Metrolife: Bandipur circuit is about wildlife, temples

Metrolife: Bandipur circuit is about wildlife, temples

A herd of deer at Bandipur National Park.

My husband and I make it a point to travel over the weekend to places in and around Bengaluru. Our most recent trip was to the Bandipur National Park.  

We chose to drive down and set out on Saturday morning around 6 am.

Our first stop was at Kengal Hanumantharaya temple. It is on Bengaluru-Mysuru Road, just after Ramanagara. The temple was built by Hoysala rulers. After them, no one bothered to maintain the temple and it remained neglected.

We had our breakfast from a hotel on Bengaluru-Mysuru Road. There is no dearth of places to eat on the Bangalore-Mysore highway.

After breakfast, we headed to Nanjangud towards Srikanteshwara temple. Nanjangud, one of the ancient and well-known pilgrimage centres of Karnataka, is at a distance of about 25 km from Mysuru. It is famous for its temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Srikanteshwara temple of Nanjangud is one of the biggest temples in Karnataka and measures 385 feet by 160 feet, covering an area of 50,000 square feet. After the darshan of Lord Shiva, we headed towards Bandipur.

Bandipur is located in Gundlupet Taluk of Chamarajanagar District, about 80 km from Mysuru. We had booked in advance at the Windflower Resorts Bandipur.

Located close to the Bandipur Forest Reserve, the resort has struck a balance between development and conservation. The resort does not have televisions in the rooms and they don’t guarantee mobile phone or internet connectivity at the resort. It is a plush place, complete with pool, spa and a campfire.   

Early Sunday morning, we went on a safari ride in Bandipur National park. If you are lucky, you may spot some animals.

We started at around 7 am and returned to the resort by 9 am, just in time for breakfast.

Later in the day, we headed to Bengaluru after a sumptuous lunch. 

Our return journey offered plenty of sight-seeing options. We first stopped at the Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta, located at a height of 1450m. It is also the highest peak in Bandipur 
National Park and lies in the core of the park. The dense fog is what has given the place its name -- Himavad. After a darshan of Lord Krishna here, we started out on our journey again.

We reached Bengaluru on Sunday evening. The trip was a short but refreshing one. 

How to get there

By road: Bandipur is about 220 km from Bengaluru, 80 km from Mysuru.

By train: The closest railway station is Bandipur.

Bus routes: Buses en-route from Mysore to Ooty pass through the National Park. You can get off at the Bandipur police check post, and get picked up from there.