Tag Archives: Spotted Deer

Kutta – Nagarhole – Bangalore

Day 6 – The Last DayChompingStag

The penultimate day of our Wayanad holiday began early – we decided to visit Nagarhole National Park. We started early but got distracted as we spotted quite a few spotted deer on the way.  Usually, they are frightened and shy away frm ppl.  So it was indeed a beeg surprise to see them focussed only on eating – they were chomping away on the grass and cared two hoots for us.  StagThis was a double yeah!! for us as it enabled us to shoot pics of them.  Occassionally,  a stag would look up and move the deer out of our focus area. We would then move away, only to find another bunch, a few metres ahead.  We kept trying to better our shots. The Arien with the borrowed  SLR, and me with our regular camera were soon so engrossed  that we had totally forgotten ’bout the Nagarhole safari that we were supposed to go to. Finally, after a few more snaps, the Arien tore himself away so we cud go for the safari.

When we reached, we were told that the bus had jes left and the next one was not until 8 or 8:30. We were willing to wait and so we whiled away the time, walking to and fro, chatting with the officials, shooting snaps, and getting bored! When the bus came back, we heard it before we saw it – as it was a very noisy mini-bus. The Arien decided not to go on the safari. In his words “The rickety bus will make so much noise tht no animal will be seen anywhere nearby. Forget it.” Meanwhile, we found out that the mini-bus would do a second-round only if there were at least 10 ppl in the bus – we were 6 – us and a family of 4 of which two were really small kids. We totally lost interest and decided to head back to Ramcad. BridgenearIrrupuFallsOver breakfast, which was stone idli and crunchy avalakki – we discussed our plan for the day.

The Arien insisted on seeing Irrupu Falls which was 1 km away. Now, I had been to Irruppu falls a while ago but cud only remember tht there was a steel bridge of green colour (I think) b’cos we had all stood over it and taken snaps.  Anyway, we freshened up and drove to Irrupu Falls. When we reached there – I could not recall the temple that was the entrance to the falls – I was sure tht it was built much later. After a looong walk, I finally saw the bridge – it was blue in colour 😀 I insisted on taking a snap – I still recall how we all had posed for the earlier one – this was frm a different angle and looked neat. The trick was to take the snap when no one was arnd – tht was tough – ppl were constantly walking to and fro.

Irrupu FallsAnyways, we kept walking on.  The place had changed quite a bit. For instance, I could not see the place where all of us had sat and posed for one of those group snaps. Anyway, the falls by itself was not too impressive after having seen Sentinel or Soochipura falls.  Of course, we had gone in May and so naturally, there was hardly any water. Still, there was enough for a lot of men with huge paunches, clad only in chaddis to have fun. The sight was honestly quite embarrassing.  We managed to take this snap frm a lower location so you do not have to experience that bit of torture. The lower location was more like a half-way break for the old and the weary to rest their feet before climbing up. After Edakkal, Soochipura, we found it easier to climb past the half-way location.  butterfly

On our way up – we read stuff ’bout Irrupu Falls being famous for the number of butterflies tht flock there. I was not even aware of that until we saw two guys shooting pics of butterflies. Immediately, the Arien took off as well, it was really trying – trying to keep up with the Arien who was trying to shoot the butterflies. I almost gave up hope when suddenly one of them stayed pretty close to us, allowing us to shoot it.  It took the Arien a few zillion shots before he got this shot. After a while, he got an amazing close-up shot. Looks like the butterfly wanted us to wait before it gave us its best shot 😀 We left Irrupu Falls soon after, the Arien was not too keen on playing in the water with the paunchy men and so we went back to Ramcad. As we drove to the resort, the Arien decided tht it wud b good if we ended the holiday immediately instead of staying for one more day as was our original plan. We went back to the cottage and started packing, and getting ready. We informed the guy who served us lunch ’bout our plan and told him to keep the bill ready. He took it pretty badly and walked off in bad grace. When the bill arrived, we had another shock – he had charged double for non-veg. We have always had this experience with Coorg.  Grrr….  expresses how I feel ’bout homestays at Coorg.

