South Indian Wildlife and Culture
06 nights & 07 days
Best time: October-March
Note: Should you choose to opt for your own dates, let us know and we will check the availability of the guide and services.
Tour Code: SI01
Day 01: Bangalore to Mysore
Day 02: Mysore to Nagarhole
Day 03: Nagarhole
Day 04: Nagarhole to Mudumalai
Day 05: Nagarhole to Mudumalai
Day 06: Mudumalai to Ooty
Day 07: Ooty to Coimbatore
Splendour of the Nilgiri Hills
Tipu Sultan's palace, the Mysore Palace and Brindaban gardens
Wildlife experience of sighting herds of Asian Elephants, Tiger, Gaur, Sloth Bear, Leopard, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Muntjac and Mouse Deer
Western Ghats avifauna
Old British hill station of 'Ooty'
Nilgiri Mountain Railway, a World Heritage Site
The Kabini River Lodge with its old world charm and splendid lakeside views
Traditional cuisine and glimpse of the culture of Karnataka
While most tours have concentrated on northern India, this tour focuses on the tropical splendour of the Nilgiri Hills, varied wildlife in the national parks with outstanding beauty and the resplendent culture of south India.
We begin our holiday in the historic city of Mysore before driving to Nagarhole and Mudumalai National Parks where we'll look for Asian Elephant, Gaur and birds of the forest. Next we search for endemic birds of the Nilgiri Hills near the old British hill station of Ooty.
Bangalore is our point of entry into India. From here we drive to the historic city of Mysore. The cultural capital of Karnataka is known for Tipu Sultan's Palace, the Mysore Palace and Brindaban gardens with its musical fountains. It is also a great place to enjoy traditional cuisine of Karnataka and soak in the simplicity and hospitality of the people of this region.
Next we experience the sounds, sights and exhilaration of a south Indian jungle — unchanged since time immemorial. The Kabini River Lodge with its old world charm and splendid lakeside views will be our base in Nagarhole. The large forest premises surrounding the lodge is ideal for bird watching. Dominated by extensive dry deciduous forests, Nagarhole has a varied selection of habitats. Nagarhole and the contiguous Bandipur National Parks are a haven for mammals. A third of the total area of these parks is a designated Wilderness Area which visitors are not allowed into. In the world of mammal watching nothing can ever be guaranteed but Nagarhole is a perfect place to look for some of the most impressive examples of India's diverse fauna.Thousands of Indian Elephants are estimated to be resident of forest. Large herds have been seen at favoured locations near water sources such the banks of the Kabini River. Four species of deer inhabit the forests. The Spotted Deer or Chital being the most conspicuous, smaller numbers of Sambar, Muntjac and Mouse Deer are also sighted frequently. Another valued resident of the Park is the Gaur or the Indian Bison usually found grazing in the grasses in herds of up to 20 to 30 animals. Wild Boars and Chitals provide prey for a formidable trio of predators: Tiger, Leopard and Dhole. Other mammal sightings include the Sloth Bear, mostly nocturnal it can be seen digging for termites, Black-naped Hares, Jackals, Otter, four species of mongoose, Grey Langur and Bonnet Macaques.
After a final morning safari we will drive on to Mudumalai National Park. Mudumalai is rich in bird life and many of the regions endemics can be seen on a trip to the Park. There are at least 266 species of birds in the sanctuary, including critically endangered species like the Indian White-rumped Vulture and the long-billed vulture.
It is a good place to see Red Spurfowl, Grey Junglefowl, Malabar Pied and Malabar Grey Hornbill. Here one can often spot herds of endangered Indian elephants, vulnerable Gaur, and Chital. The sanctuary is a haven for Bengal Tigers and Indian Leopards and other threatened species.
Our journey now takes us to higher ground, to the old British hill station of Ootacamund or Ooty (2,600 m), also known as The Blue Mountains. It is unknown whether this name comes because of the Kurunji flower, which blooms every twelve years giving the slopes a bluish tinge or the blue smoky haze given off by the Eucalyptus trees that cover the area.
Ooty is reached via winding hill roads or a complicated rack railway system, known as the Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR). One of the oldest mountain railways in India, it was declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in July 2005.
Ooty, surrounded with lofty mountains, beautiful lakes, forests, grasslands, acres of tea gardens and eucalyptus trees, is very popular with visitors. The hill station itself is a land of picturesque picnic spots and Botanical gardens.
There are a few tribal Toda huts on the hills above Botanical Garden, where Todas still dwell. It is here that we may sight the endemic birds of the Nilgiri Hills, like the Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, White-bellied Shortwing, the beautiful Black and Orange Flycatcher and Nilgiri Laughing-thrush.
With such excellent sightings and natural beauty forever imprinted in your memories, we will take you back to Coimbatore where the tour will end.
Day 01: Bangalore - Mysore
Meals: On your own
Your guide will meet you and your group at Bangalore airport and you will be taken to Mysore (4 hours) for the evening. Night at Hotel Green. Visit Tipu Sultan's Palace.
Day 02: Mysore - Nagarhole
Meals: Lunch and Dinner
Drive to Nagarhole and check in at Kabini River Lodge. Enjoy for first safari at Nagarhole in the afternoon.
Day 03: Nagarhole
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Morning and afternoon safaris. Relax in between in the beautiful premises of Kabini River Lodge
Day 04: Nagarhole - Mudumalai
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
After a final morning safari you will drive on to Mudumalai.
Mudumalai is rich in bird life and many of the regions endemics can be seen on a trip to the Park.
The rest of the day is at leisure at the Jungle Retreat where you will stay overnight.
Day 05: Nagarhole - Mudumalai
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Morning and afternoon safaris in the park for wildlife viewing. Night at Jungle Retreat.
Day 06: Mudumalai - Ooty
Drive in the morning to Ooty (1.5 hrs). Check in at Fernhill Palace or similar for overnight stay. Experience a short journey on the fascinating toy train till Coonoor. Explore Ooty with your guide.
Day 07: Ooty - Coimbatore
Drive to Coimbatore (2½ hr) to connect flight to the return destination.
-Accommodation on twin sharing basis in the hotels
-Meals as per the itinerary
-Safaris with guides
-Permits and entry fee
-All surface transfers by a private air-conditioned vehicle
-Toy Train Journey
Services not included:
-Optional tours/excursions, personal & incidental expenses.
-Tips, laundry, phone calls, alcohol, camera fee etc.
-International and domestic air fare, visa, insurance.
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