Wayanad NP, Kerala

#31 Jan 21st, 2011, 15:12
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  • zillam is offline
#31

Thumbs down Wyanad wild life

We have just got back from a stay at Pachiderm Palace and have to report that the park gate at Wyanad is closed and has been for several months.
Trips to see wildlife involved a 13 Km jeep ride to Nagarahole park and then transfer onto a diesel bus for a quick ride round the tracks without a guide. Not much was seen partly because the bus windows were so dirty.
Talking to other travellers there seems to be general concensous that looking for wildlife in Kerala a waste of time because the parks are so badly set up for anyone with a serious interest in wild animals or birds.
#32 Jan 21st, 2011, 15:50
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#32
Hi,

Which park gate is closed for several months in wayanad ? Being a frequent visitor to all of the Wildlife sanctuaries including Nagarahole NP, I would like to say, this month is NOT the right time for Wildlife viewing. Viewing Wildlife need lot of luck and patience that too in the Sanctuaries which are 100s of Kms of forest area.

There is Definitely more scope to see the wildlife (Atleast elephants and deers at the minimal) in Tholpetty WLS , Muthanga WLS and Nagarahole NP.

For sure I understand your dissatisfaction but till now I visited around 20 times the same NP and it's not as bad as you are projecting. Again Just a personal opinion.

For More serious wildlife Enthusiasts, the following tip might help:-

1) Book well in advance the forest rest house of Nagarahole NP and you will enjoy it
2) Book a stay in Jungle lodges and Resorts (which is in Kabini backwaters) where chances of wildlife viewing is best
3) Normally Summer months have lot of scope for animal sighting and early mornings and evenings ( 5:30 to 7 am Or 5:30 pm onwards) is better to view wild animals. Even for Example, the high density mysore-ooty road (Which passes via Bandipur NP and Mudumalai NP ) we can see atleast elephants around 6pm just on the road itself.
4) For More Serious Bird Sighting, Visit Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary ( 12 kms from Mysore) Or Karanji Lake (Enclosure but interesting which is just next to Mysore zoo which even has a dedicated butterfly park ))


Cheers
Velu
#33 Jan 22nd, 2011, 20:56
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  • varad is offline
#33
Got an information from a friend that tholpetty WS is closed.
#34 Jan 22nd, 2011, 21:04
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#34
Quote:
Originally Posted by varad View Post Got an information from a friend that tholpetty WS is closed.
Oh Thanks for the info Varad. I drove Via Muthanga WLS and Tholpetty WLS a week back and I felt both are open as unlike bandipur NP and Mudumalai NP, kerala WLS are less touristy and we can't actualy find out whether it's open or closed per se by looking at the WLS Gate. As of Now, Only BR Hills WLS [Around 70 kms from Mysore]is officially closed . Normally these sanctuaries are prone to closure for a duration of 4 to 6 weeks around March / April time frame (in case of absolute Drought or repeated forest fires due to hot summer and Mudumalai is more prone to closure than any of the other WLS/ NPs in the KA-KL-TN Border).

I saw lot of greenery and many a river / streams had enough of water in that area even last week.

Velu
#35 Jan 28th, 2011, 13:13
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#35
Yes, Tholpetty is closed, according to the place I had booked to stay!

Now trying to change plans-

Velu, where best to stay at Kabini backwaters? The places I found doing a quick search are very expensive.
#36 Jan 28th, 2011, 21:03
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#36
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Originally Posted by RoyalAndDenise View Post
Velu, where best to stay at Kabini backwaters? The places I found doing a quick search are very expensive.
Only Jungle Lodges and resorts (JLR,Run By Karnataka forest department) or Cicada are the options Denise.

Try out for Forest department guesthouse which is the only place within the Nagarahole NP itself. The problem is only phone booking available .

