The journey through Mysore, Nanjangud, Gundulpet, and Bandipur was smooth. The road to Mysore was like a race track, and the picturesque roads through the Bandipur and Muthunga forest ranges were delightful. En route Bandipur, we saw a few elephants. Upon reaching Sultan Bathery, we settled in our rooms, and relaxed for the rest of the evening.
On the second day, we first went to the Edakkal Caves. The Caves themselves must have been nice, although I didn’t really get to enjoy them because there were far too many people there, especially school children. They must have come from at least twenty different schools! One had to jostle for space to even walk the narrow and steep paths. At one point, there seemed to be a real danger of a stampede!
The trek to the Meenmuty Falls was challenging, but rewarding when we finally reached there. The waterfall itself was huge and one can hear its sound from quite a distance! It was a relief that there were not too many people there. This trek takes one through tea plantations on one side and coffee plantation on the other side. You can see Sushant in the pic here trying to measure the vastness of the tea plantation.
Our third day began with a jungle safari at the Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary. There were not too many animals to be seen (just the usual deer, langur and bison), but what I really enjoyed about this safari was the long distance that it covered.
The Kuruva Island was serene. One has the choice to cross the shallow Kabini river by foot (in other words, weave through knee deep water) or by a boat. On our return journey, I rowed the boat. But our ‘boating’ was not yet over. Next, we went to the Banasura Sagar Dam (see pic), whose waters provided an excellent destination for a speed boat ride.
Of course, any travel experience is incomplete without sampling the local cuisine. Needless to say, the food was delectable. The Malabari Biryani is a spicy version of the Hyderabadi Biriyani, with distinct flavor of Kerala spices. The beef fry and curry with Kerala parota was awesome. Even the buttermilk and pineapple dipped in sauce had their own taste.
Can't wait to see the other parts of Kerala.