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Old 30th September 2010, 13:54   #31
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We were able to spot many chitals and wild boars on the way. Though roads are in good condition, drive from Theppakkad to Masinagudi is little slow because of the narrow roads and steep cuttings on both sides. Lot of safari vehicles ply this route which makes it even difficult. No animal spotting till Masinagudi except few Langurs and birds.


We stopped for a fresh masala tea in Masinagudi, met MR. Vinoth Kumar who is running the canteen and a shop there. He is a guide too and arranges accommodation and safaris to meet the customer demand. Tamil film star Ajith has taken his help during his visit about 10 years back and they spotted a leopard during the trekking. Photos of Vinoth with Ajith and of Leodpard were on the walls of the shop. Nice time talking with him got many inputs to make chances higher for spotting big cats. We bought some Green Tea packs of 250g (Costs just INR 100, in Bangalore 10 bags pack (<50g) costs INR 50) for my beloved boss who granted this vacation amidst of the busy office schedules and some lemon tea powder for ourselves.


As directed by Vinod, we took a left from Masinagudi towards Mayar. It’s a 10Kms drive and dead end is a Hydal project with amazing scenery. As soon as we entered the Mayar route, we could find dark clouds rolling in and very few traffic (might have seen just 10 vehicles each side). Only safari vehicles are frequented here.
Three days in "The Wilderness" - My best Wildlife trip so far-47.jpg


Mayar route is narrow and shrub forest close to road on both sides hence need to drive slow to avoid hitting crossing animals. Electricity Board has constructed some canals on the right hand side or the valley which is just about 20m far in some places and this is a good reason for animals from forest to cross the roads.
Three days in "The Wilderness" - My best Wildlife trip so far-48.jpg

Below the road goes the water canal I spoke about
Three days in "The Wilderness" - My best Wildlife trip so far-50.jpg

Shrub forst has lot of catus varietes and most of them are flowering ones
Three days in "The Wilderness" - My best Wildlife trip so far-52.jpg


We could find many varieties of birds on the way (at least some 20 varieties were spotted) but my low lighting conditions and slow focusing of my cam in zoom (most required 10X+) made photographs near to impossible. Sharing few of the snaps.


Common Hoopoe
Three days in "The Wilderness" - My best Wildlife trip so far-49.jpg


Red vented Bulbul
Three days in "The Wilderness" - My best Wildlife trip so far-51.jpg


Ultramarine Flycatcher
Three days in "The Wilderness" - My best Wildlife trip so far-53.jpg


(to be continued…)
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Old 30th September 2010, 14:28   #32
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Great travelogue. I visit that area about once a month, so your report is making me plan my next trip.

People have seen tigers, wild dogs and leopards on Moyar Road. I have seen bears, sambhar, cheetal, gaur and elephant on that road. Nowadays they don't allow night driving, but earlier it was a thrill to drive on this road after 9 pm.
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Old 30th September 2010, 23:07   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Great travelogue. I visit that area about once a month, so your report is making me plan my next trip.

People have seen tigers, wild dogs and leopards on Moyar Road. I have seen bears, sambhar, cheetal, gaur and elephant on that road. Nowadays they don't allow night driving, but earlier it was a thrill to drive on this road after 9 pm.
Thanks Nilanjanray. Yes, night safari is one such experience. we had two night safaris and gifted us life's unforgetable moments .

Now checkpost people are very strict, Masinagudi checkpost gets closed at 8PM and they wont permit inside. But you could drive outside till 9PM, so I dont have to tell you how to have a night safari .
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Old 1st October 2010, 14:08   #34
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We drove slowly about 10KMs to find presence of human inhabitation near the hydal project reservoir. It’s about 5:40PM, the first glance of the water body made me stop the car. Wow, breathtaking! I couldn’t resist clicking some shots here, no plastics or garbage to spoil the natural feel.
After taking some fresh air, we drove towards the small village. Actually this cannot be called as a village, this place belong to Tamilnadu Electricity board. Most of the people work with EB and stay in the quarters provided by EB. Some small shops for essentials were also there. There is a small gated entrance as we approached the EB area, luckily it was open and we drove till the brim of the reservoir.

