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Old 16th January 2006, 21:05   #1
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Smile A weekend at K Gudi

This Saturday morning my family of three got out at 7AM and started cruising in Mysore road, our destination was Jungle Lodges at Kyathadevara Gudi or K Gudi.

This thread has lots of medium size photos, no need to click once downloaded. Please bear with me.

No, this was not one of my Let's Go trips. After the last Let's Go debacle, we made sure we had reservation this time. Reservations for Jungle Lodges can be done at 4th floor (Cinema Exit) of Forum Mall.

The K-Gudi is located on Biligiri Rangana Hills (B.R. Hills) range. The closer route is via Kanakapura, Mallavalli & Kollegal, but that's not a good road. Therefore we decided to take the longer but faster route via Mysore, Nanjanagudu & Chamarajanagar.

Somebody recently said on this forum that Mysore road is 90% complete. No freakin way. There are still many bridges to be built, many town stretches to be made. Unless they were talking about 90% as in software projects. The first 90% take half the time and remaining 10% takes remaining half time.

A word about Mysore road. It doesn't inspire the kind of confidence I get from say Hosur-Krishnagiri or Krishnagiri-Jolarpet section. I tried to analyse this doing my drive.

i) Mysore road hardly has a deserted section. It is populated all along the way. Therefore, jay walking is a rule than exception.
ii) There are too many blind curves or crests, often the visibility is reduced to 100-200 ft along the curves or crests. I have this personal policy of keeping my braking distance shorter than road visibility. Therefore I can't help slowing down at such blind curves. Who knows, I may come across jay walkers, speed-bumps, wrong lane dicks (like the left-lane dicks, only more dangerous), or a parked truck with strategically placed stones all around it. Therefore, I didn't exactly let go the Baleno on this road. Everytime I sped, I was forced to slowdown due to one or other reason. It was like speed-n-slow driving all the way.

We saw at least two really bad accidents. One was near Kengeri, where a truck full of sand was on it's side across the road, was heldup for 10 minutes in that jam. Later saw a badly smashed 800 and 407, 407 was on the wrong side of the road, no prize for guessing how it got there.

We had breakfast at Indradanush (behind Cafe Coffee day) after Channapattana. The poori-sagu here is wonderful. After that we continued towards Mysore, turned left at the ring road hoping to find the road to nanjanagudu. Soon the ring road ended and we were in some city road hoping we don't get into the city. We saw the road to B.R Hills and turned. Soon the navigator (my wife) started yelling that this route would take us through Kollegal which is a horrible road. Took a U-turn and continued looking for the turn towards Ooty/Nanjanagudu. As usual Mysorians are not good at giving directions. After couple of wrong directions and corrections, we were finally onto Ooty road towards Nanjanagudu. This road was not as good as I remembered from our last drive in March. Still, good for 60-70Kmph cruising. At Nanjanagudu we turned left towards Chamarajanagar, the first few Kms very very horrible, I was reduced to 2nd gear most of the time. Then it got little better, but the 45Kms to Chamarajanagar is not at all enjoyable. At chamarajanagar, we took left towards B.R hills and it was one more 35 Kms stretch.

There is one more ridiculous thing one has to deal between Nanjanagudu and B.R.Hills. The villagers put some kind of dry bushy hay over the road so that vehicles would drive over it. Apparently it separates the grain from the hay. But the damn thing is nearly 1ft from the tarmac, sometimes as high as 3ft if freshly laid. They allow 2ft space on both side of the road for 2-wheelers to pass. They basically want all the 4-wheelers to drive over the hay. Buses and trucks can do it without any worry, but it can hurt a car's low underbelly. I was not interested in brushing my car's underbelly with all that thorny bushy hay. Therefore I kept avoiding the hay by driving on the side, unless the hay was really flattened. I could see many villagers yelling at me to drive over, which I ignored. Finally I came to a point where I saw a white Tavera on the side with all the hay stuck under it. When I looked past it, I knew what happened. About 2 ft of unflattened hay was laid on a short bridge, there was no shoulder where cars could avoid it. I just parked and refused to drive over it. When a villager came to me, I simply showed him the Tavera and told him I am not willing to damage my car too. He wasn't too happy, and he angrily pushed the hay away to the center to allow my car. Throughout that road I got a feeling that these villagers don't like low ground clearance vehicles (say cars) plying on this road. They think the road has been laid for their grain separation activity, and only buses and trucks are welcome. I felt this from the looks they were giving me. What they are doing is purely illegal, causing problem to flow of traffic, I wonder why police don't say anything to them.

