It was already 4 PM and it was getting cold. Our chauffeur was trying his best to get us into the boundaries of one of India’s oldest national parks – the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. We had made a reservation to stay at “The Country Club Wildlife Resort”, one of the best bets to stay up there.
Welcome to Bandipur National Park! It was 1973 when this forest area was declared as one of the country’s first tiger reserves under the Wildlife Protection Act. Considered to be one of our best-known wildlife preserves, one can find bliss and tranquility in every corner of these natural surroundings.
Here’s how we charted our awesome extended weekend at Bandipur:
We kicked off our morning with a “Jungle walk” along with a small group and a guide leading the way. You will be clicking in awe when you see the sun rising behind the mountains, the green leaves shimmering as they bathe in dew drops, and those drops turning into pearls of gold once the sun rays descend on them. While the green cushion surrounding you is sure to soothe your nerves during the day, evenings get exciting as you can look forward to a Jungle Safari. The experience leaves you with a feeling that there is so much to see and explore that is beyond normal civilization. You might get lucky and spot tigers, but elephants and gaurs are abundant, along with numerous species of birds.
Our day started with an early mountain trek. The view from the mountain top is worth a photo or a few, while on one side you can see the borders surrounding Tamil Nadu, the other side presents postcard views of the hills of Ooty. The rest of the day can be spent visiting Gopalaswamy Betta, which is located in the Chamarajanagar district and lies in the core area of the park. The Gopalaswamy temple is one of the oldest temples of lord Krishna and an architectural masterpiece.
Entry fee is collected at the forest department check post at foot of the hill. Visitors are allowed from 8:30 am till 4 pm.
We decided to visit some villages around the park and interact with the locals on our last day. One can buy hand painted t-shirts and handicrafts made by the villagers as keepsakes.
ACCOMMODATION INFORMATION AT BANDIPUR
In my view the best stay options are Country Club Wildlife Resort, Ambuja Farms Resort, Dhole’s Den and Red Hills Nature Resort. The average rate per night ranges between Rs.1200 – 2000 on seasonal/ non-seasonal basis.
Bandipur National Park is located on the highway connecting Mysore and the hill station Ooty. It takes 2½ hours to reach Bandipur from Mysore and about 3 hours from Ooty. The nearest rail junction is Mysore (65 km) and the nearest international airport is the Bangalore (204 km).
The region is warm and comfortable for most parts of the year with temperatures ranging from 24 to 28°C, except for the brief winter that lasts from October to January when the temperature hovers around the 19°C mark. Monsoon is erratic, but it generally rains from June to September.
A perfect getaway to pump in more oxygen down your lungs and to come closer to nature! Are you ready already? 🙂Earn some good travel karma, share along