Date of journey: 15/03/2008
Starting from: Bangalore
Crew: Maneesh, Lucky, Asgar, Charles, Fairoz, Jaikanth, Lydia, Maria, Mir, Mohanaganesh, Praveen, Pritam, Saradhi, Sneha, Wazim and other JPMC guys.
One day Lucky told me that they were going Mudumalai for an official trip and asked me if I can come. I am a travel enthusiast and I always look for these kinds of occasions. We started from Bangalore in a bus at around 6 am in the morning from her office. On the way we had the breakfast. Initially we were all listening to songs and some time later they switched it off and started antakshari. They are all nice singers and Mir was the best. He remembers many Hindi songs line by line and if doesn’t, he will simply create the lyrics and match the rhythm. After some time when they were tired of singing, Sneha got an idea to dance. She was dancing nicely and made everyone to dance. You won’t believe it we were dancing in the bus and the driver was looking back in amazement, he might be thinking, what’s wrong with these guys? 🙂
We crossed Bandipur National Park and saw many tamed elephants over there. When we were near to Mudumalai we saw the beautiful Nilgiri hills. The Mudumalai sanctuary lies on the northwestern side of the Nilgiri Hills (Blue Mountains), in Nilgiri District, about 80 km north-west of Coimbatore in the westernmost part of Tamil Nadu, on the interstate boundaries with Karnataka and Kerala states in South India. The park was created in 1940 to become the first wildlife sanctuary in southern India. Originally 60 square kilometers, the sanctuary was enlarged to 295 km² in 1956 and subsequently to its present size of 321 km². The sanctuary is contiguous with Bandipur National Park (874 km²), Waynad Wildlife Sanctuary (344 km²), Sigur and Singara reserve forests. We arrived at the resort in Masinagudi, which was booked by Pritam who planned the whole trip.
I found an old lady from UK staying there permanently. She was having two dogs, one was playful and the other one was ferocious. We got into our rooms and I shared the room with Charles who is a very friendly guy. Then, we all met at lunch and I got to know each one of them and found that all the people were nice and friendly. It was a lovely buffet lunch and I took some chicken, chapattis and a coke. I remember that Mir enjoyed Maza and chicken, don’t worry Mir I will not write about the quantity here 🙂
Nilgiri hills were visible from the resort and I took some shots:
Then, we came out of the resort and to my amazement it was all wild:
We explored the region but could not spot anything. Then, we came back to the resort and I, Lucky, Sneha and Asgar went to have a coffee. There we met Roshin, the owner of the resort. He told that the resort is in the middle of the forest so wild animals do come here and a man was thrashed recently by an elephant near the cottage. He also told that they spotted a Leopard last year on the wet season. He knows many things about the place and I told him that we need his info when I will be planning for an expedition later. If you want his phone number just send an email to me. By the time it was dark and we could see the glittering eyes of the deers, few meters away:
Then, it was time for which I had been waiting, yes, the night safari. Although I have visited a lot of National Parks in India I never had a chance of night safari, in many places its banned. We were all set and came out of the resort in a Jeep, but suddenly it started raining. I thought we wouldn’t be able to spot anything as the animals look out for a shade in the deep forest when it rains. It was raining heavily and my T-shirt was drenched but I was having my camera ready. We were roaming in despair and suddenly our driver got a call from another driver that they spotted some elephants. Our driver took a U-turn and we rushed towards the spot. We found 4 elephants, 3 on the right side and one on the left side our Jeep.
That was the one on the left side:
I also took the video of these 3 elephants:
Then, we went to the other side but could not spot anything else so we decided to go back to the resort. When we were near to the resort suddenly an elephant popped up from the bushes and he was about to collide with the Jeep. Our driver was quick to pull over. We were all having our heart in our mouth and I was staring at the elephant in amazement. Then, the elephant turned the other side and crossed the road, I regained my senses and clicked this shot, and you can see the raindrops:
After that we arrived to the resort and had the dinner. We discussed the whole story over dinner and everyone was very excited especially on the fact that the elephant was about to collide with the Jeep. It was 12 in the night so we went to sleep. I wanted to get up early in the morning around 5 am to take the shots of the hills and to explore the wildlife.