If you need a quick break and don't really fancy travelling too far, then the Nagarhole Forest region is ideal for a short weekend break. The drive is fairly long given the current chaotic traffic situation, it can take upto a good six plus hours to reach your destination. There is a more practical and fun way to enjoy your journey, save on time and get to spend more hours at the forest area. Take the Shatabdi express from the City station and it will be smooth two hour ride to Mysuru. The train offers executive and business coaches, incase you want to upgrade to a more comfortable journey. You have meal options, a waiter in every bogey, who ensures that your basic needs of coffee and water are also taken care of. There is more than ample leg space to stretch your feet and before you realise it your train has smoothly ambled into the quaint but extremely well managed Mysuru station. Bengalureans can clearly take tips from their Mysuru counterparts on how to maintain a clean and organised railway station.
The train arrives in Mysuru by 1.15 pm and you have the option of driving onwards to your destination. The forest is merely 1.5 hours away from this city. Or you could stop for a leisurely meal at a hotel close by, chill for a bit and then drive ahead. That's what we did. Feasted on a lavish Indian spread at the King's Court hotel, which is conveniently located right across the station. One hour later, suitably fed and refreshed, we drove ahead and comfortably reached our resort by 4.45 pm. While there are several resorts in the region, only two are closest to the Nagarhole Forests gate. The Jungle inn and King's Sanctuary are literally two minutes away from the main forests and ideal for a safari at your convenience.
There is something so invigorating about the fresh jungle air, that your mind automatically slips into a languid pace as you breathe in non toxic and savour the calm environs, where the only sounds you mostly hear of birds chirping merrily..
Take a book along, lie on a hammock and get lost in the moment. If you opt for a high end resort, all you have to do is surrender to the moment and let them take charge.
There is a bonfire, with locals belting out Hindi and Kannada numbers with a Karaoke for company and yummy desi food is the best way to wind up your night.
After a deep sleep in one of the many villas, you awaken to the sound of silence and sunlight filtering in through your French windows. The green foliage is soothing to the eyes and there is no better way to begin your morning with a cuppa of coffee and soaking in the sunshine from balcony.
If you seek some adventure, on your trip, you could attempt to climb a tree. Be warned, despite all the strappings, it is not easy at all and tremendous upper body stamina. It is only when you exercise all your core and bicep strength do you realise that those nimble footed and lean coconut tree climbers are far more stronger and agile than you could possible hope to be.
A less strenuous but a fun way to get adventurous is to try zip lining. You are taken to a height, strapped to a rope and asked to plunge your feet in to the abyss below and you are whizzed across to the other end. For those with height phobias and weak hearts, you could restrain from trying this. Or you could use this as opportunity to break those barriers and feel one with the universe. Before you realise you have comfortably slid to the other side.
Having worked out those muscles sore, no better way to line your stomach with a sumptuous meal before you head out to the forest region for a languid safari.
The call of the jungle is irresistable. Miles and Miles of dark and sometimes deep forests with animals darting in and out of sight. Antelopes and deers are commonly found at the Nagarhole forests. But these graceful creatures are indeed timid as they dart across briskly on spotting a vehicle approaching in their direction. The jungle life is a prime example of how different species of animals and birds co-exist, perhaps not easily. There is fear and innate sense of self protection that keeps these animals alert and agile. They mostly move around in herds, like the majestic elephants that are mostly found near water bodies. A silent drive (noise disturbs the animals) through the gravelly and often uneven paths throws up unexpected sightings. A wild boar menacingly appears to come in the direction of the jeep, impulsively changes its mind and darts quickly into the dark bushes. Drive a little ahead, and you will spot the majestic peacock in all its vivid colours dancing to its beat, spreading its beautiful-a ight that instantly evokes gushing sounds from everyone. The two hour drive is an exercise in patient, calmness, silence and discovery. No two days are alike in the jungle so every experience is individualistic and precious. Savour every moment in the forests, cause it helps you regain your lost balance before you head back to civilisation, well recouped.
How to reach there?
Distance by car: Approximately six hours (from Bengaluru)
By Train: Two hours by Shatabdi to Mysuru and a hour and half drive from there to Nagarhole Forests.
Entry Fee: Rs1,500 for Indians