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Old 30th July 2016, 23:17   #1
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Default A tryst with the mysterious Bandipur

Forgive me for any hitches that may have occurred as it is my first travelogue in TBHP.

In most of our recent road trips, we used to take efforts to cover maximum tourist spots in that area as if we may never visit it again. In none of those travels we were exhausted but were very excited, until we had a trip to Mahabaleshwar / Lonavala last October. Not because of the long drives, but due to the hectic schedule to visit those amazing caves, temples, forts, valleys, water falls etc. in the short span. There, we decided that our next trip would be more of a relaxed one.

Since our last trip to Lonavala was around three months ago, we were craving to visit more places. Checked for a place close enough and suitable for a three days/two nights stay. We shortlisted Bandipur which was never a destination by itself for us in none of our trips across the Southern states, or rather, did not get a chance to explore it. But I always felt there is something very exotic and mysterious about Bandipur and longed to explore it.

We finalized the dates as 29, 30 and 31 January 2016; got the confirmation from the resort on the availability, and off we started on 29th at 6AM from Bangalore. Took the NH 209 through Kanakapura, Malavalli, Kollegal, CR Nagar, Gundlupet route (thanks to some of the recent posts in TBHP thereby avoiding the construction work in Mysore-Nanjanagud section and notorious speed limiters & heavy traffic in BLR-Mysore section). The roads throughout were good except for few stretches. We were enjoying the greenery on the NH 209; saw the Mekedatu, Muthathi, Sangama, Thalakkadu, Gaganachukki, Barachukki, BR Hills, MM Hills deviations and was reminiscing our earlier trips.

After around 6 hours, we crossed the Bandipur forest check-post, and were excited to see the first animal sighting of the trip, a spotted deer family grazing besides the road. There we were, taking snaps frantically in every possible angles. Both my kids were armed with cameras too, one with a mobile phone camera and second one with our old digicam which by now she considers hers. People in other vehicles seem amused to see us taking photos so hysterically, only to realize later that deer is omni-present in the entire area during the season.

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After a long photo-shoot of deer, wild boar and langurs, we reached our destination by around 1.30 PM. Absorbed by the beauty of its surroundings, the architecture of the buildings so as not to disturb the jungle and their warm hospitality, we finally got settled in the room marked for us.

Sat in the sit-out area enjoying the beauty of the nature for quite some time. Explored their facility and got impressed the way they are maintaining it. Saw a large group of foreigners, talking about the leopard they saw during their morning safari. We were wondering if we could see one of those majestic creatures next day morning. We heard some peculiar sound from the pool area inside the campus and there we saw these funny creatures. There were as many as ten wild boars and could see the watchmen chasing them away.

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Had a very peaceful evening, kids enjoyed the bon-fire and enormous spread during dinner; retired early so as to get up early in the morning for the safari.

Next day morning, we all were ready at the safari point by 6.30 AM itself. Our mini-bus was waiting to get the seats filled, and at around 7 AM, we started. The driver took us through some mud road to go to the interiors. Then I noticed most of the tourists were holding DSLRs and other advanced gears, thought about the buying power of younger generation and the change in our life style. I was wondering if I felt embarrassed to take out my BridgeCam, but the thought that my device is big in size gave me enough confidence to lift it from the bag. I tried to focus to the eternity as if I am a seasoned photographer. Understood later that the entire crowd have come as a group and the safari is part of a photography workshop. Everyone tried shooting whatever possible. Not a single soul was spared by them. The window seats were occupied by these photo-fanatics, and I had to resort to an aisle seat. I also tried to catch up with them, and at last got some gap through the window and managed to take some snaps.

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These guys were busy finding their breakfast and did not bother our presence, may be they are used to these morning rituals by humans

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Our national bird seems unhappy as it is disturbed from its sleep and was checking on who has intruded into their territory.

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Smaller birds conveying the message that they are not small

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Majestic look
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Another family picture
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This one was the biggest, note his fang / tusk which shows his authority
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This guy was checking the quality of the break-fast
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One thing I liked was that, all the fellow travelers were very silent and focused on shooting unlike the usual cacophony in similar safaris upon seeing any moving object.

