Karnataka Forest Department Rest House- Staying in the middle of Bandipur Tiger Reserve
As part of our training for the Eco Volunteer Training program jointly organized by Karnataka Forest department, Eco Tourism Development board of Karnataka and Jungle lodges and resorts we had two options of stay:
- Stay in absolutely beautiful and bordering luxurious JLR resort and pay around 17 thousand Rupees
- Stay in absolutely beautiful but basic Forest department residential complex in Bandipur Tiger reserve and pay around 4800 Rs.
Which one do you think most of us chose? Hell we are volunteers, and chose the second option and stayed in the forest department complex. The complex is well aged, surrounded by lush green forest the only eyesore being the Ooty Mysore highway passing right next to it. But this highway is an eyesore for the Bandipur Tiger reserve and is a cause of many deaths of both humans and wildlife.
The complex is basic but was good enough for us with JLR trying to pitch in wherever possible to help us. We were served simple but tasty breakfast and dinner and the rooms had attached bathroom with running solar heated water and some centipedes running here and there. But hey we are in middle of jungle and I was expecting some snakes in wild, so centipedes were actually a disappointment.
But the best part was seeing hundreds (yes hundreds) of Spotted deer who have made the complex their night camping ground. One could see them from just about touching distance when they would move away. The wild boar family camping in the campus was a little less adjusting and forced us to change path every time the big male or the mom of about a dozen piglet came around. In the night the eyes of the spotted deer glowed like a thousand stars on the ground, looking at you in a haunting way.
We tried clicking some pictures of the deer in the night , though the results were not very good, I still thought of sharing the picture with you over here.
The Bandipur forest department residential complex is also the night camp for one of the tame tusker, who surprised me one morning by silently sneaking next to me, but it was a harmless encounter just like the wild elephants of Nagarhole that I saw some time back who made a mock attack on our bus.
Most of our mornings in the complex were spent clicking pictures of deer and birds around us, and the evenings were spent watching movies on wildlife and debating on how we city folks can contribute to tiger conservation. We could hear the sounds of jungle whole night with wild boards and leopards trying to outdo each other. The fresh air of jungle did something magical and no matter at what time I slept next day early morning I would get up to the “peoh peoh” of peacocks near by. This series of mine on Eco Tourism Volunteer training program is a result of that debate and is part of my efforts to raise awareness about the efforts Karnataka forest department is taking to involve citizens in tiger conservation in a transparent and scientific matter. It was good staying in the Forest Rest house, right in the middle of Bandipur Tiger reserve, you can check this link to get more information about booking the same. It is a good idea to book the Forest Rest House well in advance as they are popular owing to the low-cost and excellent location. Keep in mind that visiting Forest officers, and other government employees are given priority when making a booking. So call the numbers given in the link earlier. This link will give you specific information about various Forest Rest houses in Karnataka National Parks and Sanctuaries. You can also ping them on Facebook here. The Karnataka Forest department help line number is 18004251314 (Toll Free)
My earlier posts on Eco Volunteer Training at Bandipur National Park series are here
- Eco Volunteer Training Bandipur Tiger Reserve
- First day of Eco Volunteer Training Bandipur Tiger Reserve
Click here for all posts in Bandipur and Eco Volunteer Training program
UPDATE: Please check here for next batch of Eco Volunteer Training
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