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Old 14th March 2012, 19:17   #31
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Default Re: Inn the Wild

It is indeed a very nice place. However, it is unreasonably expensive like most other Southern places. You Bangalore guys are simply ruining it for the budget traveler.
For similar facilities (excluding the wildlife presence), a normal place up north won't cost more than 2k, here its 7K!!

On the other and more important note - the tread is awesome. After a long while, I read a very nice and interesting narrative. Keep it on - this travelogue and next travels. :-)
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Old 15th March 2012, 11:47   #32
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Default Re: Inn the Wild

Nilanjan

Awesome narrative with equally awesome pics to match. Driving your own vehicle on those trails is pure delight. BTW How is the paint keeping up on these jungle trails? Mine picks up scratches like magnet .
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Old 16th March 2012, 12:10   #33
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Nilanjan - very nice pics and narrative. The place looks like a good one to relax over a weekend.
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Old 16th March 2012, 13:23   #34
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Hi Nilanjan,

Indeed a very nice and lovely place for the weekends. Crisp narration with equally supported good pics specially the night shots.
I was also bit curious to know about the scratches and the quality of paint job. Had it been a Tata Safari i would have not asked this question .
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Old 17th March 2012, 14:27   #35
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Default Re: Inn the Wild

Great getaway Nilanjan! I envy you so much! The resort has a fantastic location and must be one of the very few left in private hands that enjoy that level of proximity to the Forest.

Night Safaris are banned in North India (rightly so) as they lead to a lot of stress on the animals, increased instances of poaching, mishaps due to ill informed and sometimes drunk tourists etc. But nonetheless in a controlled environment with rules being adhered to there is nothing that can match the eeriness of a night safari.


Was glad to note that the Bison got its fair share of snaps in this thread. It truly is heartening to venture out somewhere in a SUV as robust and reliable as a Fortuner and feel secure in the knowledge that it will handle all you can throw at it and get you back home without any tantrums (breakdowns).

Its been three months since i took a road trip and the itch is being scratched by viewing your thread and that of ADC on his exploration of unknown Kashmir. You must read it..it will have you salivating I'm sure.

As far as scratches go..Que Sera Sera Continue to enjoy the Fortuner as it is meant to be enjoyed..scratches are just scratches.

Waiting for more..
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Old 18th March 2012, 20:02   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
My median time to reach Masinagudi from my home is 5 hours, using the Kanakpura Chamarakanagar Gundlepet Masinagudi route.
Hi Nilanjan,

Awesome TL with an equally awesome vehicle to match. Eyeing this SUV from a long time now. So, how's the above route condition as compared to the usual via Mysore route. Distance wise I don't think it makes a huge difference, the above route might be 15-20 kms more. But, I am really fed up with the Mysore road travel. Till Mysore, there's police barricade every 1 km and after Mysore till Gundlepet, its like driving in the city behing huge trucks and state buses. Not to mention on long weekends, the whole of bangalore turns up on the Mysore road. Planning to visit Ooty during the 6th April weekend and was looking for alternative routes. Any inputs provided will be hugely helpful.
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Old 20th March 2012, 12:57   #37
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Default Re: Inn the Wild

Great narration and pics and must have been a lovely/scary experience. I love such unplanned quick getaways. Do you have any picture of the console with the 4L/4H engaged? Does the console show an image of the 4 wheels like that in the Pajero?
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Old 20th March 2012, 13:19   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd.bell View Post
So, how's the above route condition as compared to the usual via Mysore route. Distance wise I don't think it makes a huge difference, the above route might be 15-20 kms more. But, I am really fed up with the Mysore road travel. Till Mysore, there's police barricade every 1 km and after Mysore till Gundlepet, its like driving in the city behing huge trucks and state buses. Not to mention on long weekends, the whole of bangalore turns up on the Mysore road. Planning to visit Ooty during the 6th April weekend and was looking for alternative routes. Any inputs provided will be hugely helpful.
The route is very good shape, and the difference in distance isn't 15-20 kms either, it's more like 2 to 10 kms depending on where in Bangalore you're starting from (I live close to Kanakapura Rd, so it's just 2 kms extra for me). I've been travelling on this route regularly for over a year and a half now and find it way superior to SH-17 for stress-free driving.

