A gate way to the Serenity and Wilderness – BRT

 I don’t need any planning when I wish to visit my favorite place – BRT; the zeal inside me will drive to the wild land of surprises.
On Wednesday 17th Oct 2012 at 10.00Pm I and my wife Sindhu started our WildlifeOdyssey to BRT. Loads of snacks to eat, rains here and there, shimmering lights of night traffic made our way towards BRT.
BRT is around 210 km from Bangalore; it took me around 4 hours to reach the Yellandur check post. In the wee hours of midnight we had nothing to do other than sleep till early sunrise.

The same day Supreme Court had lifted ban on tiger tourism and dussera had commenced, I had anticipated the tourists rushing towards Billigiri Ranganatha Swamy Temple and to tiger reserve how ever our vehicle was the first to enter the BRT sanctuary at 6.00am, unhurriedly we moved on observing the serene forest.

After a long time I was fortunate to photograph the barking deer which tolerantly gave me a pose for not less the half a minute, it is very shy in nature and will not stay long if they meet homo sapiens.

We saw the herd of Indian guars with calf on the way towards KGudi it exhibited the anger and secured its calf when we slowed down our car to photograph it. We dint disturb the herd and moved silently without clicking any pictures.
The tamed elephants at KGudi [Gajendra, Kavitha, and Kytha] were not present then we came to know that these elephants were actively taking part in dussera festival at Mysore.

KGudi campus it self is a home for many birds we spotted few of them and descended towards chamarajanagar we traversed till Bhudipadaga road and returned to BRT.

 
 Sindhu spotted a common mongoose which crossed the road ahead of us, I was busy observing high branches for BFO [Brown Fish Owl] how ever I dint get one.

The mongoose had a good time basking on a small boulder, I had a good time clicking its photos in different pose, and we spent some 15 mins with the mongoose and were back to BRT for a breakfast at Giri Dharshini hotel.

 

Vasanna, Sudhi and Prashanth greeted us at the hotel; we had a casual chat and breakfast together. The newly built cottages at Giri Darshini are pretty cool. Prashanth handed over the keys for refreshing. The tiring over night drive demanded a nap for sometime and finally woke up by 3.30 pm and visited temple above the hillock. The short visit to BRT was coming to an end; we started our final drive to KGudi after sipping a hot coffee and wishing our friends for the day, the jungle was calm without any sightings for sometime till we sight a bull guar near Basavankadu range on a jeep track.  We moved further photographing it, the guar was very curious in watching us without moving a step.

 My wife after buying me the new book written by Inskip and Grimmett she has developed interest in observing the birds and its movements in the jungle hand in had mapping these birds in the book. She was lucky in spotting a serpent eagle perched on the tree trunk which was calling its mate nearby.

We proceeded few meters and spotted another serpent eagle on the tree, and then we concluded that these may be the mating pairs. Long live serpent eagles and all species in the wild. 

Bidding Adieu to BRT we drove back to Bangalore with contented smile on our faces.
Birds spotted:
1. Lapwing
2. Rufous treepie
3. Greater  flame back woodpecker
4. Crested serpent Eagle
5. Jungle Owlet
6. Paradise fly catcher
7. Golden leaf bird
8. Scarlet minivet
9. Shikara
10. Little cormorants
11. White throated king fisher
12. Grey wagtail
13. Eurasian golden oriel
14. Cattle egrets
15. Spotted dove
16. Brahminy kite
17. Black kite
18. Indian peacock
19. Oriental magpie robin
20. Green bee eater
 Mammals spotted:
1. Indian Guar
2. Mongoose
3. Barking Deer
Insects spotted:
1. Scorpion

Call of the wild – BR HILLS

Occupation has kept me busy these days; travelling back to back is hindering my visits to jungles for nature and wildlife photography. The camera is in hibernate mode; car is parked without seeing any humps and country roads…

It was high time to take a break, though my visit to INDIA was very short for 2 days my body & soul was waiting for a wild get away.

