Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Ooty-Mysore Highway

Day2. Third Stop.

After committing the eighth deadly sin of reporting late to the mini-bus and getting nasty stares and cold treatment from our co-passengers we started towards our next destination viz boating in the Pykara Lake. After reaching the late the driver announced that boating in the lake is a pleasure but standing in the queue might be a pain. One would have to wait for at least 2-3 hours before getting your hands on a boat. According to the driver this is a wastage of precious time, because if you do not report at the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary early enough, then you would loose the chance for a safari ride. And most instantly 22 pairs of eyes glared at us reminding us of the half hour wasted by us. The life imprisonment sentence suddenly upgraded to death penalty. The bus for the second time( the first being our sentencing) unanimously opted for Mudumalai instead of boating. We also uttered our meek approval ( which nobody really cared) not because we wanted to win back the gallery, but we just thought that a Wildlife Safari will be the lesser of the two evils. Morover I had never been on a Safari, except the one in Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad.

So it was Destination Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary. The milestones told me that Mudumalai was a good 55-odd kms from there. And the slower-than-a-TVS-Scooty Swaraj Mazda was not helping us get there any faster. The long and painful ride finally came to an end after about 2 hours. As we found out we were just in time to book a safari at the very last ride of the day. That also meant we had to spend the next two and half hours waiting for our ride with monkeys to keep company. I wonder why these wild creatures are not inside the perimeter of the Sanctuary! On second thoughts, they were actually not that bad. Quite well-behaved and not really bossy and more importantly definitely not

So after 3 long hours of waiting we were finally in the Sanctuary's Swaraj Mazda all geared up to see the Tiger. By the end of the tour we had successfully spotted about 200 Deers, One Buck (not sure, after all they don't walk around with name boards, do they?), One Langur, 4 Elephants, Two Bisons and that's it. No tigers and definitely no animals that's remotely "Wild". That also brings the curtains on Day2 in Ooty.
The only positive about this Safari was that we were spared of any further prosecutions from our co-passengers. At least we will not be held responsible for not denying 22 human beings the chance to see their wild cousins. That night I slept peacefully!!!

Must-Do: Do you really have to do anything here?
Must-Don't: Aggravate the monkeys.

My Rating: 3/10


  1. Hi Dude,
    Not being rude
    Just curious
    The monkeys were inside the sanctuary limits. You were on a highway running through core elephant habitat and the monkeys were wondering what you were doing inside the forest.

    200 chitals is actually a less number. it is this abundance of food that ensures the "wild animals" still are thriving in Mudumalai / Bandipur

    The buck without the name board must have been a sambhar deer which sure doesnt like the idlis thrown at it with the plastic packet

    What are wild animals? can you please explain?
    Just few weeks back a french tourist died because she thought elephants are not wild animals.

    You were lucky to be on the last safari trip. Usually the sighting is better.

    Did you look out for nilgiri langurs near TR Bazar? Did you get to see the various birds, beetles, butterflies that are endemic to Mudumalai?

    you can see some of my bandipur mudumalai wildlife / bird pictures at
    Best regards

  2. Hi Shriya/Bala,
    Thanks for your comments. The remark on the monkeys was meant to be light-hearted. I always hear from people about monkeys snatching food and also literally "searching" you, which I find hard to digest. In fact where ever I travel, I see a lot of monkeys. And all the bullying happens they other way round. People throw all kinds of eatables and other unedible nonsense at them in turn aggravating them. Which is also why Ive asked the readers to not aggravate the monkeys. Also, they can find their own food. They dont have to depend on humans beings for their survival.

    Coming to the rest of the animals, thanks for your insight. It was a shame that there was no guide in the safari-ride to tell us what those animals where. And since Im no wildlife expert, couldnt furnish their exact names.

    And yes, Im with you on the plastic thingy, which is why you'll find in ALL my travel blogs, discouraging people from literring. I hate to see so much trash thrown around. Thankfully I did not find much trash inside the sanctuary.

    Thanks for the link. You might now turn me into a Wildlife enthusiast now :)


  3. Hey Kishan - Was quite interesting to see a touristy response to a jungle ride. Sadly, it's our forest depts. & also amateur naturalists & photographers who are to blame for this sorry state of affairs where non-enthusiasts are not able to appreciate even the beauty of the jungle & its varied inhabitants. It'd be good, for sure, if you could become an enthusiast :-)

  4. Hi Pal,
    Shriya has already stolen the words from my mouth but I'll still mouth it.
    Actually the monkey's must have thought "What were these pesky creatures doing within our Sanctuary?". As you drove into the Park you probably missed the board at the entrance arch warning you that you are entering a wildlife zone, and all those boards mentioning wildlife crossing, no picnics, no stopping etc,etc.

    Of course, I agree with you that there are no wild animals within a sanctuary. We are the wild animals. We litter, scream, shout, throw things and generally make a nuisance of ourselves. The animals behave in the way they are made to behave which is generally munching some succulent green leaf or grass.

    As for tigers and leopards, you should understand there is no tiger show in a wildlife safari. The carnivores are generally nocturnal especially the leopard, and in all probability they are too fed up of noisy tourists driving all over their territory. And generally the safari trips are done in a fixed time in the morning & evening so all the animals are already wise to avoid wandering about the tourism zone during that period.

    If you really wanted to do some serious wildlife viewing you could get accommodation in a place like the Jungle Lodges & Resorts at the neighbouring Bandipur. They organize safaris in their own vehicles with a naturalist. You get a better insight about our beautiful jungles that way that travelling with a bus load of insensitive tourists.


  5. Hiresavi,
    The sorry state of affairs of the tourism department is commonplace in India. Some portion of the entry fee that we paid, apparently went towards "Guide Charges". But except for the driver (who only stopped when he spotted some animals) and an operator who opened the gates of the jungle, there was nobody else.

    Lets hope things change for the better, so that everyone of us can experience and appreciate these wild cousins of ours.


  6. Hi Rajesh,
    You are right about the monkeys ;-)
    We dont even leave them at peace even in their own backyard.
    And yes, I did see all the signboards while entering the Jungle, and yet I saw a few cars parked by the side of the road to take pictures. I wonder why the Government dont have more checkposts to stop this menace?

    Yes, I have stumbled upon Jungle Lodges during my Travel R&D. Its been on my travel iteranry for about 6 months now. Its high time I undertake that trip. Now you have given me enough motivation to go for it. :-)

    Thanks for your comments and insight though.


  7. Nice blog.Thanks for your guidance.One of the most enchanting, beautiful and awe-inspiring of India's wilderness destinations, Masinagudi Wildlife and National park is the perfect place to witness the sheer natural beauty.