If you are ok to stay a bit far and do a day trip to the Nagarahole NP Sanctuary You may try out "Hotel Tamarind" [Kerala Government budget[?!] Hotel] which is in Thirunelly ( Around 20 kms from Nagarahole NP and 10 kms from Tholpetty WLS)

OR you may just ask your driver to drive to kutta[South Coorg , Karnataka) and select a homestay or plantation stay in Kutta / Iruppu Falls area (These places are 12 kms from Nagarhole NP and 8 kms from Tholpetty WLS).


Hope this helps
Velu
#37 Feb 1st, 2011, 20:58
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#37
Hi Velu,

Have you stayed at Banasura Island Retreat? They have only positive reviews on trip advisor. I am planning to drop in during first weekend of June. They have a 2N/3D honeymoon package @13k.Can you tell me if June first week is ideal for my visit? I am a little worried as monsoon could hit by then.

Thanks in advance!
#38 Feb 4th, 2011, 13:47
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  • AMathews is offline
#38

Banasura

Yes, Banasura is a good option, has these rooms made out of mud. I think the beauty of the place is more in the fact that it overlooks the dam and the reservoir. You will have a luxurious stay by Wayanad standards. Dont expect to see animals from there though as Banasura is on the western side of Wayanad and most of the wildlife is either on the east or the north.

Tholpetty is closed, first there was a tiff between the forest officials and the Govt, now that is resolved, but now it is closed because they are repairing a bridge. Bridge at Kaattimoola to be precise and it is inside the Sanctuary. The guess is that it should re-open by March end and I'am definitely taking the first trip into the forest as the chance of seeing wildlife will be a lot more then, before people come and drive the animals back into the core zones.

My favourite haunt is Jungle retreat wayanad, it is on the northern side of wayanad and maybe 4 kms or so from Tholpetty. I go there because of the location of the estate. It is surrounded by jungle all around and I have seen elephants right from our room itself. I shouldn't be sharing this info here because I know people will read this, go there, make all the noise and turn jungle retreat into "another" resort. So go there only if you can keep quiet and want to watch the animals in their natural surroundings.
Pachyderm palace is where I stayed the first time and Venu is a legend. But it is far too basic for me now, especially since I travel with my wife and 4 yr old kid these days. The other option is Wildlife resort which is again right next to Pachyderm palace but the problem with both is, they are right on the main highway connecting karnataka and kerala. There are 4 major roads connecting karnataka and Kerala. Since 3 of them Bathery~Muthanga, Mananthavady~Nagarahole and Mananthavady~Kabini all remain closed from 6pm to 6am, there is heavy traffic on this road and all you hear in the night from both Pachyderm palace and wildlife resort is the humming sound from the diesel trucks and busses. That is another reason to go towards the Thirunelli side - where you will have peace and you can actually hear the natural jungle sounds.
To answer your question on monsoon, yes, there is every chance that you will have a rainy honeymoon. But kerala looks great in monsoon time too. If you are not planning to spend a lot of time traveling or sightseeing, just check into any of these half decent places and am sure you can enjoy the rainy season as well.

