I'd left my previous company and had extra time on my hands :D
Had initially planned of Nagarahole all on my own. But with my friend also wanting to join in, we decided to a mysore-Bandipur gig.
Googled up for accomodation @ Bandipur, and found this neat place called "MC resorts", which I made a booking for one day.
My friend Mayur managed to get us accomodation at the "Cosmopolitan club" as his dad was a member there.
With accomodation done, was time to think of transportation. With my car having some problems, had to look for other alternatives. Somehow managed to get hold of my friend's Indigo (Petrol). Prepared the car by getting it checked by a mechanic. charged up the camera batteries. I almost could not sleep half the night thinking of the days to come.
Left bangalore on Nov. 1st morning and stopped over @ Kamat Lokaruchi for breakfast. With that done, stepped on the accelerator and reached Srirangapatna in no time. Was nice to see the Dariya daulat and sit on the banks of the cauvery. Got to bounce a few flat rocks on the water's surface.
Drove around a bit to see some places and decided we would take Ranganthittu on the way back to Bangalore.
Reached mysore a short while later and checked-in to our room. A nice shower and a change later, we were itching to go out. Had lunch @ a hotel and went to the Mysore zoo. Was visiting this place after a very long time. It's really been developed well and looks after it's animals well.
Although it's sad to see wild animals caged in, they are a sort of a necessary evil. "Evil" for keeping them captive, and "Necessary" to help spread awareness and the need for conservation.
Got some nice shots of a few animals.
Having walked a long long way in the zoo, our legs were beginning to ache. Took rest sipping sprite for a while. Was almost evening, and we were planning to visit the Mysore Dasara exhibition.
There was a huge rush at the place and parking was a pain! But sort of worked out for the better. Got to shoot the Mysore palace all decked up with a handheld shot :D
Managed to find a parking spot and went in. Was sort of okayish, bought a couple of bedspreads for home. Snacked a bit on "bajjis" and cotton candy.
Did not spend too much time in there. Went on to a hotel, had a light dinner and crashed onto the beds.
Woke up early next day morning for a visit to the Karanji lake. Is very well maintained and boasts of a good collection of aquatic birds. Has a nice Aviary with some nice to see birds.
During the boat ride, a group of larger cormorants accompanied us. Was nice to see just the heads above water. They really are supremely well designed for the wet life.
Spotted the "Little grebe" and a darter up on the branches.
With the Karanji lake visit done, we went back and had a sumptuous breakfast. Done with it, had our showers and started off towards Bandipur. Checked out of the club. The route is dotted with loads of water bodies and am sure supports good bird-life. But we did not have too much time on our hands and had to reach Bandipur, check in to the hotel and then be there before the Safari started.
Reached Bandipur at 3pm, having driven for 1.5 hrs. MC resorts is pretty decent. Freshened up, went to Pugmarks for lunch. Had some lovely fried rice and chicken. Reached Bandipur visitor's lounge by 4:15pm only to find that the Safari for the evening had been cancelled due to rains the previous day :(
Was quite a let down, having really anticipated a long while for it. nevertheless, drove on towards the tamilnadu border. Spotted a few wild peafowl in the evening light. Seeing a peacock is in itself an awesome sight, and one in the wild quite something else.
Driving on, we saw an elephant grazing.
And this HUGE male with just one tusk !
Nearby in the trees were the black-faced Langurs. The evening light lending a nice backlight.
Saw this little one clinging onto it's mom.
There were hordes of spotted deer on the plains.
Even if not the Safari, was a solace nonetheless to have spotted something.
Stopped a little while to take in the atmosphere. Nice n foggy, taking a deep breath would liven up the lungs which were used to the polluted city air.
Watched the sunset beyond the hills with it's different hues.
Soon, darkness set in. And then magic happened !
We saw the whole sky with thousands of stars. It's a feeling which is hard to describe in words.
Reached the resort with a bunch of wild boars greeting us at the entrance. Settled into the room, chatted up for a while.
Dinner at the resort was almost home-like. Light and very very delicious.
Setting the alarm early for next day (for the Safari), we crashed.
Was woken up a while later when I heard some commotion. It was a small herd of elephants which had entered the resort. They passed by without any incident.
Next morning, we rushed to the Safari and boarded the forest department's van. We could not spot anything :(
With each turn, the excitement of seeing something would soon turn to disappointment.
All we saw were a few blackfaced Langurs on a tree.
Dejected, we started our journey back to Bangalore. Reached mysore to bangalore in 1hour 45 minutes, thanks to the awesome roads and the very solid car that the indigo is. Completely forgot about Ranganthittu as we pushed the accelerator.
Past NICE Road, was greeted to bangalore with a huge traffic jam.
A nice trip which could have been better in terms of spotting wildlife. But the awesome company I had more than compensated for that.