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Old 10th April 2012, 23:16   #16
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Default Sunday afternoon drive to Galibore Fishing Camp

Last Sunday my wife wanted to take her cousin out for a jungle drive. No time to drive to my favourite jungles further South, and not possible to stay overnight, given it was a Sunday. So we ended up at Galibore Fishing Camp, ~ 100+ kms from Bangalore. Jungle Lodges Resort (JLR) has a resort there beside the Cauvery river. The place is famous for Mahseer fishing and for coracle rides.

One has to take a left turn for Sangam from Kanakpura. After ~ 30 kms of tarmac, I had to go off the Sangam road (Sangam was 1 km ahead from the turning point) and then drive on a dirt trail for 7-8 kms to reach JLR. I found the road/trail much better than it was a few years back when I had driven on it in my SX4.

Road to Galibore Camp
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The forest was dry and dusty. It was 40 degrees when we went, but there was a cool breeze beside the river. Seems we missed seeing some elephants - who had come down to drink from the river - by an hour. Plenty of elephant spoor on and beside the track though. My daughter enjoyed running around in the JLR resort. Lots of monkeys.

Saw a few birds but no animals. Seems there are plenty of leopards around (Kenneth Anderson had shot a maneating leopard in that area may years back - the Sangam Maneater), but no tigers anymore.

Green Bee-eater
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Unidentified bird. Was the size of a Cuckoo. I think I had seen it in Bandhavgarh, not sure.
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This bird was sitting far away, had to zoom fully and then crop the picture. Was pretty big - the size of a swan.
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I did request him to sit more modestly...
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@ Galibore Camp
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While coming back in the evening, came across too many drunken hooligans on bikes. I was driving rather slowly on the way back, and these guys - back from a picnic at Sangam - were weaving all over the road. Had to be careful all the way to NICE Road crossing on Kanakpura road.

I will visit that place again, preferably during Monsoon on a full moon night. However, I didn't find the place VFM, since there is no safari bundled in the normal package.

Link to the resort is here: [Jungle Lodges and Resorts Ltd]-[Wildlife and Adventure Ecotourism Destination]. One can just go down for an afternoon drive, and have sodas/soft drinks sitting in the Golghar to cool down, as we did. Note that there is no AC there, and the place runs on generator. I saw a pedestal fan inside a tent - no ceiling fan. The bathroom was adjoining but outside the tent.
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Old 12th April 2012, 14:02   #17
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Default re: Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors

Great pictures! you definitely have an eye for nature and its animals/birds.
Where was the serpent eagle picture taken? I had been to Rivertern resorts in Bhadra and I was fortunate to see one there. The guide was saying it is a rare bird!
Tiger pictures are too good as well, they are majestic in any pose!
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Old 12th April 2012, 15:31   #18
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Default re: Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors

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Originally Posted by srikrishna717 View Post
Great pictures! you definitely have an eye for nature and its animals/birds.
Where was the serpent eagle picture taken? I had been to Rivertern resorts in Bhadra and I was fortunate to see one there. The guide was saying it is a rare bird!
Tiger pictures are too good as well, they are majestic in any pose!
Serpent Eagle shot was taken in BR Hills. I have closer and better shots of the bird taken in MP - shared in my MP travelogue thread: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-fortuner.html (Call of the Wild: A 3500 km roadtrip to Pench, Bandhavgarh and Kanha in a Fortuner)

I have come across the Serpent Eagle in Bandipur as well. Don't think they are that rare in the Southern Forests.
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Old 12th April 2012, 16:14   #19
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Default Re: Sunday afternoon drive to Galibore Fishing Camp

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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post

@ Sach: surprised to hear that, given the number of trips you do! There are some huge ones in the MP forests and in Bandipur/Nagarhole. I came across one of the largest Gaurs I have seen in a Coonoor tea estate. You should see the rippling muscles of a prime male!
Unfortunately Gaurs dont exist in Jungles up north and i have been only once to jungles outside north. Tadoba to be precise and did not get a chance to see any Gaur in that trip. I am yet to visit any jungle in South - maybe next time when i am in b'lore we can plan something.

