A magical ride on Gundlupet-Bandipur route

Arya Aravind

Though I have visited Wayanad, in Kerala, more than a dozen times, I have never travelled to the outskirts on the Gundlupet-Bandipur route. It was not a purposeful avoidance; since my travel were all unplanned, one or the other problems come in between from making me go beyond the Wayanad circle. This time I was particular that I will be taking a drive down the Gundlupet-Bandipur stretch. And, believe me I was awestruck and was taken away by the swaying sunflower farms on the Gundlupet stretch and could even spot a dozen of animal friends on the Bandipur ride. But, some of the friends skipped my camera, thanks to my over excitement and the non-stop stories of the co-rider.

Here are a few shots I clicked on my HTC Desire Eye…


The beautiful marigold farm on the way. It’s a feast for your soul to drive on the road, which has both sides of it painted in the vibrant orange hues of the flower.

Now, if you are tired of the vibrancy of orange (you will never be), there’s the soothing yellows on both sides of the roads. If you are a bit adventurous to try out new roads (Believe me, most of the men I know are scared to try such off-beat roads), take the in-roads, and come back with soul-filling experience that last for a thousand life-times.


Mudumalai-Bandipur drive is one of the most amazing drives that one can have, if you are in true love with nature and your animal friends. The good (also, at times bad) thing is they are not scared of us and our vrooming vehicles. They just come anytime during the drive and leave when you least expect it. They are not bothered about your drive, the place belongs to them. So, if you suddenly spot a wild elephant in front of your vehicle, crossing the road and pass by as if we don’t exist (It’s better they don’t), don’t get panic, scream or come out of your vehicle. Just be patient and let them remain clam (for the greater good of us).

The next sight was of someone with an attitude issue. He didn’t like to be photographed. Or is it like he didn’t like to show his face? Though I slowed down the drive for quite a long stretch and badly waited to see his face, he just ignored me. Next time, dude!

I don’t know why, but, these two photographs remain my favourites. Though it has been shot in one village down south in India, this gives the feel that it’s some faraway fairy land (May be this feel only rest with me).

Spotting monkeys, is no big deal in the Mudumalai-Bandipur drive. But, every time I see them, I feel so happy that I could come and see my family (pardon me all those from my family who are gonna read this).

Peacocks are a nostalgia for me. No, you guessed wrong. It’s not because it is the national bird of India. I grew up next  to a temple where they had a couple or more peacocks in a big room inside the temple compound. Though the cry of the peacock is little bit scary, I, as a child, used to always run towards the cage and spend pretty long hours talking to and watching them.

Tuskers are another nostalgia. Once, as a kid, during one of the temple festivals, when an elephant walked into the temple following a procession, I touched it’s tummy with my index finger thinking no one could notice my tiny finger in such a group. But, to my luck, the mahout saw this and shouted at me “Hey, little one! don’t try to tickle the elephant!” For years this echoed my heart whenever I spot an elephant. Are they really ticklish? Yet to find out!

This lady out there, was very over possessive! She didn’t like me winking at her husband.