Southern India wildlife viewing in 3 days?

#1 Sep 6th, 2007, 05:23
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  • Pat M is offline
#1
I am anticipating having a great adventure on my first trip to India this winter, but could definitely use some input from wildlife loving travelers who have been to southern India.

My husband and I plus our two grown sons will be flying to Chennai on Dec 27 to attend a wedding there. Our sons are flying back to the States on the 31st, but my husband and I are able to stay extra days and attend a reception in the groom's village near Tenkasi (southern India) on the evening of Jan 3. We are free to travel from the 31st until the 3rd as long as we end up in the area of Tenkasi on the 3rd.

Our lives in Idaho/Montana revolve around forestry and wildlife so naturally we would like to see as much of that side of India as possible along with the cultural aspect, of course. Nagarhole N.P. and Kabini River Lodge sound fascinating, but I am concerned about underestimating the travel time. I read it takes 6 hrs to go from Bangalore to Nagarhole.

If that itinerary is too ambitious what about going from Chennai to Madurai to see Periyar N.P. enroute to Tenkasi? I haven't spotted anything resembling a lodge like the Kabini so am not sure about accomodations there. Madurai sounds like a good place to stay though.

We both are physically fit and healthy so the rigors of travel are not a big factor in planning. However, it would be nice to stay in somewhat civilized clean digs with indoor plumbing etc. We're willing to travel by train, plane, or nope, not bus. A car and driver has been offered by the bride's father so we do have someone to help with arrangements locally there.

We are not the type to become bored easily as there are always animals, bugs, lizards etc to notice if one looks close enough. However, it would be great to experience the quiet of the area if such a place exists.

Any ideas before I hand over my wish list to the bride's father for him to book the reservations (I don't think he's the wildlife type so that's why I'm trying to give him lots of specific info on what we would like to see).
#2 Sep 6th, 2007, 05:54
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#2
I grew up taking nearby wildlife for granted in Council Idaho and graduated from high school in Montana. Portland Oregon isn't too shabby for a metropolitan city, I can view Osprey catching fish just 20 minutes from my house.

Anyhoo, funny that a couple of years ago we attended a wedding in Chennai then traveled to Madurai and Periyar afterwards.

We took a 1 hour flight from Chennai to Madurai, avoiding the overnight train to make things a little easier for my wife who was five months pregnant at the time. The (four hour?) drive from Madurai to Periyar was interesting and scenic. There is a wildlife lodge in the middle of the lake in Periyar but we chose to stay at a small boutique hotel called 'Shalimar Spice Garden'.

We hired another car for the drive to Allepey. This leg was more scenic as it winds through the many tea plantations at the higher elevations.

Where exactly is Tenkasi?
#3 Sep 6th, 2007, 08:02
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#3
That sounds like a nice plan.

Closer to Chennai there is, I'm told, a mangove swamp/backwater area near to Chidambaram, which I plan to take a look at one day soon.

Also, and much nearer (about 50-100Km?) there is a bird sanctuary at Vedanthangal. Google will help you find out more.

Dare I mention the word zoo? For a day out from Chennai I am fond of Vandalur Zoo. It's cages and displays are spread throughout a large park area, and one can sometimes see wildlife outside the cages almost as interesting as inside.
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#4 Sep 6th, 2007, 10:24
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#4
Thanks for the info about the lodging. I had to smile when you asked the location of Tenkasi. I had to go buy a super duper map of India just to find some of the places mentioned for wedding festivities. Even then I found out that only the largest village/city is on the map. Tenkasi looks to be on a direct line and centered between Mudanthurai Tiger Sanctuary and Periyar NP.
#5 Sep 6th, 2007, 10:46
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#5
kabini is a good option.

http://www.junglelodges.com/resort_o...?resort=Kabini

"K Gudi" is also good
#6 Feb 4th, 2011, 14:17
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#6
There are a few points you don't want to miss when you are touring south India that too for Wildlife.
My travel experience in search of wildlife (last 30 yrs) tells me that you should visit:
1)Thekkady and take the boat ride.
2)Go to Topslip near Pollachi in Tamil Nadu and take the elephant ride into the forest
3)Go to Wayanad either to Thirunelli region from where you can explore both Tholpetty and Nagarahole OR near the Bathery region to cover Muthanga and Mudumalai.

3 days is not enough, do have at least a week to spare.
#7 Feb 5th, 2011, 00:29
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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by AMathews View Post There are a few points you don't want to miss when you are touring south India that too for Wildlife.
My travel experience in search of wildlife (last 30 yrs) tells me that you should visit:
1)Thekkady and take the boat ride.
2)Go to Topslip near Pollachi in Tamil Nadu and take the elephant ride into the forest
3)Go to Wayanad either to Thirunelli region from where you can explore both Tholpetty and Nagarahole OR near the Bathery region to cover Muthanga and Mudumalai.

3 days is not enough, do have at least a week to spare.

@ Mathew : please look at the post date ..
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#8 Nov 3rd, 2011, 10:37
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  • tranquine is offline
#8

Advice needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by AMathews View Post There are a few points you don't want to miss when you are touring south India that too for Wildlife.
My travel experience in search of wildlife (last 30 yrs) tells me that you should visit:
1)Thekkady and take the boat ride.
2)Go to Topslip near Pollachi in Tamil Nadu and take the elephant ride into the forest
3)Go to Wayanad either to Thirunelli region from where you can explore both Tholpetty and Nagarahole OR near the Bathery region to cover Muthanga and Mudumalai.

3 days is not enough, do have at least a week to spare.
Matthew,

I along with a couple of friends are planning to drive from Bangalore on a S. India trip this Dec. Trip length 10 days, driving by tourist taxi. We are in early 50s so not able to have a very hectic schedule, tho we are quite fit to walk. WE are interested in (a) Wildlife places as well as (b) historic places. Wondering if you could give some advice on part (a). PLaces to see, places to avoid, places to stay at and rates would be helpful. I have been to BR Hills way back and stayed at the Jungle Lodges. It was very nice.

Thanks,

tranquine

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