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Old 28th July 2021, 22:43   #1
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Default Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-river-tern.jpg

Overview:

After months of lockdown and boredom, a few BHPians decided to do a monsoon drive to Bhadra tiger reserve. Though monsoon is not the time to visit a tiger reserve as animal sightings will be almost non-existent, we still decided to do this just for the drive and also the chance to meet everyone. The last time we met was during the WDM drive to Coorg (Holiges, a Coracle and a Banyan Tree - Weekend Drive to Shimoga).

We decided to do a 2 night stay at JLR River Tern jungle lodge.

Following is the list of BHPians and their cars.

1. RSUDARSANAN + 1 - BMW 320d
2. Robimahanta + 1 - M340i
3. Dr.AD + 1 - BMW 320d
4. Tilt + 1 - Jetta
5. KarthikK + 1 - Thar
6. graaja + 3 - BMW 330i GT

Robimahanta, Dr.AD, Tilt and RSUDARSANAN started from Bangalore on 24th. I drove down from Coimbatore on 23rd and stayed in Bangalore and joined everyone on 24th. KarthikK joined us directly at JLR.

RSUDARSANAN and KarthikK stayed for one night and left on the second day. Due to the hectic schedule, I could not click enough pictures of RSUDARSANAN and KarthikK and their steeds.

Special thanks to Robimahanta for helping me in choosing my new camera, the Canon R6 and also for lending me his 100-400L telephoto lens during the drive.

The Story TL;DR:

I drove from Coimbatore to Bangalore on 23rd morning with my wife and kids. Reached Bangalore in the afternoon and stayed overnight at Lemon Tree Hotel in Electronic City. I met Robimahanta on 23rd evening for dinner. He also gave me the new camera, a Canon R6.

On 24th morning, we all met at Shree Rathnam hotel on the Tumkur road at 7:30. Started our drive at 8:30 after breakfast. After a couple of more breaks at Sai Palace and Hotel Aramane, we reached JLR River Tern at around 12:30PM.

After lunch, it was time for a boat ride. We all boarded the boat and then the boat wouldn't start! So the resort staff had to split our group and put 8 in another boat and 6 of us in a Jeep for a Safari. As it was cloudy with occasional rain, we could manage only a few animal sightings. We saw spotted deer, Indian gaur, serpent eagle and peacocks.

The second day morning, everyone went on a jungle safari. As it was cloudy and raining occasionally, I and Dr.AD decided to skip the Safari and do some photo shoot of our cars.

The second day evening, the skies cleared up and we could see some sun. We went on a jungle safari and managed to see spotted deers, barking deers, brown fish owl, grey langur and an elephant.

The third day morning, we went for a boat ride. This time too, it was cloudy and raining occasionally. But we managed to see many birds - cormorants, painted storks, great blue heron, osprey, ashy swallow, white browed wagtail, and peacocks, and a few animals - spotted deer and wild boars.

Post breakfast we started our drive back. We regrouped at CCD at Sira and said our byes.

I halted for the night at Claresta Hotels in Hosur, and drove back to Coimbatore on the morning of 27th.

I will skip my drive from and back to Coimbatore and only cover the journey from Bangalore and back.

This was the total distance of the trip - about 1350 kilometers.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-map.jpg

Note: For the car and animal pictures, click on pictures to open in a new window to view in full resolution.

Last edited by Aditya : 19th August 2021 at 05:04. Reason: Fixed on request.
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Old 28th July 2021, 22:44   #2
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Default re: Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue

Day - 1 The Drive Onward

We all met at Shree Rathnam hotel on Tumkur road. After breakfast, we drove to Bhadra. We did a couple of stops for some photoshoot, and a couple of coffee breaks and reached Bhadra by 12:30PM.

All the cars assembled at Shree Rathnam Hotel.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-cars-assembled.jpg

The team. Picture credit: Robimahanta
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-team-starting-point.jpeg

We stopped for a couple of photo shoots.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-cars.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-cars-2.jpg

Mr. and Mrs. Tilt with their Jetta.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-mr.-mrs.-tilt.jpg

RSUDARSANAN's 320d
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-rsudarsanan-320d.jpg

Robi's M340i
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-robi-m340i.jpg

My 330i GT
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-graaja-3gt.jpg

Chief RSUDARSANAN showing Mr. and Mrs. Tilt a picture of them.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-chief-showing-picture-tilt.jpg

Driving in a convoy on the beautiful country side roads.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-convoy-1.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-convoy-2.jpg

Arriving at River Tern Jungle Lodge
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-arrived-1.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-arrived-2.jpg

Checking in
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-checking-.jpg

Had our lunch post check-in.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-lunch.jpg

JLR River Tern Jungle Lodge:

A few pictures of the property and the room.

