Sitting on the veranda of our Vila, all we could see was the clear blue sky, lush green vegetation and herds of deer grazing the overgrown grass carelessly.
All we could hear was the chirping of birds, occasional barking of dogs and some noises of insects and animals. Experiencing the wilderness; away from noisy city life was therapeutic and most heavenly experience.
This was Masinagudi!
Recently we visited this beautiful place over a weekend. It was an amazing experience to connect with nature and wilderness. Before I share our journey and experience. Here’s all you need to know about Masinagudi.
Masinagudi is a quaint hamlet situated Tamilnadu state of India. Sandwiched between the Western Ghats and Nilgiris, Masinagudi offers a rich biodiversity including abundance of wildlife. This place is nestled between Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, which is at a distance of 15 km and the Bandipur National Park, which lies at a distance of 25 km from Masinagudi. Owing to its proximity with Bangalore, Masinagudi is one of the popular weekend getaways from Bangalore, especially those seeking a rendezvous with wild life and nature.
How to reach Masinagudi
By Air: The nearest airport in Tamil Nadu is the Coimbatore airport. From Karnataka, its Mysore airport followed by Bangalore airports. In Kerala, Kozhikode is the nearest airport
By Road: Local bus services to Masinagudi are available from all these states.
But the best way to reach Masinagudi is to drive your own car or hire a cab as the roads are extremely good throughout, (from Bangalore) other then a small muddy stretch to reach the resort. Masinagudi is 260 kms from Bangalore and it takes 5- 6 hours depending upon the number of pit stops you take.
Things to do in Masinagudi
Well,the best thing to do in Masinagudi is not to do any thing! Sit back, relax and enjoy the tranquility of peaceful surroundings, spend quality time with yourself and your loved ones.Having said that there are many activities and excursions, which you can opt for and make your stay at Masinagudi, a memorable one.
Activities include Jeep safari (which can be morning or evening). Usually safaris are organised in the morning and evening. Many resorts offer their own jeeps for the safari.
Many of the resorts offer their own activities like bird watching walk, jungle exploration walks including trekking to the hill which has a small temple and from where you can have a panoramic view of the mountains.
Our experience – Exploring wilderness
We started our journey from Bangalore early morning around 5.30 a.m., since it was 5 of us from different locations, by the time all of us were picked up from our houses it was already 7 a.m. On the way we stopped by at Kamath lokaruchi for breakfast, which was like always crowded. Rest of the journey was comfortable with weather being nice and not much of traffic.
Once we entered Bandipur the landscape changed, Sunflower and marigold fields gave way to lush green & dense vegetation surrounding the road on both sides and outline of foggy mountains touching the clouds. Since it was already noon, we were not expecting to spot any animals, but we were lucky enough to see some beautiful peacocks and herds of deers by the side of the road. Soon we reached the border of Karnataka and entered Masinagudi check post. From there it took us around 45 mins to reach Jungle retreat, the resort where we stayed. We drove by river Moyar, which apparently is a natural line of separation between Bandipur and the Mudumalai. Finally,we reached our destination; resort was situated in the middle of wilderness.
Soon we were relaxing in the dinning are cum reception of the resort. It was still some time for check in (its 2 p.m.) so we decided to satiate ourselves with buffet.
Well till then I was thinking of Jungle retreat as any other resort, soon I realized that we were up for a different experience, when property manager came and briefed us on safety instructions. First instruction was not moving out of our cottages alone from evening 5.30 p.m. till 6 a.m. in the morning. Whenever we need to go till the dinning area also, we were supposed to call and escorted by the trained staff of the hotel. This was thrilling for sure.
Resorts philosophy is coexistence with wildlife, so there is no electrical fencing and wild animals move freely in the resort even outside the cottages, especially during the night. In fact there are camera’s installed outside each villa and in the evening there is a special screening of these videos where wild animals moving outside your cottages are captured in the camera. These animals include big cats like leopards, elephants, sloth bears and many more.
We were thrilled to know this and wished to have this special encounter, in fact we planned to stay awake and watch out for any activity outside. Well no luck there!
After a wonderful buffet, which offered a good selection of the Indian as well as continental dishes, we decided to freshen up and head straight for Safari Adventure. We opted for the safari offered by the resort, as we had to go all the way to the start point to book government run safari service.
Safari experience – Sitting at the back of partly open Jeep, zooming across the road, we were trying to be extremely alert so that we don’t miss out on any animal. In Masinagudi, the Safari will not take you off the road. We could spot 2 bison’s, peacocks, deer etc no luck in spotting any big animal again.
We also visited Elephant feeding camp, where these massive animals are fed together. Unlike what I thought animals were chained, which was not very pleasant sight. (May be only at the time of feeding)
We were back to the resort by 8 p.m. Screening of the wildlife spotted at the resort was going on.After a pleasant dinner, it was time to head back to the Villa, which was warm and cozy.
Bird watching – the day began early as we opted for bird watching within the vicinity of the resort. The experts from the resort guided us through the wilderness. With binoculars and telescope, it was a nice experience to spot these birds. Sprawling open and green area of the resort is inviting to many species of birds. We spotted many birds along with exploring the resort area. It was a first time bird watching experience for me and I enjoyed this morning exploration to the fullest.
Bird watching excursion ended near the pool area, this splendid emerald pool overlooks mountains and act as drinking water for wild animals too (Although property manager assured us that water is cleaned continuously and chlorine levels are monitored)
After a refreshing morning, we sat by the pool absorbing the beauty of mountains glowing in morning sunlight. Breathing in the purest of air, which is hard to find in the city.
Post breakfast it was time to enjoy some peaceful time sitting in the veranda listening to the chirping of birds and watching herds of deer right outside accessing us inquisitively.
This one-day trip was surely an enriching and peaceful experience. Checkout the next blog to read more about the resort.
- Forest area (which includes the road that passes through the national park remains closed from evening 6.p.m. to morning 6 a.m.) So plan your travel in such a way that you cross the area before 6 in the evening.
- Evenings and early mornings are chilly; make sure to carry some warm clothes with you.
- Carrying liquor is not allowed, luggage and vehicles are checked at the entry check post of Masinagudi
- Carry hats, sunscreen, insect repellent and walking shoes.
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