Travelling has become an important part of my life. I just want to move. Not as a job but as a craze or with gusto. That is the type of experience turned it to be when I roamed around Bandipur and Mysore. It was an unplanned trip before a marriage in Coimbatore.
So, the thing goes like this. I had a marriage of my cousin in Coimbatore (Suguna Mandapam) last October. The marriage was great. But, we had 6 days in our hands for the marriage. So, as usual we planned to use the last 4 days to step out.
It was only my family which wanted to escape from the place filled with different range of people. My dad asked us for the trip, we gave a quick and a biggg nod.
Pheww… Now, it was our family time. After juggling about the places, googling and getting advice from friends, we came to a decision to go to Ooty (1 night) this time (not Kerala), then, from there through Gudular reach Mysore and come back to Coimbatore. We all were excited about this trip, though it involved long travelling. We just wanted to travel. So, we booked tickets, hotels. We took our vehicle this time.
My dad gathered all, giving farewell to the newly wedded couple and a hall of relatives (giving silly reasons) we took our car and moved.
We started quite early so that we can cover maximum places. We drove through Mettupalayam, then, to Coonoor (where we had our breakfast of Idli, sambhar and coconut chutni, my mom and dad ordered masala dosa). We stopped at Petrol bunk nearby.
It was around 10.30 when we reached Ooty. We straight away went to our Hotel- Silver Oak. After getting refreshed we planned to go for sightseeing. So, drove to Doddabetta, which we liked the last time. My dad struggled a bit to climb up. At last we were at Doddabetta peak. The whole place was filled with mist and was very much colder. We all took shelter of mom’s shawl. After spending some time there, we drove back to our hotel.
We had our lunch. Then, we walked to Government Botanical garden, which was near to our hotel. It was just a 1 km away. We gazed through the shops and bought some homemade chocolates on our way. We spend some time Botanical Garden. It was extra ordinary. It was very big in area. So, we took time to go through each section. We sat there for a while. It was getting dark when we walked back to our hotel. After the dinner straight to the bed.
The next morning we decided not to give more time to Ooty (as we had already been to Ooty once) drove to Mysore. On way we stopped at Gudalur to have our breakfast at Saravana Bhavan. Then, we proceeded forward. We drove through an isle of huge and dark trees. It was very much thrilling.
Then, my dad stopped the vehicle suddenly. He told us to keep quiet and pointed somewhere. We looked the direction and saw two spotted deer were grazing around. It was amazing. We were actually travelling through Theppakadu.
We had just driven some kms, we saw a group of people. They were feeding elephants. We were at a great distance, so it didn’t fear us. It was jungle we were driving through. God, nothing else could thrill us like it did.
My dad drove slowly. Our eyes were open wide. Then, we heard some disturdance in the middle of the trees. My dad was alert. My mom touched my dad said ‘stop’. We asked mom what happened, and she said everyone to look right side. We saw a huge black coloured animal. It looked like a bear. My mom was confident that it wasn’t a bear. But, still we were afraid. We all started staring at the beast. Then, it showed up as a gaur. Uff.. what an experience. I took my cam and clicked it. It moved slowly towards us, and my dad was ready to move. It stared at us and then, turned and went into jungle. The trip was becoming an awesome and thrilled one.
We moved forward to see a board, which said Bandipur National park. We all smiled at each and nodded. My dad understood and drove on the road towards the National Park.
We all got excited as we expected some sightings of animals (like the deer we just saw). We went some far, when we saw a big arch with ‘Bandipur National Park’ written on it. We drove inside. There were some vans parked. We went to the enquiry desk. We reserved for a jungle safari. We had to wait for some time. Meanwhile, we checked around the place. When our jeep came, we all became excited and cautious too. We got into the jeep. There was a driver and a guide. The guide greeted us and then we started going. My heart was beating fast. Actually I was praying inside. Then, as we moved on, the guide started telling one by one he knew about the park and the animals (how experience makes a man an expert in a thing). He told the driver to drive to the place where we can see elephants. After a 10 minutes drive, we actually saw elephants. They were 4 in number. My heart stopped beating. I was praying even harder (i didn’t want to be killed by an elephant). But, seeing my face, our guide smiled and said elephants hurt us only when we disturb them. So, i was concerned to sit quiet and not to disturb elephants (or say attract them towards us). My ears stopped listening. I stared at the elephants. Then, when we turned towards us, i insisted to move forward (my dad was determined by his so called ‘brave’ daughter’s fear to the death). Then, as we moved slowly, we saw herd of deer, some langurs, wild squirrels, wild boars, lot of peacocks. The only thing filled my mind was the elephants (which were standing in a close distance). We came to back the entrance, had our lunch and then, drove to our next destination Mysore.
The way to Mysore was beautiful. We kept clicking photos. The road was bad near Gundlupete. It was already dark when we reached Mysore. We drove to our hotel- Hotel Roopa. It was a nice hotel. The staffs behaved decent and were helpful. We went to the restaurant, which was elegant and luxurious. We had lamb roast, grilled fish and Butter chicken curry with rice. After a super delicious food, we went to sleep.
The next morning, we got ready for sightseeing. We drove to Mysore palace first. After paying for the entrance, we walked in. The palace was marvellous. We all were awestruck. We walked through each section, staring at each detail, each room. Then, there was a big hall, pointing to which the guide said, some actress (i don’t remember her name) show cased her dance. It took us whole 2 hours to come out (though we skipped some area).
Then, we drove to Mysore Zoo. Getting the entry tickets, we moved in the zoo. The zoo was filled with people. We started from one section. There were many animals, birds and reptiles. We looked through each cage and taking photo of all. There were lions, tigers, leopards, giraffes, rhinoceros, anteaters, chimpanzee, gorillas, zebras, hippopotamuses etc, then, peacock (even white peacock, it looked beautiful), macaws, ostrich, ducks, cranes, owls etc.
We came out in 2 and half hours. we proceeded forward. We had our lunch. My dad asked server if there are places to see in Mysore. He gave a long list. We selected Brindavan Garden.
So, after our lunch, we drove to Brindavan. The garden was again a huge one (why everything in Mysore is so big). We walked slowly into the garden. Then, we reached centre of the garden where, we saw the dance of lights. It was beautiful. i had never seen something like that before. The garden looked even beautiful in the dark. After spending 2 hours or something we moved out and drove back to our hotel, where we spent our night.
The next day, we got ready to drive back to Coimbatore. We drove through via Satyamangalam. The road was smooth and the scene was amazing.