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Old 27th August 2007, 16:58   #1
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Default Weekend Travelogue: A night in Bandipur

Bangalore – Ramanagaram – Channapatna – Maddur – Mandya – Srirangapatnam - Mysore – Nanjangud – Gundlupet – Hangala – Bandipur (halt) – Madhumalai – H. Gopalaswamy betta – Bangalore

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This was a just a sudden decision to go some nearby place just for a drive. Mostly we have covered the nearby places. Wife was more interested to go to Yercaud again but I told lets try out a new place and hence we decided to go to Bandipur, Also I thought this is the right weather to go to a jungle. Called up MC Resorts and lucky got a cottage there. We planned to leave on 5AM next day so I was forced to go to bed at midnight reluctantly that I cannot watch the Bristol ODI further. Wife has already done the packing so tomorrow is just get up, take bath and go..

25th Aug, 2007 (Sat): We get up at 4AM and find that it is raining outside and no power in the house. My first question, “How can I take bath? Geyser will not work!” Poor wife knew that I will not take the wheel without bathing so she quietly went to the kitchen to make some hot water. Well in all this frustration, it was already 4:30AM and bingo, the power came back. I jumped out of bed, saw the final score of the match took a nice bath and was ready by 5AM

We start from C.V.Raman Nagar at about 5:10AM, reached OMR Shell pump at 5:25AM, did a tankfull, set the trip meter to zero and proceeded towards Mysore Road. Weather was excellent but when we reached Mysore Road Flyover after Corporation Circle, it started to rain heavily and I was enjoying the drive. Soon I was doing 90-100kmph speeds and never felt any change in grip, Thanks to my Michelins, cornering and aquaplaning has increased a lot compared to my stock tyres.

Soon we passed the ORR and on the empty stretch after Kengeri, I started to hit 110-120kmph. My initial decision was to halt for Breakfast at Kamat Madhavan on NH212 at Mysore but soon we were feeling hunger near Gabbar Hills. Finally we decided lets stop in Kamat Lokaruchi itself. I slowed down the car and tried my level best to reach Kamat by 7AM but we reached there by 6:45AM.

After gulping hot chai, hot idli-vadas for breakfast. We started the journey again at 7:45AM. As the road was empty, car started to touch 120kmph again. I told my wife, “if we drive like this we will be Bandipur at 9AM”, She told, “Lets stop somewhere and do some photography”, So we decided to stop on NH212 for some photoshoot of sunflower garden. It was really hard to keep the speed below 100kmph, no matter how much I tried to slow things down, car simply didn’t want to slow. It was 9AM and we were passing Srirangapatnam and soon on the ring road signal at Mysore.

I decided to go through Mysore and have a glimpse of the palace as well. Within 15 min we were on NH212 to Nanjangud, had a glimpse of the Palace. Road and weather was excellent so far. On the Mysore to Nanjangud stretch there was a increase in traffic flow. In addition there was occasional bad patches.

Still we easily passed Nanjangud by 9:30AM. Now we were into a beautiful stretch of road and the car was touching 90kmph again. Now I slowed down and tried to enjoy the drive. Soon we reached a nice sunflower field and stopped there, had some chips and did some photography. Finally by 10:15AM we reached Gundlupet and onto the Ooty road. The normal road takes a right turn towards Wayanad.

Pics at the Nanjangud-Gundlupet stretch of NH212

Bad Stretch: The next 10km from here to Hangala village was pretty bad and it took us 15min to cross it. After Hangala the road is excellent and newly laid and with huge trees on either side.

Finally we reached MC Resort at 10:35AM. It was the last resort before entering the Bandipur National park. After all those checkin formalities we had a nice lunch in the cottage restaurant of roti, chicken curry, dal, omlette starting with Lemon Soda. We ate so much that we slept till 3PM. Finally woke up and decided to take a drive towards Masinagudi.

We start at 4PM, entered Bandipur national Park, saw some deer, peacocks and some nice scenic view till we reached TN border. There is a bridge which is the state boundary. Other side the jungle is Madhumalai. On reaching Madhumalai, straight road goes to Gudalur, we took left onto the single track bridge which takes to Masinagudi.

Some pics inside the Jungle

Spotted a Leopard: We drove down another 3-4km of the single track and inside the dense forest, finally decided to head back, somehow managed to reverse the car and stood for some photoshoot. Soon I could spot something at about 100m inside. It is a leopard, at the same time an innova stopped and we tried to take pics of the big cat. Me and another guy somehow climbed the roadside cliff and tried to take a nice shot. We were indeed lucky that we could spot the cat.

Pic of the Big cat

After some nice photo shoots inside the jungle both in TN and KN side we drove out to Pugmark restaurant of Jungle Lodges for chai and snacks. Spent a nice one hour there and drive back to our resort by 7PM. The resort packed with cars and people, some group was also starting bonfire and it was indeed an excellent atmosphere. Soon a herd of deer’s came grazing into the resort and it was a site to watch. The resort owner was also telling that leopard had killed one of their four cows 4 months back and he ate it for 8 days. He also showed us the pic of the leopard eating the cow which he displayed in reception.

After a nice evening, we had dinner with roti, egg-burgi, sabji and retired to bed by 10:30PM.