Briskly planned to my favorite place BR Hills, it was so quick even I couldn’t believe it. Friday on 23rd June 2012 reached office to take few printouts and dialed my friend who is at BR Hills to inquire about climate conditions and sightings.

In next 2 hours I was near my wife’s office picking her and getting scoldings from everyone for the plan.

The foursome myself, Sindhu [my wife], Amruthand Seena geared up for wildlife odyssey the same night. We started at 11.Pm in windy weather wow what a drive it was. Experiencing late night drives into country side is simply superb.

Gossiping… chatting …munching and a quick nap [not me] 😉 took us to BR Hills forest check post at 3.00Am, chilled breeze, chirping of birds was a perfect composition by mother nature… the pleasure of enjoying the nature came to an end when the vehicle arrived with loads of tourists. Spoiling the serene calmness was first priority for them.

The gate was opened at 6.00Am we allowed the tourist vehicle to take over, slowly we moved on observing the nooks of the forest.

First catch was Rudy Mongoose which crossed the road swiftly. My strong belief of sighting wildlife from Yellandur – BRHills road is always a misfortune to me. Slow commute took 40 mins to reach BR Hills. The deviation from BR Hills took us toKGudi.

Watching all corners of the forest we entered KGudi road. The road was dazzling in lush green all around we enjoyed the drive all the way; Black drongo drew our attention for all that it is a common bird in urban areas the black beauty was captured though the lens and eyes.

Our morning routine was completed at PWD guest house, later we started to Billigiri Ranganatha Swamy temple. Santosh and his friends reached BR Hills and we met them at temple complex and started our wildlife odyssey together.
KGudi was standstill, we drove down till chamarajanagar road at the other side of KGudi, langurs and monkeys were in plenty on the trees. The langurs are watchmen of the forest usually they take seat on top of the trees looking all around; they are the first to sign or alarm when they sense the predators passing by.

The forest stood silent without any actions, Seena spotted a king fisher which perched on a tree trunk in full excitement.
 

We took a turn and started back to BR Hills, for first time I could manage a record shot of greater coucal which was roosting on a branch. The red eye of the bird will make anybody grab the attention towards it.

A hungry stomach cannot hear – Jean de La Fontaine, we could not resist any more and drove to Giridarshini hotel. I don’t say you get delicious food here, but you can survive with it.

Vasanna proprietor of Giridarshini welcomed us with a big smile, Sudhee asked me have u got old monk?? Wishing all of them and taking a break to all talks, grabbed the breakfast our hungry stomach was filled and re-energized us for next drive.

We could hear a distant call of hill myna’s repeatedly. The hot coffee in chilled breeze rejuvenated us for the next drive.

The emerald dove was always ahead of our car on the road, but never gave me an opportunity to click the beauty of it. I spotted a huge winged bird flying in front of us, CSE aka Crested Serpent Eagle gave us a fare chance to photograph it.

We carried few old clothes for tribals but we were not able to distribute as most of them were on their duty. The distribution of clothes is now postponed to our next trip.

The gaurs were peacefully grazing beside the road; we took a cautious move though the silence was killed by engine roar, gaurs dashed inside the bushes bull gaur in the gang of 4 gave a cold stare. Ahhhhh it was awesome.  We moved on with earnestness, silence was broke by Sindhu; she spotted an oriental Mag-pie robin which was roosting on a dead bark of the tree.