Try it out...
Last edited by AMathews; Feb 4th, 2011 at 13:51.. Reason: to answer your question on monsoon
#39 Feb 4th, 2011, 14:00
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  • AMathews is offline
#39
Quote:
Originally Posted by zillam View Post We have just got back from a stay at Pachiderm Palace and have to report that the park gate at Wyanad is closed and has been for several months.
Trips to see wildlife involved a 13 Km jeep ride to Nagarahole park and then transfer onto a diesel bus for a quick ride round the tracks without a guide. Not much was seen partly because the bus windows were so dirty.
Talking to other travellers there seems to be general concensous that looking for wildlife in Kerala a waste of time because the parks are so badly set up for anyone with a serious interest in wild animals or birds.
Such a shame you didn't see any wildlife, but as venu said it is a matter of luck and in my case I travel to Wayanad once a month. My intinerary is fixed and on the last weekend of every month, come what may, I am in Wayanad.
Here is what I do.
I drive from Bangalore on Friday morning at 3:00am and I am at the checkpost in Nagarahole at around 5:45am. Sharp at 6 I get out of the car and wake the forest guard up, get the checkpost open (it opens at 6am) and I drive thro the national park towards Thirunelli. Ofcouse, he asks for a hand-out and I give him 20 bucks, and that makes his day. In the last 12 months, I have seen 3 tigers and 2 leopards - this is a huge number by any standards. I am not even mentioning the nr of elephants & gaurs seen.
Similarly, the drive back from Thirunelli is made at 5:30pm so that I reach the nagarahole checkpost at 6:00pm after which the checkpost will remain closed till next day. Again, more elephants and wild dogs on the road. This is one drive I enjoy and am glad that my wife is equally eager to accompany me on these drives.
We also do a night ride from the place i stay in Thirunelli, the drive is arranged by the estate guys and they have a modified SUV with lights and all and that is one heck of a drive. Wayanad is elephant country and each time we have seen herds of elephants on the road in the night. Seeing tigers and other carnivore is all a matter of luck. But the time that you leave, the area that you visit, how enthusiastic your guide is.. all these add to your luck factor. So far I have not been disappointed. Wayanad, especially Northern Wayanad the Thirunelli area is still an untouched goldmine for wildlife.
#40 Feb 4th, 2011, 17:08
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#40
Velu-

Thanks for all the info! You've helped me a lot with planning. We're planning to go to Kabini, the one through the gov't office, and maybe also to the dubare elephant camp.

Working on the bookings now.
#41 Feb 4th, 2011, 19:10
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  • danield is offline
#41

Exclamation 1 km

one other option where I stayed at. Actually two: They are both less than 1 km from the North Entrance of Nagerhole National Park. It is not true that the guest house is the only option and you have to stay away from the NP. King's Sanctuary is a luxury resort and its neighbor Jungle Inn is a eco-friendly resort. Both are at the North side in the direction of Hunsur and then Mysore (some 60 kms away).
Stuck on India
#42 Feb 6th, 2011, 14:06
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#42
Oh Mat! That was a terrific post! I've decided to make it by June 1st week. Hope, we'll have rainy holidays and of course we love rain!
#43 Feb 7th, 2011, 13:38
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#43
Quote:
In the last 12 months, I have seen 3 tigers and 2 leopards - this is a huge number by any standards.
Please,can you be specific where exactly you saw them? Just on the road which leads to tirunelly or on the trek inside tholpetty forest.
#44 Feb 7th, 2011, 16:45
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#44
This map will be useful for wayanad first timers.
Attached Images
Map.JPG 
#45 Mar 7th, 2011, 19:03
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#45
Quote:
Originally Posted by solo-n View Post Hi Velu,

Have you stayed at Banasura Island Retreat? They have only positive reviews on trip advisor. I am planning to drop in during first weekend of June. They have a 2N/3D honeymoon package @13k.Can you tell me if June first week is ideal for my visit? I am a little worried as monsoon could hit by then.

Thanks in advance!
Ohhh I was away for quite some time and now only I saw your post . Till now I never stayed at banasura island retreat and hence I do not have any first hand information.

Yes June might be start of Typical Wayanad / Coorg Monsoon . Normally From May 3rd week, Temperature drops and monsoon is suppose to set in by June 1st.

You can still do the boating in Pookot lake, Ask your cab driver to stop in Thamaraserry Ghat road (from where view of Kozhikode district will be interesting) and visit Chembara peak and Soochipara waterfalls . Also a Visit to Thirunelli temple and a safari to Tholpetty WLS is possible. Mostly if it rains very heavily, " Visit to Kuruwadweep island and a Safari to Tholpetty WLS" might be affected and all of the above tourist spots could be visited. As it's June 1 st week , it could be Ok !

You may avoid edakkal caves, Meenmutty waterfalls trekking , Pakshipasthalam Trekking etc as all of those will be fun and will be enjoyed if you are with a larger group .

Also get good Raincoats as umbrellas would not be effective in wayanad and coorg during monsoons.

Hope this helps. If you need more info, Please post.

Regards
Velu

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