Monday, January 25, 2010

Bandipur-Masinagudi - Road Trip

Chennai – Bandipur – Masinagudi – Ooty - Chennai

Total Distance: 1200km

No. of Days: 3 days


  1. Rajith
  2. Dev D
  3. Sridhar
  4. Sripathi & Rashmi.

The Plan:

We’ve wanted to go for an adventure trip for a very long time. The Pondys, the Bangalores became very mundane and we wanted to do something different. After much discussion we decided to go to Bandipur. The next questions were how and were to stay. The “how” was easily solved…. Road trip. The stay was a very big confusion. We had to make a choice between staying in Bandipur or Masinagudi. Finally we decided to go for Zest Casa Deepwoods Resort, Masinagudi. We got a decent deal of 16000/- for 5 people including breakfast for 2 nights.

The Route:

There were three options:-

  1. Chennai – Villupuram – Bhavani – Chithode – Gobi – Mettupalayam – Kothagiri – Ooty - Masinagudi
  2. Chennai – Vellore – Krishnagiri – Bhavani – Chithode – Gobi – Mettupalayam – Kothagiri – Ooty - Masinagudi
  3. Chennai – Vellore – Krishnagiri – Hosur – Chamarajnagar – Gundulpet - Bandipur – Masinagudi

After much discussion and debate we decided to go with the third option.

The Preparation:

The main task was to get the car checked. So I changed the engine oil with Castrol GTX Magnatec and checked all other necessary things. Others were in-charge with picking up supplies for the trip such as snacks, water and other refreshments. We were bunch of amateur photographers and we wanted to test our skills. Sridhar was carrying a Nikon D3000, Sripathi a Canon and me an Olympus.


Now that all things were planned and chartered out, the only thing left to do was to follow them. We decided to start really early, at least by 2am. I got up by 1.30am and buzzed all of them. All the others lived pretty close to each other so I decided to pick Sridhar, Dev and Pathi & Rashmi. Finally we started at 3am. In no time we hit the Bangalore highway and were going at full tilt. We had two tea breaks and we reached Hosur by 6.15am for breakfast. We averaged more than 90kmph thanks to the beautiful roads. We started again at 7.30am and we had to travel on local roads till we hit NH209.

The roads were predominantly bad and good at patches. I handed over the wheel to Sripathi and the deal was that I will take over at NH209. After about what looked like an eternity in the bad roads we entered NH209. The roads were decent to begin with but it was wavy. After a while the roads started disappearing. This was by far the worst roads I have ever travelled. We thought the Tanks and Hummers could do their testing here. But to our surprise Pathi and Rashmi managed to sleep through all the bad roads. Only God knows how they did it. The only think that’s good about Karnataka is that you get good liquor. We stopped at Chamarajnagar and picked up few beers. The beers so damn refreshing and I felt like I got the second wind. We somehow huffed and puffed to Gundulpet on the bad roads.

The forests roads were very decent except they have unmarked speed breakers.

We reached Bandipur by 2.00pm. We inquired about the Jungle Safari at forest office, Cicada Resort and at Tusker Trails. Finally we met a guy JP (Jai Prakash) who arranges these things. We got his number and decided to go for it the next day evening. We finally reached Zest Casa Deepwoods, Masinagudi at 3pm. We were welcomed ever so nicely with a drink and cold wet towels for our faces. We checked our cottage and boy we were excited. The resort has everything we needed. We finally had a sumptuous lunch and decided to rest our asses. But he rest didn’t last long. We got into playing Table Tennis and Volleyball. We played till about 5.00pm and then headed back to the cottage to clean ourselves up.

By this time we confirmed our Safari with JP for 3500/- the next day evening. By 7.00pm we went to Masinagudi hamlet top get dinner and snacks. We found a decent hotel called Malabar Hotel opposite to Indian Bank. We got back to the cottage by 9pm and opened our special supplies which Sridhar carried from US. We had a nice time chatting and crashed by 11pm.

Day 2:

We woke up at 5.00am after a peaceful but a short sleep. We wanted to go for the morning van ride into the forest. We reached Bandipur forest office by 6.15am. The van ride costs about Rs.95/- per head. They take you through the forest roads but wont got very deep. The weather was very pleasant and the fresh green smell in the forest was amazing. It was damn clean. The ride lasted about 45 minutes and we saw Samba Deer, heard of Spotted Deer, Grey Langurs etc. We got back to the resort by 8.00am and had our breakfast. Everyone was damn tired because of the lack of sleep. We slept peacefully till noon and we had to get ready for the Jeep Safari by 4.00pm. We got ready and had a sumptuous vegetarian lunch from Hotel Malabar.

We met Vini, the Safari guide/driver and started the ride by 4.30pm. We went deep into the forest and we were surprised to see a temple bang in the middle of the forest. We saw some fresh pug marks of a Leopard. We drove past many watering holes and we could not find what we came for. The Tiger. Little did we know during solar eclipse wild animals would hardly venture out. Nevertheless we saw a big Black Bear, a lone Tusker and the other usual suspects. The ride lasted for about 2hours and it was fun. We got back to the resort by 8pm. A bonfire was arranged by the resort and we had some good time singing and dancing with DJ Som. We got back to room by 10.00pm and started our own party till midnight.

Day 3:

We decided to start by 9.00am after breakfast and have a stop over at Ooty for lunch. We started by 9.30 and reached Ooty by 11.00am. The climb was very steep with 36 hair-pin bends. We did a small shopping there for chocolates and spices and had lunch in a North Indian restaurant. By the time we finished our lunch and started from Ooty, it was 1.00pm and we were more than an hour behind schedule. I knew I had to make time and put the pedal to the metal. We literally screeched and smoked our way down the hill.

The tires and brakes became so hot it started smoking. We had to halt for 10 mins and pour some water on it to cool it down. We took SH15 from Mettupalayam to Chithode and the rode was silky smooth. Sripathi took care of this section. At Chithode we joined NH47 which took as till Salem and the roads were just superb. Then the nightmare began. Salem to Ulundurpet was horrible. Bumpy roads, head light glare etc and somehow managed to reach Ulundurpet for a well deserved dinner break. After dinner we rejoined NH45. It was already 9.30pm and we were 270km from home. This in it self gave the necessary boost. Again full tilt through the excellent 4 laned road, while the others enjoyed their nap Sridhar was navigating. Kilometers flew by and before we knew it we reached Sripathi’s home by 12.30am. 270km in 3 hrs… That was a very decent average. Dropped the rest of the gang and I reached home.


  1. Hi Dear,
    I and my husband loved the stay at Bandipur resort for 7 days and we would love to go there again. Hence I would recommend the resort to everyone. If you have any specific about The best one you can check this like Bandipur resort

  2. hie every one.this was so recent that i went to bandipur resorts with my friends n cheers to say that we did have a great fun there.hope with u the same.go n have a wonderful experince.also check this out friends B R Hills

  3. heloo,thanks to the suggestion to go to bandipur resorts.i went to bandipur resorts n its amazing there.i too had a very good time now i suggest for u all to also check B R Hills

  4. Hi very good Blog.Information of bandipur resort is very useful for every tourist.
    Thanks for sharing such a significant information. - See more at:Bandipur Resort


  5. hi……nice concept blog and pictures.Thank you for sharing such a beautiful and important
    information of Mudumalai.Its summer and a great time for picnic.I would recommend the
    madumalai to everyone.If you have any specific information about madumalai you can check Masinagudi Homestay


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