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Old 30th March 2009, 14:23   #1
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Default Muthanga - Elephants, Buffalos, Deers & a Bear.

Posting the pictures of our tour in Muthanga, Wayanad-Kerala. Trip was good, had lot of wildlife sightings. Had to be doubly carefull as elephants were very irritated due to the dryness / summer heat. Some photos arnt that clear, messed up in the excitement.

We were the first group to go in after a long time as it was closed, so most of the trails had 'roadblocks' that we had to move with our own hands.

Moreover this was the first trip that we arranged with our 540. We were four, my father, my two cousines and the one and only me.

First batch of photos are attached.
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Old 30th March 2009, 18:41   #2
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Some more photos are attahced.
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Old 30th March 2009, 18:43   #3
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Nice pics there Pramod, did you have to get any permission from the forest office to drive through the trails ?
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Old 30th March 2009, 18:46   #4
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Nice pics there Pramod, did you have to get any permission from the forest office to drive through the trails ?
Yes, you always have to. It was very difficult this time as the trail was closed for outsiders due to fear of forest fire. The forest was dry, but vegitation was deep, the elephants were in real bad mood bocz of the heat and lack of water.
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Old 30th March 2009, 18:53   #5
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Where's the bear?

Or did you (knowingly or unknowingly) mis-spell something that should not be mentioned here?
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Old 30th March 2009, 19:52   #6
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Where's the bear?

Or did you (knowingly or unknowingly) mis-spell something that should not be mentioned here?

No thats the actually bear, wild bear. No mis-spelling. Here is the bear.
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Old 30th March 2009, 21:02   #7
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Yes, you always have to. It was very difficult this time as the trail was closed for outsiders due to fear of forest fire. The forest was dry, but vegitation was deep, the elephants were in real bad mood bocz of the heat and lack of water.
Aah thanks for confirming, coz I thought only we had to go thru the mess of permission and jazz.
I just did the Kabini trails and was an awesome experience. Will put up my travelogue in a day or two.
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Old 30th March 2009, 21:15   #8
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Nice! This is something I really love doing: driving through the jungle.Best way to interact with nature,although hiking is probably 'the' best way to do it.
For a minute I thought that the person moving the logs actually had a big fat snake on his shoulders!!
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Old 31st March 2009, 00:39   #9
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Thats a nice collections of photos and an amazing trip . I bear sighting is very lucky .

Where did you enter the trail and where does it end ? and how long did it take for you to cover this trail. was you vehicle a 4x4?
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Old 31st March 2009, 16:12   #10
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Thats a nice collections of photos and an amazing trip . I bear sighting is very lucky .

Where did you enter the trail and where does it end ? and how long did it take for you to cover this trail. was you vehicle a 4x4?
The entry is at muthanga. We stayed inside, at the IB Bunglow. The duration of the safari varies depending on the sightings, but avg would be an hour. Since we were staying inside, we used to go for long safaris.

No my jeep isnt 4X4. But you would need it if you are going during the monsoon.

Here is the beer sighting video. The other photos and videos i would upload later.

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Old 31st March 2009, 17:01   #11
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Nice! This is something I really love doing: driving through the jungle.Best way to interact with nature,although hiking is probably 'the' best way to do it.
For a minute I thought that the person moving the logs actually had a big fat snake on his shoulders!!
Hiking is definilty better but our physique wouldnt agree. Too fat to do that mate !!! And moreover vewry very dangerous too, its got tigers too, they would luv to have me for dinner.
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Old 1st April 2009, 11:25   #12
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@ Pramod - Somehow I have always felt the elephants in Muthunga are more irritable compared to the ones in Mudumalai, Nagarhole, Tholpetty & Bandipur, once I had an elephant charging at us for close to 50 mts though nothing to worry as we had some distance between the elephant and us. Also the drivers of the Jeeps you rent at Muthunga are scared to go near the elephants as well, if they are slightly close to the trail, they prefer to turn around.

In one case I had the Jeep guy reversing his jeep in order to cross the spot where an elephant was close by, once we crossed he reversed his jeep once again to move in the forward direction. His logic was in case the elephant decides to charge he would be in a better position to move away faster. The highlight of the incident was it was a sub-adult tusker which scared the life out of him, imagine if he had come across a full grown tusker.

