Now winding through the roads of Bandipur, Karnataka through the forests of Mudumalai, Tamil Nadu, I landed in Masinagudi. A quaint little village at the foothills of the Nilgiri Mountains.
The past few weeks of rain had converted the forest into a lush green foliage, teeming with flora and fauna. My destination was Jungle Retreat Resort. Nestled right in the heart of the forest, surrounded by wildlife, it’s a thrilling experience amidst nature and nothing else.
The resort is run by wildlife enthusiast Rohan and his team. They have taken great measures to keep this place as close as possible to its natural habitat with free passage for the wild from the surrounding forests. What makes the place different from most resorts is its extreme proximity to the wild. You will be surprised to spot deer grazing at your doorstep and freely moving around the property. As night falls, many predators, like leopards can also be seen roaming in the premises, captured stealthily by the camera traps. The picturesque pool serves as a swimming zone as well as a water hole for many animals. Goats and cattle by the day and elephants, bears, leopards by night.
The best view of them would be from the pool side tree house. Imagine being perched up on a tree in the dark of the night with the sounds of the forests raining down your ears. A flashlight would sure come in handy to spot our dear neighbors of the wild.
I however chose to be at ground level from one of the cottages facing the eternal forests.
The forest is truly enchanting with its sights, sounds and smell.
Guards are provided at night to escort you to your rooms. Writing about the feeling is one thing…being there with your heart literally pounding as you are guided by nothing more than a mere flashlight is something which you have to try and get yourself to do.
The ever-eager naturalists are ready to take you for a safari trek or bird photography.
The food in the resort was amazing with a wonderful buffet spread. The rooms are quite comfortable, equipped with hot water and showers.
All in all being so close to the wild is an adventure of its own. Takes you back to to primitive times. The hunter in you comes alive- only of a different kind. A hunter with a camera lens.
Ending it now as my hubby calls. He has probably spotted another bird of the 140 odd species present here.