After breakfast, we took the Tholpetty forest route to Kuruva Deep. On the way we saw a Bison crossing the road. We stopped to see if any more were going to cross. But no such luck. So we continued and entered the Begur forest range. We reached Kuruva Deep. But then our cousin was not interested to see the island as it involved some amount of walking. So we left without crossing over.
Now we had to take the route through the other side of Nagarhole forest, (Kabini River), to reach Mysore. Since we wanted to have some Kerala food for lunch, we decided to take the longer route through Sulthan Bathery, Muthanga forest and Bandipur.
We stopped by Jubilee restaurant in Sulthan Bathery for lunch. The food there was good. And then we started off through the forest route.
After we entered Bandipur, we saw a mother elephant and her calf by the side of the road. We stopped there as we thought they would sooner or later cross the road. We wanted to see the crossing. As we were waiting, lots of vehicles passed by. Some even slowed down, thinking we were scared to drive by, and told us told us that it was safe to proceed. We waited patiently for around 15 minutes watching those two and at the same time clicking.
Initially the mother elephant looked at us for some time. Then the young one attempted to cross the road slowly. It walked slowly till the middle of the road and then turned towards us. I was a bit worried – if the calf walks towards us, then the mother might also follow and I would have to reverse the car. But then, the calf returned back to the mother.
Later, the calf made the second attempt to cross the road. It walked slowly across and once it had crossed the road, it ran off into the bush. Now, it was the mother’s turn. It slowly walked across the road and a truck comes from the opposite direction blaring his air horn. The mother took its time crossing the road and joined the calf.
Our million dollar question is how the mother elephant communicate to the calf about crossing the road... as we know that there was not physical prompting. Maybe by sound that we didn’t hear?
We tracked the elephants till they were out of sight and then started on our way.
We saw 2 more adult elephants in the bush later and were tracking it for about a kilometer to see if they would also cross the road. But then they were moving parallel to the road all the way and showed no sign of coming close to the road. So we continued on our way.
We finally reached Mysore and reached Bangalore by 8:15 pm. We had dinner at our place and dropped our cousins at the boarding point for their return trip to Chennai. The Spice garden homestay… A tree house at the homestay… The Bison that crossed our path… Tholpetty forest route… People crossing over to Kuruva Deep in a raft... Bandipur route… great to drive…
The mother Elephant and the calf… Watching us… The calf makes the first attempt…
The calf stops and turns towards us…
The calf returns to its mother… The calf makes the second attempt… Now the mother makes her move… Joins the calf… The mother and son reunion… We liked the drive and might take these roads again soon.