Saturday, May 14, 2011

Nagarhole, royalty hunting forest

In the middle of  January the temperature started heating up in Blore which is surprising, maybe signs of changing climatic condition.  We friends decided to take a break to Mysore, Brindavan, Nagarhole and return to blore for a three days trip.  One day stay at Byalapkuppa was aborted due to the exigency.  We drove quickly to Srirangapatanam, enroute we had a good lunch at Kamat Lokruchi at Ramnagaram.

We reached Srirangapatanam and quickly browsed through Dariyadaulat bagh, Tipu's summer palace.  My friends were not keen on visiting the place since they had already seen this monument, only for his son's sake we took a break.  We quickly went into the Srirangapatnam fort and visited the Bailey's Dungeon, which is historical.  A guide explained the historical importance on this monument on payment of a small fee.  The landscaping of the Tipu's death spot and Dungeon is done up superbly.  We skipped visiting the Rangnathswamy temple since my friends were not keen.

We headed towards Brindavan gardens, where we had booked our accomodation vide KSDTC.  The full moon added to the glorious evirons.  After having a cat nap, we went around snapping the brindavan gardens.  During the night we went and witnessed the musical fountain show in the gardens.  We returned to our room and had a nice dinner.  Next day we woke up and had a quick round of the brindavan gardens.

Nagarhavu movie was a superhit movie of  Vishnuvardhan which was shot in the forest of Nagarhole in 1972..  The Wildlife sanctuary was converted in a national park in 1988.  The National park is closed on Tuesday better to avoid visiting on this day.  The entry to the forest is closed at 6 pm till 6 am.  This is to ensure safety of the wild animals against being run over.  There is a proposal to build an alternative route to bypass Nagarhole forest, which when complete may give access to the other side of the forest leading to Kerala.

The forest is filled with Flora and Fauna, the commonly found trees are Teak, Rosewood, Sandalwood and Silver Oak.  Some of the wildlife found are Tiger, Bison, Elephant, Mongoose, Wild pig, Peacock, Deer, Sambhar, etc.  Some of the reptiles are Rat snake, Russel Viper, Python, Krait, etc

We checked in at around 6 pm at the forest guest house, and the darkness started enveloping us.  Luckily for us the Full moon came to our rescue, it served literally as a flood light.  The forest guards warned us not to venture out into the darkness, because of the fear of wild animals moving around. 

There was no TV in the room, and cellphone network too was down, since only Airtel was operational for emergency purpose.  I was surprised even the govt run BSNL was given less priority, which is a downer.  Nevertheless I was happy that I possess the shares of Airtel.  Maybe the efficiency of private network was the key issue in case of emergency.

We found lot of deers sitting just a few meters away from our cottage.  We trained our battery light, their eyes twinkled in midst where they were seated.  We ordered our food with the guest house keeper.  We opened the door and found to our surprise a wild pig just standing outside our door.  The guest keeper was used to their presence.  He advised us to keep the door closed.  Maybe they smelt the non veg food we were carrying.  The wild boar refused to move away… was keeping us entertained. 

After a nice dinner we hit the sack.  Next day early morning we had the jungle safari which is charged at Rs 100 per pax.  The mini bus is fully protected so as to avoid wild animal attacks.  The total 8 km trip in the muddy jungle track, was virtually eventless.  We were able to spot elephants, peacocks, deer, bison and sambhar.  Tiger is a rare phenomenon.  Once i had a chat with a forest official whom i was giving a drop, he explained that tigers and other wild animals are mostly seen roaming about only during extreme summer, otherwise they hide from the human habitat.

There are frequent occurances of forest fires during summer, which are either the handiwork of  poachers or smugglers of teak and sandlewood.  Many a times forest officials give shoot at sight orders to chase out the miscreants who set the forest ablaze.  Many a wild animals are killed by speeding traffic, in lieu of it an alternate road too is being planned by passing the Nagarhole forest.  

Nagarhole is home to Jeenu Kuruba tribe who are specialised in tapping honey from the trees.  Slowly this tribe too is vanishing because of commercial activity yielding better income.  Some of the tribal populace have been offered alternative accomodation inorder to help them migrate.  

The procedure for booking forest guest is very cumbersome and long drawn process.  One has to send a letter by ordinary post to Mysore forest office, than the clerk concerned with contact the individual after checking out the vacancy.  Many a times we have to follow up, than a DD has to be obtained in the name of Forest Dept and sent across, only than the booking is confirmed.  Whereas the next best alternative is to go for Jungle Lodges and Resorts wherein immediately vacancies are confirmed.

Nagarhole forest is spread around 643 sq kms.  It is located 100 kms away from Mysore, and can be reached via Hunsur.

Ack : photos from DH

India Backpacker


Spicy Sweet said...

That was an informative write-up! A cool weekend getaway.

Nishitha KM said...

Hii...Informative 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..


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