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Old 2nd June 2015, 21:31   #1
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Arrow Wanderlust Traveller: Into the wild - Biligiriranga Hills and K Gudi

Sometime around February, we read an article on newspaper about a plan to close down Jungle lodges and resorts K Gudi property since it is located inside the sanctuary.

We had planned of visiting Jungle lodges K Gudi since a while, since summer was coming up, we decide to book stay for a weekend at peak of summer. However, thanks to rain, the place was far from dry when we visited.


23 - May - 2015

NH 209 is our favorite route for traveling towards Mysore or beyond. This helps in avoiding the mad traffic and speed breakers (barricades now). However, bridge repair near Mallavalli means you have take a long detour. Considering the other option was to take Mysore road, we decided to stick with NH 209.

We start at 05:40 AM from Bellandur and take the NICE road till Kanakpura road exit. We take a 10 mins tea break at Kanakpura and start at 07:00 AM.

Traffic was sparse and we reach near the closed bridge by 08:00 AM.

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We take sometime to roam around the bridge and then proceed towards Talakad via Belakavadi, enroute we stop for having breakfast we had carried with us.

From Talakad we take Madapura road to get back on NH 209 at Kollegal. Quiet a circular route, but which was necessary due to bridge closure and road widening work on NH 212.

Road condition however remains good.


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Past Kollegal we drive towards Yelandur and take SH 57.

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Soon we reach this gate

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It is required to enter your details at check post before entering the forest.


Soon the scenery changes.

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After a while, we can see the Biligiriranga temple at a distance.

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There is a walk way towards the temple from the location in pic above. However, if you are driving to temple, you have to go further down the road and take a right turn.


Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple

Location

We decide to drive till the temple. There is ample parking space on top of the hill.

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Temple is a moderate climb from parking lot.

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Temple entrance

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Temple

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Before the trip I had read that Saturday is considered auspicious at this temple. Guess due to that reason, there was considerable crowd. Hence we did not go inside the temple.

You get a great view of forest from top of the hill

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We are back at parking by 11:35 AM and start to K Gudi.


There are no bigger restaurants around BR Hills, we saw a overgrown shed which has become a CCD

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K Gudi JLR is around 18 KMs from BR hills, road condition is good and passes through dense forest

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We were excited to see these elephants in forest, however later noticed they were chained.

These are forest department elephants, which roam around the forest after their morning safari duties.

Wanderlust Traveller: Into the wild - Biligiriranga Hills and K Gudi-suh_1665.jpg

Last edited by mpksuhas : 4th June 2015 at 23:27.
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Old 2nd June 2015, 23:20   #2
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Default re: Wanderlust Traveller: Into the wild - Biligiriranga Hills and K Gudi

JLR K Gudi wilderness camp

Location

While driving from BR hills, you come across forest department offices and quarters on both side of the road.

Forest department conducts daily safari from here. In case you are driving down to K Gudi, you can check at the counter on right side of the road and book safari.

Safari rate card

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Forest department elephant enjoying the free time

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Forest department buildings on both side of the road

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JLR property is few meters from the road

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K Gudi gets its name from this temple, the building seen behind the temple is the administrative block of JLR resort.

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There are 8 tented accommodation each having 2 beds and 3 log huts in the resort.


Tents are in a straight line from administrative block and kitchen. Log huts are situated at end of the resort.

All the rooms overlook the forest.


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Tent

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Log hut

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Main block, they play wildlife video and also a pre safari briefing session here.

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Our stay was booked in tent house

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Its 12:10 PM when we reach resort, lunch is ready in a while and we roam around the resort after lunch.

Last edited by mpksuhas : 4th June 2015 at 23:34.
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Old 3rd June 2015, 22:56   #3
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Default re: Wanderlust Traveller: Into the wild - Biligiriranga Hills and K Gudi

Itenary

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At 3:30 PM we have a pre-safari briefing in which naturalist explains about the flora and fauna of the reserve over tea. We start from the resort at 03:45 PM.

Map of the reserve

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Safari is conducted in 4 WD Bolero Invaders, the first row of seats are surprisingly comfortable over bad roads. The third / last row will throw you all around.

Wanderlust Traveller: Into the wild - Biligiriranga Hills and K Gudi-suh_2083.jpg


Thanks to the recent rains animal sightings were exceptionally bad

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We reach back at resort by night fall.

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Dinner done we spend sometime listening to sounds of forest from tent. Generators are switched off at 10.00 PM, after which resort employees had advised us not to roam around since wild animals especially wild boars roam around the resort.

Last edited by mpksuhas : 4th June 2015 at 23:36.
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Old 3rd June 2015, 23:09   #4
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Default Day 2

Day 2

We are awake before the wake up call of 06:00 AM and reach near administrative block by 06:15 AM, after tea and biscuit routine safari starts.

