Sunday, August 23, 2009

Nagarahole - Just an visit...

Nagarahole April 25-26 2009
Friday evening and a desperate weekend, we tried few homestays at Kutta and finally booked at "Green Retreat" or "The Manu Estate" on a short notice and with no plans what so ever in mind!
Guru and Nag were missing this time and only Me and Raja visiting. Started off very early in the day towards Hunsur with the weather being pleasant and cool.
Way past Hunsur entered the Nagarahole national park at around 10:30 am driving slowly with no intentions of hurrying across enjoying the calm cool breeze and peaceful surroundings with no disturbances. Reached the homestay @ Kutta another 90 minutes later to be greeted by the hosts and their 2 lovely dogs. We opted for a short walk in their estate as soon as we checked in and came back finally walking some few kilometres. Mid-day and hungry stomachs and we were served to some delightful malnad cuisine that we gobbled up in no time.

Evening safari at Nagarahole park yielded nothing special with the elephants, deer, barking deer, bison, sambar showing their presence and no predators whatsoever. Then we decided to drive along the Karmaadu road to try our luck. Driving from Kutta, a few kilometres after the forest office a road turns to the left that leads to the Karmaadu village, and its supposed to be a good place where sightings usually occur. We drove along till the fringes of the village and turned back, a lone Malabar squirrel was our luck for the day. As it was getting late and the forest gates both at Kutta and Veerahosahalli are closed between 6am and 6pm, we drove back encountering the spotted deer at many places trying to cross the roads.

Manu came to us and another couple who were lodged in the adjacent room and informed us that he would be taking us to a temple nearby where the annual fest is going on. It's a traditional Coorgi temple jaatre (fair) where a person decked up as a god does the traditional dance around the deity complex and this goes on till midnight continuously. The loud drums, scores of people and the heavily decked up person dancing to the tunes as made it look mysterious as well as entertaining! The snaps turned out dark as it was late in the night and with no source of light from anywhere.

We came back to the estate for another round of heavy, delicious dinner and after dinner we went on a night drive on the main road in to the Wayanad forests. Retired for the day after the night drive and after an eventful day where we got to see some ethnic traditional Coorgi fest.

Next day morning we opted for the Tholpetty safari ride instead of Nagarahole and as expected luck didn't favour us. All along a herd of bisons was our only saving grace and few birds fluttering around. Came back to the estate and after a heavy breakfast, we checked out of the estate and back on our way home. Again as we had to pass through Nagarahole park again, we took another chance and drove along the Karmaadu road.... nevertheless.... A Crested Serpent Eagle and a Malabar Squirrel was all that we could see along...

Finally drove back to Bengaluru with mixed feelings. The stay was good but wildlife / birdlife acitivity was average.... Its all in the game... You dont expect to see everything everytime and these kind of dry runs happen regularly... Except for Wild dogs, Nagarahole has been an average place for me in terms of predator sightings and I hope things will change sooner than later!

Homestay: The Green Retreat (Manu Estate)

Manu and Muthu

No: 08274 244254, 244854

Mobile: 9449982854

Website: http://greenretreatcoorg.com/index.htm

Advised for those looking at a homely place and delightful food, graceful hosts and pleasant environment.

Care for the nature and the nature cares for you!

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