Muddumalai and Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary – Night Safari

Since we have visited Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, my daughter has named everyone on the animals, e.g. Myself “Dinasour”, my daughter Navya “Baby Dianasour”, Son Ujjwal “Chhota Deer”, Niece “Elephent”, Wife Dimpi “Monnkey”,.my elder brother Tiger, My sister in law Peacock, friend Sanjeev Camel. And on top of that, she calls us by these name, watching it on TV a tiger chasing deer, she says, “Tau ji is chasing Bhayya”, I want to take a ride on Sanjeev chacha (Camel).

Well, we 5, me, my wife, my niece, my son and daughter, drove to Masanagudi, Tamilnadu, it is 290 KM from Bangalore, we took Bangalore-Mysore highway, and then towards Ooty/Bandipur. From Gundelpet, there are 2 roads to Ooty, 1 via Bandipur and another one is a Ooty/Coimboter highway. I realised this while coming back, otherwise I was wondering if this is the main route to Ooty. For about 60 KMs, road is not good, there is hardly any road on few patches. We reached Bandipur in the afternoon, had lunch and crossing Bandipur Jungle we moved towards to Masangudi.

Drive is pleasent through the jungle, we saw few deers, langoors, and a traffice jam. Why traffic jam, are bhai, elephent baby and his mother were standing on the the main road, and no body dared to honk to push them aside the road. Watching so many people staring at them, mother elephent secured the child elephent and pushed him on the other side of the road, wow, we are in Muddumalai national park, Tamilnadu. My camera was back in the trunk and I was not able to capture that. We reached Muddumalai city in 30 minutes and inquired about our GlenView Resorts (www.glenviewresorts.com). It was further 15 KM on Ooty road. When we reached near resort, there was no road, I called the resort manager and asked for the directions, he said just follow the road, I said there is no road man, he said, this is the only no-road to reach us. Driving slowly, we found ourselv in a jungle, foothills of Blue-Hills in Nilgiris. There were few other resorts on the way and our resort was the last one. We reached there around 4:00 PM, met resort manager Suresh. Resort was pretty nice, inside the jungle, he allocated us a room on a tree, which was quite big for 3 adults and 2 kids.

Tree House room

Tree House room


After having a tea, Suresh briefed us about the activities, Elephent camp, Muddumalai National Park Night/Day safari, camp fire, trekking etc. We got excited about the Night safari, my kids were excited for the Elephent camp. We decided to go for Elephent camp first, which is just outside the Muddumalai National park. There were about 9-10 elephents, getting ready for their food.

Elephant having his dinner

Elephant having his dinner

One baby elephant was very friendly, you pay some money to the caretaker, he allows you to touch the elephant trunk, baby elephant was so friendly that he put his trunk around my neck. Elephant camp has a small museum, having elephant and other animal story. A “lesson” from Elephant camp. If elephant is angry, he raise three alarms, 1st Alarm, “Guys, get ready to run”, 2nd Alarm, “Start running now”, 3rd alarm, “Sorry guys, you are in big trouble now”, elephant is very friendly, but when he got angry, he is the most dangerous animal, so, don’t even give any chance for the first alarm itself.

Elephant in the museum

Elephant in the museum

Elephant bones

Elephant bones

After the elephant camp visit, Suresh asked us whether to go for a night safari or not, we all were ready to go and that too inside the deep jungle. While driving on the main road, we saw few samabar deers, baison. And then the fun begins now, Suresh warned us that it is illegal to go inside the deep jungle in the night, and we would not be able to see any animal, no body should make any noise. With some feer, we asked him to move on, it was 9:00 PM and our jeep was the only vehicle in the jungle, driver had a torch to locate any animal, we drove around half an hour, very dark, scary, reminding movie Kaal. Luckily, we spotted a rabbit, kids were very delighted, tried to make some noise, but Suresh asked them to keep quiet.