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We reach back to resort around 08:30 AM and proceed directly to have breakfast.

Breakfast done, we spend some time around the resort and check out at 11:00, we decide to drive via Chamarajnagar - Gundlupet - Mysore so that we can stop at any of the numerous hotels enroute for lunch.


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We reach Mysore at 03:00 PM, delayed thanks to NH 212 road work between Gundlupet and Mysore.

We take around an hours break for lunch and then start to Bangalore. Weekend traffic is picking up and it takes around 03:00 hours for us to reach Bidadi, after a break for having the famous Tatte Idilli's, we reach NICE road junction at 07:40 PM.

Last edited by mpksuhas : 4th June 2015 at 23:37.
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Old 3rd June 2015, 23:21   #5
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Default Route details and epilogue

Onward route

Wanderlust Traveller: Into the wild - Biligiriranga Hills and K Gudi-untitled.jpg


NOTE: We had taken the Talakadu deviation due to bridge closure on NH 209 as mentioned in opening post. The bridge is supposed to be re opened after renovation by end of June 2015. Past that the best route is as mentioned in epilogue below.


Return route

Wanderlust Traveller: Into the wild - Biligiriranga Hills and K Gudi-return.jpg


Epilogue
  • Best route to K Gudi if you plan to visit BR Hills temple enroute - Bangalore - Kanakpura - Malavalli - Kollegal - Yelandur - (Left turn to SH 57) - ~ 20 KM - BR Hills - 18 KMs - K Gudi.
  • Route in case you don't plan to visit BR Hills - Bangalore - Kanakpura - Malavalli - Kollegal - Yelandur- (Continue on NH 209) - Chamarajanagar - ~ 25 KMs - K Gudi.
  • Road condition is good via both the route, however Chamarajanagar route will be faster.
  • NICE road Kanakpura road exit to Chamarajanagar will take approximately 3 hours.
  • K Gudi Jungle lodges resort is slated to be shifted out of forest area in a year. New location for the resort is identified towards Chamarajanar side, approximately 11 KM's from current location.
  • Try opting for tents 7 or 8, they give a better view of forest.
  • Compared to Bandipur or Kabani, animal sightings are less in K Gudi due to lesser area and think undergrowth of lanterna plant. K Gudi scores over other resorts is in ambience.
  • Resort does not have electricity connection. Generator is run from 05:30 AM to 11:00 AM and also from 06:00 PM to 10:00 PM.
  • Mobile network is available in resort area.

Last edited by mpksuhas : 4th June 2015 at 23:48.
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Old 5th June 2015, 06:19   #6
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Default re: Wanderlust Traveller: Into the wild - Biligiriranga Hills and K Gudi

Thread moved to the Travelogues section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 5th June 2015, 09:19   #7
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Default re: Wanderlust Traveller: Into the wild - Biligiriranga Hills and K Gudi

Nice travelogue, mpksuhas. Unfortunate that you couldn't get too many sightings, but I see that you found a group of tortoises which I haven't see so far anywhere in the wild.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Sometime around February, we read an article on newspaper about a plan to close down Jungle lodges and resorts K Gudi property since it is located inside the sanctuary.
I didn't know that! We must visit it before they do close down. Did you check with the resort people about this? What did they say?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
NH 209 is our favorite route for traveling towards Mysore or beyond. This helps in avoiding the mad traffic and speed breakers (barricades now).
Yeah, they have taken out all the idiotically placed speed breakers. But in spite of the new weird looking concertina style barricades, I did BLR-MYS in 2.5 hours on a Sunday afternoon on the way back from Kabini last month. We were at Columbia Asia junction at 12:00 noon almost exactly and were back home by 2:30 pm almost exactly! Maybe we just beat the post lunch nightmare on the road.
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Old 5th June 2015, 16:32   #8
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Into the wild - Biligiriranga Hills and K Gudi

A very nice & crisp travelogue . The sightings of cats have always been quite less in K.Gudi because of the safari route restrictions that JLR has. This is due to their property being within the Tiger reserve. Once they move out they might get permission to take other routes for safari.

They have only one route which they need to take for safari. The best thing about K.Gudi is the stay. You get to hear alarm calls in the night. If you are lucky enough you might also see animals very close to their property.

I was lucky to have 2 different sloth bear sightings in one single safari when I visited K.Gudi in Nov 2013. We missed a tigress with 2 or 3 cubs (saw their pug marks on our first safari). This was very close to the end of the onward safari near the big pond/waterhole (forgot the name of that place). The tigers there are very shy and not as bold as the ones you see in Bandipur or Kabini.

JLR takes you for the temple visit too in their jeep. When we were on our way for temple visit (around 11 AM), saw a mating pair of wild dogs right on the highway (the 18 kms stretch that you have mentioned).