Reached the familiar asphalted road and realized the safari is over, felt disappointed as the big cat did not show up, and vowed to visit them the next day morning to try our luck. Reached the safari start point, went back to our resort and on the way back saw this one crossing the road.

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Had a sumptuous breakfast, lazed around the resort, saw hundreds of cattle going beside our resort to the greener pastures. Remembered about an article I read long back about the huge population of cattle near the park’s periphery which affected the wildlife by transmitting some type of disease. But it was a marvelous scene to watch hundreds of cows and bulls walking through the resort’s campus. Towards evening, we saw those cattle returning their home.

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We saw this cutie too
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I was busy taking snaps of the birds around the campus

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Then I heard a similar sound that I heard the previous evening. Upon checking, saw the wild boars busy searching for something which I thought they might have lost the previous evening while watchmen chased them away.

We had a nice drive towards Masinagudi area and there we saw this one alone,

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The guided nature-walk arranged by the resort towards the evening along the forest border was thrilling. We were deliberating the occurrence of a situation where we are in front of a fierce animal who is hungry, but to our dismay and to an extent some sort of a relief, we did not find any animal except those gang of gentle deer.

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The weather was perfect for a walk, and the 90 minutes’ walk along dry deciduous forest and the shrubs was exciting. The guide who was a security man at the facility is from the neighboring Gundlupet town, comes there for duty in the morning in the only bus to that village, and returns in the evening in the same bus. He was talking throughout and made a good attempt to explain a lot of facts about the forest, its inhabitants, their preying habits; took us to a water hole where chances of animal sighting is high, threw a stone to scare the hiding kingfisher and other birds, showed the bones of a deer probably hunt by a leopard family recently. Said thanks to that gentleman, forgot his name, came back to the resort and had a coffee by the pool.

Evening was un-eventful, took an early dinner and we called it a day gearing up for the second safari the next day morning. Woke up at around 5AM, thought of checking the morning rays, opened the front door, and to my amazement, there were two deer by side of our cottage, of which one was a huge stag. I was awestruck and forgot to do what next. Slowly, without their attention, I went inside to take my camera and called my wife. There outside the cottage, they are still there, waiting for me. But to my disappointment, the snaps that I took were not coming properly. They waited for couple more minutes, said good bye and moved to the jungle. I thought about the excuse that living the moment is superior than freezing the moment. Later I realized, I have kept the camera’s night mode on the previous night and forgot to switch back to normal.

Turned to my wife, asking her to get ready for the safari. But she was not in a mood to get disturbed from that comfortable morning sleep, so were my children who were fast asleep due the fatigue from the previous evening’s trekking. I did not lose much time and went wandering in the campus in search of the winged beauties.

After finishing breakfast, thanked the staff for giving us a wonderful experience and the best vacation. Time has come to say good-bye to Bandipur too. Though we did not experience anything extraordinary, it was a wonderful time we spent, which we will cherish for a lifetime. The ever mysterious land of tigers and leopards calling us back, and hence determined to go back again. With that thought, we slowly but unwillingly drove towards the monotonous Bangalore life.

A parting shot
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Last edited by SDP : 31st July 2016 at 17:57. Reason: Removed broken image links at bottom
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Old 1st August 2016, 09:54   #2
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!

Last edited by GTO : 1st August 2016 at 09:55. Reason: Bump
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Old 1st August 2016, 11:01   #3
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Default Re: A tryst with the mysterious Bandipur

Quote:
Originally Posted by josebi View Post
We saw this cutie too
Simple and lovely travelogue!

Lucky you! I have been travelling through Nagarahole forest for last 35 years, forget tiger, I have not even come across a wild cat!

But some get lucky every time

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Originally Posted by nkrishnap View Post
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Old 1st August 2016, 13:32   #4
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Default Re: A tryst with the mysterious Bandipur

I have been to Bandipur/Mudumalai twice and enjoyed both the trips down there. Never spotted a Tiger though. But Gaurs, Elephants, deer and peacocks are aplenty.
Nice Travelogue.

