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Old 17th February 2014, 00:18   #1
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Default A Retreat to Wilderness: Wayanad

Who all went - Myself, Karthik, Mohan, Rohit, Sujai and Sujai's better half

How did we go - 2 Lineas and one Punto

All along the way, we had been planning to get out of town at least for a weekend from the daily routines. The plan started and the map was scanned and the location was fixed. Jungle Retreat Wayanad it was. More info here. After the planning was all done, it was time to put it action.

I hate the Bangalore - Mysore highway during day time irrespective of which day of the week it is. The group too had the same feeling. So thought of a plan, as to why not leave early and reach the forest check post by the time the sun rises.

Day 1: 25th January 2014

All set to start off @ 12.45 am to pick up Karthik.

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Our meeting point was near the NICE road exit on the Mysore Road. Mohan and Rohit came along in Rohit's Linea and Sujai and Sujai's better half in his Punto 90 HP and myself and Karthik in my Linea met up at NICE road Junction at 2 am. We soon made good progress and for a change the irritating slow traffic was absent but the other irritant remained the huge humps.

Sujai and I decided to refuel the cars at the BPCL COCO bunk between Chennapatna and Maddur. We too needed a small refuel and decided to treat ourselves with a hot cup of Cappuccino in the CCD a few kms after Maddur. With the quick stop over we continued towards Hunsur after deviating from the Mysore Highway near Srirangapatna. The road from here was bumpy and one very rough patch near the railway bridge. Soon we made decent progress and we reach the Nagarahole forest check post just around the day break. We made entries in the register and we were all set to go. Drove along slowly towards the Nagarahole forest office for our first safari.

The cars waiting at the check-post

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The check post

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Misty morning

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A few pics from the safari

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After the safari we headed out towards Kutta.

Enroute

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We stopped after the forest check-post near one of the coffee estates for the breakfast which Karthik had already packed the previous night. We were quite hungry and the packed breakfast was finished in no time. We continued towards the resort. Checked in and refreshed ourselves and we were treated to masala buttermilk. After lunch, I decided to relax since I had a bit of head ache and the others wandered around the farm enjoying the surroundings.

I got up by 5 pm and we all decided sit around in the watch tower and leisurely chatting of almost everything under the sun. It was soon dinner time and the dinner was done and we hit the sack for a well deserved sleep. I was sleeping light and was quite alert through the night to be alert for any alarm calls but none for the night.

To be contd….
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Old 17th February 2014, 00:34   #2
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Default re: A Retreat to Wilderness: Wayanad

Day 2: 26th January 2014

The previous night itself we had decided to drive around the forest roads starting from 5 am as it was quite a norm to spot animals in the mornings. We were all ready and the caretaker of the resort took us around in the jeep in the resort. After driving around for almost an hour, we requested him to drop us at the Tholpetty forest office so that we could do the morning safari.

The safari was a disappointment as we spotted only a tusker, pug mark and a couple of peacocks and nothing else.

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We returned to the resort where the group decided to freshen themselves and prepared to check out after breakfast. During breakfast we heard the bamboo breaking sounds, so presumed these to be elephants. Me and Rohit went along to investigate, but we found none.

Rohit returning back

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The cars parked in the shade

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The cottages

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The egret

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However, I decided to stay back for one more day and the group left after the breakfast.

The parting shot.

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After the group left I decide to head back to the cottage and relax for a bit as the temperature was rising and it was getting hot. Had a light lunch and was relaxing in the balcony when the care taker came to the room and informed me that a herd of Gaur had come to the farm. I immediately picked up the camera and rushed to the watchtower.

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It was around 5 pm and the cool breeze was so refreshing to sit in the watchtower. The caretaker brought along a hot cup of black tea. I was around in the watchtower till 9 pm and went back to the dining hall for dinner. Headed back to the room and slept light again to be alert for the alarm calls. There were none again.

Day 3: 27th January 2014

Like the previous day, woke up around 4.30 am and was ready to go for a drive along the forest roads again in the jeep. Just a few mins in to the drive, spotted a herd of Gaur by the road side. The male Gaur definitely did not like us disturb him. We quickly moved out to explore the Begur road this time to see if we can spot anything. We did spot the Malabar squirrel, peacock, sambar deer and a few langur. Not many pics as it was still dark.

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Returned back to the resort and the other care taker informed that there were alarm calls near the farm. But since it was not too bright yet, we did not venture out into the forest. In the meanwhile refreshed myself and went in the direction of the direction of the alarm call. We spotted pug marks right near the deserted house near the farm. Hard luck, did not the spot the elusive tiger again. The ground was quite dry and the pug marks too disappeared.

The deserted house

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The Pug mark

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Returned to the dining hall for a quick breakfast. Packed all the stuff and settled the bill and it was time to check out and head back to the concrete jungle.

Parting shots

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This time decided to drive along the Bavali - Damankatte route. Stopped over for a tender coconut and drove along leisurely back to Bangalore.

A few pics during the return journey

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On nearing the NICE road junction, decided to head to the 3M car care for a quick wash after checking with Pradeep if it would be possible. Returned home after the wash.

A part of life reclaimed ‼‼‼

Route - Bangalore - Srirangapatna - Elivala - Hunsur - Nagarahole - Kutta - Tholpetty - Begur - Katrikulam - Bavali - Damankatte - HD Kote hand post - Mysore- Bangalore

Distance - 622 kms
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Old 17th February 2014, 08:49   #3
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Default re: A Retreat to Wilderness: Wayanad

Nice quick head out for weekend. I have not been to that side for a long time. And as you said it, Mysore road is something which I have not liked too. But finally I drove on the same recently and I quite liked it for their was no traffic. Even we chose a similar unearthly hour to drive. But still the humps ruin the fun to a large extent.

