If you’re in desperate need of a weekend getaway, but not something mainstream and boring, head to the wildlife sanctuaries of Bandipur and Mudumalai for an exciting weekend amidst nature. It is just about a 5-hour drive away from Bangalore on good roads that are a pleasure to drive on. Some well known food stops along the way before you hit the forest area, where everything from elephants, tigers and deer await. Of course, we’ve been so many times, we know just where you should stay too! From fancy resorts with infinity pools to rustic lodges that give you the real jungle feels, here’s where to check into at Bandipur National Park (Karnataka) and Mudumalai National Park (Tamil Nadu). And that too across budgets!
Going Into The Wild? Here's Where To Stay At Bandipur And Mudumalai National Park
Tiger Reserve Cottages
These government guest houses are a great option for their spot on location and budget-friendly prices. For about INR 450 for a dorm room and INR 650 for a suite room, the amenities offered are very basic with typical lodge facilities, and a canteen amidst all the rooms offering cheap homely food. Book well in advance to ensure a room at these government lodges, and have easy, close access to the safaris offered. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll get to walk out of your room to a herd of deer just chilling.
Check it out here.
If all you want to see is wildlife, and maybe unwind and relax, Dhole’s Den is the perfect boutique styled homestay for you. With the lovely owners, delicious meals, the glass doors and windows with a view of The Blue Mountains, lovely gardens and the cute dogs around, you’re not going to want to leave. Ever. If you’re travelling with family or friends, pick the Habitat — two massive rooms with all wood furniture, bright curtains and a little nook near the windows to curl up with a book or bae, they’re cosy at night and breezy by day. For some privacy and fancier digs, book one of the garden mansions.
Read more about them here.
Formerly the wonderful Tusker Trail, Windflower has taken over and make it just a bit more swanky. Live in luxury at the resort with king-size rooms that have balconies opening out to the forests, spa therapies, elaborate buffets and an infinity pool. The resort honestly makes you feel like your room is right in the middle of the forest, with large green spaces, dim lighting and wooden furniture. This place is worth every rupee you spend on it.
Read more about it here.
Bandipur Safari Lodge
Get a rustic and natural feel in the cottages at Bandipur Safari Lodge. Each cottage is spacious and has a sit out area, perfect to catch the nippy breeze, and unwind with a cup of coffee after looking out for tigers. Traditional South Indian food to make you feel like you belong right in the forests of Karnataka. An added benefit is that you get unconditional pampering from the staff.
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A not so humble abode, Country Club provides an urban touch to the remote most parts of a national park such as Bandipur. Live like royalty, in comfort and rejuvenation and explore wilderness with the guided safaris and treks offered by them. The bonfires and tasty food makes the experience a whole lot better. But don’t expect fancy food, it’s good but not exotic!
Bear Mountain Jungle Resort
If you’re feeling adventurous enough, head to this jungle resort in Masinagudi, enclosed in forests of the Nilgiri Hills. Choose to stay in comfort at the cute cottages which have lovely sit-outs to chill out on. But if you want the real jungle experience, book a spot at their campsite. Be sure to join their wildlife exploration tours that’ll give you a true essence of going into the wild.
Check it out here.
A innovative utilisation of space in the forest, the entire place, including the rooms are all eco-friendly. Spacious rooms are well-appointed but have only basic amenities. So not your place if you want to live it up. The property is smack on the banks of the Marvakandy Dam where you can oftern spot wild animals. Cricket, volleyball and badminton courts, and tasty food, are other reasons to check into this homestay.
A little bit of coffee plantations and a little bit of the national park, this resort has got the best of both worlds. With seven different kinds of rooms to pick from — be it the luxurious ensuite ones that are part of the main house and have four-poster beds to the Windermere, which offers brick walls and cosy wooden beds, a little further away from the main house. Any you pick will leave you satisfied and in awe, as they’re quite packed with trinkets such as mugs, carpets, or log wood furniture. Live in a fairy tale with mist in the air, your loved one on your arm, brick walls and log cabins. They even have a fantastic tree house!
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At least for a weekend, feel like the king of the jungle at the Jungle Hut resort in Masinagudi, Madumalai. There are two kinds of room options — standard and deluxe. The former is simple, and very much like a lodge. The deluxe is larger and leaves quite a lot of space between each cottage to give you privacy and make you feel like you’re the only one on the entire property. However, you can chat with fellow residents at the bonfires or the main reception area which is also where the delicious food presents itself to you.
Check it out here.