Details of the road conditions as of 2 weeks ago available here : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ml#post2711631
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Old 21st March 2012, 15:41   #39
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Originally Posted by kala View Post
The route is very good shape, and the difference in distance isn't 15-20 kms either, it's more like 2 to 10 kms depending on where in Bangalore you're starting from (I live close to Kanakapura Rd, so it's just 2 kms extra for me). I've been travelling on this route regularly for over a year and a half now and find it way superior to SH-17 for stress-free driving.

Details of the road conditions as of 2 weeks ago available here : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ml#post2711631
Thanks a lot for this piece of info You have definitely made me look forward to this Ooty trip. 6th April being a long weekend, even the idea of driving on Mysore road was discouraging me from taking this trip. Now, I am back on track in full steam
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Old 21st March 2012, 16:23   #40
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Default Re: Inn the Wild

Wonderful Nilanjan for your travelogue and photos. As rightly said, SUV's are best for these kind of road conditions and no fear of oil sump break which is not in the case of cars.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 00:43   #41
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Default Re: Inn the Wild

Sorry for the gap, folks, I actually did two more trips in between. One to this place, as I have hinted. The other to Pune - Dandeli and back.

@floyd, kala: I think this route is a few km shorter than Mysore Road route. But then again I always used to take the bypass turning left before entering Mysore and passing by that white palace hotel. That added a few km I guess.

Continuing from where I left off:
Next morning I woke up late and spent a few hours walking around the area outside the fence, relaxing in the balcony and enjoying a heavy breakfast washed down with plenty of strong black coffee.

Saw some wild pigs near the lake. Saw quite a few birds, but not as many as I see near the Forest Hills resort, a little higher up the hill further South. Maybe the elevation and trees make a big difference?

The treehouse was pulling me, but when I checked out, I had no plans out coming again within a few days.

Most of the vehicle pics were taken on the way back. I had some time, so did some exploring and photoshooting off the road.

Return journey took about 5 hours. Sunday afternoons are usually empty but come evening one needs to be careful about two wheelers, kids and cows.

6 days later I was back, this time staying in the isolated treehouse near the lake. An added attraction was sitting out in the treehouse balcony and enjoying the moon (it was just after full moon). I wanted to catch the sunset from the treehouse, so drove steadily with just a 5 min break and was in Masinagudi town in 4 hrs 20 mins. Slowed down after that but still reached the treehouse well before sunset.

Posted from my mobile device, please excuse typos.

Last edited by nilanjanray : 22nd March 2012 at 00:59.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 09:41   #42
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Default Re: Inn the Wild

Hi, a return trip within a month would definitely mean that this place is awesome. Awaiting more pictures from your new vantage point - the treehouse.
Since you mentioned another property in the above post, which is your favourite in this part of the world (Forest area including, Bandipur, Wayanad, Nagerhole etc) and why?

Thank You

VW
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Old 22nd March 2012, 12:11   #43
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Default Re: Inn the Wild

Quote:
Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
You Bangalore guys are simply ruining it for the budget traveler.
I think you looked at normal charges - single occupancy charges are lower. But still expensive. I wish we had more VFM places here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post
Nilanjan

Awesome narrative with equally awesome pics to match. Driving your own vehicle on those trails is pure delight. BTW How is the paint keeping up on these jungle trails? Mine picks up scratches like magnet .
Thanks Columbus. Quite a few scratches, the vehicle is due for a spa treatment now. I don't bother about paint quality any more. After I have bought it, what difference does it make that other vehicles have better paint quality? I do still wince when I hear scraping sound. Frankly, with my usage, I will need to do touch ups pretty often.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sach.sri View Post
Nilanjan - very nice pics and narrative. The place looks like a good one to relax over a weekend.
Thanks Sach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by db0009 View Post
Hi Nilanjan,

Indeed a very nice and lovely place for the weekends. Crisp narration with equally supported good pics specially the night shots.
I was also bit curious to know about the scratches and the quality of paint job. Had it been a Tata Safari i would have not asked this question .
See, I don't have experience with other SUVs in similar terrain, so don't know to what extent (if at all) the Fortuner's paint job is worse than say a Safari's. My SX4 is also prone to scratches.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuuj View Post
Great getaway Nilanjan! I envy you so much! The resort has a fantastic location and must be one of the very few left in private hands that enjoy that level of proximity to the Forest.

Was glad to note that the Bison got its fair share of snaps in this thread. It truly is heartening to venture out somewhere in a SUV as robust and reliable as a Fortuner and feel secure in the knowledge that it will handle all you can throw at it and get you back home without any tantrums (breakdowns).