I am rt now looking forward to my trip to MP jungles in May - hopefully will be blessed with many many sightings




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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post

Unidentified bird. Was the size of a Cuckoo. I think I had seen it in Bandhavgarh, not sure.
Attachment 914648

This bird was sitting far away, had to zoom fully and then crop the picture. Was pretty big - the size of a swan.
Attachment 914645
Nice pics Nilanjan. The first picture of green-bee eater is specially nice.

On the un identified birds -

The first one is -

Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis), also called the Blue Jay in former times is a member of the roller family of birds.

The second one is -

Darter or snakebird.

Last edited by sach.sri : 12th April 2012 at 16:19.
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Old 12th April 2012, 17:40   #20
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Default Re: Sunday afternoon drive to Galibore Fishing Camp

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Originally Posted by sach.sri View Post
Unfortunately Gaurs dont exist in Jungles up north and i have been only once to jungles outside north. Tadoba to be precise and did not get a chance to see any Gaur in that trip. I am yet to visit any jungle in South - maybe next time when i am in b'lore we can plan something.
Aren't there Gaurs in Corbett and other terai forests across the Himalayan foothills? I do know there are Gaurs in North Bengal and further East.

Thanks for identifying the birds. I am not a birder, just shoot what I like.

Give me a ping if you are coming down South and want to do a quick weekend trip.
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Old 12th April 2012, 17:59   #21
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Default Re: Sunday afternoon drive to Galibore Fishing Camp

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Aren't there Gaurs in Corbett and other terai forests across the Himalayan foothills? I do know there are Gaurs in North Bengal and further East.


Give me a ping if you are coming down South and want to do a quick weekend trip.
I dont think there are any Gaurs in Corbett. I will ping you if i am coming down south.
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Old 13th April 2012, 14:10   #22
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Default re: Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors

Great pictures indeed.
I always wanted to explore the wild and the dream has still been a dream.
Can you let me know which camera and lens you used for the pictures. They really look very interesting.
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Old 13th April 2012, 15:55   #23
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Default re: Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors

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Originally Posted by golden.pedal99 View Post
Great pictures indeed.
I always wanted to explore the wild and the dream has still been a dream.
Can you let me know which camera and lens you used for the pictures. They really look very interesting.
Thanks. I used a Nikon D90 with 70-300mm lens for most of the wildlife photos. Some of the pictures have been shot with my Samsung Galaxy S2 camera.

Last edited by nilanjanray : 13th April 2012 at 15:57.
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Old 15th April 2012, 20:10   #24
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Default re: Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors

A superb travel story supplemented by NatGeo photography has made my day!

The close ups of the Tiger - outstanding as also all the pictures.

Please continue !
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Old 15th April 2012, 21:41   #25
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Default re: Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors

Absolutely majestic! Loved those pics of the big cat and of course your T-Fort. Looks best in Black.

OT : Are you planning to do Leh this year?
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Old 17th April 2012, 22:40   #26
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Default Re: Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors

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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
(I have done many such trips even in my Indica, so it is the desire that counts, not the vehicle).
+1

Brilliant pics !

As someone already requested, it would be good if you can share some more information regarding the stay options with contact nos.

Thanks for sharing, Five *. Please update this thread regularly.
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Old 18th April 2012, 06:22   #27
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Default Re: Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors

Nilanjan,
What can I say but "b!rilliant". You have captured the real essence of jungle. Top class pictures as usual. Pls do mention the places and where you stayed - don't have to give too many details - without spoiling the flow. I loved your "inn the wild" experience. This thread will be lovely too. Five stars!!!!!!!
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Old 18th April 2012, 13:32   #28
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Default Re: Exploring the Great Indian Outdoors

Thanks folks. Some more pictures coming up...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nanduchitnis View Post
A superb travel story supplemented by NatGeo photography has made my day!

The close ups of the Tiger - outstanding as also all the pictures.

Please continue !
Yeah, I was lucky with the tiger sightings last year. This year not a single big cat sighting till date :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by aviorp View Post
Absolutely majestic! Loved those pics of the big cat and of course your T-Fort. Looks best in Black.