Finally we hit the forest gate for B.R Hills and we had to furnish some information before they let us in. Since we were staying with Jungle Lodge, we were allowed right away. Next 10 Kms to the Jungle Lodge was pure visual bliss, the road often got very bad, had to use 1st gear in some stretch. But, we were driving inside the jungle where tigers and elephants roam, a deer crossed in the front causing me to brake. We stopped at few places to take photos.




When we finally reached Jungle Lodge, it was 1:15PM. It took us little over 6 hours to do 246Kms, thanks to bad roads. But it was all worth it when we were led to our log hut.


Lunch, snacks, dinner, breakfast was provided as part of the package at the community hut. My son was very taken to a huge cat that was there, he called it Tiger pussycat.


After lunch at 1:45PM, we re-grouped at 4PM for Tea and pre-safari briefing. Followed by which we left for a 2 hour safari on a open jeep.

The Water Hole


Elephant


Spotted Dear (the most common type)


Sambar


Wild Boar


Indian Gaur


We saw a stunning scene on our way back, golden white moon. It was the night of Jan 14th, Makara Vilakku, I think they call it. The moon shined like the sun.


I was standing in the open jeep without a tripod, the picture shook a little because of long exposure. Imagine if it hadn't shook.


After the safari we had some light snack and they showed us a wildshow show on Western ghats which most of the guests skipped.

The campfire started at 7:30 where we gossiped with other guests about wildlife.


Next day early morning we had a choice between yet another 2 hour safari or 2 hour trekking (5Kms). We picked the trekking despite having a 5 year old, we knew he could easily walk that distance. After walking about half KM my son started acting very tired and wanted to take the safari instead. Others were giving us looks for bringing him along. My wife wanted to go back, but the guide said she can't go back alone. We didn't want to trouble two other trekkers. Therefore me and wife had to carry him in turns for next 200 meters. By the next stop, my son was convinced there was no going back to the jeep, and started walking again.

We found a Tiger pug mark on the trekking trail.


On the way back it was clear to everybody that my son was faking his tiredness. The little devil was now racing, trying to be ahead of the forest guard, matching his pace all the way back.


After we got back, we heard from the safari team that they ran into a herd of elephants and even got a mock charge on video. All we got to see was tiger pub marks, leopard/elephant dung, elephant/gaur track mrks, etc, oh well. But seeing the wild nature while walking on foot is priceless.

The breakfast was very good, these were some items like flat ambodes which were simply wonderful. After the breakfast, we went for a short ride on the elephant.

Kanthi is getting ready get for the daily grind.

The elephant is called Kanthi, captured in 1968, she is 64 years old. Elephants retire from goverment service at the age of 75. Everyday she is released at 5PM, wanders in the forest until morning when the Mahut tracks her and gets her back to the camp.

After the elephant ride, we checked out and drove back to Bangalore. Overall, it was a great experience.

The Jungle Lodge is a government resort, comes under state tourism department. But all the staff were very polite, service minded, very un-government like. I was really surprised to find that the government can run such a fine successful resort. All the resorts (there are many) under Jungle Lodge are booked solid, book early to get reservation.
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Old 16th January 2006, 21:09   #2
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Some more views from the trek.






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Old 16th January 2006, 21:27   #3
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breathtaking pics buddy....how long did you stay there?
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Old 16th January 2006, 22:28   #4
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Hey, NIce pics !! We seem to have lots of pro photographers here . Nothing like the wilderness ...

cheers
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Old 16th January 2006, 22:28   #5
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Great writeup and good pictures Samurai. It reminded me of my last years trip to Kabini. The road from Mysore to Kabini was bad but the stay at Kabini was refreshing... almost same schedule as yours with an additional coracle ride during the early morning safari.

