You would probably call me insane! Instead of zipping past on NH7 from Bangalore to Kodai, rather I opted for more round about route to reach Kodai via Bandipur and Ooty. But believe me, the drive was worth! Zipping past the highways is always an option but I prefer going round country side and enjoy the nature around. With booming highways now a days, I feel there is no real life that you can see when you are on highways, and I would rather prefer to see some life around and opted for singlelane country side routes.
The first pit stop was at Chik-Yelchetti, on outskirts of Bandipur. Truly wonderful and serene place and Subbanna and family were true hosts. Read about the experience here.
Having spent quality time at Chick Yelcheeti, we headed out to Coonoor. Drive from Bandipur to Coonoor was excellent, as most of our journey was through the national park and we were lucky to sight some wild life on our way. Coonoor was just a brief stop over on the way and plan was to head towards to Kodai the next day. We took Coonoor-Coimbatore-Pollachi-Udumalaipettai-Palani-Kodai route and drive was excellent. Starting early from Coonoor helped as the summer was at its best throughout the plains below.
|Bandipur Forest - This myna gave us a good timeshare|
|Rich Canopy - Kodai Hills|
Berijam Lake is an artificial lake created during British Era and wiki tells that this lake is quite significant from palynological point of view as well. This lake is supposed to have hidden 20,000 years of history in its sediments. This lake is covered by forest area and access is controled by State forest department. You will have to stand in a queue infront of Kodai Forest department and post 10 AM department folks will start issuing the permits.
|Nilgiri Pipit - Female???|
|Nilgiri Fly catchers- Couple|
|Thick billed/Jungle Crow|
|Nilgiri Laughing Thrush|
Nevertheless, with a decent outing in the forests during the first day, we decided to head there second day as well. This time around we spent quite a bit of time in walking around the trail near the Berijam Guest house/Lake. The only suggetion I have, to TN Forest departments is, they should allow the naturalists/birders a bit early in the Forest.
|Mango Slices - Bazaar Street Kodai|