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By Sridhar Tandra
Hyderabad to Coorg / Kodagu Exploration Drive - Pre-Monsoon drive meet up - July 07/10, 2018
Start point - Gachibowli (ORR)
End point - Coorg
Start time - 5:00 am
Total Distance - ~800 kilometers (one way)
Objective - Drive to thank the monsoon showers and explore self while being in raw nature away from Luxuries
1) Tata Tiago (Expresso Brown)
2) Volkswagen Polo (Red)
3) Maruthi Suzuki Baleno
4) Hyundai Creta (Star Dust)
5) Hyundai Creta (White)
6) Renault Duster (White)
Hyderabad (Gachibowli ORR Entry Point) ---Bangalore --- Mysore --- Coorg
1) Tribal Style Stay in Coorg
2) Irrupu waterfalls
3) Mandalpatti Peak
Day 1 (July 07th, 2018):
We start off from the meet up point (Gachibowli ORR Entry Point) towards Mysore
Stop by for breakfast at Food Pyramid, Kothakota
We stop by for lunch just before entering Bangalore at Amaravathi Gardenia, Devanahalli
We reach Mysore to break down for the day
Day 2 (July 08th, 2018):
We start off from our Mysore accommodation towards our Resort in Coorg
Have breakfast en-route and reach Evergreen County Resort, Virajpet, Coorg
We will check in into our resort, explore the resort and places around, Camp Fire & Dinner and break down for the day
Day 3 (July 09th, 2018):
Coorg exploration drive, check out Irupu Waterfalls
Drive back to Mysore by End of the Day and break down for the day
Day 4 (July 10th, 2018):
We start early to escape the Mysore - Bangalore traffic and proceed towards Hyderabad
Things to carry:
1) Carry umbrella and rain coat (Must)
2) Toiletries, Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Mosquito repellent cream and Glucose / Electrol (personal medical kit)
3) Camera kits and Telescopes if any star gazing enthusiasts or night photography enthusiasts
4) Most importantly loads of energy and positive attitude
I will let pictures speak more than words from here on, watch and enjoy!
Evergreen County Team welcoming India - Drive Team:
Exploring the Resort, It is a treat to eyes and nestled in to Nature!
We have planned to explore Irupu falls after exploring the resort, we understood from the locals that there is a huge Tea Estate on our route to Irupu Falls, Couple of cars went ahead to check it out (Polo & Tiago) and we were the only one's to look at this beautiful View! We had to go back to the convoy with a bad news "Visitors are not allowed"
We continued our drive towards Irupu Falls, One should not miss this falls in Monsoon! Reach the falls, close your eyes and surrender yourself to the Mother Nature!! ❤️
We have reached back to the resort by the time light faded and gone for the Nature walk around the Resort and had a wonderful time with India Drive Members introducing themselves at the Camp Fire session followed by delicious Dinner at the Resort Restaurant (Secret Spices, Rest O cafe)!
After a Sumptuous Breakfast and an unforgettable Morning Coffee (Pictures Below) we checked out of the resort and headed towards our exploration drive towards Mandalpatti Peak (Heaven, I call this after exploring the place). We came across a Landslide en route Mandalpatti and we could not take our cars any further, for a moment it was a disappointment but that's when we got to know from the locals that we have to hire 4x4 vehicles to be able to reach Mandalpatti Peak. Without wasting any time, we parked our cars, hired those beasts and started enjoying some pure off roading fun and reached the Heaven!! We have spent considerable amount of time exploring the place with literally zero visibility and clicking pictures. We have reached the car parking location back by about 5 pm with a super Maggi break (Special Thanks to our Instant Chef Bhargav) and started our drive back too Mysore!
Like all the other Drives, we had to end this Drive too wishing if we could have continued it for another Infinite number of days!!
Aideu from Sridhar Tandra until next Drive Meet!!❤️❤️
As civilization got us out of the jungle, it’s funny – how we keep running back to the jungle floor often to experience the best in life. The package of adventure, thrill, safari and simplicity together have a very different taste. The balance between wildlife and green nature have unparallel beauty to offer for those who enjoy such life.
Just when summer was reaching its height, I hit the hot iron to get the best out of it. Without a second thought, I knot Tadoba for one night and brought my untouched experience to an end – burst the balloon of Safari, adventure, thrill, wild life, everything you can imagine in the jungle to enjoy them for next twenty-four hours.
Tadoba has main four gates for the safari experience. There are many guest house and resorts that will suit your taste and budget. However, it is recommended you do research online before selecting a location for stay. The government guest houses are also neat and decent. We picked Svasara Jungle resort at Korala Gate which is just a stone throw away from the resort.