Andheri raato mein Sunsaan jungle mein

Andheri raato mein Sunsaan jungle mein

Suddenly, driver stopped the engine, shut off the head lights. I wondered if something happened to the jeep, and then Suresh, whispered, “Sir, feel the nature now”. I glanced to the surroundings, wife and kids face, and whispered, “Bhai, lets go back now, before nature start feeling us”. Suresh asked if we want to go further down, I said, it’s enough, let’s go back. We drove back, came out of the jungle, everyone was looking a little tired and sigh of relief. On the way back, we saw Poccupine and couple of biasons. We finally reached to the resort around 10:30, had dinner and though of going for trekking next morning. Next day was a late morning, so missed the treeing on Blu-Hills and went to Ooty-Connoor (will write separate sty about it).

Night Safari Team in Muddumalai

Night Safari Team in Muddumalai

Third day, we started very early in the morning to reach Bandipur National Park so that we can take another jeep safari. We reached Bandipur, Karnataka about 7:00 AM, we saw a group of elephants while crossing the Tamilnadu/Karnataka border, this time I was having my camera inside driver’s cabin. I went to the ticket counter and asked about the Jeep safari ticket, clerk said that Jeep safari should be booked in couple of days advance, and we were left with the van safari option. I was very upset, but then purchased the tickets for Van safari. While parking my car, one monkey came inside the car through window, and took my daughter’s sipper cup, smart monkey :)

Monkey and the baby crossing road

Monkey and the baby crossing road

Group of Elephants, just on the side of road

Group of Elephants, just on the side of road

Bandipur jungle was all dry, we were hopping to see some bear, elephent and the big cat. But, we saw lots of lots of deers, peacock and what, nothing. It was very disappointing. Bandipur National Park is a Project Tiger, but you hardly see any Tiger there. We drove back to Bangalore, on the way, I took my niece to Mysore palace, kids took the camel ride and reached home in the evening.

Spotted Deers, What else

Spotted Deers, What else

Tai ji – Peacock

Tai ji – Peacock

Bandipur Safari Team, with Ghumakkar Tee

Bandipur Safari Team, with Ghumakkar Tee

Climbing on the Tree House

Climbing on the Tree House

 

Camal ride – Mysore Palace

Camal ride – Mysore Palace

Glenview resorts in Masangudi is a nice place to stay, a little higher on price, no TV, no phone, but have comfort of AC, geyser, nice food, on demand drinks. Airtel doesn’t work here, Vodafone works fine. Suresh, the property manager is very friendly, he can accompany you for jungle safari as well as for trekking. All the time we had mixed North Indian and south Indian food, Tamilnadu sambhar and rasam is much much tastier then Karnataka sambhar / rasam.

Muddumalai National Park is in Tamilnadu, where you can watch elephant, bear, wild pig, deer, biason. But it has left with very few animals due to the shortage of water and most of the animals has moved to nearby Bandipur National Park. You can see lots of policmen patrolling the park, and no traffic is allowed to Ooty after 8:00 PM.

Bandipur National Park is in Karnataka, and host Tigers, elephants, deer, langoors, sambar deer. Jungle Resorts is the place to stay, but expensive for a big family / group. You can book the government jungle lodges/bungalow, but you have to book that in very advance. You have to send a letter to Forest officer and he will confirm you if it is booked. It’s cheap, you can enjoy morning tea with deers/peacock, and a very rich Karnataka food on request. There are several other private resorts here as this is one of the popular weekend gateway for Bangalore people, and it’s a good idea to book your stay in advance during summer vacations.

Question from the trip: Why Lion is called as the King of Jungle, why not other cats? Any answer?

24 Comments

  • nandanjha says:

    may be its on top of food-chain (almost) and is one of the powerful animals.

    I could not help myself from laughing aloud on reading “…lets go before nature starts feeling us…”. lol.

    Pics sizes are good this time :), guess the feedback worked. Keep writing.

  • Patrick Jones says:

    The majesty attained by combining strength and beauty also played a part. Its roar reverberates through the jungle commanding submission from all other species.

    Your humorous approach is entertaining.

  • Rahul says:

    “Why Lion is called as the King of Jungle, why not other cats?”
    Well, I guess it has the loudest roar among all the cats?

