Some experiences in life leave you a changed person and travelling is one such experience. Travelling to lesser known places, travelling with strangers in foreign lands or going on a solo journey are absolutely life-changing.
One more such experience is discovering the secrets of travel on the road. Nothing rivals the travel experience that you gain by traversing the roads, especially of the countryside in India.
On that note let's take a small road trip to Bandipur, a forest region known for its national park. The road trip to Bandipur is also the perfect answer to 'no leaves'. You can comfortably manage this trip over the weekend. Having been tied down the entire week with deadlines and pressure, this trip would certainly refresh you and also covers some of the best places you can see on the way.
So get ready pack your bags and head to Bandipur this weekend.
Bangalore to Channapatna
Distance - 67.1 km
Time - 1 hr 30 min
It is best if you leave early in the morning from Bangalore so that you can reach Channapatna without much traffic snarls. Do ensure that your petrol tank is full and also carry a spare tyre and some tools with you.
Stop at this small village and visit the many shops that sell wooden toys here. The wondrous collection of wooden handicraft in this little village range from rocking chairs to key chains, all of them in vivid hues and shapes.
Enjoy a simple breakfast, pile up on the luggage with a little shopping and continue on your way to Mandya.
The wooden toys of Channapatna
Photo Courtesy: Hari Prasad Nadig
Channapatna to Mandya
Distance - 40 km
Time - 1 hr
After having shopped to your hearts content head to the small town of Mandya. The land of sugar and rice, Mandya is a prominent agricultural district, formed in the year 1939.
Blessed with the irrigation waters of river Cauvery and Hemavathi, half of the district countryside is lush in various hues of green throughout the year.
Mandya district is host to several places of tourist interest such as the Brindavan Gardens at the Krishna Raj Sagar, the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Kokkare Bellur Bird Sanctuary, the historical town of Srirangapatna, the Shivanasamudra falls, Kaveri Fishing Camp, temple town of Melkote and the Tonnur lake.
Explore the various attractions that it has to offer and be lost in the beauty of nature here.
Pelicans at the Kokkare Bellur Bird Sanctuary.
Photo Courtesy: Koshy Koshy
Mandya to Mysore
Distance - 46.2 km
Time - 1hr 15 min
From Mandya you can head to the city of Mysore where many more attractions await you. It is the cultural capital of Karnataka and the second largest city in the state and is a famous tourist destination in South India known for its royal charm.
The old world feel of Mysore city along with its well-manicured gardens, heritage mansions and shady avenues is sure to leave an everlasting memory in your mind. There are many attractions around the city, namely the Mysore Palace, Karanji Lake, Lalitha Mahal, Mysore Zoo, etc, pick any one place to observe and enjoy throughly over the evening.
Be mesmerised by the beauty of the Mysore Palace.
Photo Courtesy: Ramnath Bhat
Mysore to Bandipur
Distance - 77 km
Time - 1 hr 30 min
You can either drive to Bandipur in the evening and put up here at the Jungle Lodges or drive down here from Mysore early in the morning. Keep in mind that the Bandipur Forest Road is closed from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am.
The road from Nanjangud to Gundalpet is usually not in top condition and therefore plan well to spend more time than expected in the road. The road from Gundalpet to the Bandipur entry point is also mostly in poor conditions.
However, from the Bandipur Forest entry point the roads are in excellent condition and a pleasure to drive on. Just ensure to keep some rules in mind to ensure your personal safety and concern for the surrounding wildlife.
The winding single lane road means you have to maintain a speed limit under 40 kmph, avoid honking, stopping and consuming alcohol or having picnics on the roadside, no matter how scenic the clearing looks!
Once in Bandipur you can go a safari of your choice to explore the wilderness here. There are bus and jeep safaris that take place twice daily, and an elephant safari in the afternoon. The prices of the tickets are very nominal, elephant safari is priced at Rs. 50, bus safari at Rs. 75 and the expensive one being the jeep safari which costs Rs. 1750 per head. But you might have to pre-book yourself for the safari.
Animals at Bandipur National Park.
Photo Courtesy: Navaneeth KN
Bandipur to Bangalore
Distance - 224 km
Time - 4 hr 30 min
You can stay the night in Bandipur at the Jungle Lodges, but be warned that the charges here are pretty high.The other option is to return on Sunday evening. Do bear in mind that the forest road is closed from 6 in the evening to 6 in the morning and therefore schedule your departure accordingly.
Should you leave on Sunday evening you can expect to reach Banglore by night or if you prefer leaving in the morning then you can plan to reach Bangalore by around 10:00 am and still hit work after a rejuvenating trip on the road.
So when are you heading on this road trip?
Photo Courtesy: Renjith Sasidharan