Bandipur National Park

What a nice weekend. We (Sven and I) escaped the dusty air of Bangalore to Bandipur National Park. Located about 220 km from Bangalore, it is a truly beautiful place.

We went there in a rented cab, which cost us about 4000 Rs (80 €) for the 220 km travel and the driver staying there during the time. One hint when driving in India: it is a good idea to recognize speed bumps early and slow down in time. The same goes for road damages (far more often). It just is no fun to hit one of these with 50 km/h, and it does sound bad for the car. This overland travel was also the first time i buckeled up in an Indian car. Nobody does around here, but I figured that since we were driving really fast this time, I should better do so.

We left Bangalore at five in the morning, and took our breakfast along the road. And I came to realize how expensive Bangalore is. In our little roadside café, we paid 6 Rs for a cup of coffee! The wole breakfast for three people, including warm dosa, cost less than 50 Rs. Afterwards, our driver told us that we even paid more than usual, because we were foreigners…

Well, we finally arrived at the Bandipur National Park Lodges, which are located just outside said National Park. The landscape there is very beautiful. It is less a dense forest, but rather single trees close together. The National Park iteself is, of course, a jungle, only accessible on the paths for the jeeps which bring tourists in there (I’ll come to this later).

After checking in and unpacking in our cottage, we used the time until our tour into the reservation would start to test the hammocks outside. It’s so nice to lay there in the shadow of a tree and enjoying the sun and the silence, only interrupted by the passing cars and lorries on the street in front. Later on we set off to the reservation, after a short security briefing (no red clothes, no bright clothes, stay inside the vehicle at all times). As I said before, the National Park iteself is more jungle-like, but not as dense as a rainforest. We saw a wide array of deer and birds, but unfortunately no tigers showed up. I hope I’ll get the pictures online soon.

Later we were shown a short movie about the reservation. Did you know that India was once almost totally covered in rainforest? Today only a small strip on the west coast is left… The day was finished with dinner and a few drinks at the bonfire, then we fell tired into our beds.

The next morning we set off very early, at 7am, to climb up the mountain opposite of the lodges. Not very tall, but rather steep and without a path… From the top we had a very nice view of the surronding area. Unfortunately, that was the very moment my camera’s battery was empty, so I cannot provide any pictures from there 🙁 But let me assure that this place is worth the travel.

To round off our visit to the Bandipur National Park, we had a 15-minute elephant ride after our breakfast. Then we left for Bangalore. On the way back, we stopped in Mysore to look at the musical fountain there. Unfortunately, the show only starts in the evening, because it also include a lightshow. So we ate lunch there and had a view at the reservoir, which is quite large. The show itself is nice, but not very spectacular. The fountain is lighted from below, and the single fountains are choreographed according to the music. If you manage to visit Mysore, you should in any case try to catch this. Just be sure that you are there timely, as it is a real attraction and quite full. Oh, and remenber that a fountain combined with wind can mean a wet spectator – what some of the people there discovered :D.

I have to say that this weekend was really nice. Getting out of Bangalore and into the nature ios something you really should do every few weeks…

Leave a Reply