LoneTuskerOn our way back, we drove via Nagarhole and all of a sudden the Arien braked. The TATA Safari in front of us was reversing – in a few moments – it wud hit us if we didn’t move bk. The woman inside was signalling tht a lone tusker was right arnd the corner and it is best tht we retreat. All of us moved back very Eagletense. After a while, we were not sure if the tusker had left. The Arien of course, had to get out of the car and walk up with the camera. He had taken 3 shots of the tusker alongwith a few other foolhardy folks when the tusker moved towards them. Soon, everyone was running towards their vehicle and then after a really looong hour, we could finally go on.  Our drive for the next half hour was uneventful when we suddenly saw a jeep parked off the road and a guide pointing to something (probably a bird) and we spent a loong time staring at the tree when we suddenly saw it. It was an eagle that had blended so well with the surroundings that you hardly notice it. The guide was def an old hand at this. I am attaching a snap that would show you how difficult it was to spot the eagle.  The rest of the drive was uneventful. We reached Bangalore – completely exhausted, tanned, and happy. It was a great holiday 😀


Mudumalai – Day2 Continued..

Did not realize how tired we were after the nature trek… we awoke at 6 pm!!!! The Arien was angry because we were late. I managed to convince him that we were not late and we set off almost immediately. We reached Masinagudi and the Arien insisted on stopping for chai and so we stopped at a local chai shop on the road – tea was bearable – coffee was good and so we were feeling a lot better.

We moved from Mudumalai to Bandipur – no sight of any animal and then we braked hard. All vehicles in front of us were standing still – we were actually able to make out a cute herd of elephants (5 in number with 2 kids) – it was pretty dark and so it is pretty tough to take shots of the herd. I tried – but the snaps came out so bad that it was a wasted effort. We also saw the amazingly easy to spot: the spotted deer !!  I did not want to take snaps and then when we saw too many of them happily sitting, I decided to take a few snaps – they also came out pretty bad – with red eye 😦 Not a photo shoot day for me.. Waaanh :(!!!

While we were returning via Bandipur Checkpost we are given a shocking piece of information “The route to Masinagudi was closed post 8 pm” and it was already 8 pm. It would take us 3 hours if we chose the other route – I was worried! We decided to proceed and see if they would let us pass through. At Mudumalai checkpost, we were given leaflets ’bout driving at 40kmph. While we stared clueless, they told us that majority ppl drive recklessly and usually hit animals attempting to cross the road. If you travel at 40kmph, you can brake when you see a herd trying to cross the road. We nodded. We were asked where we were headed and the moment we mentioned “Masinagudi” – we were given the same information. I was now totally worried. Finally, we reached another checkpost, the guy peered at us and as he let us pass – he told the other guy “Family – Bitbidona” meaning they are a family and so we can allow them. I was looking at the Arien and burst out laughing when he said “Thanks to your presence – we are allowed to go into Masinagudi”.

We finally reached the resort, occupied the best place, asked for a stove to keep us warm, played to Scrabble (yupp – we actually did tht!!), and had a late dinner. By then the Arien was bugged with the lazy holiday we were having – he had already spoken to a few folks regarding travelling to Ooty which we thought was a 3 hr journey. We found out it was a 1 hr journey via the scary 36 hair-pin bends. Soon we were planning our trip to Ooty. End of Day 2!!

Mudumalai: Day 2 and the Nature Trek

Day 2

This year I was determined to be the change that I always wanted. Getting up early is pretty tough for me – I usually like to stay in bed until 8:30 smtms even 10 a.m. This year I was determined to change that. trekbeginning The moment the Alarm went off – I woke up and we were both ready by 7:00 – we had earlier decided against having a bath because that may delay us and we did not want to be late. We reached the cottage where dinner had been served and then started our looong wait. Two gals came by – tried coffee and then tea – were thoroughly unimpressed as we were – n went back – we waited – forever it seemed – and totally lost our patience. The Trek guide arrived at 7:30 but we waited arnd for the huge group to arrive and they did – slowly – in ones and twos.  It was the arbid grp we had seen last nite at the bonfire – they were actually a bunch of married couples and a few single folks.  There was another family, 3 members – a father, mother, and a young son. We finally started out at 8 – I was completely cheesed off and so was the arien who was pretty quick in showing his irritation on the trek guide. While we waited near the trail – the father had disappeared and so we spent sm time observing the scenery.  The trek guide was eager to settle things with us as we were the only tamilians and asked us to chk out a tree with amazing fire-like flowers – while we all stared open-mouthed – the arien shot his first pic of the day 😀

