Fujiyama, Japan

Friday, 18 January 2013

Mudumalai

Google Maps: Mudumalai National Park, Tamil Nadu, India

Mudumalai is the Tamil portion of a large forest reserve that spreads in hundreds of sq kilometers at the foothills of the Nilgiris. The part falling in Karnataka is more famous - known as the Bandipur National Park. There is Kerala too in the frame with Wayanad being at the centre.

Elephants on the Highway, Mudumalai

We started from Bangalore at 8 AM and were comfortably seated at the lunch table of Jungle Hut Resort. Food was great and gave the right kick to start for a jungle safari. We moved back to Theppakadu for the hour long minibus ride into the forests. I had already done it with Vivek and Sumeet when I was last here at Bandipur. Still it was fun with a 33 people strong office crowd.

Nilgiris in the morning, Mudumalai

We reached back at resort at 7. Our rooms were good. There were deers grazing at the backyard which merged with the reserve. The room itself was large, clean and utilitarian. All possible luxuries were made available here. The Nilgiris loomed large from our window and made the whole ambiance marvelous.

More elephants, Mudumalai

The six of us planned for a treasure hunt for the rest while others enjoyed the various recreational activities available at the resort. Treasure Hunt proved to be entertaining and was the fitting start to a long merry night. Bonfire was alive. People seated themselves around. Someone started playing a guitar.

Bonfire @ Jungle Retreat Resort, Mudumalai

Then started Antakshari and we all submerged to the tunes of half memorized hindi songs. Booze was flowing wide and soon we were all dazed. There were snacks of different variety pouring in. It must be around 2 that we dispersed to our respective rooms.

Coimbatore sky, nearest airport to Mudumalai

I had to wake up early at 6 as with a colleague of mine, I had booked a cab to Coimbatore. We were not sure but it all ended well as the driver took exactly 3 hours to take us through scenic Ooty to the airport. We were well in time for the 11.45 direct flight to Delhi. At 4 I was home and was still dazed with what happened in the last 24 hours.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Ellora

Google Maps: Ellora, Maharashtra, India
Trip: Aurangabad > Ajanta > Lonar > Daulatabad > Ellora

We started our trip to Ellora with a pint of beer. It was available in MTDC Restaurant right at the entrance of Ellora Cave Complex. We were little drowsy as we closed in on the main temple building. The concept of this structure broke some of our lethargy as the entire temple is carved out of 125000 cubic metre of one solid rock.

Elephants, Ellora Caves


Daulatabad Fort

Google Maps: Daulatabad, Maharashtra, India
Trip: Aurangabad > Ajanta > Lonar > Daulatabad > Ellora > Aurangabad

  • A full fledged 7 tiered fort, Daulatabad is worth studying on the defense systems of forts used by early rulers of India. At worse its a healthy trek to the top.
  • Dont miss the bat cave, a set of staircases to the top only few hundred metres long but full of squeaking bats. You need to cross it to reach the top.
  • Within few miles of Daulatabad are the grand Ellora Caves and Grishneshwar - one of the twelve jyotirlingas, both dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Daulatabad Fort is impregnable by the look of it - a layer of seven increasingly difficult barriers from bottom to top. We arrived at the foot of this hill fort through a shared auto that runs frequently from Bawa Petrol Pump in Aurangabad City. The entrance is a massive wooden gate that opens to view of a high watch tower and the fort itself. The gate is not counted among the seven layers of defence.

View from Bharat Mata Mandir