01 September 2011

Travelogue - Bandipur

Introduction – Bandipur National Park is 80 kms south of Mysore, near the Karnataka border with Tamil Nadu. It is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve stretching across the three states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The park has an area of 872 sq km and was one of the original Tiger Reserves designated in 1972 under the aegis of the Project Tiger. It was also infamously inhabited by Veerappan during the 90’s.

Why go there?
Bandipur is a forest area inhabited by teeming numbers of spotted deer, bison, tigers, leopards, elephants, jackals, Indian wild dogs, sloth bears and birds like peacocks, serpent eagles. It is one of the better managed national parks in the country with a healthy population of tigers (about 80). The government and private resorts organize jeep and bus safaris into the heart of the jungles. They drive on mud tracks meandering across an area of 40 sq km. That’s just about the one and only reason for wishing to visit Bandipur.

When to go there?
My visit was in August when there were sporadic rains. Given my smattering knowledge about wildlife, I believe, the best time to visit would be the dry season when sightings would be relatively easy. Having said that, it really is an all year round destination.

How to go there?
This was my first ever road trip, so that way it’s special. The best way to reach Bandipur is a self drive or hired cab option. There are state government buses which got to Bandipur, so if you cannot afford the car on the road option then these buses are definitely feasible. The route from Bangalore is as follows –
Bangalore-Bidadi-Ramnagaram-Channapatna-Mandya-Srirangapatna-Mysore-Nanjangud-Gundulpet-Bandipur. There is an alternate route to reach Mysore which goes through Kanakapura. The distance from Bangalore to Bandipur is about 220 kms. Mysore is the midway point, where one can take a break. If you are unfamiliar with Mysore, then the safest option is to drive through straight and you would get out. Avoid taking the ring road, it’s easily 10-15 kms longer, roundabout route and you might get lost. Cutting straight through the city is easy; just ask for directions to the airport. The Mysore airport is en route to Nanjangud on SH 212, Bangalore Calicut highway. The first town will be Nanjangud. Sail straight through. After you arrive at Gundulpet, keep heading straight and you will arrive at a right turn which goes to Calicut via Wayanad. People wishing to reach Wayanad should take this turn. Now this is important. Both roads cut through the Bandipur forests. So, make sure where your resort is located, i.e. on which road? Ours was not on this Calicut road, so we ignored this right turn and headed straight. The Bandipur National Park entrance gate, from where the forest limits begin, is about 19 kms from Gundulpet. This road cuts right through the forest and offers an amazing chance to see herd of deer, bison and even the occasional pachyderm crossing the road. The road goes to Ooty, and during day time private vehicles are allowed to cross the forests. So people driving to Ooty would love this stretch of road through dense forest, with an almost guarantee of spotting wildlife.

How many days/nights should one plan for?
There is nothing much there to do other than the jungle safaris and morning nature walks. So a 1N/2D or a weekend getaway is perfect. However, if you desire to spot a tiger its best you give yourself a couple of forays into the forest. As a thumb rule, in a week tiger spotting occurs on 2-3 occasions. Accordingly maybe a 2N/3D could be more appropriate. Anything beyond that, to my view, is stretching it a tad too much and not value adding.

What is the ideal budget?
Staying options range from the basic dorm beds cost a couple of hundred to luxurious villas for Rs 10K. Good thing is they offer all inclusive packages – boarding, food, jeep safari, nature walk so there are no extra overheads. Bandipur being 220 kms, petrol expenses would come to ~2K even if you consider a conservative 15 km/liter mileage. All in all, a weekend getaway to Bandipur can be wrapped up in less than 10K. Pretty neat.

Labels: ,

16 comments

Blogger Mayank Shridhar kuchh to bolti...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Mayank Shridhar kuchh to bolti...

