For this holiday season, we have debated on travelling to several destinations (around the country & the world), but finally decided to checkout places in our own backyard within India, and chose to explore incredible south India covering Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Wayanad (which is covered in Phase 2), and Coorg. It took just few hours to realize that it wouldn’t be easy for all four of us to be together in a common vehicle without getting on to each others nerves, though it was an Innova, and was spacious for a family of four :-). So we started our Day 1, with a quick rendezvous at Sri Rangantha Temple in Mysore, where deity appears as if he chills out in a pretty relaxed reclining mode, and thanked him for awesome year 2015 and prayed for sanity around. Then we did ‘ode’ to our stomach, by stopping at ‘hole in a wall’ foodie place called “Malari” which was recommended on trip advisor, for a Mysore Masala Dosa. There was just one item on the menu of this place (no water, no coffee, just single type of Dosa). Rest of the details are in the part 1 of the tri-series blog. First one is all about Bandipur National Reserve and what we found here.
It took us about two hours from Mysore, to get into Bandipur National Park. As soon as we entered the park premises, we have found 100s of deers freely roaming around, langoors hopping around, peacocks wandering, and wild boars boaring around. We knew we have finally arrived in almost a ‘real’ forest. This place is located amidst the picturesque surroundings of the towering Western Ghats Mountains. Bandipur National Park is regarded as one of the most beautiful and the better-managed national parks of India.
Bandipur was once a private hunting reserve for the Maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore but has now been upgraded to Bandipur Tiger Reserve Bandipur National Park covers an area of over 850 SQ KM. Wiki Says, together with Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala and Nagarhole National Park in the North, it creates the India’s biggest biosphere reserve popularly known as the ‘Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
We took the safari on a 18-seater cantor vehicle which was arranged by jungle lodge, and spent about few hours driving around the forest. We spotted a leopard at the end of the safari, but it ran away before we can take a clear pic, thanks to loud shrieks from the kids and adults, for which it ran away. On Day 1 we stayed at Windflower Tusker Trails Resorts & Spa which is amidst forest terrain. We saw deers coming in and out of the resort. We were advised not to venture out after 10:30PM as resort does not have a fence. On the Day 2 we stayed at “The Serai” (thanks to an upgrade). “The Serai’ is 5-star category and must recommended for anyone who wants to indulge on a vacation. There are just 25 rooms in 18-acre resort, surrounded by grass lands. Service was impeccable, and food was lavish. Rooms are done quite elegantly while retaining rustic look for the scenery
Few pics can be viewed below and also 80-sec video capsule.