam->Ooty' route with a brief stop between Hasanur and Sathi just to soak the silence of the forest road. Also , in kollegal town do snack up in the Iyengar Bakery opposite the Kollegal police station for some heavenly 'Toasts' and the local bakery style cookies . It runs out very fast ...
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Old 21st January 2012, 05:33   #4
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Default Re: Best road/time to watch wildlife, on the way to ooty.

We have always found some elephants, deer and some more on the Bandipur stretch, while passing through the jungles.

This was once sector we had to stop maximum as kids get really excited seeing animals in wild, especially the ones you do not get to see on the roads (Like elephants)
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Old 21st January 2012, 12:36   #5
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Default Re: Best road/time to watch wildlife, on the way to ooty.

In my experience the Bandipur-Mudumalai-Masinagudi sector has more wildlife density. I haven't travelled too many times on the Dimbam route (May be 8 or 10 times only), and the only wildlife I've come across (with the exception of monkeys and the odd deer or peacock) is a Gaur I saw once at about 9PM or so.

As everyone said, the best chances of wildlife sightings are in early mornings and late evenings / night.
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Old 21st January 2012, 13:34   #6
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Default Re: Best road/time to watch wildlife, on the way to ooty.

At Masinagudi, turn left onto Moyar road, chances of spotting elephants are high towards evening, but word of caution, please be extra careful as it is a deserted road with twists and turns with occasional mad jeeps driving recklessly.
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Old 23rd January 2012, 09:50   #7
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Default Re: Best road/time to watch wildlife, on the way to ooty.

Since the this road closes down at 9PM I guess its better you plan the trip early in morning. More so if you are travelling from Bangalore. Since rainy season is over you have better chances to see animals travelling towards watering holes in herds. Also, once you cross Masinagudi town there is a small bridge on road towards Ooty. Herds of elephants frequent near this bridge for water. Local safari jeep drivers frequent this place in evenings and mornings, they have even nicknamed an elephant as S.I since its always on road
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Old 23rd January 2012, 12:11   #8
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Default Re: Best road/time to watch wildlife, on the way to ooty.

Day before yesterday, I was on Gundelpet-Gudaloor route on my 540, and I guess we must have seen atleast 40 elephants, which is apart from the countless deers.

IMO, the best time through that route is after 6. I mean, both PM and AM.
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Old 23rd January 2012, 12:19   #9
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Default Re: Best road/time to watch wildlife, on the way to ooty.

1. Bandipur - Mudumalai - Gudalur during early morning or late afternoon/early evening

2. Bandipur - Mudumalai - Masinagudi (same times of the day)

3. In and around Masinagudi e.g. Moyar road (as Luke mentioned)

Drive carefully and safely, especially around elephants. No honking, going too close, loud music in the car, camera flash etc. Plan escape route in advance when photographing elephants (in case they charge). Avoid getting surrounded by them...

Actually, there are places where you have almost-guaranteed sightings of elephants at a distance of within 30 feet :-)

Last edited by nilanjanray : 23rd January 2012 at 12:23.
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Old 23rd January 2012, 12:21   #10
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Default Re: Best road/time to watch wildlife, on the way to ooty.

I had the opportunity to travel from BLR to Ooty & back about 3 times in the last 3 months and all the time it was by a KSRTC Airavat volvo night service. Only two volvos from KSRTC & two SETC buses from TN have the required night pass to go thro' the Bandipur and Mudumalai forests.

By design we usually book seats no.1&2 (behind the driver) and go and sit in the front as soon as we enter the forest section. We were really fortunate to see lots of elephants, gaurs, foxes and as lots of deer and sambar.

Only problem is, locating the animals with the limited availability of the headlights of the bus. I feel this way is the best, as there are no other vehicles passing and the animals may feel safe to venture out near to the road. OUr bus driver was mentioning they have even seen tigers coming onto the road in the night a couple of times. Lucky guys.
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Old 23rd January 2012, 19:29   #11
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Default Re: Best road/time to watch wildlife, on the way to ooty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeskywalker View Post
At Masinagudi, turn left onto Moyar road, chances of spotting elephants are high towards evening, but word of caution, please be extra careful as it is a deserted road with twists and turns with occasional mad jeeps driving recklessly.
+1 to that. The moyar road is secluded from the main road and has abundant wildlife. I had had upclose sightings of a mighty tusker, sambhar deer, hare, bison, fox at a go on this stretch. Only issue is best sightings there are a bit around sun-set so you would need to time yourself well to finish it off by 7 or latest 7.30 and be off to ooty on the gudalur route.
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Old 23rd January 2012, 21:51   #12
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Default Re: Best road/time to watch wildlife, on the way to ooty.

Agrreed that Moyar road is the best. Don't do any drives at night except for the road via Gudalur. It is dangerous.
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Old 24th January 2012, 12:47   #13
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Default Re: Best road/time to watch wildlife, on the way to ooty.

Thank you friends. As I drive from Bangalore, it is difficult cross this around early morning. Has anyone tried crossing this area in early morning? That means you have to start around 2.30 AM from Bangalore?
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Old 24th January 2012, 16:10   #14
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Default Re: Best road/time to watch wildlife, on the way to ooty.

For an early morning drive depending on which place in Bangalore you are starting from you may take 3.5 hrs -4 hrs to reach Gundelpet. So guess there is no need to start at 2.30 AM. Also remember forest road opens only at 6AM.
Apart from that there is no other issues safety wise on taking Mysore road late night / early morning.
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Old 24th January 2012, 20:40   #15
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Default Re: Best road/time to watch wildlife, on the way to ooty.

If you are the first one in the queue when the road opens at 6 AM, there will be great possibility to sight animals.
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