Best wildlife Resorts in Masinagudi
One of the prime reason I absolutely adore Southern part of India is the wonderful opportunities it offers to be close to the nature and enjoy the wildlife in its natural habitat. I spent around three years in Karnataka and I just wish I had more time to be able to explore Southern India inside out. During the time I spent in Bangalore, I was lucky to meet some really special people, make lifetime friends, learn about the local culture and find such places that have left an everlasting mark on my heart <3. Of those places two of these wildlife resorts in Masinagudi : Inn the wild and Jungle retreat, have created magic on me. Passing through Bandipur national park and Mudumulai national park, numerous wildlife resorts will come across. And I can guarantee you from my experience that these two are the best wildlife resorts in that area.
Inn the wild
Inn the wild does complete justice to its name, its a wild inn located deep in the wild surrounded by the wild and meant for the wild 😀 While passing through Masinagudi, take a diversion on the Singara road to reach Singara check post. The jeep boy will come in a 4×4 to pick you up from the Singara check post, and that is where all the adventure begins. That rugged road is no good for a car and is bound to give you that roller coaster ride of a lifetime. For severe motion sickness patients like me, I advise to take a pill beforehand :p This location is supervised by some government imposed wildlife rules, thereby no pets are allowed. And this is done for the safely of pets as occasionally leopards or tigers may come and kill the poor innocent pets. But what could be done if a random stray dog is so attracted to you that he doesn’t want to leave behind and is ready to run several kilometers. And that is what happened with us.
A very well groomed, fairy white fully energetic dog came towards us while we were waiting at Singara check post. This dog was so active and fill of wildness, that I could relate myself to him. Its like me in a dog avatar 😀 I cuddled this dog for a while and immediately felt in love. When we hopped onto the jeep, this dog didn’t want to leave us, so it just came running all the way after this jeep to the resort. The authorities mentioned to us about the restrictions they have for any sort of pets, but I requested them to let him stay there for just one night, and then next day they can take him and leave back to Singara check post. If I were to stay in Bangalore or even India for the time to come, I would have adopted this “Aru like dog”. And I ascertain that this dog along with my hubby :p made that romantic stay even more exciting. And until today I miss that dog.
Coming to the location, an absolute paradise. It has few little huts and a small jungle themed restaurant in the middle of a forest. As to what we chose to stay is a completely isolated one of a kind Tree house overlooking a grand waterhole, a machaan (elevated viewing platform) at the side and surrounded by the wilderness of the forest. Because of its proximity to the water hole, its high chance that during the night you can spot a lot of animal activity. But you need to have torch lights since its complete darkness. And also its not advisable to roam around freely during the evening as animals share the same space.
We also went for a forest night safari in the jeep and spotted deers, bisons, majestic elephants, different bird varieties, giant squirrels but had no luck in finding the cat family 🙁 Nevertheless it was a thrilling experience, that excitement of expecting a surprise at every turn keeps the heart going 100 miles an hour 😀 That time they had a very knowledgeable and humble naturalist Sidharth, who took us for a nature walk and we learnt many new things about how the animals and the ecosystem work together. We saw beautiful trails, a small river across the forest and of course our another guide “Aru Dog” followed us everywhere.
You can also spend time fishing during the day at their watering hole. As the night came, and became dark everywhere, the tree house gave more and more thrilling vibes. Although you have to climb 35 steps up the ladder, still I was afraid at times what if the tiger came upstairs. That was the thrill which made the night and the entire stay so memorable. We could hear all sorts of animal sounds at nights, I would take my torchlight and go to the window and the balcony to try to spot the magnificent tiger. But as everyone knows, they are not easy.
I would recommend all nature and wildlife enthusiasts to visit this place, and especially during the weekend. If you are going during the day, please contact the resort staff in advance to inquire if they would have their naturalist to guide you. I am saying this because when we went to this place for the second time, I couldn’t find anyone, neither the friendly dog, nor the naturalist. Apparently the naturalist was on a holiday and the dog would have found a new love ;( And please don’t worry at all about food, they have a very good variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicious home cooked food. For the bookings, we used their official website, but please book two months in advance if you are planning for the sole tree house as its hardly vacant. They have four types of accommodations tree house, tree top, tribal home and a jungle shack. We stayed in the tree house both the times as its just a completely unique experience.
Located in the foothills of Nilgiris inside the Mudumulai national park, lies another heaven which is an absolute bliss for nature and wildlife lovers. During the time I visited here around 2 years back, the resort did not have any collaboration with our popular booking sites, which makes it hard for a person to know about this place. And to my surprise, on visiting there I found how popular this place is with our non-Indian guests. I did not have a chance to ask them about how they found this place but I can tell you mine. And its an interesting one.
Three years back when i visited Inn the wild, if you have read the above section about the tale with a dog, and how much I miss him, so I was wondering if there exists any wildlife resort where I can find good pets also to play with. And to my surprise on some combination of keywords like “pets”, “wildlife”, “unique” etc I was so lucky to have found this hidden gem, the gem which did not want to advertise itself at that point of time. But luckily now that I checked, I can see Jungle retreat on tripadvisor.com , booking.com etc. The resort has many pet dogs and cats in the vicinity. All of these pet animals are the ones which they have rescued from different areas. You will find a dog who is deaf, and another who limps while walking, and it was really satisfying to see these souls getting good care now.
This place also lies deep inside the woods, but you can take your own vehicle here as the car can sustain that terrain. It is not as rocky and uneven as the terrain on the road to Inn the wild. They also have a tree house overlooking the most beautiful water hole with a splendid Nilgiri mountain backdrop, but we chose to stay in a standard room. Honestly, that is because the Jungle retreat tree house I agree is a beauty, but failed to give the wilderness that the tree house of Inn the wild gives. So, I decided to save few bucks and rather go for a Standard room.
As you can see in the picture, this view is irresistible and immediately we took our swimming costumes and just went for the what I would call animal drinking water pool.
It was a chilly day, my body shivering in the cold and salty water, but the relaxation it gave was immense. We met few more guests and the resort supervisors themselves inside the pool and we talked. Came to know the passion for wildlife the owners of the resort have.
After the relaxing swim, we went for the jungle safari. I have been to many safaris in different areas in North and South India, but I was so impressed with this safari solely because of the safari guy that took us exhibited ultimate deal of patience, knowledge and the zeal to spot the most exotic ones. We saw a majestic elephant family. And I think we were very close to spotting a tiger or an leopard too, given that we could hear severe alarming calls from the monkeys. It was about 3 hour long fulfilling safari experience. And about the deer, you will find them roaming around everywhere around your rooms. During the night, they can arrange for a bonfire and a wonderfully delicious food to accompany it. The staff is so cooperative, and goes an extra mile to give you the best experience. You can let them know of your preferred choice of protein and any dietary restrictions if you may have. During the evening, they will also show you a short presentation about the kind of wildlife which is found in the forest, and the animals which have been seen roaming freely around the rooms, ranging from leopards to bears 😀 Early morning they would also take you for a nature hike on the mountain, passing some good knowledge along the way. Due to our shortage of time, Monday being a working day, we could not enjoy the nature walk. For which we shall return again some other time. So we had to leave quite early (around 4AM) to Bangalore to be able to make it to work. At last apologies I don’t have many pictures from my Jungle retreat visit. But I am sure you guys can visit and contribute some.
And I would conclude by mentioning that these both places are indeed the best wildlife resorts in Masinagudi and I am sure are going give you the wildlife dosage you want. If you follow my recommendation, and visit these places, let me know in comments below about your experience 🙂