MC Resorts Review

Plus points:

1. Staff is extremely well-mannered and proficient in speaking Hindi as well as English, which is good for people who are not local to the state or the region
2. Food is good for non-vegetarian people. For vegetarian people, the breakfast and dinner is good but lunch is not. Sweet dishes are the best part of the meal. Food is unlimited quantity
3. Reception and staff are ready to help and provide/ replace stuff if you find issues with the room like dirty blankets or missing Good Knight mosquito repellants
4. Rooms are pretty big and spacious
5. Recreation facilities like swimming pool, chess, carrom, TT are available

Minus points:

1. Credit cards are not accepted
2. All payment has to made upfront
3. No TV, AC, Internet (Ethernet or wireless) or phone in the normal rooms
4. Hot water comes only for few hours in the morning
5. Some of the latches of the doors are not oiled properly
6. Definition of a 2-room cottage is flawed - its 2 disconnected neighbouring rooms with no common connection except a small verandah outside; its not really value for money although most resorts in the area would charge similar
7. Insects in the room - had to get rid of a big cockroach in the room, wait for a lizard to vacate the bathroom via the window and hope that a spider doesn't fall from over the top onto the bed

Final verdict:

1. Good for budget travellers
2. Jeep safari is not a must because the chances of seeing something depend on luck and it could be equally boring. Bus safari is almost as good although you have to bear with other people around and you can't tell the bus driver which way to go
3. For those who want to go for AC rooms and more comfort, they can pay a little more and book Jungle Lodges
4. Decent for 1 day stay although might not be comfortable for more than 1 day
5. If more than 2 people are travelling and are all comfortable staying in the same room then its better to book only one room with extra mattresses which can be put on the floor as there is ample space

4:28 PM  
Blogger 666 kuchh to bolti...

Great! thanks for the detailed and factually correct comment. Good addition to the post

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Bus Tickets kuchh to bolti...

Thanks for sharing the post! Get the Best Online Bus Ticket Reservation Services in all over India in one step with Ticketgoose. TicketGoose is not only providing the Online Ticket Booking Services, it is providing services like what are the places to visit in each and every state. We had Travel agents to contact in each area for all states.
SPK Travels

11:19 AM  
Blogger hai baji kuchh to bolti...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:04 PM  
Blogger hai baji kuchh to bolti...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:06 PM  
Blogger swati kuchh to bolti...

Hi Dear,
I and my husband loved the stay at Bandipur resort for 7 days and we would love to go there again. Hence I would recommend the resort to everyone. If you have any specific about The best one you can check this like Bandipur resort

2:08 PM  
Blogger innthewild kuchh to bolti...

nice blog......I am very thankful to all your team for sharing such amazing information.Bandipur is a National Park and a Wildlife Sanctuary. Bandipur hotels are located around the park area and provide comfortable accommodations.

5:01 PM  
Blogger netra sadhu kuchh to bolti...

hie every one.this was so recent that i went to bandipur resorts with my friends n cheers to say that we did have a great fun there.hope with u the same.go n have a wonderful experince.also check this out friends B R Hills

11:46 AM  
Blogger raj patil kuchh to bolti...

Hey Nice Blog.Information of Bandipur Wildlife is very useful for every tourist.
Thanks for sharing such a significant information.

11:40 AM  
Blogger pawankalyan kuchh to bolti...

Hi very good Blog.Information of bandipur resort is very useful for every tourist.
Thanks for sharing such a significant information. - See more at:Bandipur Resort

10:40 AM  
Blogger Nishitha KM kuchh to bolti...

hii..nice post.Thanks for sharing with us.I liked the way you put up the information.I am panning to visit br hills resort and also bandipur resorts this weekend with my family. because their facilites,sevices offered at low cost,Wildlife Safari really really awesome..

10:25 AM  
Blogger jany Mils kuchh to bolti...

Nice post.......We had nice trip to bandipur national park. it was awesome trip. we stayed in a resort named mcresort. i think that it's best resort in bandipur.

11:31 PM  
Blogger Baldeo Yadav kuchh to bolti...

I read your articles. It is simple but very accurate info… Many thanks for sharing this one.
PetClubIndia
Online Pet Shop

4:30 PM  
Blogger Nijaguna Residency kuchh to bolti...

Hi,
I like the way you organization the post…
Pictures exhibits the radiance of Bandipur Resorts.
Thankful concerning offering such an unfathomable information.

9:41 AM  
Blogger anjali gupta kuchh to bolti...

Bandipur national park is a great place for a short weekend trip and wildlife lovers. Staying in hotels in Bandipur is an experience in itself and adds memories to one's tour. :)

2:54 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home