23rd May 2013
6:20 a.m. : Started by Car from Whitefield, Bangalore to Bandipur National Park (On the way on Mysore-Ooty Road) We had already booked the Jungle Lodges Resort a week back. It's tough to get a room over there... it's completely filled in all seasons. Actually we had tried for BR Hills, sonce it was full we ended up going to Bandipur. But it was worth it!! A perfect getaway for Bangalore people. We dint regret a moment of the trip :)
7:00 a.m. : Drive on the Nice Road was NICE :)
8.00 a.m. : First pitstop - KAMAT Lokaruchi. Awesome environment with traditionally dressed waiters and served food. Idli was served in a different way I've never seen, wrapped up in a leaf. Couldn't forget the smell and taste of the CHAI. Masal Dosa was great!!
CHANNAPATNA - Land of Toys (Could see wooden horse riding toy sold all along the road)
MADDUR - Famous for Maddur Vada, Thatta Idli
MANDYA - Sugar City (Abundant Sugarcane Cultivation)
SRI RANGAPATNA - Historical City with a lot of temples
MYSORE - Heritage City
The moment you enter Mysore, somehow you would get the luxury and heritage feel!! Filled with palaces, temples, spaciously built houses, government/british buildings, etc.
10.45 a.m. : Visited Chamundeshwari temple on top of the Chamundi hills. Also visited the famous Bull temple and had an aerial view of Mysore.
GOOD THING I observed - There is still some greenery left in the outskirts of Bangalore
BAD THING I observed- People driving (even on highways) while talking on phones :(
1.10 p.m. - Jungle Lodges Resort Bandipur "Destination Reached"
Bandipur National Park is situated just about 2 km from the resort. This is the nearest resort to the jungle, other private resorts are placed far away from the jungle. This resort is maintained so well by Government and you get privilege safari trips, taking you into the deep jungle even where there are no roads for the jeep. They take you into the deep forests for about 3 hours everytime... so that you could sight some of the rare animals and birds. The staff are so passionate towards their job and the forest. Bandipur is under Project Tiger to save the tiger population. There are about 80 tigers and 70 leopards as per the staff. We were hoping to see atleast one of them.
2.00 p.m. - It was so surprising that we were alloted the "TIGER" themed cottage in the tiger reserve resort :) We came to Bandipur aspiring to see real tigers. All this started after watching the tiger episodes of India on "Animal Planet". This might be the "Butterfly Effect".
3.30 p.m. - Jungle Safari Begins. (Open Jeep)
Driver Basavaraj is very passionate and took all pains to show us the interiors of the forest for more than 3 hours. The longest safari we had ever been! We couldn't spot a tiger, but found abundant wildlife species like the Monitor Lizard (Udumbu in Tamil), Wild Boar, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Elephants with their calves, Indian Gaur, Peacocks, Mongoose, Hare, Langoor, Monkeys, different kinds of birds like the Blue Jay, Hoopoe, Groud Woodpecker, Redwattled Lapwing, white breasted Kingfisher, etc. Wondering how i knew their names?? No I did not google... The driver told us most of their names in English and they also gave us a brochure about the common birds of Bandipur. How nice of them to educate us on wild life :)
All the photos and videos are taken with iphone only. Sorry for that, bear with us for the bad quality of pics, we dint carry an DSLR camera :(. Next time we'll surely get the camera for such trips, to capture the moments in detail. Enjoy the pics and videos!!
7.30 p.m. - A Wild life movie was screened for us on "The Wild Dogs - Dhole"
8.30 p.m. - Sumptuous dinner was served with bonfire.
FIRST DAY ENDS HERE.
24th May 2013
5.30 a.m. - Wake up call by the Staff
Note that there is no music/sound encouraged inside the resort inorder not to disturb the wildlife. No calling bells, no telephones, no mobile tones heard, no TV, no AC, very quite and peaceful environment.
6.10 a.m. - Morning tea with some biscuits
6.30 a.m. - Since we stayed for 2 days, we planned for a nature walk instead of the safari in the morning. We also did some trekking on a nearby hill. Cool morning breeze blowing on our faces. We saw hares hopping here and there, bulbul shouting, lot of other birds chirping, footprints of deer, elephant dung showing that elephants pass the area very commonly.
9.00 a.m. - Breakfast at the resort
10.00 a.m. - We had requested for a trip to a nearby Krishna temple on top of the "Gopalaswamy Betta". The journey to the temple (again on an open jeep) was very good, through the local town and farms.
We were so lucky this time to spot a Leopard and to watch a short story about how it hunts in the wild for real!! Amazing!! Though we couldn't witness a kill, we were almost there!! We also saw an elephant herd, serpant eagle and other animals. Amazing to watch the leopard so close with the help of binoculars (Every driver has one. I had taken from him) The loepard was just 10 to 15m away from us. It gave us a face to face contact for 2 mins... Uffff!! Brilliant experience.. cannot compare with anything else in the world!!
Dinner and Slept. (I watched "Silver Linings Playbook" movie on my laptop before sleeping... Night Owl :P)
25th May 2013
Woke up and got ready for the final safari for the trip, expecting to see the most adored animal of Bandipur, the tiger!!
6.30 a.m. - Safari by Bus
We spotted a tusker, serpant eagle and all other birds and animals we saw the other two days. But we couldn't see the tiger :( We came to know about many ardent fans who are coming to this resort and safari for 26 years. One of them spotted a tiger only after 18 years of coming here, and the other saw after 10 visits to the resort. So we will also come again for more!!
Breakfast, Checkout and Back to Bangalore!!
On the way back, we visited Lalitha Mahal - The Mysore King's Guest House for the then British Viceroy.
Had tea in KAMAT Lokaruchi again, also visited the Janapada Loka (Art and culture center of Karnataka).
Let us know your comments below... If you have any plans to visit Bandipur, you can always ask your queries about the trip below.
Happy Travelling :)