Initially after our marriage, I was never fond of jungles. It was Ankur who used to love the jungles and used to tell me how much enthralling jungles can be. So once we moved to Bangalore, the first jungle that we visited was Nagarhole, and quite honestly since then I have also turned into a big time jungle fan.
There have been innumerable times we have been to the various wild life sanctuaries and our fascination of the wild continues. We have been to Nagarhole quite a few times and this time we thought of Bandipur.
Ankur had already done the booking in the government guest house which is situated in the Bandipur Park itself. The booking can be done from http://bandipurtigerreserve.in/. Its a nice accomodation equipped with the basic amenities. The rooms are big and the bathrooms bigger. There is also a canteen where you have to order your meals before hand else there is no options for food inside the national park. Another good staying option is the Jungle lodges and Resorts.
We started from Bangalore at 5:30 am and reached Bandipur at 11 am. We took the Mysore-->Gundulpet-->Bandipur route. The road is good and we stopped at quite a few places for tea.
Check in time at the government guest house is 12 noon; since we reached 1 hour before we loitered here and there till they gave us the rooms. We had two jeep safaris, the same day evening one and the next day morning.
Each jeep safari costed 2000 bucks. There will be one driver cum guide. For the jeep safari, the earlier you can stand in the queue the better it is, there are a lot of takers and the number of jeeps is only 3. We were lucky that we got the jeeps on both the days, there were a lot of disappointed souls too who could not get jeeps and had to take the bus safari.
The evening safari started at 4 pm. The driver took us to the jungle stretch that lies on the right side of the road that passes through the national park. The driver had seen a leopard in one of the water holes just the other day in the evening. Just a few metres inside the jungle we saw a monitor lizard. It was resting still enjoying the warm rays. We got ample of good shots and moved on.
|Hide and Seek|
|Flame back woodpecker|
|Streak throated woodepecker|
|Streak throated woodepecker|
|Crested Serpant Eagle|
We came to the water hole were the guide had seen a tiger a few days back and waited for sometime but there was no successful sighting for the day.
Next day early morning we took our second safari. Bandipur is so famous for its big cats and we were praying to see one. Even a few second's glimpse would also make us happy. Ankur had already researched a lot about Bandipur and he requested the driver to take us towards the Mulapura water hole. Our friends who had accompanied us to Bandipur were also with us on both the trips and so, naturally there were four pairs of eyes all speckled and be-speckled scrutinizing the jungle for any luck.
Suddenly our driver whispered "Leopard sitting right in front" and we all were like "Where ??" It took us a few seconds to figure out the animal. It was sitting on the grass and looking straight at us.It was such a beautiful animal and we spent the first few seconds just awestruck by its presence.
Slowly the leopard got up, looked at our jeep and slowly and gracefully crossed the road in front of us and then vanished into the wood. The leopard was a full grown male and the driver told us that seldom they get to see a full grown male leopard crossing the road. In most of the cases they just turn back and vanish.
We were so happy to see the leopard....it was our first leopard spotting; on top of that, we got ample of good shots. We thanked the driver for all his efforts and also our luck and left Bandipur with a happy heart.
|Pelicans, On our way back to Bangalore|
|The forest bungalow where we stayed|