Thursday, January 11, 2007

K. Gudi (Kyathadevara Gudi) Wilderness Camp

p Date of Travel: 07 Jan 2007 - 08 Jan 2007

f Swashbucklers:
4 Pradeep Manohar
4 Lingaraj Patil
4 Rajashekaran
4 Nand Kumar

j PQ De-Tour: Bangalore 8 Madur Junction 8 Malavalli 8 Kollegal 8 BR Hills 8 K Gudi (Jungle Lodge Resort)

i Journal:

i Album:

K Gudi Temple - Built by mysore maharaja
K Gudi Temple

Our trip to K Gudi happened impromptu. Mr.Rajshekaran (Raj) called me on 05-Jan-2007 and asked me if I was interested, I had previously visited BR Hills in May 2006 and due to the bad roads; my Honda city could not take the pain and had to back up midway of K Gudi runway. I was excited to go as my passion to see the wild cats (tigers) increased day by day. Raj and NandaKumar visited the Jungle lodge resorts office at MG Road & booked the tent house for

07 Jan 2007:
Swashbucklers had to assemble at Vennar, Jayanagar at 05:00 AM. I got up around 04:00 AM and left my house in my bullet. My hands felt numb on reaching Vennar, the climate was that chill at Bangalore.

I was happy that all of us (Raj, Nand Kumar and Lingraj Patil) assembled on time and headed towards Mysore Road in Maruti Alto. Our first pit stop was after Ramanagara, where we stretched ourselves and took some snaps of the swashbuckler’s team.
We reached Madur junction by 07:00 AM and took a deviation towards Malavalli. We had our breakfast at Kollegal around 09:00 AM and headed towards BR Hills.

We reached the BR Hills check post around 10:30am and entrance of BR Hills runway was like a gateway to heaven. The roads were good as Dr. Abdul Kalam (President of India) had visited K Gudi couple of months back. I wish all the high profile central government officials keep visiting the wild camp often. We took a deviation from BR Hills and headed towards Kyathadevara Gudi. The drive to K Gudi was like sitting in an AC room (the cool breeze) and watching a movie (Scenery around).

Arrived at Jungle Lodge Wilderness camp at 11:00 AM, our Swiss tent house was ready to be occupied. The view from tent house was breathtaking. The camp was setup in such a way that we felt the touch & feel of the jungle, cut-off from the motor world, pollution and going deep into the wilderness of the nature. We had a good scenic view from the tent house. The camp official advised us to keep the tent door closed, not to keep any valuable items unattended. The reason being, the monkeys in the camp pick anything that is under their radar. There are a couple of activities that you can explore at the camp. These are tree top watch tower, jumping net and bird watching. The food was so delicious that we had to take a siesta before we geared up for the safari at 04:00 PM.

We assembled at the Maharaja Suite, where Naturist Mr. Vikranth briefed us about the safari Do’s and Don’ts. He mentioned about the history of K Gudi. K Gudi temple was built by Mysore Maharaja. The stretch of K Gudi is the place where the Eastern Ghats merge with the Western Ghats. This place once upon a time was terrorized by Veerapan (smuggler, poacher and kidnapper). Lots of tribes around the Eastern and Western Ghats, Soliga Tribe being one of them was given a visit by Dr.Abdul Kalam a couple of months back.

Finally, we all set to go for the safari and I had to introduce my new Camouflage pants which I had bought a couple of months back and never had a chance to wear it until the D – DAY…

We got into the Safari jeep with naturist Mr. Kumar. The tiger trail was an awesome path, after traveling deep into the jungle, the first animal we came across was a Spotted Deer. Mr. Kumar stated that there are three types of Deer in K Gudi.

Spotted Deer/Chital: It’s the most commonly found member in forest. Its life expectancy is around 20-30 years.
Barking deer: Named after its CALLS which resembles the barking of a dog. They are in solitude and warn other animals by barking on spotting a tiger.
Mouse deer: This deer of just 1 foot is rarely spotted in safari. If you would like to sight one, you may have to opt for trekking.
Sambar Deer: Tiger’s most delicious food.
And not to forget Leopard’s favorite food is DOG....

We found pack of bisons’, their majestic stand makes you go wild on the lush green grass. We could not sight any elephants so thereby naturist Kumar took us to the Water hole. We got off the jeep to stretch our feet and get some snaps around the water hole. After a while we heard the barking deer barking loudly and the langur monkey yelling. Kumar told us that the tiger was somewhere around the water hole. I turned my camera from click mode to video mode. I switched on the recording and looked for tiger. The barking went louder & louder. The bark of the deer and the yell of langur monkey sent a shiver up the spine. It was as though the tiger was watching us rather than us watching it. We waited for around 20 minutes and were so close to seeing a tiger, but could not spot it. The barking deer stopped barking. The sun was setting down and it was time for us to get back to the camp. On the way back we located herd of Elephants deep down the valley. My camera could not catch the herd because of bad light and the distance was quite far. I wish I had those zooming camera lenses of Nikon D200/Canon DSLR.

The darkness had occupied the forest and all we could see was spotted deer, sambar deer and bisons. Their eyes shined like laser when the headlights of the jeep hit them. Reached base camp at 07:00 PM, had quick snacks and tea. The camp was lit by generator run electricity till 10:30 PM and from there on we had lantern and torch. It was a perfect look of a JUNGLE… I really loved the way the camp was designed.

