Thursday, 1 November 2012

Bhadra wildlife sanctuary, all that meets the eye



After seeing the marvels in Halebidu and Belur, we headed for Chikmagalur. Chikmagalur is some 35 kilometres from Halebidu and the condition of the road is good. It was a 45 minute drive for me and Ankur and our Sparky(Chevrolet Spark). We got to see a beautiful sundown on our way and reached Chikmagalur at dusk.

  Since we did not book any hotels before coming so our first task was to hunt for hotels. We inquired a few hotels but they were all booked. Finally we got a hotel on MG Road. The room rate was Rs 500 and checkout time was 24 hours. The hotel, though decent, was not very good; there were either bedbugs or mosquitoes which did not allow me a good sleep.

  Hotels in Chikmagalur are inexpensive but the number of hotels is less. So it is always prudent to make prior booking. The next day morning was kept for the Bhadra wildlife safari.

  The wildlife safari in Bhadra is conducted by River Tern Lodge in their jeeps. There is no safari undertaken by the Government. There are two time slots when this safari can be taken; morning(6:30 AM) and evening(4:30 PM). It is a two hour safari starting from 6:30 am and 4:30 pm and they will take you along with other fellow passengers in the jeep into the jungle. No private vehicle is allowed.

  We decided to opt for the morning slot and for that we got up early at 4 AM the following day and started towards Jungle lodge resort in Lakkavalli. A part of the road passes through the mountain jungles. The road is proper and the hilly curves were not very steep; so driving was not very tough.

  It was almost 6:30 am when we reached River Tern Lodge. After booking tickets we boarded their jeep. Ticket prices are really very steep (RS 1250 per person). I just hoped that we could get to see some animals so the high price got justified.

  There were a total of six people in the jeep excluding the driver and a guide in the open roof jeep. The driver first went to the forest department office (on the way) to get permit. After that the jeep crossed the Bhadra river
and went inside the jungle. On the way, we were greeted by a few peahens and shortly thereafter by some colourful fowls.


In front of the forest rangers office, Bhadra.

Entry to the Bhadra Sancturary

Pheasants inside the Sanctuary
  Once we were inside the jungle we saw a spotted deer. Our interest was growing with every inch we were getting inside the jungle. Our guide spotted a few hornbills sitting on the high branches. We saw a few barking deers and on seeing humans, they ran inside the deep forest barking.


Spotted Deer

Female Sambar Deer
  Somewhere I had read that the barking sound from barking deer indicates that tiger is nearby. Since the deers barked while running into the jungle I fancied that a tiger must be near. But alas, there was no tiger. A few more metres inside the forest a fellow traveller spotted a langoor.


Langoor
  There are citronella trees in the jungle and very often we got the sweet smell of citronella while moving in the jeep. Next the driver took us to a lowland where there was also a waterbody. We saw many peacocks, peahens, cranes, few species of kingfishers, drongo, parakeets, bee-eaters, river terns and some more birds whose names I cannot recall. The guide told us that a tiger was spotted here some 15 days back.


Hornbill

Peacock and crane

Peacock and crane

Peacock

Crane

Pied Kingfisher. They were very far so couldn't get a closer shot

The landscape of one part inside the park

Dove

Don't know what's the name of this bird.

Kingfisher

Drongo


Cormorant
Paradise Flycatcher

River tern

Peacock
  We again started moving. This time the guide showed us giant wood spiders all resting in their cobwebs waiting for their prey. Some of the cobwebs were really really big about 6 to 10 metres in width. There were also plenty of gigantic golden silk orb weavers. We were taken to a small resting place inside the jungle where we were allowed to get down from the jeep. The guide spotted a red giant malabar squirrel but it swiftly ran away. So no snaps.


A typical view of the road inside the jungle

The rest house inside the jungle. You get a small halt here.