Its been three months since i took a road trip and the itch is being scratched by viewing your thread and that of ADC on his exploration of unknown Kashmir. You must read it..it will have you salivating I'm sure.

As far as scratches go..Que Sera Sera Continue to enjoy the Fortuner as it is meant to be enjoyed..scratches are just scratches.
Thanks Manuuj - we have the same mindset regarding the Fortuner . Yes, this time I got out and took some snaps with my mobile phone camera - pretty decent one I must say. I still have plans to come up North some time this year, let's see...

I do read ADC's travelogues once in a while. Not too much, since I love the Himalayas (grew up visiting multiple times a year) and start feeling 'home sick'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Great narration and pics and must have been a lovely/scary experience. I love such unplanned quick getaways. Do you have any picture of the console with the 4L/4H engaged? Does the console show an image of the 4 wheels like that in the Pajero?
Thanks BlackPearl. When I move to 4HL a small icon comes up showing a X in the middle of the vehicle/ 4 wheels icon - denoting that the centre differential is locked. Not sure what Pajero shows - probably something similar. In the Fortuner, the default option is 4H.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGK View Post
Wonderful Nilanjan for your travelogue and photos. As rightly said, SUV's are best for these kind of road conditions and no fear of oil sump break which is not in the case of cars.
Definitely! When you drive a tough and reliable SUV, you can stretch that much more and do things that you otherwise might not be doing. In fact, if you love adventure, a SUV can make a huge difference.

I actually stopped thinking of oil sump breakages a while back. I was driving a SX4 earlier, and that is a great compromise sedan that can take you over many rough roads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VindyWheels View Post
Hi, a return trip within a month would definitely mean that this place is awesome. Awaiting more pictures from your new vantage point - the treehouse.
Since you mentioned another property in the above post, which is your favourite in this part of the world (Forest area including, Bandipur, Wayanad, Nagerhole etc) and why?

Thank You

VW
Wild Haven (for cosiness and campfire), Forest Hills (for birding and the Machaan) and maybe this one. The main benefits of this resort is the location. Service, food etc. are average. But when I go out alone I don't give too much importance to slow service or food.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 18:50   #44
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Default Re: Inn the Wild

Wonderful TL, Nilanjay!

We are waiting for the pictures and stories from the second trip, I'm sure its going to be more interesting with the tree-house this time! I'm known for taking such risks in my friends and families. However, I'd still say, take extra caution when you are in forests. Masinagudi and sourround areas, people are not afraid of big cats at all, but they pay full respect to elephants, they are notorious!

I have stayed in Wil Haven a few years back, they had the similar electric fences around, but you can see tons of spotted deers inside and outside the fence in the night and in early morning (may be they are not using it). They also had a salt lick in back side where you can see elephents and other mammals come for it.

I want to soon plan for this place as well, but taking my Palio may get difficult (I have taken it to Doddamakali and other similar terrain in the past though). lets see when will I get an opportunity!

Thanks for sharing your experiences (would really love to see the nocternal bird life around and that nightjar picture was amazing!!), wonderfully written and great pictures! Keep them coming!
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Old 31st March 2012, 14:17   #45
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Default Re: Inn the Wild

I like staying in treehouses - the smell of wood, the creaking in the wind, the view from a good balcony, the closeness with nature, the bite of ants

Approach to the treehouse
Inn the Wild-20120310-17.12.45.jpg

The treehouse
Inn the Wild-dsc_1472.jpg

The stairs
Inn the Wild-20120311-10.46.04.jpg

The balcony where I spent many hours. The reserve forest starts after the grassland. The langur sentry - referred to below - was sitting on one of the trees visible.
Inn the Wild-20120311-10.46.38.jpg

It was pretty warm, so had a shower and then went down for a walk round the lake. There were some folks who had come and were trying to fish, but they went away once the sun was close to setting.

I went back to the balcony. As the sun was setting, a couple of peafowls started called. They usually call a lot before settling down on top of some large tree in the evening. I saw the deers and wild boars emerging out of the bushes, and start grazing. The bird calls changed - couldn't hear the chirping of the day birds anymore, but the night birds started calling.