26th Aug, 2007 (Sun): After a nice sleep, we went for a stroll around the resort and did some photography. Finally packed up our stuffs, had a nice bath, had our breakfast and checked out the resort by 8:30AM. This time we were heading towards the highest peak of Bandipur called as Himavad Gopalaswamy Hills (Betta as they call in Kannada).

Early Morning at MC Resort

At Hangala village, there is a left turn (right turn if you are coming from Gundlupet) where you enter an arch. Another 10km of scenic drive plus some nice gradient where I had to put in 1st and 2nd gears, we reached the top, where the temple is situated. Maan, it was breathtaking view from the top. I never imagined that this will be so beautiful. We visited the temple and took lots of pics and then started our last leg of the journey.

Some pics are Gopalswamy betta

Slowly and stopping at various viewpoints during the descent we finally started the return journey by 10:45AM. This time I was doing nice speeds and within no time I was in Mysore and this time I decided to take the ring road. Although the road was deserted but I had to do 22km of ring road to reach the SH17 signal. I think we should always drive through Mysore unless you are in a peak traffic hour in Mysore. In the morning we took just 10-15min to reach NH212 from ring road signal.

Now we were in Mysore road and my car was touching 120kmph again. I decided to try out Indradhanush for lunch. We reached there by 1PM. Indradhanush and CCD are in the same compound just after Maddur. I really liked the food there. We had some really good paneer masala and tandoori roti alongwith dal for lunch. I would suggest people to try out this place for non thali stuffs (and North India stuffs) and go to Lokaruchi for North Karnataka thalis.

We started from there at 2PM and reached home by 4PM including one hour in Bangalore itself. Also filled the tank at Mysore Road Shell. I was shocked to see the car returned the best trip mileage so far. It returned 21.25kmpl (it consumed 23.58lit for a trip of 502km). Probably I used AC only from Indra dhanush to Bangalore (last 75km) and didn’t push the car much like I do in my other trips.

Total distance from home to home: 526km.
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Old 27th August 2007, 18:12   #2
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Good writing along with complimentary snaps again, I liked Gopalaswamy Betta's snaps most.
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Old 27th August 2007, 18:21   #3
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Was just thinking how is that our resident travel guru hasn't traveled off-late.

Nice pic's Abhi and superb choice of location.

OT : My bro' was there in the same resort on Saturday. Did you by any chance spot a grey lancer with some hooligans in it ?
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Old 27th August 2007, 18:44   #4
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Originally Posted by rjstyles69 View Post
OT : My bro' was there in the same resort on Saturday. Did you by any chance spot a grey lancer with some hooligans in it ?
Riju, I didnt spot any Lancer but did remember seeing a Scorpio, Tempo-Travellor, Ikon, 800, Santro each..
Because of those Hooligans , we enjoyed an excellent evening in the silent jungle...Believe me it was like party time inside the Resort after darkness, people (young to old) were enjoying a lot.

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Old 27th August 2007, 18:51   #5
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nice report and pics Abhi

it was a leopard - i thought it was just a "big cat"
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Old 27th August 2007, 20:09   #6
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Lovely pics and intersting reading abhi.... enjoyed it every bit!
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Old 27th August 2007, 20:36   #7
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Originally Posted by akroy View Post
1> After gulping hot chai, hot idli-vadas for breakfast.

2> Spotted a Leopard:

3> Pic of the Big cat
1> I wish I could change this aspect of visiting the southern part of India!! I almost die without bread and eggs in the morning and my friends get very pissed of and they think I am trying to act, whatever.

2> The leopard looks to be very scared, may be it spotted you!!

3> Thats a lot of compliments given to a Leopard, hope he is reading this. He will personally come to you and fall at your feet.

But what I want to say is, this is a superb travelogue, loved the pics. You were so lucky to spot a cat in the first place. I can really relate to you early morning hot-water pangs.

Last edited by 1100D : 27th August 2007 at 20:38.
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Old 27th August 2007, 22:02   #8
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Ok Abhi, another trip under your belt huh?
I need not even say good report, it goes without saying, you take all of us on a virtual trip with each of your travelogues.
You lucky guys are spotting the wild cats like there's no tomorrow, hope I have the luck this time at least.
Looking forward to your next report.
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Old 27th August 2007, 22:23   #9
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Lovely travelogue Abhi and nice pics too..
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Old 27th August 2007, 22:40   #10
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Sultan of travelogues is back...!!
Nice pics n report as usual.
Keep them coming.
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Old 27th August 2007, 22:57   #11
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Great review man..I am just back from trip to Orange County. I have decided to try this place next month.
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Old 28th August 2007, 00:56   #12
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Fantastic pics, especially the first one. 1100D is right, that leopard sure looks scared.
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Old 28th August 2007, 09:06   #13
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Cool writeup and beatutiful pics, Gopalaswamy Betta pics are fantastic.
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Old 28th August 2007, 09:23   #14
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Nice write up. I had been there in the summer of 2006. We stayed in the same resort Night drive in the forest is something memorable.
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Old 28th August 2007, 12:27   #15
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As usual very inspiring and good writeup roy, at first I was rubbing my eyes to find the leopard in the picture, till I saw the glowing eyes on the branch
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