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Weekend Getaway – Masinagudi

Dreamy setting to catch up on some reading :)

About a month ago Puneeth and I went on a weekend getaway to Masinagudi to celebrate our second anniversary and it couldn’t have been a better choice. Far away from the city with nothing much to do but enjoy each other’s company, it was the perfect place for spending some quality time with each other. Masinagudi is a beautiful hill station and sanctuary and falls in the Mudumalai National Park in Nilgiri district in South India. It is a pleasant drive of 240 kms from Bangalore through idyllic villages and lush country side.

We started early on a Saturday morning and after a hearty breakfast in Mysore and a beautiful drive through rural landscape followed by an even more beautiful drive through the Bandipur forest reached Masinagudi, where we were picked up by our resort in a 4X4 to continue to a small piece of solitary lover’s paradise. We stayed at “Inn the Wild” during our stay in Masinagudi and it completely transported me to my dreamland, tree-house and picture postcard like setting complete with a small lake! I had never been to a wildlife sanctuary before and when Puneeth revealed the big surprise that we were going to one, I was a bit apprehensive as I was not too keen on being all outdoorsy and all for this trip. But all my apprehensions were laid to rest as apart from morning and evening nature trails and a night safari, there is nothing much to do here except bask in the nature’s glory  lazing around and truly connecting with yourself and your partner and ideal for spending quality time with your family. Luckily for us there was no boisterous crowd in the resort during our stay and that’s the way it should be in places like these though they do cater to large groups and team outings.

A little bit more about our stay “Inn the Wild”:
Tucked away in the Mudumalai forest range, this rustic jungle stay is an experience in itself. Once you reach the Singara post in Masinagudi village, you need to go off-roading for which the resort will pick you up in a 4X4. You can take your own vehicle too if you are gutsy enough to endure a heavy repair bill in case of a mishap! The resort itself is spread on a considerable piece of land on the fringes of the Mudumalai forest reserve and apparently the only one inside without any kind of fencing. They have cottages of two types and one tree top house which are basically two separate but adjacent rooms on top of a tree and a tree house. We stayed on the tree house which has a lovely lake view and is quite a distance away from all the cottages and the other tree top rooms and the reception area. The ever changing view from the tree house from the misty early morning landscape to the warm play of light during sunset to the nocturnal visit by deer just below the tree house were few of the highlights of our trip J. The best part of the trip for me was the lazy afternoon we spent reading by the lakeside. With birds chirping in the background and the warm winter sun keeping us cozy, it could not have been more perfect. I could have just stayed there for a week I guess and even now on crazy hectic days I yearn for that quiet afternoon; it is my happy place now J. The evening nature trail led by the in house naturalist cum wildlife expert Siddharth was fun and informative. But don’t take his quiet and easy going demeanor for granted as he is quite strict as well as passionate when it comes to environment and wildlife and his anecdotes are just amazing. He recommended the book “Black Panther of Sivanipalli” by Kenneth Anderson from the well-stocked library at the resort which is an interesting read about the exploits of the author chasing man eating beasts in the jungles of India. The book spooked me a bit and I half expected a beast to jump on us during the night jungle safari but unfortunately we only spotted commonly sighted animals like the wild boar, gaurs, deer and hare and a few nocturnal birds. We were on the lookout for an elephant or tiger sighting but I guess it was not our day. Siddharth mentioned that sometimes the elephant herd comes to the lake near our tree house for water and we kept a steadfast vigil till way past midnight. No elephant sighting but we did have more gaur sightings and a big herd of deer spent the night just below our tree house. Sufficiently satisfied by our wildlife sightings we were in for a bonanza when we had a wild elephant sighting on the way back to Bangalore.

 Great place for some quiet contemplation...

...with some deer for company while fishing :D

 Someone does not look pleased with all the monkey business :D

Cute abode!

The morning after ;)

 The cottages of "Inn the Wild" resort

Nature walk!

Remember - No bright colours for nature walk!

The journey was as picturesque as the destination

 Winding roads through cute hamlets...

...and canopy of banyan tress...

And an occasional jumbo encounter!

Last glimpse; picture reading below that tree! :)

Like this!

Our overall experience with Inn the Wild:

Yays -
  1. The tree house and the view from there
  2. Pickup and drop till the tree house
  3. Food was basic but good
  4. Good collection of books
  5. Campfire
  6. Night safari
Nays -
  1. The package could have been weekend friendly; check-in on Saturday morning and check-out early evening post lunch rather than noon check-out before lunch.
Tips:
  1. Book well in advance especially if you want the tree house as there is only one tree house.
  2. Wear neutral color clothes when going for nature walks and safaris (We were rapped for wearing bright colors – yellow pants and white t shirt! :D)
  3. Carry a torch if you are staying at the tree house. It is quite a distance from the reception and even though the resort picks you and drops you to the room, it is better to have one.
  4. Carry mosquito repellant.
  5. Carry shoes for nature walks and safari.
  6. Carry any specific medication you might need as the nearest pharmacy is also quite far.
  7. We saw Duster and Mahindra XUV making it through the bumpy ride, but if you are not confident it is better to park your vehicle (quite safe) and take the resort pickup and drop in 4X4 from Singhara check post.
  8. Limited cell phone connectivity, got Vodafone near reception area.
  9. For more details see the FAQ page of Inn the Wild.
  10. You can go for the safari in Bandipur forest on your way back to Bangalore after checking out.

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