Anyways we were off.  It was a steep incline and I was out of breath in 15 mts 😦 The only casualty was the mother who asked the guide if it was going to continue to be steep – the guide replied that this was only the initial incline and we had a lot more to go – she dropped out. We went on ahead at a steady pace – I did not plan on quitting and so I walked at as brisk a pace as possible in an incline.  We saw the spotted deer on our trek but could not take any snaps as we were arnd 18 ppl and the noise made by the 18  supposedly-tiptoeing ppl is actually louder than a twig breaking and so the deer disappeared frm view 😦

nilgirimountainsWe walked n walked n walked – we came across a waterfall, elephant dung, deer dung, amazingly picturesque locations, and almost came face-to-face with a lone tusker but that happened much later. As we climbed, I sometimes wished the trek would end – I was tired out and then we would see the dung and I would foolishly believe we may come across either more deer or the elusive elephant.

We continued walking…  and then we reached a plateau which was specifically meant for a photo-op and so we used it. You can actually see the Nilgiri mountain at a great distance with the shadow of the other range on it – it looked simply lovely 🙂 I thot we had reached the end of the trek. Well, the trek guide told me we were not done yet. The beeg grp of 14 was happily involved in various photo ops till I was ready to scream. The kid was bugged and actually said wht we 4 were thinking “Not one more snap! Come on!!” The ice was broken between us and the father started on a loong story of a bee biting him and the Arien was the sole listener – the kid had obviously heard the story before and I was trying hard not to glare.

The group of 14 finally stirred and we were off – some more climbing and soon I was weary and before we knew it wemachan were going downhill. My salwar was completely covered in brambles and those teeny circles of thorns that hurt awfully – I was tired of having to pull them out of my salwar so we could move on when suddenly the trek guide went on ahead. He told us to wait and all of us were frankly too tired by then – it was nearing 10:15. He came back running and looked panic stricken. We could also hear a noise that sounded like a huge animal was moving towards us – the trek guide advised to start running the moment he shouted. The sound stopped jes behind a huge clump of bushes and shrubs. None of us were fit enough to run at tht time and so we all stared at each other and laughed. The animal was a lone tusker that was well-hidden but pretty close to where we were and could turn violent. We waited a while hoping 2 catch sight of it – no chance.

We continued walking and saw the electric fence – we were advised not to touch it and then suddenly we saw a machhan. It obviously did not belong to our resort – there was a lot of private property deep in the jungles which was pretty surprising. We happily took pictures of the machan 😀 We are actually standing pretty close to the electric fence that we were not supposed to touch.

We reached the resort at 11 and walked straight into the breakfast area – I was famished. An amazing spread was laid out consisting of Idli, Pongal, Vada, Egg burji, toast, sausage, chicken, and I cannot really remember what else. I think we all hogged quite a bit – pongal was re-filled, toast was made again – I think everyone was famished and so we gorged on the food 😀 By the time we decided tht we had had enough – it was almost 12:30 😦 I was not too sure if we could have lunch at all.

tortoiseWe finally had lunch at 2:45 – it was awful 😦 I really wished we hadn’t come for lunch – the veg biriyani was so spicy – I managed two spoonsfull and decided tht was all I cud handle after five glasses of water 🙂 Most ppl lowe curd rice which was the alternative and I cannot the stand the sight of it n so I decided to have the sweet which was Gulab Jamoon. The chicken biriyani was supposedly ok.  As we walked back to our cottage, I came across this tortoise sunning itself – it was still for so loong tht the Arien believed tht it was probably a small statue placed for our amusement. And then it blinked, the arien missed that and so did not believe me and then it moved its feet and he finally did. He took the snap before the tortoise decided to disappear into the water. We also spotted the friendly fish – bright orange in colour in the water. The Arien was not too interested in taking snaps of the cute fish and so we went back to the cottage. I was looking forward to a siesta 🙂

We opted for our very own safari in the evening. We decided against opting for a safari from the resort and decided to drive down to Bandipur and back. I was hopeful of catching sight of a lot more animals. Fingers crossed!! 🙂 Zzzzzz 🙂