Misc. pictures of the lake and deciduous trees
Inn the Wild-20120310-17.25.45.jpg

Inn the Wild-dsc_1473.jpg

Inn the Wild-20120310-17.26.11.jpg

Inn the Wild-dsc_1474.jpg

You can notice the treehouse at the top right. The other small building is the pumphouse located outside the fence. At night it is risky and difficult to go there (e.g. if there is an issue with water) because of the wild animals.
Inn the Wild-20120310-17.21.46.jpg

Sunset snaps
Inn the Wild-dsc_1476.jpg

Inn the Wild-dsc_1486.jpg

I had gone inside the room for something, and when I came out, I was delighted to see a female elephant with a calf approaching the lake.

Excuse the quality of the following pictures from that evening, because all were taken at long distance and in bad light.

Inn the Wild-dsc_1503.jpg

Inn the Wild-dsc_1525.jpg

I knew they were coming to drink, so tried to get some shots while they were in the water. Due to the branches in the middle, I couldn't get good clear shots. But it was a delight to watch them drink and then take a cooling dip in the water. The affection and caring was visible from a long distance.

Inn the Wild-dsc_1535.jpg

Inn the Wild-dsc_1539.jpg

Inn the Wild-dsc_1547.jpg

Inn the Wild-dsc_1551.jpg

They were in the water for quite a while, and then came out and stated grazing around. I had gone down to try and take some shots of them, but when it got too dark, I climbed up. I couldn't see where they were, and it is not a good idea to bump into a mother when her calf is with her.

After the elephants had got out of the water, I saw some dark shapes approaching the water - a herd of Gaurs. Tried to take some shots after bumping up the ISO.

Inn the Wild-dsc_1571.jpg

Inn the Wild-dsc_1596.jpg

Then it got totally dark. Moonrise wouldn't happen for a few hours, so till then one couldn't see much. But I was enjoying through my ears and my nose. I love the smell of the forest. And I could hear all sorts of jungle sounds. Around 7.30 pm (if I remember) a Sambar started calling around 0.5 km from the lake. Alarm call, most probably due to a leopard. It kept on calling on and off for the next 1 hour from different locations. The big cat was on the prowl.

My vehicle was parked near the main resort, since it was risky to leave it below the treehouse because of elephants. The Gypsy came to fetch me for dinner sometime after 9 pm. After dinner, I took the Bison out for a drive - to graze with other bisons. One has to offroad (rocky trail) to get down to the lake. Saw quite a few deers, boars and Gaurs grazing. Came back, parked the vehicle and then got dropped by the Gypsy to the treehouse.

Was awake till 2 am, sitting in the balcony. After moonrise, I could see the entire stretch of grassland till the lake. Sometime after 11pm the Gaurs started coming below the treehouse, and some of them settled for the night. They were still there around 4 am when I woke up due to Cheetal alarm calls and looked out of the window.

I had disturbed sleep due to the continuous rustling from the roof and strange noises coming from the stairs and outside my flimsy door (held closed by a tiny latch). The rustling was probably due to fruits dropping on the roof, the strong wind and potential rats. I got up a few times and shone to torch at the roof and at the tree trunk (passing through the room) to make sure that there were no snakes moving around. Where there are rats, snakes follow. And such treehouse roofs are rat magnets. The noises outside the door were most probably due to monkeys who might have taken shelter. I don't think they were natural noises due to the tree shaking in the wind - I distinctly heard/felt movement.

Next day morning, I spent a few hours in the balcony, and had a heavy breakfast. A wild boar family came to the lake to drink. Around 9.30am a Sambar started giving alarm calls, and continued for the next two hours. It was joined by the langurs. I could spot a couple of the langurs, including the scout perched at the top. Most likely a leopard...probably the one that was roaming around last evening. I was tempted to go down and walk till the edge of the forest to see if I could spot it. But it would have been a very long shot, and it was very hot. So I didn't bother. As I was packing, a lone Cheetal stag came out of the forest, crossed the meadows and went to the other side of the lake. It had an impressive head.

Inn the Wild-dsc_1625.jpg

Inn the Wild-dsc_1629.jpg

The sentry
Inn the Wild-dsc_1643.jpg

The 6-pointer stag
Inn the Wild-dsc_1658.jpg

A capture that was serendipitous. I was taking photos of the lake, and while I noticed the bird, I didn't notice the turtle. When I zoomed, I was pleasantly surprised.

Inn the Wild-csc_1636.jpg

Inn the Wild-csc_1636001.jpg

Return journey to Bangalore took around 5 hours, I think. Usual drive through NH 209.

Last edited by nilanjanray : 31st March 2012 at 14:23.
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