The room.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-bedroom-1.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-bedroom-2.jpg

The balcony with a view of the reservoir.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-balcony.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-balcony-view.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-reservoir.jpg

Morning coffee with a view.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-coffee-view.jpg

The cottages.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-cottage-1.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-cottage-2.jpg

All the cottages are situated in an island and we have to cross this bridge to access the cottages.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-bridge.jpg

The view of the dam from the bridge.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dam-view.jpg

Last edited by graaja : 29th July 2021 at 15:35.
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Old 28th July 2021, 22:46   #3
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Default re: Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue

Day - 1 The Safari

Post lunch, we all checked into our rooms, got fresh and regrouped for a boat ride.

Boarding the boat.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-boat-1.jpg

All settled in.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-boat-2.jpg

I and Robimahanta ready with our photography gear. Robi with his Canon R5 and 600mm prime lens and I with the younger siblings, the Canon R6 and 100-400L.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-photographers.jpeg

And then the boat failed to start and we had to split. 6 of us (Mr. and Mrs. Robimahanta, Mr. and Mrs. Dr.AD, I and my daughter) boarded a Jeep for a jungle safari.

It was raining and we passed through terrains flooded with water and mud and slush.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-img_7184.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-img_7189.jpg

A few sightings.

Peacock.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-peacock.jpg

Spotted deer.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-deer-1.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-deer-2.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-deer-3.jpg

Serpent eagle.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-serpent-eagle.jpg

Indian gaur.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-gaur.jpg

The gear. Canon R5 paired with the 600mm F4L and Canon R6 paired with the 100-400mm L lens.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-gear.jpg

Last edited by graaja : 29th July 2021 at 07:11.
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Old 28th July 2021, 22:52   #4
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Default re: Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue

Day-2 Car Photoshoot

On Day-2 morning, everyone left for a jungle Safari. I (my wife joined me) and Dr.AD went out for a photoshoot of our cars, the 320d and the 330i GT. We managed to click some nice pictures of our cars. We have been planning to have a photoshoot of the red and blue cars for a while. A few pictures from this photoshoot.

Before we left for the photoshoot, I clicked a couple of pictures of my 330i GT with Robi's M340i.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-m340-1.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-m340-2.jpg

Dr.AD's 320d on a bridge.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-320-bridge.jpg

Dr.AD shooting his car.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-ad-shooting-320.jpg

A few pictures of my GT.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-3gt-side-1.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-3gt-side-2.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-3gt-front-1.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-3gt-front-2.jpg

The 320 and 3GT on the bridge.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-320-3gt-bridge.jpg

A few pictures of our cars with the dam in the background.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dam-1.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dam-2.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dam-3.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dam-4.jpg

The menacing eyes!
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-menacing-eyes-1.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-menacing-eyes-2.jpg

The 3GT behind the 320d.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-3gt-behind-320.jpg

Behind the scenes. I and Dr.AD in action. Picture credit: My wife
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-behind-scenes-1.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-behind-scenes-3.jpeg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-behind-scenes-4.jpeg

Last edited by graaja : 29th July 2021 at 15:37.
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Old 28th July 2021, 22:53   #5
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Default re: Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue

Day-2 The Safari


After lunch on day-2, we went for a jungle safari. This time too we had to split up as we were 10 and a Jeep can only take 7. I and my daughters split from the group and took another Jeep. This time, the weather was clearing up and it was sunny now and then. As the sun was out, we reasoned that animals will be out and there is a good chance of sighting a tiger or a leopard or a grizzly bear. But luck played spoil sport. We could not spot any of the big cats or bear. Instead we saw barking deer, spotted deer, langur, fish owl and an elephant. A few pictures from this safari.