The reservoir from public road
Three days in "The Wilderness" - My best Wildlife trip so far-54.jpg


A church for the villagers
Three days in "The Wilderness" - My best Wildlife trip so far-55.jpg


Some birds on the dry tree
Three days in "The Wilderness" - My best Wildlife trip so far-56.jpg


There we met MR.Khadar who was on duty to check water levels. He hailed from Palakkad about 35 years ago and no longer fluent in Malayalam. Myself and wifey are reasonably fluent in speaking Tamil, so we spent about 30minutes with him till the sun started fading down. Talk was mainly about nature, the hydal project and about wildlife. He warned me about a full grown adult tiger which is roaming around the village since past few days. He witnessed it the night before while on duty, it was sitting below the streetlight after chasing something without success. Lucky fellow but this place is full of EB quarters with family consisting of small kids which makes it a dangerous deal. Seems like they lost few goats due to the tiger invasion and reported the same to forest department. Photography is prohibited in the project sites and hence did not click any except the ones in common areas before the project site. I would recommend this place to everyone.


After bidding thanks and bye to Khadar, we started back to test our luck in spotting the big cat. Its about 6:30PM and we could see the last glimpse of sun fading through the green forests. While driving slowly towards Masinagudi, we could hear the elephant trumpets, bird sounds, deer alert calls etc but no luck in spotting the big cats or a sloth bear.

Mayar road on sunset
Three days in "The Wilderness" - My best Wildlife trip so far-57.jpg

Shrub forests
Three days in "The Wilderness" - My best Wildlife trip so far-58.jpg


For all mushroon lovers! This wild mushroom grown from elephant dung is a known medicine among tribals. It is dried and stored.
Three days in "The Wilderness" - My best Wildlife trip so far-59.jpg


Dad in-law spotted this beautiful rainbow
Three days in "The Wilderness" - My best Wildlife trip so far-60.jpg


Couldnt resist capturing this evening sky
Three days in "The Wilderness" - My best Wildlife trip so far-61.jpg


On the cross junction in Masinagudi, the sign board confused and took us to a wrong way towards Singara which has lot of coffee estates and finally the reserve area of EB. Thank god for the mistake, we spotted a huge Sambar stag about 10m close and some 6 to 8 female sambar deers. No clicks as being dark and these animals run away by the time we touch the cam. On the return drive, we crossed Masinagudi checkpost around 7:30PM. We spotted many chitals and one Jackal (not Dhole) before Theppakad.

Night drive through masinagudi road
Three days in "The Wilderness" - My best Wildlife trip so far-62.jpg


Just about 4Kms before Mudumalai exit post, mom in law shouted (no voice came out though!) “Bison”. I took a reverse for about 20m to find an Indian Guar grazing on the right hand side. I had a quick click since I saw vehicles coming from behind. Oh my bad, it was a convoy of three forest department jeeps. Each jeep overtook me and officers gave me mouthful of blastings and warnings. It spoiled my spirits, but I was wrong to stop in middle of the jungle alone and clicking with flash (which I didn’t notice during the panic click else I rarely use flash). Warning to all!

The Guar we saw
Three days in "The Wilderness" - My best Wildlife trip so far-63.jpg


We reached back in the resort by 8PM. Found one more car parked, one more guest in the resort. I was satisfied with the days result, but in-laws and wife were not so happy to have not spotted the big cats. They don’t know it’s as lucky as winning a lottery! Just before 9PM, everyone joined me in the dining hut for Dinner. This guy Siddu is a superb cook, very yummy irrespective of what dish he cooks. This time, its Chappatti with Veg Kurma and Chicken kebab. Also some white rice and curries like what we had for lunch. Couldn’t resist my stomach capacity, had full and decided to go to bed after a light walk inside the resort.


