Bandipur and back

Its Friday night 10’o clock and I am still in the office working. I put my laptop aside and call my friend “Machan lets go somewhere”. In couple of minutes, we land in a conference call. Three friends agree to come and we plan to start by midnight. We discussed multiple destinations but didn’t settle down on one particular destination.

At around 2 in the morning everyone assembled in my home and we get into the car. None of us had slept. My friend asks me to navigate to the location. That’s when the real question comes out again. Which location? Each one had a location in mind. Finally we decided to go to Bandipur and we hit the road.

We reached Bandipur early in the morning to catch the first safari trip. The whole place was very dry. This was the first time I had come to Bandipur and this isn’t what I had expected. The safari van starts and enters the unpaved roads into the forest. We see deers, peacocks, barking deer, mongoose and an elephant too.

The dry vegetation

After that, we are done. I am struggling to keep my eyes open, the rhythm of the safari van is not allowing me to stay awake. I check my friends and they are already deep in sleep. The guide mentioned that since, its summer the water bodies have dried out and all the animals come to the water bodies in the early morning for some water. Couple of years have passed since this safari, I have done safaris in multiple other places, but this is the only trip where I have seen so many variety of animals. But still sleep overtook my enthusiasm and nothing can be done about it.

The safari was over in an hour. It was around 8 AM and we were like, is that it? Is the trip done? Are we going back to Bangalore? That isn’t supposed to happen like that right. One friend mentions we get nice parotta in Masinagudi. Lets drive there for lunch and have parotta in Masinagudi.

The road to Masinagudi from Bandipur

Parota is a dish all our college mates used to miss in Bangalore. We do get parota here in Bangalore. But not the ones which you get in Tamilnadu roadside shops. So whenever we get a chance to go to Tamilnadu, we fill our tummies with parota from some random road side shops. We set forward to Masinagudi in the hopes of having an early lunch and we missed breakfast.

But even before we reached Masinagudi, we changed our plan to visit Ooty. So we ended up having lunch in Ooty. Ooty was still green compared to Bandipur. It was chill and it lived to the expectations. We had lunch in Ooty and went to Doddabetta. I have been here when I was a kid and have a pic from here.

Doddabetta

Not so excited, we were looking for the next place. With couple of phone calls with one question to ask. “Macha, tell us a place near Ooty, where we can and take a bath in a waterfalls.” We finally had an answer. Catherine falls.

We had to park our car and hike to the waterfalls. The place was beautiful. Other than us there was one more gang of guys having there best time with booze. We spent a lot of time inside the water and came out again not knowing what to do next.

My friend wanted to show us Tex valley in Erode. Erode is a textile hub of Tamil Nadu and they have built a mall for all the local textile shops. Textile here is pretty cheap. We got down from the hills and reached Erode by night just before the mall shutdown and went shopping for clothes. These are not branded clothes, but cheaper ones. Did some shopping and then set back to reach Bangalore late night.

That was one tiring and unplanned trip which I am going to remember for a long time to come.

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