Travelogue: Bangalore -> BR Hills -> Munnar -> KodaiKanal -> Bangalore


Thread Starter #1
Joined
May 5, 2011
Messages
295
Likes
86
Location
Bangalore
Wildlife at its best: A trip to the wild nature resort at BR Hills


Travelogue: Bangalore -> BR Hills -> Munnar -> KodaiKanal -> Bangalore


Highlights of the Trip

  • Spotted a Real Leopard in the forest with some other spottings as wild dogs, long tail squirrel, bisons etc
  • Munnar was amazing place and was very relaxing
  • KodaiKanal was the worst tourist place I have ever visited in my life
  • The drive was excellent and scenic for most of the journey
  • Driven about 1700KMs in my Scorpio and it was very reliable and lovely drive
  • Kerela food rocks and specially the Chicken curry rice
  • GPS navigation through MapMyIndia is a real convenience with 99% accuracy


Part 1 - Bangalore -> BR Hills


"Wildlife at its best: A trip to BR Hills"


Since it was kids holidays, we wanted to head out for some good places to holiday and started looking at few options with a touch of nature and wildlife and which is accessible to us by self-drive.​


The itinerary
Well this was the toughest part to decide where to go and where not. It was limited number of days we gad in hand and then we wanted it to be a relaxing and fun trip rather than a hectic and a touch and go kind of trip. So the options were to head out for some places where we have good adventure opportunities, some wildlife, some sightseeing and lots of picture taking opportunities. After a good research the itinerary we finalised was to head to BR hills and spend a couple of days there in Wildlife resort, then move to Munnar

I started looking out for options and someone recommended me Gorukana. I read the reviews about Gorukana on TripAdvisor and was very happy to see good positive reviews about the place. Then started the booking process which was smooth over emails but was a little slow as everytime I had to ask something, I had to send a mail and expect a reply which used to take a day. I wish they had online booking. Anyway, so after a few iterations of bookings, I finally booked a date and headed straight to the resort.


This place is located about 194+ kms from Bangalore and is a good drive for roadies like me. We took the Kanakpura Road to this place via Chamarajnagar. So we packed ourselves, loaded our bags in the car and zoomed out of Bangalore..




Overall the road conditions were good with only some bottlenecks in between coz of the villages. The drive was pretty scenic and had few sights to stop by as well.








Kanakpura Road towards BR Hills





Kanakpura Road towards BR Hills





Kanakpura Road towards BR Hills



















Paddy Fields @ Kanakpura Road towards BR Hills






Our first stop was this Dam. Had loads of monkeys and great views
Here are the pictures of the lake we saw on the way. The place had lot of monkeys and gave me good poses to shoot. Enjoy the pictures.










The Dam







The Dam





Monkey staring at my beast



Monkeys posing for me












Monkeys posing for me














Small shop selling bread for Monkeys




Monkey enjoying Coconut cream






Monkey enjoying the bread






Monkey enjoying the bread











to be continued ...
 
Thread Starter #2
Joined
May 5, 2011
Messages
295
Likes
86
Location
Bangalore
Part 2: Travelogue: Bangalore -> BR Hills -> Munnar -> KodaiKanal -> Bangalore

Part 2 : Continued





On the way to BR Hills







On the way to BR Hills





On the way to BR Hills





Lotus plants





A women doing house chores on roadside on the way to BR Hills on Chamarajnagar road.



Village passthrough @ Chamarajnagar road.





Entrance to BR Hills but we did not take this as our GPS showed us another way and asked us to carry on for another 12kms to K.Gudi. It was my fault that I had fed the location as K.Gudi and not BR Hills. So we continued straight and reached K.Gudi and then realised we should have taken this route. But anywat it was a good drive to BR Hills from K.Gudi route.







Look at the people sitting on top of the goods. So unsafe but people take these risks everyday to survive.













So after a good smooth drive till Chamarajnagar we entered the ghat section to K.Gudi. On the way there was a big lake where we stopped for some pictures and then drove towards K.Gudi. The manager at the resort we were about to stay told me that we probably were on the wrong road but there's a way to the resort from K.Gudi as well but is about 20kms drive which we were fine with. So we started again towards the destination on the K.Gudi ghat section. The roads here were not bad but not very good as well. A stretch of about 4-5 kms was getting a new layer of road so was very rough. But our beast did not budge and kept itself on the road and smoothly took us through this section as well.










Lake on the way to K.Gudi




On the way to K.Gudi





Lake on the way to K.Gudi





Lake on the way to K.Gudi



So after a short drive in the forest area, we reached the first check post ok the forest area and we were asked to make an entry into the register for record keeping. After I made the entry in the register the guy opened the gate and we were allowed to pass.


K.Gudi forest range entrance.


K.Gudi forest range entrance.

You have to get down here and make an entry to get into the forest. There are no charges to be paid but just an entry into the register gets you into the jungle.





Some DO's and DONT's written on the board there.




This is the place you have Jungle Lodges resort as well.







This is the place you have Jungle Lodges resort.


This place was the Jungle lodges resort and the govt quarters for forest officials. We saw some deers relaxing at this place and a wild elephant taking a bath at the nearby lake.