It was time to have lunch and slumber for some time. The lunch served was typical south Indian dish and we did not hesitate to fill our empty stomach. We had to return back on the same night to Bangalore and planned our last drive to K Gudi at 5.00Pm.
The clouds engulfed BR Hills it looked like rain may pour down at any time. It was an awesome climate; people around told us that it is already raining at Punjur / Chamarajanagar side.
Anybody who is crazy about having coffee will surely have a sip in this splendid weather, we all had a hot cup of coffee waved our hands to Vasanna and his colleagues in the hotel and pushed off to our last drive to K Gudi.
Amruth stopped us in a wink; he had spotted a hoopoe perched on a tree trunk you should get to see a hoopoe when it opens its crown on its head.
We were lucky enough to capture the crowned beauty and moved towards chamarajanagar side, by the time we reached K Gudi the roads were wet and it was drizzling, nevertheless it dint rain.
Monkeys give the best opportunity to photograph, we dint find any action on chamarajanagar road and returned back to BR Hills, time was already 5.45Pm perfect time for predator movement. Jungle comes alive once it is dusk.
I spotted a woodpecker nearer to K Gudi check post and later it was confirmed that the species is Yellow-Crowned Wood pecker. It was lifer to me.
 
Forest guards reminded us not to stop on the road as it was already 6.10 Pm and suggested us to reach BR Hills safe and quick. We drove to BR Hills anticipating any wildlife movements but we were unfortunate to sight.
Santosh and his friends stayed back at BR Hills, we wished them luck and proceeded towards Bangalore.  We reached Bangalore safely on the same night with heart full of sweet memories…

 

Wildlife sightings:

 Birds:
1. Indian Peacock
2. Indian Peahen
3. Green Bee Eater
4. Francolin
5. Spotted Dove
6. Emerald Dove
7. Imperial Green Pigeon
8. Greater Cocual
9. Crested Serpant Eagle
10. Red-wattled Lapwing
11. Common Myna
12. Jungle Myna
13. Hill myna
14. Common Hoopoe
15. White throated Kingfisher
16. Pied Kingfisher
17. Shikara
18. Common Flameback Woodpecker
19. Yellow-Crowned Woodpecker
20. Red whiskered Bulbul
21. Red vented Bulbul
22. Long Tailed Shrike
23. Jungle Owlet
24. Black Drongo
25. White bellied Drongo
26. Racket Tailed Drongo
27. Little Cormorant
28. White Wagtail
29. Ashy Prinia
30. Brahmini Kyte
31. Orange Headed Thrush
32. Jungle Babbler
33. Tickel’s Blue Flycatcher
34. Pied Bushchat
35. Oriental Magpie Robin
36. White Cheeked Green Barbet
37. Rufous Treepie
Mammals:
1. Jungle Cat
2. Spotted Deer
3. Barking Deer
4. Rudy Mangoose
5. Malabar Giant Squirel
6. Jungle Squirel
7. Indian Elephant
8. Indian Guar
9. Common Langur

10. Common Monkey

Rendezvous with prime predator of K Gudi…..

After long vacation at Singapore, I was back to Bangalore. Had 4 more days leave in my pocket. Quickly planned to Kgudi this is my favorite wildlife destination. Called up my friend and booked the room and enquired about the climate and wildlife sightings.

Same day we had to shop for eatables, rushed to VB Bakery and took KBC, Fruit Cake, mixtures for the outing.

29th June 2011 @ 4.30 AM our WildlifeOdyssey started towards BR Hills, Sindhu prepared a crude breakfast for the journey, finally we hit the Mysore road a long 3 and half hours journey took us to BR Hills forest check post at 7.45AM. Climate was awesome the day turned out to be cloudy and chilled weather welcomed us. Mind was ringing a bell “K Gudi never disappoints me”. The stretch from BR Hills check post to hotel was very calm yet filled with wilderness we were lucky to sight peacocks, hoopoe and kingfishers.

We checked in to hotel by 9.30 AM after having break fast at Giri Darshini.
Vasanna[Giri Darshini owner] took me to his newly constructed cottages and walked us through the property asked my opinion on the amenities in the cottage. It is a descent cottage / rooms available at BR Hills which is affordable to CM [common man].