We spent our time outside the tent house glaring at the clear sky and stars. We had couple of drinks to escape from the chill weather. At 09:00 PM we had dinner and sat around the camp fire to enjoy the heat.

08 Jan 2007:

I got up at 04:00 AM to check if any of the animals were around the tent. The base camp is not fenced. Its open to the wild animals, an elephant or a tiger can be our guests anytime. I torched out of my tent to check if any wild animal was waiting for me to step out of the tent. It was pitch dark with stars showering less light and the sun had a wake up call only at 06:00 AM. I browsed the torch to the left and right, top on the trees imagining that I was being watched by a leopard, but my, search went in vain. The other swashbucklers got up by 05:00 AM and all of us reported at the Maharaja Suite for beverages and set ourselves for early morning safari.

Kumar told us that animals are very rarely seen in the mornings. All we could see was deer in plenty, bison and Sambar deer. We stopped at another water hole, but could not site any wild animals. Took some snaps around the water hole and headed back to base camp.

We had seen a female elephant (name: Kanthi) yesterday at the camp which had a white cloth covering its body. I checked with Kumar as why is it so. Kumar told me that it was a tamed elephant of the forest department. Usually the mahout leaves Kanthi to graze in the forest in the evening and she comes back to the base the next morning. Twenty days back when it had gone to graze in the evening, it was attacked by wild elephants. When we got to see her, she was attacked by a tusker elephant which had pierced into her belly and unfortunately she was pregnant too. Luckily the baby was safe inside said the Veterinary Doctor. She was brutally attacked showing no mercy of being its own breed. Everyday she was given bath and treated with Medicine. She groaned and cried in pain when the medicine was applied. Sad, but that’s what wildlife is all about.

We had breakfast at Maharaja Suite. I saw a pack of Wild boars walking past the tent. I made up my mind to follow them and take some snaps. As I followed them up the hill, one of the boars found that it was being followed and turned to me to attack. It was time for me to back up as it was with its babies. And no mother boar can see its babies under threat. I decided to say them a good bye and a good bye kiss to those little ones.

We took an elephant (Kavitha) safari. The mahout (Chetan) took us into the forest. I was asking him about the elephant Kavitha. She was 60 yrs old and had given birth to a baby elephant. Her name is Kaithe and is 8 yrs old. While taking the safari, Patil’s Maruti Alto was in the parking lot. I asked Chetan if he could ask Kavitha to walk over it, He said no issues; he just has to give a command to Kavitha. There went Patil yelling at me!! Chetan has been working for 9 years at jungle lodge camp. He gets Rs 1500 pm salary and is a contract employee. The forest department makes these mahouts permanent only after 10yrs of their service. His uncle who is a permanent employee earns Rs 5000 pm. The pity part was Chetan gets paid a meager amount of Rs 1500/- for which he has to take care of his family and Kavitha. Man! That is very sad…
We enjoyed the elephant safari (thanks to Kavitha for bearing my weight). I took some banana chips off my pocket and headed towards the hammock near our tent house. My objective was to feed the baby monkeys and take few clippings and snaps of it. Initially, the monkeys were shy; the bigger monkeys won’t let the baby monkeys get the attention or share of the food. So I had tough time finding baby monkeys, when the bigger monkeys were not around. At first, the baby monkey was very inquisitive, later one of them made an effort to come down to me and pick chips from my hand. I wanted to spend more time with the monkeys but we had to check out from the camp.

We left Jungle lodge at 11:00 AM in the morning and headed back to the machine world. That was a good bye to Jungle lodge wilderness camp. I shall definitely visit the camp next time with high end camera and will prefer to stay for at least 2 days, hoping that I can spot the wild cat. It’s been a thrilling & nerve wrecking experience at K Gudi.


Gateway to BR Hills
K Gudi Runway
Langur Monkey

Kavitha (the Elephant)

Jungle Lodge Wilderness Camp - Tent House

Swiss Tent House

Tree Top - Watch Tower

Ready for Safari

Naturist - Mr. Kumar, Guide to wildlife ssfari
Naturist Kumar
Tiger Trail
Tiger Trail
Spotted Deer/Chital
Spotted Deer/Chital
Grandiose Bison
Grandiose Bison
MUSKLE of Bison...

Naturist - Pradeep, Hearing to the barking deer and yelling of langur monkey

Water Hole - We were so close in seeing a tiger

Our next day safari at Water Hole
Water Hole
Shy Moon
Shy Moon
Miiror Image of trees on water

Back to camp - Scenic view from tent house
Scenic view from tent house

Kanthi(the Elephant) - Injured Elephant

Kanthi (the elephant)

Kanthi was attacked by Wild elephants.

Blood oozing out of injured Kanthi

Wild elephant pierced its tusker into Kanthi belly

Cute Baby Monkey

Baby Monkey

Photo Plsss......

Big BOss !!! Big BOss....

Feeding Monkey

Leopard - Forest Dept. found it dead in forest

Treating Kanthi (the injured elephant)- Read My Journal about the fate of Kanthi


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Nie trip report ... Feeding wildlife is not considered appropriate since it upsets the natural feeding chains

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