An Elephant near the lake at K.Gudi Forest camp







Inside the forest area. On the way to our resort. K.Gudi forest limits.



Inside the forest area. On the way to our resort. K.Gudi forest limits.





Inside the forest area. On the way to our resort. K.Gudi forest limits.
 
Thread Starter #3
Joined
May 5, 2011
Messages
295
Likes
86
Location
Bangalore
Part 3: Travelogue: Bangalore -> BR Hills -> Munnar -> KodaiKanal -> Bangalore

Part 3: continued from above......







Valley view. K.Gudi forest limits.







Forest road







Forest road





Natural lake on the way to the resort





School run by the Soliga community and maintained by the Vivekananda foundation.





School kids were happy to see us and take their pictures





Hospital run by the Soliga community and maintained by the Vivekananda foundation.




We then started towards our destination and reached the place around 12:30 which was the check-in time and we were greeted by the staff and a welcome drink made of the local fruit (Jamun) was served to us which was very good.




We were immediately shown our cottage after the check-in process which was fabulous.





Arrived at the Resort : Gorukana @ BR Hills







Cottages at the Gorukana Resort.






Inside view of the cottages at the Gorukana Resort.





Inside view of the cottages at the Gorukana Resort.





Inside view of the cottages at the Gorukana Resort.





Inside view of the cottages at the Gorukana Resort.





Inside view of the cottages at the Gorukana Resort.





Our cottage




We were then told to come back to the restaurant for the lunch when we are ready. They asked us for our preference of meals (veg / non-veg) so the chef can prepare accordingly.. so since we are all hard core Non Veggies :) we told them to prepare something local in NonVeg. We then proceeded to our cottage and believe me it was damn good. The cottage had two levels, first level had a king bed and the first level had two independent beds on the floor. This was a duplex and was very lavishly done up. The cottage had a good view of the lake at back side with a balcony sit out. So we relaxed, freshened up and had some tea coffee which was placed in the room and then proceeded to the restaurant area for Lunch. Here are some pictures of the cottage and resort before I jump to the lunch.





Restaurant at the Gorukana Resort


So we landed at the restaurant and not surprisingly the restaurant was empty as there were no other guests other than our family. So we had the choice to sit anywhere and kids chose a table to sit and have the sumptuous lunch. The lunch started with appetizers followed by main course and deserts. Some pictures of the lunch served and believe me the food was very very good and served pretty well. So we had good lunch and then moved on to the room for a little bit relaxing so that we can prepare ourselves for the safari at 4pm.



3 Course lunch served at the Restaurant at the Gorukana Resort







3 Course lunch served at the Restaurant at the Gorukana Resort





Spider Web





Coffee Plantation @ the resort

to be continued.........
 
Thread Starter #4
Joined
May 5, 2011
Messages
295
Likes
86
Location
Bangalore
Part 4: Travelogue: Bangalore -> BR Hills -> Munnar -> KodaiKanal -> Bangalore

Part 4 .. continued

At 4pm we heard the knock on the door and yes it was our Naturalist who would take us for the Jeep safari in the forest and would escort us for all the activities during our stay at the resort. His name was "Jademane". We quickly took our belongings what we wanted to carry for safari and left the cottage and the resort in our mean machine - Scorpio. This was the start of adventure for us. After about 3kms of drive our naturalist spotted a bird on the tree and gave us tips on how to spot the birds. After this it was a good slow drive in the forest area and we spotted many kinds of birds and animals.


On the way to safari we spotted some spotted deers as well which was a good sight for us. Kids were very happy and excited after this as they could finally see some wildlife.









Deer spotted on the way to the real safari trek



Wild long tail squirrel





Wild long tail squirrel





Wild Dogs/Fox spotted on the BR Hills to K.Gudi forest road





Wild Dogs/Fox



Wild Dogs/Fox





Wild Dogs/Fox














Spotted Deer


In about 40mins we reached the Jungle Safari place where we had to hire the Jeep for jungle safari. The cost of the safari was 400Rs per head including the naturalist. So we paid the money and got into the Jeep.





The Jeep ready to take us for Wild Safari


The driver took the steering wheel and revved the engine. In no more time we entered the Core forest area where there's a possibility of seeing good wildlife as per our naturalist. Here are some pictures of the track and the wildlife we spotted. It started with some plain track and then slowly got rougher and rocky, but the Jeep we had a Mahindra 4x4 was powerful enough on this track.





Entrance for the Jeep Safari










Spotted Deer







Spotted Deer





Spotted Deer












Barking Deer

to be continued ....
 
Thread Starter #5
Joined
May 5, 2011
Messages
295
Likes
86
Location
Bangalore
Part 5: Travelogue: Bangalore -> BR Hills -> Munnar -> KodaiKanal -> Bangalore

Part 5 .. continued from above......