By 12.00PM, Prashanth came to our room and we indulged in casual discussion regarding sightings, wildlife experiences. I also expressed my interest in distributing the used and neat attires to tribal people which we brought from Bangalore. The clothes distribution was scheduled the next day at 2.00PM after talking to the tribal head. You know joy of giving has to be experienced….

Hmmmm….time ticked 1.30PM when we thought of going for a drive till Kgudi and come back. The most anticipated game road welcomes us with a splendid sighting of Crested Serpent Eagle aka CSE perched on the tree.

It was half the way to K Gudi when a jeep overtook us and informed us about a Tiger sighting near a bridge. We were excited to hear this and went back to toss our luck but it had passed. Then we came to know the person who gave us the information was a new JLR manager Mr. Sunil a mysorian…

Very nice chap with lot of enthuse towards wildlife. He has done PhD on monkeys and exchanged much information with us. Offered a cup of coffee and we had a long casual chat with him. The time was around 4.30PM in the evening when we decided to leave to BR Hills.

Our luck was limited with a sambar deer which posed us for photo session. Reached back hotel by 6.00PM; in the chilled weather a cup of hot coffee was very much in need.

We called our day with a neat dinner at Giri Dharshini hotel. It was decided to wake up early morning and go for a drive to Kgudi.

Alarm kicked us out of the bed at 5.00 AM swiftly finished our morning routines and stared towards K Gudi. It was a scenic treat to the eyes, with lush green around us and bird chirps was a musical feast to ears.

After many years in BR Hills range I was lucky to sight MGS – Malabar Giant Squirrel on the perch of the tree.

It was 7.30AM when we reached Kgudi, had a nice coffee time with Sunil JLR manager for more than 2 hours regarding wildlife conservation activities. Started back to hotel at 9.45AM a slow drive from Kgudi to BRHills took more than an hour to reach the hotel. Settled down at hotel had unperturbed sleep for sometime. It was the last day to test out our luck. Planned a drive to Budhipadaga in the evening.

On our way to Budhipadaga we sighted a huge guar beside the road grazing peacefully it was huge solitary male which showcased all its muscular power. The Hunk on its back made all of us to stare with incredulous looks. It walked with us for more than 10 mins along the side path.

We were running out of fuel and made our way to Chamarajanagar to fuel. The guard at the check post reminded us about the closing the gate at 6.00PM sharp. We had left with short time to make it.

Quickly we reached Chamarajanagar at 5.15PM fueled the car and started back to BRHills. Before 6.00PM we were inside the check post and this was the time I was waiting for as it was almost dusk and time for predators to be active.

In anticipation of any such predator sighting we reached Kgudi without stopping much at Chamarajanagar range. We had to stop at least 3 times when we sighted Langurs, Peacocks and Lapwing which rushed inside bushes as we approached them.

The time was exactly 6.15PM when we reached K Gudi, guard reminded us not to stop on the way and reach BRHills as it is not allowed to travel after 6.00PM.

I was thrilled to start my real WildlifeOdyssey at twilight a perfect time for wildlife sightings and again it’s a sheer luck.

It dint take much time to prove this when we sighted Brown Fish owl with its snack in the beak on the branch of a tree. It dint give me much time to click, I could only manage a record shot of it.

An alarm call started after Basavana Kadu range, we stopped our vehicle for a min and silently tracked from where the call is coming. It was for sure a predator is on move.

The call was continuous for more than 5 mins, I insisted Prashanth to stop the vehicle at least for 5 mins and then move on. The pot of luck poured down on us, when I stopped my car and turned to my right, I couldn’t believe my eyes; what am I seeing??

Male leopard on a tree in peaceful mood. Phew it was feast to our eyes. I clicked clicked clicked that’s what I could do; we spent more than an hour with him. But time was limited already it was 7.15PM and had to reach BR Hills. Body & Soul was contented with an awesome sighting of the leopard.

Again I say “K GUDI NEVER DISSAPOINTS ME”…..

On the prowl….