Giant wood spider

Silk orb weaver spider

Giant wood spider

Giant wood spider
  Now it was almost time to get back.The driver took a much shorter route to get out of the jungle. We did not find any animals while returning. We were happy to spot so many birds and insects but did not spot much animals.The cost we payed for the safari did not met our expectations. We spotted more animals in our Mudumalai trip and the expense was also much lesser.

  Once we were out of the jungle and near the Bhadra river we spotted several drongos and doves from very near. There were some more birds which I don't know by their names. Maybe if you know please help me identify.
Unknown bird

Unknown bird
  Overall the trip was okay but the price for the two hour safari was really high. We saw many birds and insects but our expectation of spotting some more animals were not met.

Bhadra river and dam

River tern lodge

River tern lodge

Wild safari jeep at River tern lodge

19 comments:

  1. So did you find the stay in Badhra, the forest guest house. I am planning to visit the sanctuary this weekend. What would you suggest?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pavan, we did not stay at the forest guest house in Muthodi. The primary reason was that there is no wild safari conducted from that place. However, it is a nice place to spend your time close to nature. You need to book the guest house in advance; this link could be useful http://www.bangaloreorbit.com/wildlife-sanctuaries-in-karnataka/muthodi-wildlife-sanctuary/muthodi-wildlife.html .

      If you are planning to have a wildlife safari then you need to get to River tern lodge, which is around 80 KM from Chikmaglur and around 50 KM from Muthodi itself. Muthodi village is on the other side of Bhadra forest.
      River tern charges around 6000/- per person per day which includes meal and nature walk and the wild safari.
      If you don't stay at River turn, like we didn't, you can avail the safari for 1250/- per person. Provided not much is there to see, the cost is little high. And in winter, the chances of seeing wildlife is even lesser. So please plan accordingly. Safari timing is 6:30 AM to 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM. So please call them before hand and book your seats.

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  2. Hey there, you've written a well explained blog.. Even tough safari was not worth the amount!!..But second photo of deer,i guess is wrongly identified as Barking deer. i'm quiet confident that it is sambar female deer..Bcoz barking deer are relatively smaller in size. Please go through it once again and let me know if i'm right or wrong.. No offensement please.
    Visit me at www.trekfriends.blogspot.com.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Adi, thank you very much for appreciation of the blog and pointing out the mistake in the name. We have corrected it. We visited your blog and its really full of information. Thanks for sharing all the info.

      Delete
  3. Just want to say your агticle is aѕ aѕtounding. Тhe clearnеss on your put up is just great and i can ѕuppose you are a profеssional on this subjeсt. Fine with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep up to date with coming near near post. Τhanks а million and please сarгу on the enjoyablе work.
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    ReplyDelete
  4. I have see one of the most beautiful pictures of wildlife i have seen . It seems that you are a wild life photographer. Its a beautiful log with excellent pics. Keep sharing and writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much Vishal. We're really glad that you like the photographs.

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  5. such a vibrant collection of photographs . . great work ! you must have had a wonderful time being out there :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Maliny. We're glad that you liked the photographs.

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  6. Fantastic photos and narration. Inspiring many who red this blog to make the trip!

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pattu. Its great to know that the narration and the photographs are inspiring to others.

      Delete
  7. We are planning can we get contact phone no. Or addresss to book shigekhan guest house my mail id drsenthilkumarpk@ gmail.com my mobile no08428988779 please someone help us

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will need to contact the DCF in Chikmagalur under whom Muthodi range falls.

      Deputy Conservator of Forests, Bhadra Wildlife Division, Chikmagalur
      Tel.no - (08262) 234904
      Fax - (08262) 230032

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    2. Alternately from Bangalore bookings can be done from Aranya Bhavan and it will be forwarded to the DCF office in Chikmagalur who in turn informs the Range Forest Officer in Muthodi.

      However I think it is better if you can contact the DCF in Chikmagalur and book it from there.

      Hope it helps :)

      Delete
  8. Nice blog...good travel info..super pictures of spider webs.
    j bhandary
    bhandary@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete

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