We decided to try our luck in Bandipur safari the next day, set the alarm to 5AM and went to bad. Could hear some strange sounds of wild (frogs, insects etc), slowly slipped to sleep watching the sky through the glass slit on the roof.


(Day one completes here….Day two starts tomorrow…)


Note: Please rate this thread and give your valuable suggestions so that the upcoming posts can be better.

Last edited by Rehaan : 3rd October 2010 at 17:28. Reason: Post edited, please see Team-BHP rule #11. Thanks.
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Old 1st October 2010, 14:31   #35
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I did not know you can drive down to the Hydel station, without any permission!
That is great! The Moyar road from Masinagudi I thought was closed for public.

About the Moyar river valley, I had mentioned earlier in a different post:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ml#post2053814 (Banglore-Mysore-Bandipur-Ooty)

It is an important river as it joins the eastern and the western ghats.

Great snaps there! Were you able to spot the Moyar Gorge (as I am told).

About Hotel booking:

One should book only at the portal of the hotel. Third party bookings can become bit dubious
(discounting popular sites like Make-My-Trip etc. I have never gone through them).

Last edited by ampere : 1st October 2010 at 14:35.
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Old 1st October 2010, 14:49   #36
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Very nice jacs. It is always good to hear experiences of fellow BHPians. The travelogue has come up very well.

When you first described the Moyar road and the Hydro electric project, I thought you were talking about the Singara Power Station. Are these different? As ampere has asked, can you see the Moyar Gorge from there?

Spotting a big cat is only by chance. No need to be disappointed for not spotting one. Enjoy the other aspects of the forest too
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Old 1st October 2010, 14:55   #37
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Though i had been in blore for a few years, i could never visit bandipur-mudumalai segment. Now i am kicking myself for that. Loved all the snaps Jacs, especially the spidey macros (4* for those, could have added more) and 61.jpg. Waiting for the next segment and more photos.

Last edited by ExtremeTorque : 1st October 2010 at 14:56. Reason: added rating
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Old 1st October 2010, 14:58   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
I did not know you can drive down to the Hydel station, without any permission!
That is great! The Moyar road from Masinagudi I thought was closed for public.

Great snaps there! Were you able to spot the Moyar Gorge (as I am told).
The moyar road as such is public and you can drive till 6 pm. It is very easy to spot lot of wildlife on this road in the night if you catch the last gudalur - moyar bus.

To see the moyar gorge and avaralla falls, you need to trek inside a bit. which is not allowed.
I was lucky to be posted on this beat during the elephant census and had some real fabulous views. Esp the Avaralla falls which fals into the deep moyar gorge in 3 levels. 18mm wide angle lens couldnt cover the full glory of the falls.
Best regards
Bala
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Old 1st October 2010, 15:01   #39
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Balan, I remember your response on that other post! I also remember you were fortunate enough to visit that place with respect to elephant census.

But what I forgot to ask you was: Did you have any snaps?

In that hope only I had asked Jacs as well!

Last edited by ampere : 1st October 2010 at 15:04.
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Old 1st October 2010, 15:21   #40
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Nice experience you had there jacs. Night in the jungle is a different experience altogether. Eagerly waiting for the second day report
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Old 1st October 2010, 16:04   #41
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hi jacs

I have rated your trvelogue

Subs
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Old 1st October 2010, 16:16   #42
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Big thanks to all for rating this travelogue as Excellent and the support given so far. Now with 5 star rating I have additional responsibility to make you all happy, requesting your valuable suggestions and support throughout.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
I did not know you can drive down to the Hydel station, without any permission!
That is great! The Moyar road from Masinagudi I thought was closed for public.

About the Moyar river valley, I had mentioned earlier in a different post:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ml#post2053814 (Banglore-Mysore-Bandipur-Ooty)

It is an important river as it joins the eastern and the western ghats.