Hmmmm Life has been changed a lot, new life……
It was Sindhu’s birthday on Feb 26th, me and sindhu decided to celebrate her birthday by distributing books and stationeries at Kgudi tribal school. The plan was concrete both of us in full enthuse purchased books and planned stationaries. The gift packs were ready on Feb 25th; she was waiting for the “D-day” to come. Previous night was full of surprises… Lots of gifts … lots of messages popped up saying “Happy B’Day”… lots of call to attend and gratitude.
The plan was to leave Bangalore by 5.00Am and come back the same night, I was at Sindhu’s home at 5.30 Am everyone heartily welcomed me…. After having a hot sip of coffee, dumped all the packed gifts into car.
I called up Karthik to know whether he is ready, reached karthik’s place by 6.15 am and picked up karthik and veena. Finally our wildlife odyssey to BRHills started…
First pit-stop was at Bidadi 45km from Bangalore, we reached famous “ShashiPrabha” hotel for “Thatte Idli”, had nice thatte idli with vada and were back on the track. We had to pick up prashanth at Kollegala he is the person who arranged most of the arrangements by coordinating with school head master.
The time was 10.30 when we reached BR-Hills check post, I handed over driving to sindhu and took my camera and sat besides her watching each nook of the forest. This was her first time experience driving in the forest hence she was bit tensed… we spotted 2 peacocks at its territory but could not photograph it.
On the move from BR-Hills to Kgudi, this is the road where I have sighted most of the wildlife, as it was Saturday already BR-Hills were crowded I had no hopes of sighting either. We saw few tortoises piled up on the small rock at the waterhole on the way to Kgudi.
The drive took 45 mins to reach Kgudi, the place was new to sindhu and she liked the location and felt very happy, parked our car and approached the school in charge. Introduced ourselves and expressed our service intended. The staff liked the noble thought and appreciated the team.
Kids were very curious to see us with gift packs indeed they were very happy, Staff introduced us to kids and told them why we are here?
40 heart-full voices wished “Happy Birthday Miss” to sindhu…. She had very blissful moment in fact.
Individual kid was gifted with the books and stationaries by sindhu herself, they were so curious to see what the gift is… many torn the pack peeped inside it and happily took out the books…
Time ticked 1.00Pm and with heavy hearts we all started back to BR-Hills, the memories and joy of giving was on our faces and mind. Another time we were on the game road hoping for luck… half the way we crossed all of a sudden karthik sighted “Wild Dog” aka “Dhole” one of the predator at Kgudi.
One Dhole was sitting beside the road it was in the offing to cross the road, but seeing our car it went into bushes there was another Dhole watching from the bush. Everyone of us were very excited to see the predator of Kgudi and in reality sindhu had a great day in watching the predators in wild for the first time in her life time, I can say Kgudi trip was her introduction trip to wildlife odyssey…
Then we decided to leave some space to dholes to come on road, so we went ahead and took U turn and came near the place were we sighted.
We stopped the car and sat silently observing two wild dogs; it was an incredible moment for more than 40 mins. Finally two wild dogs came on road and started walking on the road, after few meters it took its path and disappeared into bushes.
K Gudi has never disappointed me…..
It again reminded me… it is wilder….
Wildlife Sightings:
1. 3Peacocks
2. 1 Kingfisher
3. 7-8 tortoises
4. 2 Barking deers
5. 3 Wild Dogs
 

Wilderness Beckons…

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….
Wildlife Sightings:
1. Guars [herd of 5]
2. Mongoose [1]
3. TIGER [1]
4. Elephant[1]
5. Spotted deers [herd of 25]
6. Sambars [10 individuals]
7. Barking deers [2]
8. Wild Boars [5]
9. Peacock [2]
10. Hare [2]
11. Lapwing [1]
Location:

A trip to K Gudi

 

It was May Day Myself, Raghu, Arun, Prabhakar and Ranga decided for BR-Hills to enjoy the wilderness at K Gudi.