Slowly we moved ahead and here comes more Deers and again more Deers. We started feeling that maybe its just the Deer's we would see but immediately our Naturalist shouted in low and calm voice "Sir, see the Leopard" "On the tree, on the tree..." At first i didn't believe him and then he guided me where to look and my goodness it was a REAL LEOPARD - 150~200metres from us - untamed - wild - free wild Leopard :(( We were all so calm as instructed by the naturalist that we could only hear "silence". All were quiet and the Leopard was continuously staring at us. Kids were damn scared but excited and so do we. It was a moment I still remember which is indescribable. The feeling was great but the fear to get attacked was also there back in our minds. But as they say, they wouldn't harm you if you don't .. so in a while the Leopard realized that we are a waste and wont do him any bad - he lied down with his face facing the other side.


So we stayed for a while and then moved on with caution so we don't disturb his sleep. But believe me it was a great feeling to see a wild Leopard which is rare opportunity for many of us. Even the naturalist told us that this is rare sighting and they don't normally spot a leopard so easily on that track so I guess it was our luck. But nevertheless it was a good moment which I guess we will remember for life.





This is what made our day. A Leopard spotted relaxing on the tree. As per our naturalist, it was looking like the Leopard had his meal and now would be relaxing. The Leopard stared at us continuously for about 5 mins and then went back to sleep or was just lying down.





Relaxing Leopard





Relaxing Leopard



Relaxing Leopard




So we moved on slowly and then we spotted some Wild "Bison", lots of Deer's and some more Deer's. After a 20mins drive we reached the top of the hill and there we saw a hut which was the home of the jungle caretaker. We went inside, met him and took some pictures. Kids enjoyed the domestic veggies he grew in his back yard and also took some of them. The place had some skulls of the deer's which he said they took and hung it on the trees after they died or got killed by other predators.​




Local forest ranger had this skull of the dead Deer hanging on the tree within his premises







Skull of a dead Deer



Wild Bison





Wild Bison







Wild Bison







Wild Bison







Breathtaking Views of the valley and the deep forest







Wild Mongoose



So we spent some time there and then moved back. On the way back we spotted more "Deer's", one "Mongoose", few more Bison's and some wild Cock's.





Wild Mongoose







Wild Mongoose







The Wild team who took us to the Amazing Safari


So after about 20 mins drive inside the jungle, we came out finally; went to the place where we boarded the safari; took our car back and started the back journey to resort. As the forest road closes after 6pm, we got stuck at one place on the road as it was chained and blocked. So our naturalist got down, opened the chain and let us pass. Then he closed the road again with the chain and we moved towards the resort. We spotted an "OWL" on the way and finally reached the resort.





Owl












The forest area closes at around 5:30pm. So Our guide/naturalist had to get down to open the road for us to pass through and reach back to our resort as it was almost 6pm+




Forward Journey .. To be continued in my next post
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2010
Messages
4,696
Likes
518
Location
Bengaluru
Amith it was an awsome, unavoidable thread, and i am dubstruck.

Great coverage from your end & your photography.

Waiting for more of your coverage and your experiences.
I really like the Bison's & cheetah's photo to be Excellent, though all others photo's were good.

I am rating this thread from my end.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2010
Messages
4,696
Likes
518
Location
Bengaluru
Hi Amit can you share the price of MMI, which model, where you brought it?
What's the standby time of it, does it needs frequently needs a battery charging?
Can you shed some info on this?
 
Thread Starter #10
Joined
May 5, 2011
Messages
295
Likes
86
Location
Bangalore
Hi Amit can you share the price of MMI, which model, where you brought it?
What's the standby time of it, does it needs frequently needs a battery charging?
Can you shed some info on this?
Thanks Mukesh.

Regarding MMI, I bought Vx140s model and paid 10200 as the dealer charged me 2% extra for CC payment :( I bought it from Sireesh at Hosur rd since I was passing from there but you can buy online or at any of their dealerships in Bangalore. Device is pretty good on battery -guess about 4~5hrs and standby should be couple of days but I normally had it connected for charging through the cigarette lighter slot.

I'm writing the next report (BR Hills to Munnar to KK) which might take some time as it takes long to write, process the pics and then upload to this site. Though I have it published on my blog but can't post the link here. [frustration] so have to work on to bring that content here...

But stay tuned.. working on it
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2009
Messages
198
Likes
6
Location
Bangalore,India
Nice pics. I am surprised that your Kodai visit wasn't a pleasant experience. I visited Kodai this July and loved the place. Absolutely fantastic.

By the way, the pics of the squirrel and the Cheetah, were they taken by a super zoom or a telephoto lens?
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2010
Messages
373
Likes
27
Location
Bangalore
Magnificent pictures and crisp descriptions. This is how a travelogue should be. Thanks for sharing, Amit. It was a pleasure reading it. This must have been quite a holiday for you guys. Waiting for more.

Cheers
Avi
 

Vishwas

Moderator
Joined
May 11, 2011
Messages
4,090
Likes
948
Location
Bangalore
Wow a detailed Travelogue,great pictures Amit.You are so lucky to find that leopard.When we had visited B.R Hills,we were just seeing wild boars and deers,that's all:(
Waiting for you Munnar and Kodai trip and yes Kodaikanal is a boring place not like the Nilgiris.
 
Top Bottom