If you are following me on snapchat (username – anushakw), you would have seen my travel story. I travelled to Masinagudi with my family for two days. Does Masinagudi ring a bell? For people who are not familiar with the story, this was my third visit to Masinagudi and I also did a post on my earlier travel story – The Call Of The Forest.
Masinagudi is foothills of Ooty and also a part of the forest reserve. If you are travelling to Masinagudi from Bangalore, you would have to cross Bandipur and enter Mudumalai to reach Masinagudi. I won’t talk much about Masinagudi because I have already done that in my earlier Travel Post.
The Jungle Retreat is situated in the wilderness of Tamil Nadu. It took us exactly five hours to reach where we were staying. This place is run by a family who has lived on tea plantations for years. Nestled in the foothills of the Nilgiris and skirting the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Jungle Retreat was born of this close bond with their surroundings. They have cottages, dormitories and tree houses. It’s not only serene and green but also peaceful with no city hustle bustle. Since you are a part of the forest reserve, it’s a rule to not step out from your rooms from 7 pm to 7 am. In case you want to step out, a jeep and a guard would escort you to the gate. It’s very normal for the wild animals to walk into the property looking for water and food.
The day we reached, we were welcomed by the staff at The Jungle Retreat who spoke to my family about all the rules and also about their property. They showed us a presentation of all the wild animals captured through the cameras in their property. Later in the evening, I was complaining how I could never spot any animal in the property. Post dinner, I was almost finishing my apple crumb with cream ( which was extremely delicious) and I heard someone calling out for me. The guide and the manager were calling me because they wanted me to see something. Excited! I ran to the spot to see a huge wild elephant right next to our room. I was a little scared but people who live there knew the habits of all the wild animals around so they made sure we were safe. They could sense the wild animals with the odour. Isn’t that fascinating! We were escorted in a jeep to our room with two guards since it was post 7 pm and also because we just saw an elephant right next to our room. The guards went out to check for animals around while we waited for them in the jeep. Once they said it was clear, we quietly went into our cottages talking about the experience with each other. My dad was extremely petrified. Hahaha. But the next day he seemed pretty comfortable in the property.
We went on a short trip to Ooty which was just 36 hairpins away. All of us were extremely tired on our way back and not hungry at all. Me, Mom and my Aunt decided to stay back in our cottage and relax whereas Dad and brother decided to go to the dining area because the management was going to show a presentation about the animals and birds to all the travellers and tourists in the property. The jeep arrived to pick them up and right after they sat in the jeep I get a call from my brother asking us to stay put in our room and not open the door because there was another elephant right behind our room. Elated and scared we unveiled the curtain and switched off all the lights for a better view of the elephant. This was around 8:30 pm in the jungle. Disappointed to see nothing around us, we slept. Next day morning when we were having a breakfast early to leave for Bangalore, the guard called me to his desk to show me something and I saw another elephant (not as majestic as the earlier one) right beside our room at 3 am. Sigh! Only if we didn’t sleep or rather woke up early I could have seen the elephant right next to our room. That was our adventure in The Jungle Retreat.
After we were done with our breakfast, we thanked everyone for the amazing time we had and left for the civilisation.
I would always choose a place like this over civilisation!
Do you have any jungle story with wild animals? I would love to hear your story !!