The road trip from Hyderabad to Korala ghat just 8 hours’ drive ( 450 KMs) . The National Highway 44 is not only smooth and brilliant, it has amazing scenic beauty. As you drive as early as the sunrise, you will get smitten by the scenic beauty for most of the stretch of the drive. I would recommend after Adilabad , take a turn through Maregaon ( SH 6 ) which is equally beautiful and have smooth road till you enter Maharastra. The track from MH border to Tadoba Korala Gata is unfortunately under construction and need your patience . It not only slows down your speed, it can literally eat up your fun and energy for one hour! However remember all comes his way he who waits! Just cross this hell and you are right at the gate of Svasara Resort.
The resort is very decent and has close to 20 cottages. Best thing is all of them are same , so you don’t need to worry on look and feel. They do have a great social area for meeting all the residents of the resort.
This brings a lot of dialogue and sharing of experience among the residents after or just before the safari. Both Ranjit and Nandita are the managers of the resort and they are extremely down to earth, customer focused ,interactive.
They spend considerable time talking to everyone and build up a rapport.
The place is neat, well maintained with modern facilities and antic show pieces. They arrange fresh face towels, lemon juice , tea and water every time they welcome you at the resort. The preparation for lunch, dinner, breakfast are also great!. They do load your jeep with plenty of munching and eating options along with bottles of water, juice, tea and coffee.
Our First safari was at 3.00 PM. It was an experience to remember, document, repeat and share with all for sure. At the entry gate your ID card is checked for verification if the booking details match with the ID document.
I didn’t go and present myself at the office. The driver from my resort took care of it. If you want you can wear forest dress which one ideally should do during these safaris and go ahead and explore the forest.
The safari runs you through either buffer zone or core area. The first safari was at buffer zone but we still had an opportunity to see animals in this area. The heat in summer is so so high, it brings almost all the animals type to the pond or lake to drink water.
We were lucky enough to spot whole bunch of bears scrubbing against the bark of the trees and howling loud enough to cold your blood.
Had most close look of wild boar, fox, wild dogs, peacock, monkeys, squirrel, birds of different sizes and colors and of course bison and different variety of deer’s. However, the beauty lies when the action heroine walks in with her cubs and roars !
The thrill was – aww struckking! Only flash, camera and light glitter for the entire time she is around. The lady walks in, drinks water and goes away as if she sees no one around. We have Tiger Maya, Tiger Junabai and Hero Matkasur.
The luck of each one of us was shining just before the sunset and the time we were to step out of the forest floor, we had this opportunity to see the mother and the cubs for 2 minutes or so.
Rest of the evening went in swimming, having conversations with other residents of the resort and exploring the property and early dinner. The weather was just cool and translated to heavy rainfall later in the evening with thunder and strong winds.
Though we were little disappointed wondering if we can see animals next day but who knows what is in store for you.
Next day early morning we were ready for Sarafi at the core zone of Korla gate. It was dark and quite breezy from the last night heavy shower and lightning. At the entrance of the gate, your driver collects your ID card for authenticating entry in the core zone.
The core area is almost 16 to 18 kms inside the forest from the entrance and has awesome view.
The curvy roads with thick forest on both sides, the smell of soil and the waiting surprise of spotting a tiger or any animal is way too exciting for the travelers.
Though 90% of the times its your luck to spot the tiger, the credibility lies on our guide too.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get the same guide next morning and found tagged with someone who is jack of all trades but definitely master of nothing. He started giving too much details about the forest which was quite engaging but in leading his experience he took us way to too beautiful spots where no one was driving to spot a tiger. Result? We were the only fools to fool around the forest and see other timid animals all across and enjoyed the scenic beauty of the jungle and missed tiger and tigress atleast twice .
We parked in lakes, we parked at the edge of a small upside hill, we parked in open farming like space but we failed to spot a tiger. However, whenever we were crossing some spots where other jeeps were parked for spotting a tiger, we spotted the thrill and excitement of the other visitors – because their guide was not our guide and they filmed, clicked, shot photographs of great Maya & Matkasur , every time they were seen and spotted.
As the clock ticked each time, time was flying away for us to be back on road and return to Hyderabad.
Though we knew we wanted to stay more and have another safari, another experience, another taste, another click, but still went ahead towards our car and started for Hyderabad midday…. Only two excitements were carrying with us – the on going discussion of the vision of the tigress, her cubs and of course the beauty of the road lies ahead of us again on NH 44 on our way back home.
Some pictures from other sources. @friends and @resort
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