The main group in the Jeep.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-jeep-1.jpg

Clear weather.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-safari-1.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-safari-2.jpg

At the entrance to the jungle.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-jungle-entrance.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-jeep-2.jpg

Spotted deer.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-deer-1.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-deer-2.jpg

Barking deer.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-barking-deer-1.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-barking-deer-2.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-barking-deer-3.jpg

A 200 year old tree.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-200-year-old-tree.jpg

This grasshopper also joined for the safari.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-img_7281.jpg

Black ant nest.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-ant-nest.jpg

Grey langur.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-grey-langur-1.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-grey-langur-2.jpg

Brown fish owl.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-brown-fish-owl.jpg

Fish in a stream in the Safari trail. GIF Credit: Robi
Name:  Fish.gif
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And just before we exited the jungle, we spotted this majestic tusker, a 20 year old.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-elephant-1.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-elephant-2.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-elephant-3.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-elephant-4.jpg

We returned back, had a nice dinner and went to our rooms for a good night's rest.

Last edited by graaja : 29th July 2021 at 20:06.
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Old 28th July 2021, 23:02   #6
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Default re: Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue

Day-3 The Boat Ride

On day-3 morning, 6 of us who had to skip the boat ride the first day, went for a boat ride. Weather was cloudy and occasionally raining. We had no hope to sight anything. But managed to sight many water birds (cormorants, painted storks, blue herons), some deer, an osprey and a couple of dancing peacocks. A few pictures from this boat ride.

At the boathouse.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-boat-house-1.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-boat-house-2.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-boat-house-3.jpg

A couple of fisherment on a coracle.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-fishermen-coracle.jpg

Dr. AD in action.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-ad-action.jpg

Robi in action.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-robi-action.jpeg

A few pictures of the water and clouds.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-clouds-1.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-clouds-2.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-clouds-3.jpg

The wake of the boat.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-wake.jpg

Ashy swallows.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-ashy-swallow-1.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-ashy-swallow-2.jpg

Brahmini kite in flight.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-brahmini-kite.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-brahmini-kite-2.jpg

Grey heron.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-great-blue-heron-1.jpg

Grey heron in flight.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-great-blue-heron-2.jpg

Lesser adjutant stork.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-painted-stork-1.jpg

Lesser adjutant stork in flight.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-painted-stork-2.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-painted-stork-3.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-painted-stork-4.jpg

Osprey.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-osprey.jpg

Great cormorants.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-great-cormorant-1.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-great-cormorant-2.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-great-cormorant-3.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-great-cormorant-4.jpg

White browed wagtail.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-white-browed-wagtail.jpg

Dancing peacocks.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-peacock-1.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-peacock-2.jpg

After the boat ride, we had our breakfast, packed up and checked out at 10:30.

Last edited by graaja : 29th July 2021 at 19:49.
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Old 28th July 2021, 23:06   #7
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Default re: Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue

Day-3 The Return Journey

On the return journey, we decided to make only one stop at CCD Sira. The plan was to regroup at CCD, have a light lunch and say our byes. Unfortunately, the rear left wheel in my car got a puncture from a big bolt. But fortunately, this happened while I was crossing a small town and I could find a puncture repair shop nearby. As the puncture was quite big, they removed the tire and patched it from the inside. Thankfully, the patch held up through my drive to Coimbatore. The puncture incident delayed me by an hour to reach CCD. Robi had to leave as he had some work. Mr. and Mrs. Dr.AD and Mr. and Mrs. Tilt waited for me to reach. We had a brief chat and then said our byes.

The cars before we started.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-cars.jpg

The team.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-team-2.jpeg

The puncture and the patch.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-puncture-2.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-puncture-3.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-puncture-4.jpg


The three cars at CCD.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-ccd-1.jpg

A group picture before parting ways.
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-ccd-3.jpeg

The Food:

This travelogue will not be complete without a mention of food. I have been following IF (intermittent fasting) the past 3 years. I eat only 2 meals a day as a routine, sometimes one meal a day, and very rarely 3 meals a day. I have written about my IF in my Fat to Fit (Fat to Fit - A journal of my fitness journey) thread.

However, during this trip, as the food at JLR was just too good, I had three square meals for three days. A few food pictures from the drive.

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-food-1.jpg
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-food-2.jpg
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-food-3.jpg
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-food-4.jpg
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-food-5.jpg
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-food-6.jpg
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-food-7.jpg
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-food-8.jpg
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-food-9.jpg
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-food-10.jpg
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-food-11.jpg
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-food-12.jpg
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-food-13.jpg

Once back in Coimbatore, I did a 48 hour fast to cleanse the body and got back to my regular routine.