Good sighting on the bear, have seen a bear only once that too from a distance, literally scampering away, in almost close to atleast 100 safaris I have made in these forests.

@ Hellstar - The trail is roughly about 14 kms it starts at Muthunga Forest Range office(just before Sultan Bathery on the main Gundlupet - Bathery highway) it typically goes upto the Tamil Nadu - Kerala border and then turns back and join the main Bandipur - Bathery highway before the Sitadevi temple. Sometimes the jeeps take one of those tracks between the up and down tracks but at most times the route taken is exactly the same irresepctive of the jeep you rent.

If you have one of those MUV/SUV you could take it inside the forest, have once seen a regular bus coming out of the trail though I was told it did do the entire trail but a portion of it.
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Old 1st April 2009, 13:11   #13
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Originally Posted by pypkmsrikanth View Post
@ Pramod - Somehow I have always felt the elephants in Muthunga are more irritable compared to the ones in Mudumalai, Nagarhole, Tholpetty & Bandipur, once I had an elephant charging at us for close to 50 mts though nothing to worry as we had some distance between the elephant and us. Also the drivers of the Jeeps you rent at Muthunga are scared to go near the elephants as well, if they are slightly close to the trail, they prefer to turn around.

In one case I had the Jeep guy reversing his jeep in order to cross the spot where an elephant was close by, once we crossed he reversed his jeep once again to move in the forward direction. His logic was in case the elephant decides to charge he would be in a better position to move away faster. The highlight of the incident was it was a sub-adult tusker which scared the life out of him, imagine if he had come across a full grown tusker.

Good sighting on the bear, have seen a bear only once that too from a distance, literally scampering away, in almost close to atleast 100 safaris I have made in these forests.

@ Hellstar - The trail is roughly about 14 kms it starts at Muthunga Forest Range office(just before Sultan Bathery on the main Gundlupet - Bathery highway) it typically goes upto the Tamil Nadu - Kerala border and then turns back and join the main Bandipur - Bathery highway before the Sitadevi temple. Sometimes the jeeps take one of those tracks between the up and down tracks but at most times the route taken is exactly the same irresepctive of the jeep you rent.

If you have one of those MUV/SUV you could take it inside the forest, have once seen a regular bus coming out of the trail though I was told it did do the entire trail but a portion of it.
Very true, the elephants are aggressive here especially during summers. We have been chased during winters too though. This time we were chased twicce both my the female elephants, who were a bit nervous as they had their baby along with them.

Here is the photo of the first female elephant that gave us nervy moments.
Attached Thumbnails
Muthanga - Elephants, Buffalos, Deers & a Bear.-.jpg  

Muthanga - Elephants, Buffalos, Deers & a Bear.-b.jpg  

Muthanga - Elephants, Buffalos, Deers & a Bear.-c.jpg  

Muthanga - Elephants, Buffalos, Deers & a Bear.-d.jpg  

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Old 1st April 2009, 13:52   #14
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Originally Posted by pypkmsrikanth View Post
@ Pramod - Somehow I have always felt the elephants in Muthunga are more irritable compared to the ones in Mudumalai, Nagarhole, Tholpetty & Bandipur.
This is similar to the elephant behavior in Bannerghatta/Melagiri tract. The reason is that these are high MAC (man animal conflict) zones. The elephants, with their wonderful memory, know that this tract is high MAC zone and are irritable. The same elephants when they enter any wild life sanctuary, they are at peace as they know they are in a sanctuary.
Anyways, just a theory based on elephants behaviour. Only if some one knows elephant language will the actual truth come out.
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Old 1st April 2009, 13:56   #15
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Originally Posted by pypkmsrikanth View Post
@ Pramod - Somehow I have always felt the elephants in Muthunga are more irritable compared to the ones in Mudumalai, Nagarhole, Tholpetty & Bandipur.
Perhaps they belong to the 'party', hence their natural reaction to any sign of progress (in this case, a vehicle) would be to destroy it.
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