Nestled in the foothills of the Nilgiri hills in Southern India, Bandipur is known for its long tryst with the tigers and is one of India’s thirty Tiger reserves; created to save the Indian National Animal, the tiger from extinction; and preserve its habitat. It is also a refuge for the endangered Asiatic Elephant.
At one time, this hunting ground of the local maharaja, Bandipur is an undisturbed wild terrain where herds of Elephants roam around freely, and quite often you will confront the deer staring brazenly at you.
The Bandipur Safari Lodge gives you an opportunity to be close to nature in its raw form and is an ecological haven for a nature lover.
Starting from Bangalore early morning, it took about 5 hours as we reached the Bandipur Safari Lodge at around noon. It was beautiful as I had imagined, and located right in the middle of jungle.
We were welcomed by reception staff who also gave us the room keys and were very helpful. They also told us about the timings by which we should be back in our rooms because, being a jungle area there were restrictions about venturing out after dark. We decided to get some rest after lunch and then be out to see the area around thereafter in the mid afternoon.
The lunch which was a mix of mostly Indian food and the service was excellent. The dishes were well prepared though the non Indians may find the food a bit spicy.
We were shown around the property which was a mix of standalone cottages as well as suites which were well equipped and it all modern facilities. At the same time, their get up was in tune with the natural surroundings and everything was tastefully done.
All the cottages were named after some or the other animal that was found in the forest. However, in keeping with the need of the environment, the rooms did not have air-conditioners and were cool enough when the windows were opened. We were told to look out for the monkeys who were in a habit of reaching out through the window grills to pick up things which were nearby inside the room.
The layout of the resort was very good and it had brick pathways all around so that the guests do not accidentally step on some snakes in the dark. There were also many hammocks all over, so that the guests could lie down and rest outdoors if they wanted.
In the evening we were taken out in open jeeps through the Jungle trails to see if we could spot any wild animals and take pictures. We were all eager to see if we could spot some tigers or elephants but except for a wild elephant herd quite far away, we could not see much. Maybe it was too hot for the animals to come out at that time.
The guide was good and seemed to know the way around and tried his best to spot something to show us. As the guests of the Bandipur Safari lodge we were entitled to go one more safari early in the morning before daybreak.
I think the morning Safari was better it because it was quite cool and we could spot some of the deer as well as monkeys and many different type of birds; although the tiger still eluded us.
The Bandipur Safari lodge was a great experience as it gives a peep into the nature in its prime environment without any disturbances.