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-fast.jpg

That's all folks, I have. Hope you enjoyed this photolog.

Last edited by graaja : 29th July 2021 at 20:10.
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Old 29th July 2021, 19:36   #8
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Ganesh has covered the trip in detail like a proper engineer. It was great fun meeting up with all of them after a long break and heading out on a drive. I didn't have any expectations from the safaris as it was raining all the time and Bhadra even during the season has considerably less sightings compared to other Karnataka parks. Sharing a few images from the trip.

The JLR resort from the boat

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-0m2a0800weblr.jpeg

Bhadra dam at night

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-0m2a0131weblr.jpeg

Spotted deer

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-a20i0255web.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-a20i0240web.jpg

Fishing from a coracle in the rain

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-0m2a0476web.jpg

Serpent eagle

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-0m2a0183web.jpg

Brown fish owl

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-0m2a0367web.jpg

Ashy swallows

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-0m2a0573web.jpg

Greater cormorant in breeding plumage

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-0m2a0500web.jpg

High key image

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-0m2a0515web.jpg

Orange headed thrush

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-0m2a0435web.jpg

Peacock dance

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-0m2a0764web.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-0m2a0694webv2.jpg

Peacock couple

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-0m2a0198web.jpg

Grey heron

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-0m2a0746weblr.jpeg

Brahminy kite in flight with a fish

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-0m2a0649web.jpg


Some mobile phone images of the tracks in monsoon

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-img_8345.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-img_8349.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-img_8369.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-img_8348.jpg

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-img_8343.jpg
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Old 30th July 2021, 05:16   #9
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 30th July 2021, 07:51   #10
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Default Re: Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photolog

First of all, thanks to graaja and robimahanta for the fantastic photos and the detailed report above. It was lovely to read it and relive the experience through their words!

They have covered it all, but could not resist adding a few more thoughts and pictures from my side.

This trip was a very interesting experience. This just showed (to ourselves) that we love to drive and we will enjoy any driving experience. As mentioned in the above posts, we did not expect any major wildlife sightings in this peak monsoon season. And that indeed turned out to be the case. Further, with some amazing cars full of character and drama in our convoy (BMW M340i and a beautiful red Thar, for example), I was really looking forward to some car photography with these beauties. Unfortunately, due to various reasons (including the fact that the photography locations I had in mind were inaccessible due to the slush and mud) even that did not pan out. However, these things were never going to let us not enjoy the trip. We still had a wonderful and memorable trip. Just spending time with close friends (and discussing cars, photography, wildlife and life in general with them), driving our cars on scenic country roads, and enjoying the breathtaking views of the jungle and the reservoir were the powerful ingredients which made this weekend a truly special one!

Just the driving part was fantastic in itself. We drove on some fast six-lane highways, some scenic country roads with fast sweeping corners, and then also some bad patches on a couple of occasions. However, for a change, in the bigger scheme of things, the driving part was not the highlight. And it says a lot when a bunch of driving enthusiasts like us say that driving was not the highlight.

For me the two key highlights from this trip were the company of friends and the breathtaking landscapes of Bhadra. The location where we spent two days was heavenly. We had a beautiful resort with picturesque pathways winding down a tiny hillock carrying us to various parts of this resort itself, we had a lovely reservoir that offered some stunning views of the water, the hills surrounding the water, and thick green trees and the forest surrounding the large water bodies, a couple of idyllic bridges, and then as if that by itself was not enough to get lost in philosophical thoughts and lose track of material life, there was the main attraction which was the Tiger Reserve with Jeep Safaris that offered inside views of the thick forest and the wildlife kingdom living inside! So what if we did not have any major wildlife sighting? This place was a heaven for photography and some of the above photos by graaja and robimahanta do a good justice to this place.

The other special thing for me in this drive was spending time with my friends and driving buddies. This group is quite special, and every time I meet them, I not only have a great time, but I also learn a lot from these guys. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of the whole gang, but here is a picture of our two star photographers (and experts in many other things), graaja and robimahanta:

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_49582.jpg

While these two were carrying pro-level camera equipment, I had only a basic DSLR with me. However, it was amazing to see how they operated their gear and to learn from them about how much skill and thought went into photography regardless of what equipment one has. It will not be wrong if I say about half of the time through the entire weekend we were discussing photography.

