Being in the IT industry, we are not fortunate enough to take long vacations, we usually look for quick get-a-way from all the chaos. This is one of those places where you can get a quick rejuvenation and get back to your desks with a fresh mind 🙂 🙂
Masinagudi is a small town in Mudumalai/Bandipur National Park situated nearly 250kms from Bangalore. This town is en-route to Ooty if you take a short diversion towards the National park. This national reserve is on the interstate borders of Karnataka(national reserve is called as Bandipur), Tamil Nadu and Kerala in South India. For more on this reserve, please see the wiki here
We started our journey on one Saturday morning. We actually planned to go to Mysore to visit an acquaintance. So we left Bangalore around 10 in the morning in Skoda Fabia, reached Mysore after short pit-stops for coffee/snacks by 2PM. We finished our meeting by 4PM and decided we would head to Masinagudi for the weekend.
Often the trips are good with prior planning but the trips without planning are among the ones that will become the best memories. Just like this trip of ours. We dint know where we would stay or we dint even know whether we will be allowed to cross Bandipur/Mudumalai Forest. (Please note, you will not be permitted to enter the national park between 7Pm and 6AM as the natural habitat is not disturbed and animals wander out on roads. Thus please plan trips accordingly.
Thankfully we reached Bandipur checkpoint by 6:45PM and was thrilled to pass this beautiful reserve at night. As I always say, in the wilderness, you can find the peace that you miss in the city. The calmness, the slow breeze, pitch dark surroundings, beautiful clear sky makes me forget everything. This is one the things that I was looking for since a long time. No sound of human-created-mess, nothing. Only the beautiful forest welcomed us. What we did next was real fun+scary sh**. My husband switch-ed off the headlights and slow down the car for few minutes. Can you imagine, in a hatch back car, in middle of thick dense forest without no other soul other than us and without light..!! 🙂 We could get the hang of what this phrase means – sh** my load… LOL.. 😀 Then, decently, we decided to switch on the light and carry on to our journey towards Masinagudi.
Before we could pass into Tamil Nadu forest reserve – Mudumalai, we saw couple of cars from the other direction halt. We were scared as to whether there was an accident or was someone hurt or some wild animal on the road that was hurt. If something happens, all you can wait is for the next morning light. Such things happen, your mind is full of all kinds of thoughts. I couldn’t stop thinking what could the reason be for everyone to stop in middle of no-where and dim the head-lights of their vehicles. Hesitatingly, my husband drove few meters ahead and to our surprise we found a small herd of elephants on the side of the road.
We were enthralled by looking at those elephants there. We stopped there for few minutes to admire the beautiful animals but we decided to move on and not to disturb the habitat.
On reaching Mudumalai forest check-point, the police stopped us for questioning as to why were so late in the forest, why did we reach so late to this check-point etc. After a lot of convincing, we were let to pass the check and go ahead.
We reached Masinagudi town at around 9PM. Then we started our hunt for a place to stay (that’s why I told, there are nice memories of the unplanned trips :))
We stopped by couple of resorts but those dint impress us – looked more like a city-type-of-resort. Then we reached a place called as Safari Land. This place is totally eco-friendly. You name it, they have it. The bulb holder made out of bamboo stem, cigarette ash-tray made our of bamboo stem, the ceiling, the doors almost everything made our of bamboo. I was surprised to see the things that can be made out of bamboo. We took the normal-low-cost room which cost us not more than Rs. 2500 (food and lodging included).
Once we got our room booked, we had sumptuous tasty dinner (note: non veg is good here) and had a nice sleep.There are many things that you can do staying in Masinagudi – visit Ooty that is few hours from here, go hiking – elephant trail etc. Since we dint have much time – our trip was short, we planned to come back to this place and explore things..
The next morning was just beautiful – calm, nice breeze beautiful Sunday morning. Spent some time around the same resort, got ready, had nice breakfast and again started our journey back to the chaos, concrete world…
Things to do in Masinagudi:- RELAX if you are stressed out.. Otherwise some adventure activities.. 🙂