OT : Are you planning to do Leh this year?
Yes, a black Fortuner looks great when it is nice and shining (looks best in the evening or when light is reflecting from it) ...during my trips, it becomes quite dusty though. I don't bother to clean it during my trips. A SUV is meant to be dirty...

Leh tentatively planned for September, not finalized yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AvonA7 View Post
+1

Brilliant pics !

As someone already requested, it would be good if you can share some more information regarding the stay options with contact nos.

Thanks for sharing, Five *. Please update this thread regularly.
Will be sharing the contact details of the places I visit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
Nilanjan,
What can I say but "b!rilliant". You have captured the real essence of jungle. Top class pictures as usual. Pls do mention the places and where you stayed - don't have to give too many details - without spoiling the flow. I loved your "inn the wild" experience. This thread will be lovely too. Five stars!!!!!!!
Thanks Fauji, glad you liked it. Inn the Wild experience would have come into this thread if this had existed then...
--------

Some of my favourite places down South:

1. Wild Haven, Masinagudi | 0423 2526490
* Chilled out atmosphere, nice campfire, good location - Segur plateau (7 kms after Masinagudi towards Kalhatti)
* Surrounded by fence, room service...so ok for kids
* Food quality usually good, but sometimes it goes down
* Basic, not too fancy;
* Lately have been seeing guests who are too loud - e.g. play loud music in the evening. Spoils the jungle atmosphere
* Many pictures posted on my Fortuner ownership thread

2. Forest Hills, Masinagudi | 0423 2525216
* Located near Bokkapuram, right turn after Masinagudi
* Backdrop of mountains, lovely view
* Not fenced. There are cottages near the main reception - those should be ok for small kids. I stay in the treehouse or machaan, 200m away and secluded. Elephants roam around below in the night, so walking around in the night is not a good idea
* Basic, not too fancy (the way I like it); food is ok.
* Many pictures posted on my Fortuner ownership thread

3. Inn the Wild, Singara near Masinagudi | +91 85261 81386
* A recent discovery; situated adjoining Mudumalai and reserve forests; have a separate travelogue on this: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-inn-wild.html (Inn the Wild)
* Pretty expensive, especially the treehouses
* Cottages inside fenced area; treehouses outside the fence - not very suitable for small kids
* Offroading required to reach the place; can be done in a short wheelbase vehicle e.g. Maruti 800 or Santro - with some clutch burning and brake abuse; but best suited for SUVs; apparently one can park in Masinagudi and get picked up from there by the resort folks.
* Animals come right next door - especially elephants, gaurs and deers
* Apparently not safe to roam around within the resort in the evening

4. BR Hills/KGudi, Jungle Lodges

5. Sherlock, Ooty (search for Little Earth to get latest numbers, rates etc.; many reviews posted on TripAdvisor)

6. Nonsuch Estate, Coonoor | 0423 2281200
* Tea estate bungalow; chilled out atmosphere with lovely view; pictures posted on a separate thread (Christmas Offroading in the Nilgiris)

All these places have an open atmosphere and good views. Gives a sense of space and calm. I don't like places with attitude and a list of Dos and Don'ts - usually visited by the Bangalore corporate crowd who want a watered down jungle experience + luxury.

There are a few 'to visit' places on my list: Kabani (Jungle Lodges or The Bison) - mainly for the safaris and hope of leopard sighting; Periyar (for the boat cruises); Annamalais/Top Slip.

As far as India is concerned, I have the following 'to visit' list as of now:
* Arunachal
* Kaziranga
* More trips to the MP forests (drive)
* Manali - Leh - Srinagar (drive)
* East Kumaon + Corbett (drive)

Last edited by nilanjanray : 18th April 2012 at 13:39.
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Old 21st April 2012, 15:12   #29
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Default A late afternoon cruise on the Cauvery

So I was coming back from a quick dash to Segur plateau (near Masinagudi). Needed some chillout-time in the midst of stars, the Nilgiris breeze, the chirping of birds and the call of beasts.