Personally for me, the safaris were totally enjoyable. I am not a hard-core wildlife enthusiast at all - not by any means - and therefore, wildlife was not my main goal (any sightings would be just a bonus!). My main goal was to see the beauty of the jungle, and these safaris exceeded my expectations in terms of the beautiful landscapes and jungle vies they offered.

Here for example, is a view I got from a Jeep Safari that I loved:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_42122.jpg


And a typical view of a JLR Safari - a green Mahindra finding its way through a lush green forest:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4416.jpg

And here is another funny thing about being with car enthusiastic friends. As long as we are in a vehicle - any vehicle, we never get bored. Here while there were no sightings in the Jeep Safari, we were busy discussing the 4x4 capabilities of the vehicle, and in general how the driving experience would have been. And while lost in those discussions, I could not resist clicking this image of the lovely track that the Safari vehicle was trodding through:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4410.jpg


Although I had only a very basic DSLR, I was still trying my best to capture some wildlife (and some birds later in the boat safari), and managed to get this:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_44602.jpg


The boat safari in itself was a heavenly experience. The early morning fresh weather, the vast reservoir that was as serene as anything can ever get, the breeze we had in our faces, the lush green forests surrounding us, and the birds occasionally flying by and then sitting on the tree stumps and posing for our camera, added up to a memorable morning. It was mesmerizing at time. I personally thoroughly enjoyed this boat ride.

Again, since we love vehicles, we could not miss discussing this 60ps Yamaha engine powering our boat through those waters:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4982.jpg


The views of the water and the surrounding hills, with dark clouds above were mesmerizing. Below are a couple of pictures which try to show this, although not very successfully I believe:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4507.jpg



Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4718.jpg



Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4630.jpg


And here is a view of the dam as seen from the boat:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_5024.jpg


Inspiring by robimahanta and graaja, I tried my hand at some bird shots too, and could not resists sharing a few images here. My apologies as these would be a somewhat replicates (and poorer ones at that) of the images shared in this thread above.

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_47032.jpg



Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4586.jpg



Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4599.jpg



Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4768.jpg



Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4848.jpg



Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4891.jpg


Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4893.jpg


And finally, for the first time in my life I saw a peacock with open feathers like this, and even managed to take a photo:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4813.jpg


The morning light and the birds created some nice silhouettes too. Here are a couple of silhouettes that I liked:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4531.jpg



Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_47142.jpg



As we wrapped up the boat ride, a view of our cottages located on a small hill that was technically an island:Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4490.jpg


As I mentioned, the resort itself was quite scenic. It has a bit of a unique style compared to other JLRs, and offered many interesting locations within the resort itself.

To begin with, here is a view from my room (or mostly any room since all rooms there offer similar views):
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4346.jpg


And then these lovely pathways with many ups and down and the steps (that helped make our FitBit dashboard look good) were a key element that added to the character of this place:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-img_20210725_0738022.jpg



Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4273.jpg



Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4274.jpg



One more key element was this bridge connecting a small island which hosted our cottages to the main reception and parking area:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-img_20210725_073747.jpg


Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-img_20210725_0741032.jpg


I loved the symmetric lines of the bridge, and could not resist clicking and sharing one more picture highlighting the symmetry:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_42672.jpg


While I had more fun than I bargained for in clicking these pictures, watching robimahanta and graaja taking photos and trying to mimic that with my camera, how can I go on a rod trip and not take car photos? Well, as it turned out, I did manage to take a few car photos after all, but let me share those in the next post.
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Old 30th July 2021, 08:32   #11
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Default Re: Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue

OK, so let me come to my usual topic - random photos of our cars during the road trips and then a couple of planned shoots.


