A wild ride to bandipur – karnataka, india

July 14, 2005 at 3:15 am 3 comments


perhaps, the truest of nature lies at the deepest of the jungles. and this very thought drove us to the bandipur forest; we started from bangalore at the wee hours of morning. after driving 230 kms, (taking a single stop at maddur for breakfast) we reached our destination, bandipur. located at the foothills of mysore-ooty highway, the place is a beauty with lush green and that drove us wild. from bandipur we drove another few kilometers to our cottage, ‘tiger ranch’. this private cottage is at the heart of deep forest. with about 8 private huts, the cottage provides you with an amazing experience of staying deep inside the forest. the hut we took was furnished with 5 beds, a not so clean toilet and wooden hammocks. the food was gr8. and you’d get enuff drink(very costly though), a broken tt board, carom boards, badminton courts etc at your disposal. enjoy taking a few pegs along with the hundreds of monkeys jumping around you! it’s nevertheless an wonderful experience. the movie “jungle” was partly shot here and ramgopal verma, urmila, fardeen khan camped for almost a month over here in this secluded private cottage.


After the lunch, we decided to check out on the wild habitants. we sleeping python on our way… walked into the deep jungle and found a few pug marks, snake skins and elephant leftovers. we spotted a leopard (not sure, it just appeared like a flash and disappeared). we were told that there’s a safari arranged by the forest dept. on the way, we spotted deers, langoors, peacocks, sambhars, wild boars and elephants. but the best find was a huge python, lying on the road side. it cud be atleast 16 feet, coiled and lying peacefully after having its prey. tigers were so elusive(thanks to veerappan and his gang of poachers) that it’s existence has become a myth in the region. the official esimate is 80 though we were not so sure. a local confided that he had seen the wild cat only once in his 15 yrs of forest life!

we decided to feast on the beer that we brought in with us from bangalore in the evening. after some desi style dances with the foot tapping music at the resort, we thought of sneaking into the jungle. and we drove around the forest hoping for a few wild animals. the drive was chilling for a few urban guys who never witnessed such wilderness. though we had a glimpse of some wild boars, rabbits and deers but other majestic wild habitants refused to appear on the hind sight. the night at the cottage was awesome.

Gopalswamy betta

imagine yourself in the midst of a jungle staying at a hut. the fierce wind making some horrible sound and the darkness playning havoc all around. and we were plagued with the loo as almost all of us were desperate to release ourselves. to add more spice into the story, we found that there was no water. somehow, the sheer call of nature prevailed and we …. it was a different story all together!!! woke up early in the morning to have a ride to the hill top, locally known as gopal swamy betta. the road to the hill top was amazing. and we were suddenly greeted by an amazing landscape with fierce rain and thick clouds. it reminded me of cherapunzi. there is a famous temple out there and some vintage british made bunglaws. dont miss this place if you come to bandipur.

our next destination was mysore. bidding good bye to the bandipur and tiger ranch, we headed towards balmuri falls, mysore. the place was a total disappointment. and we left quickly after seeing some ranchy scenes at the riverside. mysore gals so BOLD??? after a quick lunch at mysore, we started for cauvery fishing camp. it is a beautiful landscape with cauvery flowing wildly all over. just 80 kms from mysore, located on the kanakpura highway, this place is really chilling with the deep forest and a fierce cauvery complimenting each other.. you can book a hut at jungle resorts (from bangalore office only; they wont let you in if you dont have the booking) and have rafting, trekking, and a peaceful lay off at the river side. wonderful it sounds. isnt it? time was running out for us. time to leave. after spending a couple of wild days in the foothills of mysore, we drove back to bangalore; it was fun. give it a try if you’re a true nature lover. you’ll love it.

Details that may help you: Bandipur(karnataka)-Madumalai(tamilnadu) forest:
distance: 216 kms from bangalore (on the mysore-ooty road)
accomodation: a few private cottages like TigerRanch and jungle resorts (govt)
[one day, one night stay is best recommended]
attractions: forest dept safaris, elephant joy rides and night safaris (dare it if you have the courage; take your own vehicle and sneak into the jungle, dont go very far though – might be lost), camp fires at the resorts and gopal swamy betta hill top (5 kms from bandipur) Cauvery Fishing camp:
distance: 100 kms from bangalore (kanakpura highway, nagahalli village)
booking shud be priorly made at bangalore jungle resorts office
(contact aranya bhavan, malleswaram / MG road office, jungle resorts)
Attractions: rafting, fishing huge mahseers, river side trekkings, wooden huts, camp fires. ideal place for a wild weekend.
[one night one day stay recommended]

See the Photos

Author: Amitava Bhattacharya for ndp93blogs | Material reused from author’s travelblog acc | originally published on July 2006

Entry filed under: india, travel.

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