I had been to Coorg a year back and I’d like to share my road travel experience through Bandipur – Mudumalai – Gudalur with you.
We were traveling in an Alto in a group of 4 plus our driver. Our driver told us that this route is scenic and we will take this route for our return from Coorg to Palakkad, Kerala. You can read my Coorg Diaries here.
The roads were good at Bandipur, Karnataka Tiger Reserve but the roads were bad as we neared Mudumalai, Tamilnadu. I hope the roads are renovated now. There are three checkpoint gates that we had to cross before evening. The gates will close by 6 pm due to the movement of wild animals. The first check post is at Muthunga forest reserve of Kerala forest department.
We didn’t opt for any separate safari packages as our driver told the same animals will be spotted along the roadside during the drive and we can save money. Safari tours are indeed expensive and you will sight only a few basic wildlife. The chances of spotting a tiger is very less.
While visiting Coorg, we had taken another route through Kutta – Wayanad. Nagarhole National Park on this route is great for wildlife safari than Bandipur – Mudumalai because these places are more crowded and touristy with less dense forests.
Bandipur – Mudumalai has Forest Rest Houses maintained by Tourism Department which is very basic. I found a car drive through Bandipur-Mudumalai-Gudalur more exciting.
Here are a few snaps of the wildlife seen during my trip through Bandipur – Mudumalai – Gudalur.
One will always encounter elephants in this way.
The peacock and deers are also a sure sighting. Wild buffalo herds (Indian Gaur/Bison) can be spotted if you are lucky.
We even saw some Grey Langur black-faced monkeys.
It’s very thrilling to drive through the forest expecting what kind of animal will you encounter next. You have to drive really slow and you cannot stop here and there as per your wish. Shooting photographs of wildlife is difficult as a result. On our journey, we saw someone had hit a deer and action was taken by the Forest Department against them. Also, never feed any wild animals.
Most of the animals that I sighted were quite far away from close proximity and I had to use my camera with maximum zoom. I was literally overjoyed that I spotted many animals even though I couldn’t photograph many of them.
As I told you before, It’s very rare to spot a tiger or leopard.
Where the Bandipur Stretch ends, you will see a signboard welcome to Tamil Nadu and enter into the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve! Once you drive out of one wildlife Sanctuary, immediately you enter into another which is fascinating! I had no idea that all these national parks were located nearby. I was told all of them are a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Ooty is close by from Mudumalai-Gudalur. We skipped visiting Ooty as we were short of time.
We halted at night in a basic lodge room near Gudalur just after the checkpoint. I spotted a Giraffe here but couldn’t take a snap. This area has many animals. We couldn’t stop the car. I tried walking to that area but police denied entry as it is dangerous. I heard elephant roars during the night and the locals informed us in the morning that the previous night a herd of elephants came into the town to eat mangoes and rooted down the entire tree. It was raining that day.
We proceeded further to Palakkad next day in the morning and our journey ends here. This trip will be close to my heart forever.
Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed at all times so it is better to go with least expectations. Also, it is better to drive your own vehicle or rent one because public transportation is not frequently available. Make sure you carry water and snacks, umbrella and a mosquito repellent.
Carry inner state permit and relevant documents for the car. Please note that cigarettes and alcohol are strictly prohibited inside the forest area.
The photographs on this blog are copyrighted to Iswarya and are not available for reproducing elsewhere without any written consent.
This post is not sponsored in any manner