It was since 3 months passed visited “Kyathadevarayana Gudi” aka K Gudi. It is one of my favorite wildlife destinations. The wilderness beckons this time too…
The plan was to go on a week day to avoid the crowd, who are always a disturbance to core wildlife lovers; we took leave on Sept 30th & Oct 1st 2009 and departed from Bangalore on 29th night by 11:00pm.
This time there was a new addition in our team, Mr. Varun who was my classmate in 10th he too loves adventures and trekking a lot. Finally I, Karthik and Varun were ready for wildlife odyssey. The plan was to go in my car till K Gudi and go to safaris in forest department jeep.
By 11.30PM we were on our usual route MYS-BNG highway, our first halt was at CCD Maddur. We usually take a break for an hour or so to purposefully kill time, our intention is to reach BR Hills Forest check post by 4:00 AM. Why do we do this? It is only because our vehicle will be first to hit the game roads… and also for the most part of the cases if you silently observe you can also hear spotted deers/barking deers alarm calls. You will be welcomed with early morning bird chirps.
We reached CCD [Maddur] by 1.00Am time passed for an hour or so and continued our journey to K Gudi. Clock ticked 3:00AM when we reached BR Hills check post. The weather was pleasurable parked our car and silently slept hearing bird chirps… It was 5:00 AM when the alarm awaked us. The guard who slept inside the check post came out yawning, he was in a urgency he received a message from K Gudi forest department saying Chamarajanagar DCF is visiting BR Hills in next 20 mins. By 5:45 AM DCF came to BR Hills check post two gun mans accompanied them and left to K Gudi.
The check post gate opens at 6:00AM to publics it was still dark so we intended to leave by 6.30 AM, and slowly started the most anticipated game road…
After 30 mins drive we got to sight peacock. And mongoose crossed the road though we could not manage to click the photos of either. Further drive gave us an opportunity in sighting bison herd when we approached all rushed into bushes. I could manage to take a photo of one such bull.
We directly headed to K Gudi; it is 18km stretch to K Gudi from BR hills which is always rewarded in sighting wildlife. There is a waterhole on road side and it is a favorite spot for Blue headed King fisher till date I was unlucky in capturing the beauty of the lake. But this time luck was in our pocket and I could photograph it.
Reached K Gudi at 7:15Am and I rushed to enquire and book jeep safari in forest department then we came to know that speaker Mr.Jagadish Shetter is visiting K Gudi and now we could relate why Chamarajanagar DCF came in hurry… Forest department personnel said morning safari has been cancelled.
With heavy hearts we started to BR Hills. Varun with disappointment slept I and karthik were talking about the inconvenience caused. Looking around greenery I told to karthik “What if TIGER crosses the road? Imagine the yellow stripes in the green background”, the statement I made was still not faded, it was a curve suddenly karthik shouted “TIGER! TIGER! TIGER!” I think few seconds earlier it has jumped on boulders beside the road.
Phew… it was majestic imagination came true… the luck showered on us we were so fortunate that no other vehicles were present in rear and front. I quickly switched off the engine TIGER stared us between two huge trees for more than 40sec I clicked… clicked…clicked with the limited equipments I could manage only this….
We could see the KING OF THE JUNGLE for more than 2 min; I think what else is needed for a true wildlife lover, we waited for more than half an hour in anticipating it could return back. Hmmmm no sign of it… We decided to head back to forest department and record in TIGER sighting register.
It was funny in seeing 20 officials waiting in the game road for security to speaker who had been for safari. I now realized and it was so fortunate that we missed the safari. We showed the photo to the officials who were present there and Mr. farooq identified that the TIGER is a solitary male of “Basavana Kadu” range. Everyone was happy in seeing the TIGER photo;
With full of happiness and joy we started back to BR Hills, this time each one of us were more keen in observing the activity around us. We again halted for sometime in the place were we sighted the TIGER, but no activity. The time was 10:30 when we reached Giri Darshini for break fast. I called my friend who usually helps me in booking the room in BR Hills and reported him saying we will check-in the room in next 30 mins.
Varun was literally contented and his happiness was uncontrollable because this was his first wildlife tour with us and he was so fortunate in his first visit he sighted TIGER.
The body & soul requested for some rest, we slept for 3 hours the phone alarmed us at 3pm. Started to K Gudi, we halted at the spot were we sighted TIGER in the morning. I could see a barking deer which is a very shy animal rushing into bushes.
The evening safari was also cancelled because the jeep had been to Chamarajanagar as convey to speaker. One can get the good photographs of bonnet macaque easily at K Gudi JLR, without wasting time I managed in clicking few photos.
We waited till 5:45pm and no sign of jeep safari and then decided to return back, this is the time when jungle becomes active slowly we started to BR Hills we killed some time parking near the spot were we sighted TIGER. It was completely dark and time was 7:30Pm one cannot narrate the experience the drive in the night in the forest. Samabars and Deers assemble near the road side for grazing, here is one such sambar photo.
Without much sighting in the night we ended our day. The best bet was hitting the game road early morning next day, the alarm awaken us at 5:30Am early in the morning I peeped out of the window it was chilling weather and mist covered the plain…
We started by 6:00Am to K Gudi the drive was pleasant and no activities was witnessed.
The jeep had not returned to K Gudi from Chamarajanagar and it was understood that the safari is again cancelled, I enquired the forest official who sits in the forest department and he explained same bull shit to us again.
Forest continues on the other side too which is a road to Chamarajanagar, via you can have a very good wildlife sighting for at least 15km stretch, we decided to go till “Budhipadaga” road and come back while heading back we sighted a guar crossing the road.
We came back to room and took rest, decided to go for a round by 4:00pm Varun had a telephonic interview scheduled and he did not join us that evening. Usual drive took us till K Gudi and fortunately jeep was present but only 2 of us and we decided not to go. We were running out of fuel and decided to fill in Chamarajanagar which is 27km drive.
It was 5:00pm when we left K Gudi to Chamarajanagar we knew that we cannot come back by 6:00pm it was a purposeful drive… I told to guard that we stay in BR Hills and we will fill the fuel and come back as early as possible, he warned us to come back by 7:00pm and that was sufficient, our intention was to join the game road by late evening.
We could manage to enter Chamarajanagar forest check post by 6:45Pm it was already dark and it was a wild drive. Carefully watching for Elephants which frequently come to road in the evening we continued the journey, at one stage we had to halt for few mins as a guar bull was grazing beside road and it was blocking half the way.
We also managed to sight samabars and spotted deers the most expected sighting of most elusive cat LEOPARD, hmmmm but luck was not in our pocket. We reached room at 8:30Pm while Varun was waiting for us. Had dinner and narrated the night drive experience to varun and slept with satisfaction of sighting the TIGER on first day of out visit.
Next day we wrapped things quickly had break fast and started back to Bangalore the reason is it was oct 2nd “Mahatma Gandhi Jayanthi” the crowd already started peeping inside BR Hills.
The wildlife odyssey was very memorable and mesmerizing moment we never forget in our lives….
1. Guars [herd of 5]
2. Mongoose 
3. TIGER 
5. Spotted deers [herd of 25]
6. Sambars [10 individuals]
7. Barking deers 
8. Wild Boars 
9. Peacock 
10. Hare 
11. Lapwing