At a pit stop on our way, the three BMWs lined up:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-img_20210724_091446.jpg


At a quick regroup later, we found the four 3-series together. Four cars with four very different characters:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-img_20210724_100250.jpg


And yet another pit stop, the 320d parked next to the mighty 340i, and the mud and slush showing the general conditions we were in:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-img_20210724_114034.jpg


As we almost reached the JRL, the view on the right made us stop and take some photos. Here, the two F30 320d sharing a moment together, while admiring the scenic views:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-img_20210724_123135.jpg


RSUDARSANAN's legendary F30 320d:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-img_20210724_123203.jpg


And robimahanta's mighty M340i:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-img_20210724_123223.jpg


And then we had our friend KarthiK joining us there directly from his off-roading adventures (I hope he writes about that too) joining us in his beautiful red Thar:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-img_20210724_123652.jpg


As we reached the resort, tilt's Jetta and KarthikK's Thar parked next to each other:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-img_20210724_124845.jpg


My car parked, with the Thar in the background. I am not sure if you can see it but the car was crazy dirty. This was the dirtiest I could manage to get so far:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-img_20210724_124955.jpg


Somehow in past few drives, an unintended pattern has emerged where I go out for a morning photoshoot of cars, with whoever is willing to join me. And those morning shoots usually result in some memorable photos for me. For example, about a year back I had this lovely red GTI for a company in a similar morning photo. And then on a more recent occasion, I had a mighty Fortuner 4x4 guarding me from behind in this morning shoot. So the morning shoot are now a habit and lot of fun.

This trip was no exception, even if this meant we had to miss one Safari. This time, it was graaja with his lovely 3GT (my most favorite 3GT in the whole country!) giving me company for a photoshoot.

However, even before we went further, I could not resist posing next to this charming little temple:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_42832.jpg


The two cars that stepped out for a morning photoshoot:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4285.jpg


Although the general location was incredibly scenic, there weren't many places accessible for our cars for a scenic photoshoot. However, I had read that good photographers make use of what is available. So, pretending like we were one of those (), I thought of a simple rustic bridge that I had noticed in our onward journey as a location for a photoshoot. We drove to that bridge, and that resulted in below shots:


Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4287.jpg



Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_43077.jpg



Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4310.jpg


As we drove around aimlessly for some time, we found this location with Bhadra dam in the background:
Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4314.jpg


And then while returning, we took a small detour to take some pseudo "off-roading" photos of our primarily "on-road" machines:

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4328.jpg



Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4322.jpg



Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-dsc_4341.jpg


With that, the morning shoot was wrapped up and we went back to the resort. And finally, to wrap this up, let me share a couple of shots of our cars parked at a CCD outlet on our way back.

Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-img_20210726_132311.jpg



Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue-img_20210726_143059.jpg


With that, let me wrap up my post. This was an incredibly fun weekend! At the end, what made this weekend special was the great company we had. My thanks to all the friends and their families which made this weekend so special. Thank you guys, and looking forward to many more such trips with you.

And thank you to all of you for reading this!
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Old 30th July 2021, 09:31   #12
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Default Re: Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue

Bhadra is an incredible place to visit. Always beautiful but the monsoon brings the best out of this little heaven. I feel that a stay without any safari will also do justice to this location as one can simply sit with a book and watch the waters sipping coffee. Nice captures as always. A good break I guess between lockdowns. Wish the cars could have seen more roads but then Bhadra is a destination in itself.
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Old 30th July 2021, 09:45   #13
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Default Re: Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue

Excellent Write-ups (by all), Colorful & Mouthwatering dishes , natural photos, cars, cars and cars. Thanks for taking us the ride. Kudos to the team
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Old 30th July 2021, 10:31   #14
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Default Re: Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue

Wow! ... thanks Graaja, Robimahanta and Dr. AD for the wonderful travelogue and beautiful pictures. Apart from the scenery, boat ride and amazing line up of the variety of 3s, graaja's capture of the delicious food is quite awesome. Bhadra is a beautiful place and such places come to life with bountiful rains.
Such treads are a welcome relief when you are stuck at home for months together. At least they force you to start thinking of venturing out again.
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Old 30th July 2021, 11:23   #15
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Default Re: Monsoon Drive to Bhadra Tiger Reserve - A Photologue

Beautiful photos. I was there a few weeks ago. Truly appreciate the forward thinking by JLR on a few aspects.

1. The bridge has a small transport trolley beside it for heavy loads.
2. The rooms built at launch - 10-15 yrs ago(might be off by a bit), have a large glass pane in place of the wall that's right in front of the bed. Hats off to the interior designer. Would have been a shame to block the view, it's stunning.
3. To better serve the rooms added later, a 2nd staff quarters was sanctioned beside the rooms, especially since the 1st one was a good 5 mins walk away.
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