    Nice, Fun description.
    We passed Muddumalai on our way from Bangalore to Coorg 3 years ago, and did see elephants and deer shoals just by the road, and by the riverside. The sanctuary is quite beautiful in itself, even if one doesn’t come across the big cats!

  • Patrick Jasper says:

    Maybe cos the lion has a big beard. Bearded men look formidable. Anyhow great peice. Reminds me of what we missed at corbett. I think the greatest place to stay in a forest is inside it. next time surely. great photos too
    The other patrick

  • So many reasons, wow. Mine is pretty well known: Lion is the only cat who eats fresh food, first chase the food, kill and then eat”.

    Thanks to all for the comments, provides enough energy to continue writing.

  • manish khamesra says:

    Hi Upanshu,

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful write-up. After seeing the pictures and reading the description you increased the urge to visit Bandipur once more. Why we get disappointed when we don’t meet the king. Mast-Malang Fakir baba of Jungle – Tusker – sighting is equally rewarding :)

    I agree with Nandan that “Iss baar pictures bahut dumdaar hain.” Keep on sharing :)

  • Bhooma says:

    That was very good reading with subtle humour too. The pictures are all lovely.I enjoyed reading the write up as much as you would have enjoyed the trip.

  • backpakker says:

    Im glad you enjoyed the visits to masinagudi and bandipur..they are one of my favourite places..I never tire of them and we went on the night safari at 1 am..so you could imagine the excitement..we saw elephants and bisons ready to charge us…in fact we were chased by an elephant in Bandipur and we thought we almost died that day …thanks for sharing the post..brought back some great memories

    lakshmi

  • backpakker says:

    By the way there are places in Bandipur where people have spotted tigers…:) and in Masinagudi as well, where elephants come almost to your doorstep

    lakshmi

  • upanshu says:

    Thanks for reading the post and appreciating the writeup and pictures. For more pictures, you can look in to

    http://upanshu.shutterfly.com

    Thanks,
    -Upanshu

  • Celine says:

    You state most of the animals from Madumalai NP have moved to nearby Bandipur NP. During my journey from Mysore to Ooty I recall these two NPs were contiguous, i.e., connected throughout in an unbroken landscape except for the narrow tar road that apparently divides the region into the above two NPs. So I wonder if the movement of animals crossing that road was actually monitored.

    A nice post with lovely pictures, and I especially liked the pictures of the baby monkey clinging on to its parent.

  • Ashutosh Porwal says:

    Nice pics. I can think of the camera that you are using for catching such great closeups.

  • agni says:

    monkey picture is superp………………
    chanceless

  • Suresh says:

    Thank you for your kind opinion about us

  • meranaamjoker says:

    well you will be interested to know that African Lions are known for stealing prey by other animals but Asiatic Lions hardly do so !! :P :P So guess Who’s the real king !!??

  • MUNESH MISHRA says:

    Hi Upanshu,
    Very lovely post with interesting pictures which speaks about your fun-filled experience of Sanctury night safari.

  • shova says:

    Hi Mr.Singhal,

    Thanks for nice log.The pics are very good specially of the monkey.The names given to your family members are really funny,quite a nice way to enjoy.Hope to see more posts from you.Keep travelling & writing.

  • Thanks a lot Munesh and Shova for reading and liking the post. She still remember these names and calls us sometime even after 5.5 years.

  • AUROJIT says:

    Hi Upanshu,

    Nice post with interesting narration. Night safari sounds exciting…..and so do the offerings at Glen View.

    Thanks for introducing us to this southern gem.

    Auro.

  • Thanks for your comments and encouragement Aurojit. I believe you can have Night Safari in several jungles now, do check whenever you visit any jungle next time.

  • Thanks a lot Nayana for liking the post and your kind words. Enjoy your trip their and plan for Night Safari.

  • Nayana says:

    Hi,
    I like the way you organization the post
    Pictures exhibits the radiance of Bandipur Resorts.
    Thankful concerning offering such an unfathomable information.

  • Vicky says:

    Very nice and ennobling clicks as compared with every alternative. This message ought to be transferred to everyone outkeep posting with heaps more bandipur resorts

  • Raghav says:

    You went on a night safari even after you knowing its illegal?

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