Had little animal sightings apart from the usual suspects - cheetals, some birds, wild board, an elephant or two. Saw a white bellied woodpecker while passing through Mudumalai (I am not a birder, so after seeing something, I rely on Mr. Google to identify the bird. Have a Salim Ali book at home, but seldom touch it).
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(Drying) Bandipur pond
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A very small bird (2-3 inches). I have seen this near my home, and in the forests as well.
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Sparrow on my vehicle. Didn't bother shooing it off...
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Wild boar close ups
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Indian Robin over my room. I believe in natural music (unlike those who get into a party mood with speakers, car music blasting in front of a campfire) when visiting the forests, so this guy is of great help.
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I have always been intrigued by this sign - a few kms before Malavalli when coming from Kollegal - that says Cauvery Fishing Camp. On closer scrutiny, I have noticed that it says Doddamakali. So this time I was in an impulsive mood, so I turned the vehicle and took a right turn. Doddamakali Camp (Jungle Lodges) was some 17-18kms away...I know that not too many people visit the fishing camps during summer (it was showing 40 degrees C, as per the vehicle temperature gauge), so I felt confident that I will get place.

Unfortunately, after driving for a few kms, I came to know from a forest guard that the Doddamakali Camp has been shut down due to elephant rowdiness (can't they state that on their website?). What to do? Called up Jungle Lodges, confirmed that place was available in Galibore Fishing Camp, and drove cross country over village and dirt tracks to hit NH209 close to Sathanur. From Sathanur, one road leads to Muthathi, another to Galibore. Reached Galibore around 4.30PM, and after bread and egg bhurji - gobbled down in 5 mins (I had skipped lunch that day) I was ready for a coracle cruise on the Cauvery.

P.S.: while eating ravenously, I noticed this fella who was interested in what I was eating. He snarled at me, I snarled back, and we kept our peace and distance.

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Cauvery, late afternoon
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My coracle approaches
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Last edited by nilanjanray : 21st April 2012 at 15:23.
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Old 21st April 2012, 23:08   #30
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Default A late afternoon cruise on the Cauvery...contd.

The guide/rower was a friendly chap and a trained bird identifier. After we started our journey, I asked him about wildlife, and he said that elephants, bears and leopards are common around Galibore. No tigers or gaurs. Many many birds. And also 12 feet crocs that come out at night.

Cauvery was calm and shallow - 20-25 feet depth, as per the guide. A number of rocky islands were there in the middle of the river, with green bushes growing on them. Those rocks get submerged when water level is high during the rainy season. Due to the rocky islands, the river was split into channels in places. There were a few terns and fish eagles flying around, but fast and high. Serpent Eagles were waiting on large trees near the bank. Kingfishers were waiting on small bushes on the islands or on the banks. Cormorants were flying back to their nests. Green pigeons were moving around. And the sun was setting...

Quiet flows the Cauvery
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A large insect that came and sat on a tree. Made a whirring sound as it flew. Shot with the 70-300 lens before the coracle ride.
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Waiting Serpent Eagle
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Cormorants...light was too bad and they were too far away to get a sharp picture
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Egret on a rock...those rocks - submerged during most of the year - are pretty sharp, as I found while trying to clamber over one.
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Is this an Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher? Was a sparrow sized bird...imagine the tiny size of the fish it has caught!
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Formation flying high up in the sky
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When I started out, my main targets were the River Tern and the Fish Eagle. Couldn't get close to the huge fish eagles that I wanted to click so badly. But did manage to click this fella when he flew over me.
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After one hour of trying to get a shot of a Tern, I spotted one sitting on a rock in the middle of a river. I told the guide, he turned the coracle, and we slowly - very slowly - got close to it keeping other rocks and bushes (that grown on the rocks) between us. The stalking worked, and I was able to get pretty close and take some pictures.

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The meandering ride finished a few kms down the river. I got down and instead of taking a ride back on the resort Bolero, I opted to walk back with the guide. Was pretty hot, but I comforted myself with the thought of a nice shower and a chilled drink waiting at the resort. While taking a shortcut to enter the resort, noticed elephant dung just 100m from the cottages.

Owlet
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Pied Kingfishers
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A huge Eagle shot from far away in dim light
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Sunset
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Turtle Rock
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Green (?) Pigeons
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Last edited by nilanjanray : 21st April 2012 at 23:36.
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