Mudumalai Park

Tiger Drinking Pond Mudumalai Mar21 DSC01310
Tiger at Mudumalai. Click on image for credit.

I’ve been at my friend KM’s home for the last three weeks in Bangalore. Yesterday, KM and I drove 300 kms south to the Mudumalai National Park to visit a beautiful resort for a couple of days. The resort is located in a tiger reserve that spans three southern India states — Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu — in the Nilgiris. The image above is from the Mudumalai part of the reserve.

KM and his family love wildlife. I am fine with wildlife if I come across them but I am not too keen on going out of my way to see a tiger in the wild. In fact, I have yet to see one in the wild. KM thinks that I jinx any chances of seeing a big cat in the wild.

About six months ago, he had taken me to the Nagarhole National Park. We spent a couple of days at a government-run resort and went on two 3-hour safari. We saw plenty of tiger inputs (deer) and tiger output (dropping) but never the intermediate creature.

On this trip, we drove through the Bandipur National Park, as it borders the Mudumalai NP. It was a lovely drive. As it happens, I drove the last few kilometers through the Mudumalai to reach our destination, a nice resort called Bamboo Banks Farms.

It’s the property of a Parsi gentleman and his sister. There are seven cottages on the property. It can accommodate around 20 but the owners like to keep the occupancy low. Other than KM and me, there’s only one other guest here today.

We arrived around 1 pm yesterday. The cottages are spacious. Mine has two bedrooms (each with an AC unit), a small dressing area, and a bathroom. Everything is exceptionally clean and the amenities are top class. The same for KM’s cottage, that’s next to mine. Here are a few pictures.

The view from the veranda is pretty.

Around 4:30 pm, the rain gods decided it was time to bless us. Well, a few of the black-faced langurs on the property decided to shelter from the rain on the veranda walls. Here they are.

A brief video. The spotted deer didn’t seem to mind the rain. You can see a bunch of them grazing at a distance.

This place is pretty awesome in terms of wildlife. They have elephants, and sloth bears, and leopards, and wild boars, and monitor lizards, and deer and all sorts of birds. The owners have horses, turkey, chickens, ducks, and a few Labradors.

The place is crawling with tigers, of course. According to the wiki on Tiger Reserves of India, the 2018 number for Bandipur National Park is 120, while Mudumalai and Nagarhole are 103 and 101, respectively. But of course, it is really hard to spot a tiger since they are rather secretive.

Anyhow, we went on a brief tour of the property in a Maruti 4-wheel drive all terrain vehicle (which is built specifically for the Indian army.) Here it is.

We stopped at the edge of the property to see the Nilgiri range in the distance.

Just in case you are familiar with the movie Sholay (which was a super-hit movie in 1975), you may know that it was actually filmed in a place about 50 kms south of Bangalore (on national highway 275.) Here’s a video of that stretch. The film location is somewhere to the right among the huge monolithic hills.

I have a whole lot of nice pictures. I will post them sometime later. Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Followup post: A Mudumalai Bear

Author: Atanu Dey


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