This is a question that can have extreme answers if you are in Namma Bengaluru. After more than a year in Bangalore, we are now used to a life where our weekends are highly unpredictable. No matter which direction you choose, there is something splendid waiting to make your day trips, weekends, long weekends or a 1-week vacation awesome. So this weekend, we decided to visit the Jungles of Tamil Nadu.
Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, a 321-sq-km National Park which lies at the foothills of the magnificent Nilgiris. It hosts a variety of species from the animal kingdom; from the spotted deer to the ‘His-highness’ Sher Khan. Interestingly, Mudumalai has one of India’s highest tiger population densities, with around 50 tigers.
The route: Bangalore- Mysore – Nanjangudu – Gundelpet – Bandipur – Mudumalai, approx. 266 km via NH 209. We started from Whitefield at around 5.30 AM on Saturday and after stopping just once for a scrumptious breakfast at Malgudi Vatika, we reached Mudumalai around 12.30 PM. Traveling through the dense but dry patches of Bandipur and the semi-green patches of Mudumalai reserve reminded us of the scenes from the classic Jungle Book. The thing with Jungles is, it just takes you by surprise. The anticipation of encountering a wild animal keeps you on your toes all the time. We were indeed speechless when baby elephants welcomed us in to their world and we knew the trip was worth it.
Please note that the stretch through Bandipur is closed for vehicular traffic from 9 to 6 pm.
We stayed at this scenic and a modest property called, ‘The Wilderness Resort’ at Thorapally, some 10 km from the Tiger Reserve at Theppakaddu. We decided to rest for a while after some delicious homemade lunch.
What did we do?
While heading for the evening safari we came across an unusual traffic jam that was caused by a mother-kid elephant duo on the side of the road. But what amused us was the foolishness of some, who got down of their vehicles and were moving towards the wild beast. We drove to Masinagudi in search of more sightings and we weren’t disappointed. We saw a lot of deer, wild boars, beautiful peacocks and another elephant mother-kid duo.
Next morning, with an intention of spotting the big cats, we took the first gypsy safari of the day. Though luck did not favor us, we were delighted to be inside the jungle and spot some bison and elephants.
We left Mudumalai after breakfast, at around 12 PM and after taking sufficient halts reached Bengaluru by 9 PM. Thanks to the never-ending traffic jam at Mandya and Ramnagara.
Thus ended our beautiful tryst with the Jungle and we said in our minds, ‘Until next time’.
Fact file – Total distance – 266 kms (one way)
Places to eat – Malgudi Vatika, Right O and lot of Dhabas
Places to stay – The Wilderness Resort (where we stayed), Tiger Tracks, at Thorapally.