Bangalore to Ooty Via Bandipur & Mudhumalai

Trip Start Mar 23, 2012
Trip End Mar 25, 2012

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What I did
Bandipur National Park
Mudhumalai National Park
Pykara Lake
Sim's Park

Flag of India  , Karnataka,
Friday, March 23, 2012

March 23rd long weekend, all set for a 3 day road trip to Ooty. Booked TCS Guesthouse in Coonoor a month in advance. Tried to book the world heritage Nilgiris Mountain train a week back for Coonoor to Ooty ride, but couldn't get tickets. Knew from travel blogs that one can get amazing view of the valleys and lush green vegetation of Ooty during the ride. Looked through online resources for Bangalore to Ooty travel and picked up few tourist maps and made few posts in travel forums regarding the road conditions and wildlife sightings on the jungle roads. Made my mind to go to Ooty via Gudalur route and return via Masinagudi.

Started from Whitefield, Bangalore by 8 AM in the morning. Took the Bangalore - Mysore road and stopped near Channapatna for Breakfast in Vyshali Restaurant. Had a decent breakfast and pushed towards Mysore in 100 km/hr. Had a little mess-up with the Ooty road from Mysore ring road, but managed to correct it with just 1km extra drive. Somehow I feel there is a need for few more green boards indicating the directions to Bandipur/Ooty.

After crossing Mysore, its an undivided highway all the way till Ooty. Gundlupet is where there is a diversion for Sulthan Bathery(Wayanad route) and the straight road leads to Bandipur and Ooty(TamilNadu). We were in constant lookout for wildlife while crossing the Bandipur reserve, but only saw few spotted deers and Macaques. The roads inside Bandipur range had many speed breakers with no signs or visible marks on the roads indicating the hump, and worsens as you reach the TamilNadu border. Bandipur reserve ends in Karnataka-TamilNadu border and the other side of the jungle in TamilNadu is under Mudhumalai National Park area.




 A forest guard was collecting "a small gift" (in cash), that's what he said at the Mudhumalai entry check-post. Just made a km into Mudhumalai, we saw a group of Langurs and few wild elephants. No luck after that, didn't spot any Wildebeest or the big cats. Crossed Mudhumalai and drove towards Guladur. The Gudalur route is 40 kms more than the Masinagudi route, and has less steeper roads and the climb is eazy with very few hairpin bends. There was slow moving traffic in Gudalur town for a while but eventually cleared up moving towards Ooty. On the way to Ooty via Gudalur there are view points like Frog Hill, where you can take some snaps. Just few kms before Ooty is the Pykara Lake. We pulled over at the Pykara boat house(north) which is a km away from the main road. Pykara Lake has nice green waters; the local administration offers boat ride in the lake. We didn't want to try boating, so took few snaps and rushed back. 

 Reached Ooty, I was a little tired of the long drive and my wife got altitude sickness during the uphill drive, So planned to head towards the guesthouse in Cooner. Reached the guesthouse by 5 PM and checked in. The guesthouse is in a cantonment area with lot of military establishments around. It had a nice garden around the property and is located near the Coonoor club & Sim's Park. Sims Park is just 2 mins walk from the guest house but it closes by 6.30 PM, so had to rush before that. Parked the car in the guesthouse and went for a late evening walk in the Sim's Park. The park has a standard entry fees of 20 for adults and 30 for camera. Not at all crowded on that Friday evening, there were few tourists and a school tour group in action. The park is fairly big with attractive flowery plants, play area for kids and a small stream with freshwater fishes. After an hour of walk and few snaps in the park, we desperately wanted to have some snacks. Had tea, bhajjis and corn from the petty shops outside the park which calmed our hunger temporarily. Knew from the shopkeeper that there are good restaurants in Bedford circle, 2 kms from the park. Had 2 sets of take-away meal from a restaurant in Bedford, made few purchases and made our way back to the guesthouse. Had food watching TV, planned for sightseeing in the next day and rested in 15 degree Celsius chillness..
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