We started our journey on May-1st early morning by 2 Am to K Gudi. A nonstop drive took us to BR-Hills forest check post exactly by 5.45 Am. The board displayed it will open by 6am.

Hmmmm calmly sat in the car and immensely started listening to birds chirp.
Finally Guard opened the gate; I went and registered our team in the registration book in the office. We were very excited to enter the jungle in the morning, hoping the day with the good sightings will happen.

Fast drive we reached BR-Hills PWD guest house. Usually we stay at BR-Hills and commute to K Gudi, the reason behind this is we get an 18km stretch from BR-Hills to K Gudi which is a wildlife movement zone.

We checked in to the lodge re-energized ourselves and rushed towards K Gudi, K Gudi never disappoints one from wilderness as we headed to K Gudi from BR-Hills a few minutes drive we spotted an “Indian Guar” which was calmly drinking water.

Clicked few photos and started our odyssey. We reached K Gudi by 7.15 Am it was a moist morning,
quickly we went to RFO Mr. Shiva Shankar and registered for the safari. I went and called Kytha who is our usual guide who accompanies with us for the game track. By 7.45 we managed to get into the track it was already late 5-6 JLR jeeps were ahead of us.

The luck was not with us that morning; we were able to click few guars and sambars, chital photographs. The sightings of most anticipated CATS [Tiger, Leopard] was still a matter of sheer luck.

On tenterhooks for evening safari we exited the game trail and were on track to BR-HillsGuest house for refreshment. It was 9 we were very hungry and left to Hotel GiriDarshini which is the one and only hotel at BR-Hills which serves you the home made dish.

Had nice break fast by 10 we went to visit the temple “Billigiri Ranganath Swamy” and came back to hotel by 11.The drive from bangalore at 2 am made everyone go for a sleep , one by one went for a quick nap.

We woke up at 3 and had a coffee at Giri Dharshini and started to K Gudi, since the evening safari will start by 4.30 and a slow drive from BR-Hills to K Gudi will take at least 40 mins. Our aim was to enter the game track first because if we are back of 5-6 JLR vehicles, I don’t think you have a great chance of sighting the animals. Not all visitors at JLR are wildlife observers or wildlife photographers. Most of them join the game track for fun and these mobs are not very much enthusiasts towards wildlife. So usually we don’t like going behind the JLR Vehicles.

Again I started searching for Kytha forest guide, who was out to chamarajanagar as said by their family sources . So we were accompanied by new guide by name Mr. Prakash who was gentle and answered our many questions a ten minutes drive Prakash spotted a “Leopard” and told us very calmly ‘sir leopard.. leopard.. .’ This was majestically sitting on a cave stone… Phew the first leopard sighted in wild we got tensed seeing the beauty sitting, Raghu grabbed the handycam from ranga and started shooting it and I started clicking the photos with excitement.

After sighting a leopard everyone was keen observing and every ones prophecy was just one – next sight would be TIGER?? Suddenly prakash was alert we herd alarm calls of chital and langoor which says predator is on move…. Every ones mind was running whether it is TIGER?? ..Hmmm no it was another time we spotted a Leopard… which was sitting on the boulder. 
It was already 5.45 and prakash insisted us to move on further game trail as park will be closed by 6.30 in the evening ,with great enthuse we headed to the safari track and Prakash said since 2-3 days visitors are sighting an elephant herd at waterhole so we drove directly to waterhole
 
with eagerness to see the elephants and we were lucky to sight “5-6 Elephants” in the waterhole.

It was 6.15pm and we wrapped the safari at K Gudi. TIGER sighting was still on the matter of sheer luck !!.

We headed back to Bangalore the same day.

Hats off to K GUDI[Kytha Devarayana Gudi]

Information:-
Safari Timings at K Gudi:-
Morning: – 6.00 to 9.00
Evening: – 4.30 to 6.30
Hotel / Lodge [10 members can be accommodated] GiriDarshini: 08226244020