Cheers
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Old 16th January 2006, 23:13   #6
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Samurai,

you son was not tired, just bored. once he got an activity (keeping with the forest guard) he was rocking.

BTW beautiful photos. what camera do you use? between you and Rudra you bangy boys got us beat.
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Old 16th January 2006, 23:44   #7
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yh very good writup and equally great pics ...i want to take a vacation there once for sure...
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Old 16th January 2006, 23:49   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khaadu75
Hey, NIce pics !! We seem to have lots of pro photographers here . Nothing like the wilderness ...

cheers
yh that wilderness is for me...love being in the jungle with wild animals and roam around tryin to be one...camping with forest buddies and retranslatin the meanin of life..camp fire with a cup of hot tea and that peircing sound of forest calmness drives me nuts...before comin to canada i had been to GIR and boy did i unwind myself or wat..though i found bad luck to be on my side havin not spotted the jungle king, i saw the real beauty of flaura and fauna and ur rich resources that v should be proud of...

Last edited by ambylimo : 16th January 2006 at 23:50.
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Old 17th January 2006, 01:48   #9
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Samurai,

Did you miss the BR temple at the top of the hill ? The road which turns left from the gate of the resort, takes you to the BR temple which is approx 10-15 kms from the resort.
Not to mention, the bad roads that lead you to it. But still worth the drive.

I have been here three times and only once was lucky to spot a tiger. The last time I went there, ( in Oct ) , we saw nothing but deer and a lone elephant.

The summer season is the best time to go to BR hills as there is less greenery and you can see more of the forest inside. When it rains, there is a lot of greenery and this actually blocks your view deep inside the forest.

Folks, I guess this is one place, which should never be missed. Am sure Samurai will agree with me on this.
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Old 17th January 2006, 10:04   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navin
BTW beautiful photos. what camera do you use? between you and Rudra you bangy boys got us beat.
Oh, I just use an advanced point-n-shoot camera (Sony Cybershot F-717), not thinking of SLR until I fully grow out of this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khaadu75
Hey, NIce pics !! We seem to have lots of pro photographers here . Nothing like the wilderness ...
Rudra is the pro, I am just a wannabe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ambylimo
breathtaking pics buddy....how long did you stay there?
Just a day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cnu
It reminded me of my last years trip to Kabini. The road from Mysore to Kabini was bad but the stay at Kabini was refreshing... almost same schedule as yours with an additional coracle ride during the early morning safari.
We tried Kabini first, couldn't get reservations. That will be the next destination.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neoranjit
Did you miss the BR temple at the top of the hill ? The road which turns left from the gate of the resort, takes you to the BR temple which is approx 10-15 kms from the resort.
Yes, I know. That would be part of the package if we stayed for a longer duration.

This time there was lots of greenery, therefore we couldn't spot any carnivores, but great phots-ops. Next we will try during summer.
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Old 17th January 2006, 11:16   #11
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Samurai, nice set of pics. Nice report. Looks weather is cool there.

For me and also for others..please put up a clear route map (BLR-destination). Not that it's not there but a clear direction (with eat/coffee joints on the way) would be a real help.
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Old 17th January 2006, 12:32   #12
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hey samurai ..looks like u had a nice time ....any pics of teh mysore road....and yeah please put up the route details
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Old 17th January 2006, 13:34   #13
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Very good writeup and Wonderful pictures Samurai. Thanks.

Quote:
The villagers put some kind of dry bushy hay over the road so that vehicles would drive over it. Apparently it separates the grain from the hay. But the damn thing is nearly 1ft from the tarmac, sometimes as high as 3ft if freshly laid.
I remember the same once when we had gone to 'Muthahi' in my friends Santro. All the roads in that area had this extra layer of 'haying'.
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Old 17th January 2006, 13:42   #14
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Hi Samurai,

Good post here and nice pictures. If you could furnish some details as to the exact way from B'lore to BR hills, good places to eat on B'lore-Mysore highway, what all your package to BR hills include, what is the approximate cost per family, etc, it will be great.

Cheers,
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Old 17th January 2006, 14:43   #15
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hey samurai

nice pics and an excellent report.looks like you had a great time !!


Rev
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