Cheers.
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Old 1st August 2016, 14:52   #5
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Default Re: A tryst with the mysterious Bandipur

Was a pleasure to read your travelogue. Very nice pics too.

Could you name the resort where you stayed, and rates too if it is not an issue. Thanks.
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Old 1st August 2016, 15:26   #6
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Default Re: A tryst with the mysterious Bandipur

Crisp and good travelogue!. Thanks for sharing.

Reminds me of my first trip to bandipur about 10 years ago. We were in an Alto watching a tusker graze at a safe distance. There was this nutjob on a herohonda passion trying to feed the wild animal and ticked it off!

But unfortunately the guy escaped and the tusker chose to charge at us! That's when I came to know how fast this huge animal can get. We were doing 60 kmph and it was chasing us effortlessly for over half km.
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Old 1st August 2016, 17:41   #7
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Default Re: A tryst with the mysterious Bandipur

Nice travelogue.! Well written!

Had been multiple times to Bandipur, but still no luck in sighting any big cats. The nearest I came was once I missed sighting tiger by 20 mins...
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Old 2nd August 2016, 17:48   #8
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Default Re: A tryst with the mysterious Bandipur

Quote:
Originally Posted by motorsan View Post
Was a pleasure to read your travelogue. Very nice pics too.

Could you name the resort where you stayed, and rates too if it is not an issue. Thanks.
It is Windflower Spa and Resorts, it was around 12K for a cottage for double occupancy including taxes and breakfast. They told they will charge for kids above 5 years, but when the final bill came, they did not charge a penny for my 9 year old's buffet dinner or stay.
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Old 2nd August 2016, 18:04   #9
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Default Re: A tryst with the mysterious Bandipur

Thanks for that travelogue. It was crisp and clean!

We are also planning for a trip to Bandipur, sometime mid of this month.

If possible, share the details of your stay with the cost along with any other good options you came across for a single night stay.

We will be travelling from Coimbatore >> Ooty >> Bandipur.

We had been to Parambikulam tiger reserve a couple months back but were not fortunate enough to sight any big animals apart from the bison and wild boars.
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Old 3rd August 2016, 00:27   #10
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Default Re: A tryst with the mysterious Bandipur

Good post and nice pictures too !

I have been to Bandipur on multiple occasions. Its a beautiful place away from urban
chaos. The only big cat that I spotted during these visits was a Leopard. Not fortunate enough to spot a Tiger though.
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Old 3rd August 2016, 13:38   #11
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Default Re: A tryst with the mysterious Bandipur

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aslamjaffer View Post
Thanks for that travelogue. It was crisp and clean!

We are also planning for a trip to Bandipur, sometime mid of this month.

If possible, share the details of your stay with the cost along with any other good options you came across for a single night stay.

We will be travelling from Coimbatore >> Ooty >> Bandipur.

We had been to Parambikulam tiger reserve a couple months back but were not fortunate enough to sight any big animals apart from the bison and wild boars.
you might have seen the resort name and other details in my earlier post. In addition, I know a homestay kind of facility near to Gudalore. It is in the midst of a farm adjacent to the jungle, and is around 25 kms from Bandipur safari. Their website is farmkamp.com, go to their Contact section and call the phone number under Bangalore
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Old 9th August 2016, 22:08   #12
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Default Re: A tryst with the mysterious Bandipur

Quote:
Originally Posted by veyron_head View Post
Crisp and good travelogue!. Thanks for sharing.

Reminds me of my first trip to bandipur about 10 years ago. We were in an Alto watching a tusker graze at a safe distance. There was this nutjob on a herohonda passion trying to feed the wild animal and ticked it off!

But unfortunately the guy escaped and the tusker chose to charge at us! That's when I came to know how fast this huge animal can get. We were doing 60 kmph and it was chasing us effortlessly for over half km.
You are lucky enough to escape from that charging elephant. There are enough people out there who creates nuisance to these thereby annoying them. I have seen a big crowd of hooligans simply irritating a peaceful herd of elephants in the Kaveri National Park near to Muthathi. They were yelling, whistling, and making all sorts of noise to gain its attention. Fortunately for us, the herd decided to go back to the jungle side.
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