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.
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