Great snaps there! Were you able to spot the Moyar Gorge (as I am told).

About Hotel booking:

One should book only at the portal of the hotel. Third party bookings can become bit dubious
(discounting popular sites like Make-My-Trip etc. I have never gone through them).
Yes Ampere, I did refer this thread while planning the trip. Moyar Gorge is not visible from the public roads, you may have to go inside which is now illegal. On Hotel bookings, its a lesson for me and many. Thanks for the good motivation.



Quote:
Originally Posted by addyhemmige View Post
Very nice jacs. It is always good to hear experiences of fellow BHPians. The travelogue has come up very well.

When you first described the Moyar road and the Hydro electric project, I thought you were talking about the Singara Power Station. Are these different? As ampere has asked, can you see the Moyar Gorge from there?

Spotting a big cat is only by chance. No need to be disappointed for not spotting one. Enjoy the other aspects of the forest too
Thanks dear. Both are different, infact opposite direction from Masinagudi cross junction. Mayar (Though it connects to Moyar river) is 10Kms towards left and Singara is 6KMs towards right from Masinagudi. Singara route is not known for game spotting, luckily we saw Sambar deers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ExtremeTorque View Post
Though i had been in blore for a few years, i could never visit bandipur-mudumalai segment. Now i am kicking myself for that. Loved all the snaps Jacs, especially the spidey macros (4* for those, could have added more) and 61.jpg. Waiting for the next segment and more photos.
Thanks ExtremeTorque. This is a must do trip when you visit bangalore next time since travel is just 4 to 5 hours from Bangalore. Hoping to see a Wildonomics soon !



Quote:
Originally Posted by balan View Post
The moyar road as such is public and you can drive till 6 pm. It is very easy to spot lot of wildlife on this road in the night if you catch the last gudalur - moyar bus.

To see the moyar gorge and avaralla falls, you need to trek inside a bit. which is not allowed.
I was lucky to be posted on this beat during the elephant census and had some real fabulous views. Esp the Avaralla falls which fals into the deep moyar gorge in 3 levels. 18mm wide angle lens couldnt cover the full glory of the falls.
Best regards
Bala
Lucky you Bala, you might now know the nook and corner of this sanctuary . May be I have plans to enroll for the census next season, Siddu told he would help he if interested.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post
Nice experience you had there jacs. Night in the jungle is a different experience altogether. Eagerly waiting for the second day report
Yes mallumowgli, I'm preparing the next set of pictures. BTW litlle OT, seems my friend Manu has met you on his Kerala trip during Onam. Appreciate your willingness to check if they need any help .


Quote:
Originally Posted by subs
hi jacs

I have rated your trvelogue

Subs
Thanks a lot Subs, shall come up with many beutiful pictures shortly.

Last edited by jacs : 1st October 2010 at 16:19.
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Old 1st October 2010, 18:24   #43
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Hey Jacs,

Good going mate. Really cool experience driving in night in this Jungle. Waiting for more pics.
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Old 1st October 2010, 20:09   #44
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Excellent travelogue.
The spiders and butterflies deserves lots of applause.

I'd like you to conclude with a factfile with all the gears and details of the trip.(car,camera,fule,total KMs,pit stops etc.). That'll help fellow T-BHPians to plan their trip.

Attaching 2 snaps from those Cactus area.Its one of the best stretch on masinagudi-ooty raod.
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Old 1st October 2010, 20:42   #45
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Jacs,

Man oh Man !!! Amazing pictures. i loved the pictures of the spider & the church. Great.

@JOE 1980

There are no tigers in Bandipur anymore. Its just a belief. But yes, sometime, if one is very lucky, they get to spot a leopard.

@ Ampere.

Man, I am amazed by your knowledge about the routes & places. What gives you so much knowledge. I am impressed. Mind Blowing.


And Jacs,
the flow is good, keep up the pace.
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