Another weekend and we are off to the wild side. We decided to stay at Masinagudi. It was highly recommended by a friend.
Hyderabad – Chennai – Kodaikanal – Marayoor – Munnar – Kochi – Vagamon – Thekkady – Munnar – Palakkad – Kalpetta (Wayanad) – Masinagudi – Ooty – Ananthpur (AP) – Hyderabad.
For previous part, click here
May 21, 2016
Woke up at regular noon time, had lunch and started for Masinagudi. Superb NH-212 till Sultan Bathery. Then we took the state highway to Gudalur. The road is good all through. Roads in both Kerela and Tamil Nadu are of superior quality compared to their neighbors. But roads in Kerela are functional while in Tamil Nadu they come with certain aesthetic appeal. That extra stress on white markings even on the not-so-important roads makes them much more enjoyable.
From Gudalur, we took NH-181 (old NH-67) till Thepakku where we turned on to a really narrow road (more like 1.25 Lanes wide) to Masinagudi. Drive slow on this road and do know that two sedans can’t cross each other on this road without one going slightly off the road.
Beautiful NH-181 runs through Mudhumalai National Park. Speed breakers are annoying but they are a necessity given the number of animals they have here.
Ultra narrow road to Masinagudi
Reached our guesthouse at around 4:00 PM. Took a little nap, played a little badminton but wind was too harsh. So, just killed time with a little walk. And some lady suddenly shouted, Māṉ, Māṉ, Māṉ!! Māṉ a Tamil word means Deer. Turns out there was herd of spotted deer right outside our guesthouse. That was slightly unexpected. It refreshed memories of our trip of Bishnoi village near Jodhpur. Spent a lot of time clicking and filming that group. They were a little shy but not much.
We had too much time on hand. So took a video as well.
May 22, 2016
Masinagudi is a village, small town at best if you stretch it a little. There is absolutely nothing to do here other than to just relax at your guesthouse or go for an evening safari. That’s it. Restaurants are hard to find and the ones that are there score real low on hygiene. The only hygienic place we could find was a CCD ~5KMs towards Ooty. Also, Masinagudi is hot while the sun shines. We spent all our afternoon at CCD and ate a lot of stuff there. Plan was to kill time till 4:30 PM before we go on the safari.
At 4:30 PM, we started for Masinagudi and went towards Singara Dam. We knew there are no places to visit there but we just wanted to drive around. Singara Dam is closed for public and you have obtain permission from Chennai to visit it. It’s a nice drive nonetheless and there are grass fields on the way you can stop for a family picnic. Only issue is that you can possibly become a Sloth Bear’s lunch while you are having your own lunch Yeah, this is what we got on our way back to Masinagudi!
Next, we headed to the regular safari route which is a road with perfect tarmac all the way. You don’t need to hire a Jeep for this. There are many Jeep drivers around Masinagudi who will trick you into hiring their services. Only advantage is that compared to a sedan, you’ll have open views and you’ll sit much higher which will again result in enhanced views.
Masinagudi Safari Route : Masinagudi – Moyar Check Dam
This is one of the few safaris where we actually saw wild-life. We haven’t been to many but most of rip offs. We spotted a herd of elephants, peacocks and deer. Didn’t get good pictures of the elephants as I didn’t want to get out of the car at no cost. Angry elephants get real crazy angry.
When we returned to the guesthouse, it turned out that we (along with another family) were the only people who were staying the night. There were like 10 cars last night. Most people come to Masinagudi around Saturday noon, take the safari, stay the night and go back or to Ooty.
Even though there is not much to do here, I’ll still go back for the small town feel. And this is a place which you can definitely visit on a weekend.
To be Continued here