A pic of the wild dogs. Apologize for the quality of the pic.

K.Gudi rocks.
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Last edited by Torque123 : 5th June 2015 at 17:01.
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Old 9th June 2015, 16:55   #9
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Into the wild - Biligiriranga Hills and K Gudi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stryker View Post
I didn't know that! We must visit it before they do close down. Did you check with the resort people about this? What did they say?
Yes. As per resort people they have identified land for new resort, its around 10 KM's from the current place towards Chamarajanagar. They are planning to shift in about a years time.

Quote:
We were at Columbia Asia junction at 12:00 noon almost exactly and were back home by 2:30 pm almost exactly! Maybe we just beat the post lunch nightmare on the road.
Yes. The problem with barricades is, since it narrows the road everyone tries to squeeze in causing long lines. I guess you escaped the rush since you would have cleared Mysore before weekend rush back started.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torque123 View Post
A very nice & crisp travelogue . The sightings of cats have always been quite less in K.Gudi because of the safari route restrictions that JLR has. This is due to their property being within the Tiger reserve. Once they move out they might get permission to take other routes for safari.
Thanks Torque123.
Yes, the safari route is small and you end up backtracking the same road. As you mentioned, the resort location is best part of K Gudi. We were able to see spotted deer from our tent.
Two of my friends had seen wildlife around the property. While one friend visited his neighbouring tent was raided by sloth bear which was drawn there due to smell from open jam bottle. Luckily, no one was there at tent at that time since they all had gone for safari.

In second instance, another friend heard alarm calls and then commotion afterwards in the night. They later made out it was a leopard which had killed a deer in valley next to the resort.

We were hoping to catch glimpse of Dholes (there are two groups in reserve area) or Sloth bear, unfortunately that was not the case.
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Old 9th June 2015, 17:09   #10
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Into the wild - Biligiriranga Hills and K Gudi

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Yes. As per resort people they have identified land for new resort, its around 10 KM's from the current place towards Chamarajanagar. They are planning to shift in about a years time.
If their new property is going to be 10kms from their current location and towards chamrajanagar then it is very close to the Punjur Forest range. The landscape here (more flat land) is quite different from the landscape where their current property is & the safari route that they take (hilly n cliffs). Chances of sightings will increase and safari routes too. The sightings are good in that range. I wish they move to the new property ASAP.
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Old 10th June 2015, 22:13   #11
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Into the wild - Biligiriranga Hills and K Gudi

So the trip finally happened. Sightings are not bad. An Orange Headed Rock Thrush even! And the pond Terrapins. No predator sightings? - make one more trip I would say that not sighting an elephant is the saddest part

The news that the property is moved out is a sad one - that one was bang inside the forest. Gives a wonderful feel of the forest. Should go there before the shifting
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Old 10th June 2015, 23:24   #12
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Into the wild - Biligiriranga Hills and K Gudi

Nice travelogue mpksuhas!!
Could you please let me know how is the road condition from KGudi to Chamarajnagar as i have always taken the BRhills route back and forth. Also is there any timing restrictions on that route.
Thanks
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Old 11th June 2015, 16:08   #13
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Default Re: Wanderlust Traveller: Into the wild - Biligiriranga Hills and K Gudi

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Sightings are not bad. An Orange Headed Rock Thrush even! And the pond Terrapins. No predator sightings? - make one more trip I would say that not sighting an elephant is the saddest part
Yes, finally the trip happened. I guess elephants had moved to Kabani area during summer. Else too, the geography of K gudi is not much elephant friendly I guess, safari route was through mostly hilly terrain.

As per K gudi resort manager, apart from summer the best time to visit with respect to big cat sightings is around November.

And yes, wanted to give Kabni a try again, sometime later


Quote:
Originally Posted by AjMusto View Post
Could you please let me know how is the road condition from KGudi to Chamarajnagar as i have always taken the BRhills route back and forth. Also is there any timing restrictions on that route.
Road condition between K Gudi to Chamarajnagar is good apart from a small patchy section around Nagavalli. In case you don't plan to visit BR Hills this is the best route.

Yes, there night restriction at this route too similar to BR hills route. It is closed from 06:00 PM - 06:00 AM.
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Old 6th July 2015, 16:24   #14
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Default Re: Route details and epilogue

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Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
We had taken the Talakadu deviation due to bridge closure on NH 209 as mentioned in opening post. The bridge is supposed to be re opened after renovation by end of June 2015.
I can confirm that the bridge is open now. Went to the barachukki falls which requires crossing this bridge. I did not know that this bridge was closed, but realizing now that it looked brand new.
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Old 6th July 2015, 16:35   #15
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Originally Posted by vrvarier View Post
I did not know that this bridge was closed, but realizing now that it looked brand new.
Thanks for the update.

Can you let know when did you travel?
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