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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Bandipur forest - a relaxing getaway

After quite a few years, on my trip to India, my parents took off on a vacation with me. We had forgotten how good it can be. The first stop was in the state of Karnataka at the Bandipur National Park. A two hour car ride from Mysore, takes you to the Bandipur Safari Lodge which offers package tours for one day to a week.

The lodge we stayed in, the hill on the backdrop we scaled the next day

The lodge was a place of complete serenity. It felt like time had stopped while I was there. We were completely relaxed. Have you ever felt that silence is simply beautiful? With only the birds chirping, it was hard to believe such places existed. Unlimited chai, no TV/internet, just nature and wilderness around. Bliss!

Some of the animals we saw in the forest

As we went on the safari trip we saw quite a few animals. The guide explained how we were a little off season and may not see the big cats. But we got lucky. A long shot of a leopard below. As it turns out, the wildest of animals run seeing/hearing the slightest hint of human activity.

The elusive leopard

Can you see it? Every single person at the lodge had a look at this shot. My father who took it was ecstatic..:) The next day morning we went on a 8km hike up a small hill just in front of the lodge. There were pug marks everywhere!

Pug marks

Well, we were mostly supposed to see elephants around the hill, but ended up seeing plenty of elephant dung..:D. The guide sniffed and prodded the dung to check the elephants' trail but to no avail. We could hear them from time to time but never could spot the big beasts. At the top we could see the border point of 3 states - Tamil Nadu (where I am from), Kerala and Karnataka (where we were).

Connecting 3 states:Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala

Completely rejuvenated, we did not want to leave. But leave we did, to see further.
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