But nothing like getting close to forests. And Jan would have been nice with chill in air and dashes of green thrown in. Nice log NKP. Looks like you all had fun.
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Old 17th February 2014, 10:34   #4
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Default re: A Retreat to Wilderness: Wayanad

A crisp travelogue nkrishnap.
I guess the first safari you were mentioning was in Nagarhole. Could you please let know safari timings and rates.

Quote:
During breakfast we heard the bamboo breaking sounds, so presumed these to be elephants. Me and Rohit went along to investigate, but we found none.
I would say in a way you were lucky not to spot elephants while on foot.
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Old 17th February 2014, 11:30   #5
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Default re: A Retreat to Wilderness: Wayanad

A nice and short travelogue!! and Good quality photoes.

I had been reading most of the Travelogues in 3 or 4 sittings. This one was a change, could finish in a single sitting and now I am writing my comments also.

Well done
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Old 17th February 2014, 12:32   #6
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Default Re: A Retreat to Wilderness: Wayanad

A very sweet and short tlog nkrishnap. And good pics as well.

Did you make any reservations prior to visit and whats the best time to visit?

So while you were posting this log, Karthik and Sujai were leading us petty much on same area for our overnight meetup It seems like you all know this forest area and routes to the minutest detail!
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Old 17th February 2014, 19:13   #7
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Default Re: A Retreat to Wilderness: Wayanad

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Nice quick head out for weekend. I have not been to that side for a long time. And as you said it, Mysore road is something which I have not liked too. But finally I drove on the same recently and I quite liked it for their was no traffic. Even we chose a similar unearthly hour to drive. But still the humps ruin the fun to a large extent.

But nothing like getting close to forests. And Jan would have been nice with chill in air and dashes of green thrown in. Nice log NKP. Looks like you all had fun.
True, the fun on the Mysore highway even at the unearthly hours is spoilt by the numerous humps.

Yes, getting even close to the forests are refreshing than staying in the concrete jungle. On the weather part, the past monsoon wasn't too great in the northern Wayanad region and hence the forests were already bone dry. It was sort of getting hot and a little uncomfortable if there was no breeze.

Nevertheless, I want to go back there again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
A crisp travelogue nkrishnap.
I guess the first safari you were mentioning was in Nagarhole. Could you please let know safari timings and rates.

I would say in a way you were lucky not to spot elephants while on foot.
Nagarahole Forest Safari Timings for morning is 7 am to 9 am and for the evenings its 3.30 pm to 5 pm (I believe). It costs 300 bucks per head for the safari in the bus and costs 3500 bucks for the gypsy safari. But do note there is only one gypy available at Nagarahole.

On the elephant thing, firstly the wind wasn't in that direction and the resort caretaker was along and we went around the different path to see if we could spot one. We were on the safe path and no dangers or face to face encounter possible with the elephant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by philgrac View Post
A nice and short travelogue!! and Good quality photoes.

I had been reading most of the Travelogues in 3 or 4 sittings. This one was a change, could finish in a single sitting and now I am writing my comments also.

Well done
Thanks mate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abirnale View Post
A very sweet and short tlog nkrishnap. And good pics as well.

Did you make any reservations prior to visit and whats the best time to visit?

So while you were posting this log, Karthik and Sujai were leading us petty much on same area for our overnight meetup It seems like you all know this forest area and routes to the minutest detail!
Yes, you need to make a booking prior to the visit. Do visit this link for more information on the bookings. The best time to visit would be from September end to February end.

The recent visit is still fresh in our memories and that would have definitely helped being at home during the journey. Morever, from 2005 I have been making short trips to this region on bike, off late shifted to car for such journeys now due to pressure from home.

PS: The Nagarahole and Kabini forest side do not let two wheelers, you will have to take either Muthanga route or the Gonikoppa Kutta route in case you wish to travel by bike.
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Old 19th February 2014, 23:23   #8
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Default Re: A Retreat to Wilderness: Wayanad

I am not at all good with writing travelogues. Hence I'll add my pics to the thread and let nkrisnap and KarthikK do all the writing.

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Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 19th February 2014 at 23:25.
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Old 20th February 2014, 21:34   #9
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Default Re: A Retreat to Wilderness: Wayanad

Very nice travelogue, with even better pictures! What is the name of the resort you stayed in? It looks quite lovely!

Safe travels,
T.U.P
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Old 21st February 2014, 17:14   #10
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Originally Posted by T.U.P View Post
What is the name of the resort you stayed in? It looks quite lovely!
The name of the resort is Jungle Retreat Wayanad. More information available on their website - Link
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Old 9th March 2014, 01:01   #11
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Default Re: A Retreat to Wilderness: Wayanad

good crisp travelogue nkrishnap...
I travelled to madekeri in Jan end and took the detour from srirangapatnam towards hunsur.. bt the road was in a very bad shape... so while returning we decided to take the Mysore route... your thoughts??
We are planning a trip next weekend to wayanad... I read somewhere that we can drive through the national park.. wanted to know if thts true...
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Old 21st August 2014, 14:16   #12
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Default Re: A Retreat to Wilderness: Wayanad

Been to Jungle Retreat Wayanad a few times, especially after Kabini became insanely expensive for the common man. I personally think that wildlife sightings are much better in Wayanad, especially in Thirunelli area and since this Retreat is inside the forest, you can see animals without having to go for safari drives. As posted in one of my earlier blogs, we had actually seen the Tiger inside the Retreat, elephants, gaurs are all very common.
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