Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Masinagudi, poorer cousin of Mudumalai

   When we visited Mudumalai some years back, we were quite impressed with the animal sightings. So we decided to visit Mudumalai once more, but then the drastic thing happened.Because of a forest fire a good portion of Mudumalai was burnt and the forest was closed for visitors indefinitely for some time.

So we thought and thought and finally decided going to Masinagudi because of its close proximity to Mudumalai. We booked a single night package at a resort called Secret Ivory. The resort was nothing great but was sort of reasonable as far as the price was concerned. The resort location is good and one can have a nice view of the Nilgiri range from the resort itself. Food  is also sort of okay and the price needs to be paid extra.


Langoor
We booked two jeep safaris, one in the evening and the other the next day early morning.We requested the resort to arrange the safaris for us.The jeep safaris are quite cheap, you can book the full jeep for 2 hours at Rs 1500. If you book the jeep all by yourself and not through any resort or hotel then you can go for some haggling. There are plenty of jeeps just outside the Masinagudi forest area which anyone can book.


So called jungle track of core area

The jeep driver told us that the jeep safari will take us to the core of the jungle. We were impressed but very soon we realized he was bluffing. There were tar roads leading to a functional temple in the core forest. How is that possible ?? We have been to some of the best national parks in the country and nowhere the jungle tracks had tar roads. We roamed till it was dark and did not spot anything except a few spotted deer. Feeling our frustration the driver suddenly told us "You guys are so lucky...see there is a big nilgiri gaur standing under the tree". Since it was all dark we could not see anything, the only thing we saw was a big structure standing still.


Hoopoe

Peacock

The next morning we were ready for our safari at 6 but to our dismay there was no jeep or driver.We wasted almost 45 minutes when finally a jeep was arranged. The track was the same as that of the previous day. Morning safari was better that the last one. We saw some deer, a herd of elephant,peacock and a chamelion. Next the driver took us to the same spot where the previous day driver spotted the stationary nilgiri gaur. We were so much embarred to find that the nilgiri gaur was in fact an ant hill.
 Not able to spot anything is fine, we all understand that animal spotting in the wild is luck but telling lies is so awfully disgusting...


Herd of Elephants

Colorful garden lizard

Mother and Child Monkey


 In my opinion Mudumalai, Bandipur, Nagarhole are far better places to see wild life. The part of Masinagudi where Secret Ivory is located is not a national park at all. The resorts and local jeep drivers try to create a hype in order to get tourists......else how come the so called core area of the forest have motorable tracks, a functional temple where people get down from their jeeps to visit, no forest check post,no limit on the number of jeep safaris and also no government forest safari?

 Anyway I am not going there next time, I have better places to visit. 


Langoor, taken at the resort at night


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