Wild Weekend

Last weekend (17th & 18th) I went on a company sponsored trip to this place called Masinagudi at a distance of around 250 km from Bangalore. The journey in a hired bus started with a bang with TD's aural nemesis, the evergreen "Dhoom Machale" being belted out, with the frayed tape producing distorted voices for added effect. (TD has oft repeated that the tape is standard issue on all tourist vehicles - I find myself completely agreeing with that). Even the beginning of the return journey was marked by the same song, albeit in a visual form.

Masinagudi is located at the foot of the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu. In Masinagudi, we were supposed to stay at the Monarch Safari Lodge which is a part of Mithun Chakraborty's Monarch group of hotels. According to their website - "The jungle teems with many other wild species - gaur, sambhar, gaint(sic) Indian squirrels, mouse deer, wild dogs and much more. The variety of birds flitting in and out of our trees make birdwatchers drool!". As we approached the place we had our first promised encounter with the wild - an elephant herd crossing the road. That was enough to get us excited about what the jungle had in store for us that evening. We reached the lodge by around 3 p.m., late by a couple of hours. After having lunched & refreshed ourselves we set out on the safari in a jeep. We were lucky enough to spot many wild animals like spotted deer, deer with antlers, baby deer and so on. The guide also showed us some birds which were apparently peahen. After having travelled 30 odd kms into the forest, we gave up or rather the guides gave up & we had to turn back.


The next morning we set out on a trek up into the hills. The guide took us along what was supposed to be an elephant trail. On a muddy stretch, he pointed out to us a footprint, which he claimed was that of a leopard. (A single footprint in a very muddy area? - the cynic that I am, I sure have doubts.) But the trail was surely one frequented by elephants - half chewed bamboo stalks, fresh elephant dung and trumpeting, all indicated that we were very close to elephant territory. After having walked for around one & a half hours, we reached one of the higher spots of the hills. From here we had a clear view of the countryside for quite a distance. Though many of us wanted to continue the trek, we had to abandon the idea as the time available was insufficient.

View from the top

Being accustomed to staring at the monitor for the better part of the day, the verdant landscape was a refreshing & rejuvenating treat for our tired eyes. The whole experience of being out in the open, far from the confines of our cubicles, walking through hilly terrain - hopping over brooks, dodging thorny bushes & creepers was a welcome change from the mechanical activities we do at office. Definitely, a weekend to remember.

Tags : Blogger Days, Travel

Posted by Rajat @ 12:07 AM   |  Comments